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‘Ben Hur’ Hurts Animals

Written by PETA | September 18, 2009

PETA Europe members were at The O2 arena in London yesterday to protest Ben Hur Live‘s use of real horses, camels, donkeys, chickens, falcons, and eagles forced to “perform” in the show’s rock concert–like chaos of bright lights, loud noise, and commotion.

 

Ben Hur

 

Animals forced to perform never find it entertaining. And for the more than 100 animals used in the European production of Ben Hur Live, “stage fright” has certainly taken on a very literal meaning.

 

Ben Hur

 

We’ve all heard that animals used for circuses are beaten, chained for up to 100 hours at a time, and carted around the country in tiny boxcars without a semblance of a natural life, but being on stage is just as terrifying and unnatural, and as I’m sure you’ve probably learned, it often ends in tragedy for the animals and the audience.

Please tell everyone you know in Europe that Ben Hur Live is hell for animals before someone gets hurt, and urge your friends and family never to patronize shows that use live animals.

Written by Heather Drennan

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  • Shiggz says:

    I find myself conflicted in regards to what can be viewed as ‘Radical’ and ‘Logical’. I agree with a vast majority of PETA’s ideals Animals are not meant to be worn Animals are not meant to be torturedabused etc. I am however a meateater. I do not buy prepackaged meat I do not go to the Butcher or Deli and I refuse to purchase anything I do not gain by my OWN hand. If it is any consolation I do not use Firearms or any form of modern technology. I await Hunting Seasons and pit myself against the animal with AT MOST a wooden spear be advised the biggest game I hunt in this regard are Deer and Boar. I do not feel as if this is unfair to the animal or advantageous to me in moderate supply. Animals eat other Animals that much is testament. However using technology against an animal without the ability to contend on even grounds is NOT FAIR and can not be considered ‘natural’. I also milk cows by own hand Cows that are free to graze as they please and are never forced to do something against their will. They are also NOT HARMED and NOT HUNTED. They are gracious enough to provide me with Milk and I would never take more from the Land and wildlife then I absolutely require. My diet consists primarily of Wild Boar Wild Berries and Fruits grown Vegetables and Starches occassionally Venison and if I am lucky Fish. Fish are also caught using a Bamboo spear. I am not a ‘WildMan’ though mind you. I have a T.V. and electronics and I live about an hour out from the Urban areas. I simply prefer to try and live my ‘Natural’ life as that Naturally. I am completely at ease with the thought” I am hunting an Animal but the Animal may also be hunting me. Should I fall I will feel no ill thoughts.” Fair is fair I am either the prey or the hunter. In regards to Entertainment Animals should ever be forced to perform against their will nor beaten into submission. I have the pleasure of living with two dogs each of which lives a content life and has never known being hit or beaten. The only thing that can be applied as being ‘submissive’ is in regards to going for walks. Going in the House is a nono and even then no hand is raised. A slightly raised voice is all I have ever relied upon with my companions. Nora the Piano playing Cat is a great example she is not forced to perform as the woman whom lives with her has stated. She Nora that is found the Piano herself and seems to genuinely enjoy pressing the keys at Random. Animals experience emotion similar to how we do not directly alike…but similar. Who is to say Nora does not enjoy playing the Piano not for us her viewers but simply because the sounds mystify her. Nora plays for herself get over yourselves. To Nora we are just lights on the backdrop.

  • Heather Lane says:

    I am an animal lover and was concerned when I heard that there would be animals performing in the Ben Hur thing at the O2. We have to remember that it wasn’t that long ago that humans were tortured and ripped apart along with the animals in Rome. Unfortunately it seems to me that if this happened now there would be lots of people who would go and quite happily watch. I am not sure that we have acually moved on that much. Some people seem to posess a fundamentally cruel streak.

  • Kurt K says:

    Your right Nora. We suck! Every last one of us absolutely suck. I guess that includes you too right? I’m getting sick of people telling me that everything bad that happens is hunamities fault. Don’t group me in with all the bad people. You forget that there are also humans that tirelessly sacrifice their time and money to give to others. Humans find cure for diseases give to charities fight evil men with twisted idealologies love their familes and so on… Yes there are bad people in this world but they are by no means representative of the human race. They are the ones that get all the attention.

  • Nora Jones says:

    Kurt People who hunt and kill animals for whatever reason do not use their brains or instinct they most likely possess neither. They use high powered rifles hardly what I would call a fair fight. Considering all the wars pestilence disease environmental degradation corporate greed and profiteering rampant drug abuse and crime happening on our watch I hardly think we are the superior race here.

