Jon Favreau Honored With Rescued Lion for All-CGI ‘Lion King’

PETA Celebrates Animal-Friendly Blockbuster, Urges Disney to Pledge Not to Use Live Big Cats in Its Productions

For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – In honor of director Jon Favreau‘s decision to use all computer-generated imagery to create beautiful, photorealistic animals in The Lion King, PETA is sponsoring a rescued lion in his name. Louie was taken from his mother as a cub in South Africa and forced to perform in film and television productions but now lives peacefully at the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine, California.

PETA has also sent lion-shaped vegan chocolates to Favreau and members of The Lion King‘s star-studded cast, including Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Donald Glover, Keegan-Michael Key, James Earl Jones, and John Oliver.

“Jon Favreau’s The Lion King brings to life compelling characters such as Simba, Nala, Pumbaa, and Timon without exploiting a single live animal,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “In Mufasa’s name, PETA urges Disney to help prevent real lions like Louie from suffering by pledging to follow this movie’s direction and never allow big cats on a Disney set.”

Louie was relinquished to the sanctuary in 2017 by a former animal trainer, but most animals aren’t so lucky. When no longer useful to trainers, many are dumped at roadside zoos, where they can languish for years. In the entertainment industry, wild animals are typically trained through fear and violence, as revealed in PETA’s exposé of a Hollywood animal trainer. When they’re not being forced to perform, wild animals are often kept in small cages and deprived of exercise, enrichment, and companionship.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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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