Bad news for animals.
Unbelievably, live farmed animals – including sheep, ducks and chickens – are to be used as part of the Olympic opening ceremony in London at the end of July. Did anyone check with the animals, to see if they wanted to be subjected to this nightmare?
(Director) Danny Boyle said upon revealing the plans that “The opening scene of the July 27 ceremony represents a traditional and idyllic view of the British countryside. “It is a green and pleasant land because it is something we are really proud of.”
The controversy is over the part of the ceremony that sees faux farmers tilling soil while animals graze. The animal cast will include 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep and three sheep dogs. It has been estimated that the ceremony will cost approximately £27 million and will last for an hour.
To put that into context Boyle’s 2008 Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire cost £15 million to make and had a running time of two hours.
The myth of beautiful Britain full of small, pretty farms is just that, a myth. The reality is that most animals raised for meat and dairy in Britain are increasingly intensively farmed. Almost all chickens, ducks and most pigs are kept indoors in factory farms in their thousands. This vision of the British countryside is about as believable as the Teletubbies.
Even worse, this decision is both exploitative and potentially cruel. Using farmed animals as living props raises serious welfare concerns. The animals will be terrified, as they are subjected to the pandemonium of an Olympic opening ceremony. And for what?
If you are horrified at the idea of using live animals at the Olympic opening ceremony, please sign our petition asking the organizers to make London 2012 something to be proud of and to abandon their plans for these animals.
And thank you.
Photo Credit: Peewubblewoo