  • Kurt K says:

    Alan Good response. You make some good points. I have to disagree however. You say we are not naturally equiped to hunt I say we are the best equiped. True we probably wouldn’t last long against a wild beast if we tried to take it down with our bare hands. We weren’t designed to hunt like that. However we have the best tool for hunting. Our brains. We have figured out over thousands of years how to take down prey without putting ourselves in harms way. Humans aren’t designed to live out doors either. We wouldn’t last long if we couldn’t find andor build shelter. Again our brains have allowed us to figure out how to live safely and comfortably. Humans are curious and inventive. That is what makes us superior. Furthermore humans probably weren’t designed to eat Tofurkey soy burgers etc.

  • Alan says:

    In reply to Kurt Quote…what about a humans natural instict to hunt food? We have been doing that for thousands of years. So what right does PETA have telling other humans how to live and what to eat? Are you going to tell me that humans are not natural hunters?..I don’t deny having eaten meat in the past but I have been vegetarian for many years and I havn’t died from starvation eating veg my point being when I was younger my mother fed the family with meat from variuos animals etc however I dont remember her having to go out into a field to chase a rabbit for dinner no she done like everyone else in the modern society went to the supermarket and paid cash the meat we ate as a result of that cash payment was a “defenceless” animal and was not given a chance of survival. In my experience of living on this planet meat is seen by most as prepacked food and us humans today do not have the speed agility teeth or in some cases strenght to go out and hunt an animal to eat when I look at a lion going after a dear or buffolo or whatever heshe has to catch it and kill it first and if unsuccessful the lions family starves simple rule only the fittest survive and weakest are the food of the fittest this rule seems to apply right through the food chain until it comes to the human way…First I am not sure if we were meant to chase animals for food or not but if we are like you say “our ancestors did” then we should be like our ancestors and go hunt for food but because modern society wouldn’t know where to start most if not all modern day people would probebly be vegetarian because we are not naturally physically equipped to hunt However if someone has the ability to run after hisher food and is successful in catching and eating then fair play thats the way it should be. Unfortunately thats not the way it is..At worst farmers confine and breed millions of animals in unnatural situations and then they are lined up by machine then butchered to pieces. In answer to your question we are not natural hunters we look like a derivetive of monkeys who live in trees and eat fruit we don’t look anything like the flesh eating creatures on the planet our only hope of catching an meat to eat involves the use of guns or something external to naturally catching an animal I would say something is definetly wrong and not only that but generally people prefer to ignore the wrong so that they can continue to eat meat but its not right..is it? As a member of PETA myself I don’t go round telling people what they should and should not eat. I would be more inclined to inform people about what they are eating and let them decide themselves if its good right or wrong its their own choice.

  • Kurt K says:

    Alan wrote “But it stands to reason that all species of animals including us humans are on this planet and no matter how bad or good we considder any one of these species none of us has the right to change or try to change the path of the natural instincts of any animal.” I guess you have a point about using animals for entertainment. I will give you that. However what about a humans natural instict to hunt food? We have been doing that for thousands of years. So what right does PETA have telling other humans how to live and what to eat? Are you going to tell me that humans are not natural hunters?

  • alan says:

    Just reading through some of the arguments about animals being used for entertainment and I refer to Edwards “quote” “I am not trying to justify harsh training methods. I only want to point out that not all animal performers are beaten to do so. What about Nora the Piano Playing Cat? Do you think that that she was beaten until she played the piano? No but people would gladly pay to see her play myself being one of them.” In fairness Edward.. Do you think its right to use an animal for performing tricks in front of a human audience? if so have you ever thought how you would feel if you were taken from your hometown by aliens who by nature you would normally hide or run from because your natural instinct tells you that being captured is not part of the plan for your species an therefore is something to be very afraid of. Then suppose your captors put you in a cage with everything you could wish for at your disposal good food water etc you know just like a modern day prison for humans but the deal was you never again see your hometown or anywhere else for that matter…would you greatfully except? and the suppose a few bad screws decided that you were worth money for being put on display in front of a bunch of aliens and your made to dress in some outrageous getup to do tricks knowing that non complience was not an option would that be also ok with you? No! I would’nt think so.. However I know your not a bad person you just cant see the woods for the trees in this case.. But it stands to reason that all species of animals including us humans are on this planet and no matter how bad or good we considder any one of these species none of us has the right to change or try to change the path of the natural instincts of any animal..

  • Kurt K says:

    Come on PETA members. I am really surprised nobody has made the Ben HurNRA conection yet. Charlton Heston afterall did play Ben Hur in the movie “Ben Hur”. You are slacking on this one. You’re better than that.

  • Edward says:

    Bluebell I am not trying to justify harsh training methods. I only want to point out that not all animal performers are beaten to do so. What about Nora the Piano Playing Cat? Do you think that that she was beaten until she played the piano? No but people would gladly pay to see her play myself being one of them. Once again I want to point out that I do not support harsh training methods and bad living conditions for animal performers. I have always preferred human stunts over animal stunts since anyone can jump through a hoop while it takes skill to use a seesaw to fly 30 feet in the air. I think you are missing my point.

