Animal Cruelty in Movies

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An actor is forced to jump off a cliff, falling to their death, for a scene in a movie. If this were a person, we’d call it murder. This actor was a horse, and no one was arrested.

Although the American Humane Association’s Film and Television Unit (AHA) monitors filming now, animals are treated cruelly. In 2005, two horses died on the set of Flicka. The first horse was hurt and put down; the second broke its neck. In the article “No Animals Were Harmed…?” by Daniel Engber, he explains, “the AHA had four animal safety representatives on the set of Flicka, to see that the production of the film met the association’s guidelines for the treatment on animal actors.” Why were animals getting hurt?

Animals should continue to be protected on the set of movies. They shouldn’t be forced to do things that could cause them harm. In the film Jesse James, a horse was forced to jump off a cliff, so the director could get the shot he wanted. This is ridiculous. The AHA didn’t like it either, because a few years later, they began overseeing the care of animal actors.

Although the AHA began monitoring movie-making involving animals, they seem a bit lax in their judgment. Engber writes, “The makers of the Mexican film Amores Perros, which includes several graphic scenes of dog-fighting, included their own unofficial disclaimer on animal cruelty.” In the end, the AHA “assigned the movie of a rating of ‘Questionable.’”

Animal cruelty in any form is wrong, but intentionally hurting animals for a scene in a movie? It’s not necessary. One thing is necessary: action. Animal cruelty needs to be stopped.





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