‘Game of Thrones’ Star Lena Headey Calls Out Circus Cruelty

Lena Headey wants you to know that animals in circuses are beaten, chained, whipped, and forced to perform against their will. That’s why the Game of Thrones star agreed to appear in a new anti-circus public service announcement (PSA) for PETA.

In the PSA, Headey tells viewers about what happens behind-the-scenes under the big top. “Circus trainers often force elephants, bears, tigers, and other animals to perform tricks by beating and whipping them, shocking them with electric prods, and jabbing holes in their skin with sharp metal hooks,” she says.

Animals in the circus are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them. In their native homelands, the same animals you see in chains, wearing costumes, riding bikes, and being beaten with whips and bullhooks in the circus are free to walk, run, and roam as they please; eat and drink whenever they feel like it; choose lifetime companions; and raise their families.

When they’re not performing, animals in circuses are kept in chains—often unable to take a step—or confined to cramped pens and cages that are so small that the animals hardly have enough room to turn around. That’s no life at all.

While shooting the PSA, Headey had time to answer a few questions, and she told us that a documentary motivated her to try to stop the use of animals in circuses. “I decided to speak out because I’d seen a documentary on a French circus, and people had campaigned to free these lions that were in captivity since they were young. And they managed to do it, and they flew them to Africa, and it was really beautiful. But the fact is, it’s still going on.”

Please join Lena today in pledging not to support circuses that use animals!

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind