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Don’t Buy a Ticket to ‘We Bought a Zoo’

Written by Jennifer O'Connor | December 12, 2011


© Zebra: deste / sxc.hu | Ribbon: Elize / sxc.hu

Fading director Cameron Crowe is using wild animals as “actors.” In his new movie, We Bought a Zoo, he used lions, bears, and other wild animals who are at great risk for abuse because of their strength and instinctive aggression.

PETA repeatedly reached out to Crowe and Fox Studios before and during production and warned them about how wild animals used for films are often subjected to food deprivation, beatings, and jolts with electric-shock devices during pre-production training and urged them to use high-tech computer-generated imagery instead, like that used in the blockbuster Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Animals rented out for use in movies aren’t often abused on the set—that usually takes place when no one is around to see it. PETA undercover investigations at wild-animal training facilities documented that lions and tigers were repeatedly beaten and psychologically abused by trainers intent on showing them “who’s boss.” When animals grow too old or too large to be controlled, they often spend the rest of their lives at decrepit roadside zoos or backyard menageries.

Please skip this movie and tweet that animals belong in the wild, not on the big screen, @WeBoughtAZoo.

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  • unknown23 says:

    Well, I half agree. I am an animal lover and strongly believe that animal abuse is wrong. And if some suspect to wrong doing on productions like this, then someone should oversee it while it is being filmed. But I honestly believe that it won’t actually encourage people to go out and purchase a zoo just because someone did it in a movie.

  • Heather says:

    I love animals to death!!! Alot of people say that they dont have feeling like we do put they do. The only thing that is differnt is that most animals have for leges. They are just like people and what they did to the animals on this movie was rong!!!

  • Minz says:

    It puts the idea in peoples heads that they can do the same. Own wild animals. The sale of exotic animals should be banned. In addition to using wild animals as actors. GRRRRRR this makes me soooo effin mad. I work at a sanctuary in Texas and majority of these ctas & bears were privatly owned. Then disregarded and abused. Its the only sanctuary AZA approved in the US. International Exotic animal sanctuary, Boyd TX. Total non-profit, I volunteer my time.

  • Jackie says:

    Val, when I saw the ad the first thing I thought was, “PETA is going to hate this!” John, I might not know everything about Animal Planet’s prgramming, but from what I have seen from them most of their shows appear to be educational, and based on realistic situations. I think they do a great job at informing people with Fatal Attractions, that when people think they’re caring for wild animals, they are causing them and risking others of harm. As well as feeding the illegal animal trade industry, that’s an important issue to make people aware of.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Personally I think Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson should have known better than to accept these roles, but they were probably offered a lot of money and money always talks more loudly than common sense.

  • John says:

    Boycott Animal Planet channel as well! Animals shouldn’t be on the small screen as well for entertainment purposes.

  • Serge says:

    Don’t judge a movie until you see it. Funny that there were no snide remarks about the film stars, Matt Damon & Scarlett Johansson, who were praised by Peta in the past.

  • Sylvie says:

    Cinch696, I live in the rural Mid West, too, and personally know animal abusers-harness racers and many people who raise cows, ducks, chickens, pigs, etc. for their meat. They have ZERO respect for animals. I have viewed their verbal and physical abuse firsthand and have chosen the right thing by not condoning meat-eating and animals used for entertainment!

  • Val says:

    I find it extremely funny of how someone who opposes PETA is READING PETA articles (cinch696)! Anyhow, this movie is so disgusting. I saw this trailer the other day and I just thought “WTF?”

  • jen_slavick says:

    Cowgirl, don’t be on a PETA site if you don’t care about animals. No one wants to hear your naive opinions.

  • jen_slavick says:

    I already knew that there were abuses on set and to train animals, and it is nonsense. Someone at my work’s son worked with the movie Marley and Me, and he said all of the dogs that played the part of Marley were abused and he doesn’t want to work with another film that includes animals. Even Labrador Dogs are getting abused!

  • cinch696 says:

    Well decide whether you want the animal to kill you. If you want to survive you will show the animal who is boss. I live on a farm so I know that the animals are not severely beaten.

  • Cruelty Free Buty says:

    I don’t think most people are aware of what goes on behind the scenes with training. They see a cute movie idea which unfortunately appeals to the “Animal Lovers”. If they knew what can and often does happen they would not buy a ticket either. The really scarey thing is how some well meaning people may try something like this on their own. If fatal attraction type incidences could be traced back to this movie, the liability issue would be huge!

  • David L. Kaliner says:

    Animals belong in the wild. They certainly should never be abused nor forced to perform for the purpose of entertaining the public.

  • Cowgirl99 says:

    What are these people thinking?!!! Dont go watch a movie because the animals were supposibley abused?????

  • Jackie says:

    When I firat saw the trailer for this, I knew you’d be mad. Not only the issue of animal actors being abused is a problem here. They’re glorifying raising wild animals on your own, which puts animals and people in danger. Has Cameron never seen an episode of Fatal Attractions on Animal Planet. The plot of this film, is how the stories on Fatal Attractions start! It’s just a complete fail, creatively and ethically, of a film. >:(

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