  • Bluebell says:

    Ah so we should be grateful that animals are carted around constantly chainedtetheredconfined to tiny enclosures abused using brutal training methods deprived of beneficial stimulation and forced to perform degradingand often harmful tricks all for the entertainment of humans… silly me! I think you’re missing the point. This is an animal rights blog ergo the authors are likely to highlight the abuse of animals in the entertainment industry. If you are happy to see animals exploited for the sake of a “good show” then by all means support performing animals. But if you genuinely give a damn then look at the evidence and support only human performers. I’m sure your life would be just as fulfilled without contributing to and trying to justify animal suffering.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    No green screen. Try shooting at twilight with fillflash or a fill hot light as visible in the second pic with a large aperture and you’ll get the same flat 2D effect.

  • Jade says:

    Bluebell you’re missing the point PETA and its supporters are STEREOTYPING everyone as the same person. I have seen many organizations that treat these animals like royalty. Unfortunately people are so damn narrowminded that they label the good ones as evil. That’s what’s disgusting here people really truly not seeing the whole picture. Animals help us every day and people’s comments like this are just ungrateful. Just bull…

  • Edward says:

    J3 humans aren’t exactly naturalists either. Just look at we can do. We can build huge metropoli and defy gravity. I’m sure at least one animal enjoys human intervention more than the wild. Do you think that cats in ancient Egypt were abused? No. Do you think they were living in their natural habitat? No. Cats do not naturally live in palaces. And since you have said “Humans have no clue” I can only assume that you are either an alien or an animal that has learned to use the internet.

  • Bluebell says:

    “..PETA ONLY focuses on the cruelty to animals cases. If you actually do some research yourself you will see that not ALL of them are the same. NEVER have been and NEVER will be.” Surely the fact that it does happen at all is reason enough to boycott all forms of entertainment that involves animals. After all that’s the only way you can guarantee you’re not supporting animal cruelty. Whatever way you look at it forcing animals either using harsh or relatively humane training methods to perform constantly is unacceptable and completely out of place in the twenty first century. Abuse and exploitation can take many forms.

  • rats says:

    omg even at this day n age people r still so uncivilized using animals in shows. havent enough pain been felt by innocent animals now shows? really sick!

  • Jade says:

    Aimee that’s simply because PETA ONLY focuses on the cruelty to animals cases. If you actually do some research yourself you will see that not ALL of them are the same. NEVER have been and NEVER will be. I agree with Edward it does look like they’re posing in front of a green screen however in your defense you probably just blurred the background. Still that is a bad idea because it DOES question the validity of whether or not this was actually taken there. But I’m sure you think I’m a moron for saying it I know photography manipulation it’s my job to know the difference.

  • Aimee Wood says:

    true not always however if you go on to peta videos MOST! animals that are used for entertainment are badly treated andor horrific life style conditions!!!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation programs on cruelty to animals in film and on TV httpwww.cbc.cafifthcruelcameravideo2.html Original May 1982 program httpwww.cbc.cafifthcruelcameravideo.html November 26 2008 update

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Cruelty on film httpwww.cbc.cafifthcruelcameracruelty.html Fakery in wildlife documentaries which can also involve cruelty httpwww.cbc.cafifthcruelcamerafakery.html

  • J3 says:

    Edward An animal used for entertainment and not living it’s it’s natural environment IS abused period! Your statement is says a lot that is wrong in this world! Humans have no clue..

  • Edward says:

    The first picture totally does not look like it was taken in front of a green screen. And once again I want to point out that just because animals are used in entertainment does not always mean that they are abused.

  • ava sheridan says:

    I agree its devastating. I am a christian and Premier christian mediaand radio station in the Uk we’re giving free tickets their still promoting it. They originally offered me free tickets. I wrote to them and told them how unchristian animal cruelty was and that Ben Hur at the O2 was a disgrace but they never got back to me. I refused the tickets. They were most unhelpful for christians.

  • Jane Doe says:

    urge your friends and family never to patronize shows that use live animals. ???? It’s okay to use shows that use dead animals?

  • Bluebell says:

    So yet again animals are needlessly exploited for the sake of entertainment. I wonder if the people who go to see this show would be happy to pay to see a dog or cat beaten in front of them or are they selective about the type of animal cruelty they fund?

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Not a nice way to treat God’s creatures. Ben Hur is anathema.

  • Shari says:

    I am so PROUD of them! This has my attention now I never knew of Ben Hur Live. We must make sure this doesn’t go on and educated people about the animals being in fear.This way shows like this will not become popular.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Ben Hur Live??? Is there a chariot race in this?? Because if there is this is an accident waiting to happen.

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