After we heard about Michael Jackson’s apparent desire to include exotic animals in his upcoming London concerts, my heart sank. As superfan of MJ’s music since birth and also a staunch animal defender, I’d never felt so conflicted. Luckily, after PETA Europe sent a letter regarding the King of Pop, we got word that he will not be using any live animals in his concert series at London’s O2 arena.
Too bad he still has a spotty past when it comes to compassion for animals. It had been widely reported that Jackson planned to ride an elephant on stage and use panthers, but subjecting animals to amplified noise, bright lights, and the fast pace of a massive concert production is cruel. Plus, his rap sheet from the not-too-distant past includes dumping his chimpanzee, Bubbles, with a Hollywood trainer. And many of the animals he left behind at Neverland Ranch ended up being sold at auction, despite repeated offers from PETA to help place them in sanctuaries. His orangutans were reportedly sold to a private owner in Connecticut, two of his alligators are languishing at the disgusting G.W. Exotic Animal Park, his giraffes in the care of a private owner in Arizona are on the verge of being evicted, and more.
Michael, it’s bad, it’s bad, and you know it.
We know that Michael’s “Off the Wall,” but his treatment of animals crosses the line to cruel and unacceptable. Hopefully, this new announcement is a sign that things are moving in a new direction. I mean, this is a man who holds the Guinness World Record for giving more to charities than any other entertainer, so you’d think he’d be generous with animals, too … but as much as I love singing “Dirty Diana” into my hairbrush, his cruelty toward animals leaves me less than “thrilled.”
Written by Christine Doré