Animals in Entertainment: Cruel Spectacles
Animals are abused and exploited in a variety of forms of "entertainment." Born Free USA's primary focus is on the use of animals in circuses, where elephants, lions, tigers, and other animals are sentenced to a lifetime of misery in order to provide a few moments of human amusement. We were part of a groundbreaking lawsuit against Ringling Bros. for their mistreatment of Asian elephants. Click here for more details. Our Zoo Check campaign tracks abuses and substandard conditions suffered by animals in zoos, aquariums, circuses, or other places that exhibits animals.
Animals are also forced into the role of unwilling performer in other venues, including:
Marine parks, where captive marine mammals such as dolphins and orcas are doomed to a life of confinement, deprived of normal social and environmental interaction. Animals in marine parks typically show signs of psychological disturbance are often forced to perform degrading tricks that run counter to their natural instincts. (Join us in protesting the deadly dolphin exhibit at The Mirage hotel in Las Vegas.)
Roadside zoos and aquariums, where, under the guise of "conservation" and the name of "education," animals are too often treated as disposable specimens. Many animals held in captivity in these facilities continue to be bored, cramped, lonely, and unable to perform normal social behaviors. Too many zoos still sell off older and "surplus" animals who may end up in roadside menageries, breeding facilities, circuses, or even as "game" in canned hunt facilities.
Movie and Television Sets, where animals are used as involuntary "props" to sell products and services, and to boost the profits of studios and production companies. In addition to all the problems associated with keeping wild animals in captivity, animals used in filming have been mistreated, injured, or even killed on set.
Other Venues: Animals are also exploited and mistreated for human amusement in horse and greyhound racing, cockfighting and dog fighting, and in shopping malls and schools where they are put on public display. Exotic animals are often used in photo opportunities, or are shot and killed in canned hunts or on hunting ranches. Unfortunately, people can be very creative in finding ways to make a profit off of other animals.
Born Free USA strongly opposes the use of animals in all entertainment venues. Animals are not novelties; they have their own needs, interests, and rights — including the right to engage in their natural behaviors in their natural environment. We are committed to using every tool at our disposal, from lobbying to lawsuits to grassroots organizing, to end the cruel exploitation of animals for human amusement and profit.