Care2 Petition Asks Iggy Azalea to Apologize After Posing With Captive Elephant
Care2 members have asked multiple celebrities to not promote the exploitation of animals for entertainment.
Earlier this year, Justin Bieber posted a picture to Instagram of himself petting a chained tiger at his dad’s engagement party. The tiger came from a zoo whose owner has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty, including one for violently whipping a young tiger into submission. A Care2 petition asking Bieber to apologize and give $10,000 to the World Wildlife Fund has gathered over 51,000 signatures.
Earlier this year, Mariah Carey was urged to reconsider a plan to exploit animals. In planning her upcoming wedding, she joked about the fact that she would like to include live tigers and albino elephants. Almost 114,000 activists signed a Care2 petition asking her to change her mind.
Iggy Azalea is the latest to think it’s fine to use wild elephants as a backdrop for publicity. The hip-hop star posted a photo on Instagram, showing her with an elephant in her boyfriend French Montana’s backyard. The elephant was hired for the rapper’s birthday.
When Care2 member Vivian Nicks saw this photo, she decided to create a Care2 petition, demanding that Azalea apologize for posing with a captive elephant and donate to a reputable wildlife fund or sanctuary.
Thousands Of Care2 Members Sign Up In Support
Over 33,000 Care2 activists agree with Nicks and have signed up to support her.
Montana, meanwhile, allegedly dismissed any criticism of using an elephant at the party, with “This elephant’s living better than a lot of people.” Even worse, he later uploaded a video of the elephant doing tricks.
As Nicks’ petition states so clearly:
“Let’s be clear – exotic animals are not sideshow attractions or birthday party entertainment. Iggy Azalea should use her platform to encourage education on animals, especially elephants, who face grave threats from human intervention in the wild.”
Indeed, conservationists are sounding the alarm over the future of forest elephants in Africa who are on a much faster path to extinction than previously believed.
According to The Guardian, in an article published in September, 2016,
“Across the continent (of Africa), elephant poaching is happening on an industrial scale. According to the shocking results of one study, released today, the population of savannah elephants declined by 30% between 2007 and 2014. There are roughly 400,000 savannah elephants left and that number is falling by 8% per year.”
So why is Iggy Azalea petting an elephant in her boyfriend’s backyard?
Wild Animals Are Not Toys To Be Used For Entertainment
Wild animals are not spectacles to gawk at or to pet. Some of the worst examples of animals used for entertainment include circuses, where they are forced to perform ridiculous tricks under threat of physical punishment. But whether in a circus, a zoo, or a smaller event like a private petting zoo, these poor creatures are subject to cramped and sometimes filthy conditions; they are separated from their family and friends; and all this for the entertainment of human beings.
It’s alarming that such abuse continues in the U.S. in 2016. Animals are not toys; They are sentient beings, meaning that they are aware of sensations and emotions, and capable of feeling pain and suffering.
As Nicks writes in her petition,
“People in the media have an obligation to use their platforms for education and advocacy. Iggy Azalea set a horrible example for how animals should be utilized and treated. We should be encouraging education of elephants, not using them as party favors for birthdays and events.”
If you agree, please sign Vivian Nicks’ petition, demanding that Azalea apologize and donate money toward a wildlife fund or sanctuary.
And if you have an issue that you care deeply about, it’s easy to start your own Care2 petition. Use these simple guidelines and soon you’ll find the vibrant Care2 community signing up to support you.
Photo Credit: Care2