‘The Walking Dead’ Just Took a Major Step for Animal Rights

Everyone’s favorite zombie TV show, The Walking Dead, released its season seven trailer this week, and animal protection advocates have reason to celebrate. Just like the time when the cast and crew of the hit TV show went vegetarian on set, the sneak peek into the series’ next chapter is a huge step in a humane direction.

The trailer introduces King Ezekiel, an intimidating character to say the least, with his pet tiger Shiva. Held by a chain around her neck, Shiva roars to the camera but, rest easy, animal lovers, because Shiva is not an actual tiger. She is made of animatronics and CGI since the show’s executive producer, Scott M. Gimple, didn’t think having a real tiger on set was a good idea.

“I was asking Scott, ‘How are we doing this thing?’ He pointed out that it’s not very humane to have a live tiger on set. And it’s also very dangerous for the actors,” show creator Robert Kirkman told CinemaBlend. “So I was like, ‘Great, no real tiger, I can still come to set! That sounds awesome.’ Because I would not have gone to set if there had been a tiger anywhere near the set. So there’s no real tiger involved. It’s all magic.”

The magic is keeping animals from suffering for entertainment. Undercover investigations have shown that the training of animals used on set can involve beatings and even withholding food to encourage them to show a certain behavior. The animals are kept in cages for long periods of time and, when not shooting, they’re not necessarily kept in the best of conditions — as evidenced by the movie The Hobbit where 27 animals died during production.

“Wild animals are wild, and do not belong imprisoned in a trailer or exploited on a television or film set,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA in a statement. “These animals are not props, and forcing them to perform for our entertainment is neither humane nor safe—particularly when technological innovations can so easily be substituted.”

Born Free is one of the organizations that has been pressuring the CBS crime drama Zoo, which has continued to use real animals despite public backlash. The show features big cats, wolves, reindeer, horses and buffalo, and has been unwilling to change its ways.

“We spoke to executives at CBS last year and were told that, if the show got picked up, a conversation or meeting would take place to discuss Born Free USA’s legitimate animal welfare concerns. We never heard back and further attempts to speak with them have gone unanswered,” said Roberts. “It is clear that no progress has been made in phasing out live animals. ‘Zoo’ can certainly adopt modern technology in place of outdated practices that significantly impact animal welfare and public safety. We know the television industry is better than this and would never want a tragedy to occur.”

Thankfully, The Walking Dead is taking a different approach and it’s not the first to opt for some technological magic to spare the animals. Noah in 2014 featured no real animals after the director, Darren Aronosfky, revealed he was “pretty alarmed with the condition” monkeys were kept on another movie he had worked on. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes also opted for only computer animated primates in the epic battle scenes, and the recent blockbuster The Jungle Book had all CGI animals.

Photo Credit: The Walking Dead Official Trailer

195 comments

John B
John B2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Wendi M.
Wendi M2 years ago

TYFS

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Joanne p.
Joanne p2 years ago

ty

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M s
M s2 years ago

BOYCOTT the tv series"ZOO" for its use and abuse of live animals.
Give your attention to THE WALKING DEAD to show support for animatronics and Sparing animals from abuse and death

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federico bortoletto

Grazie per la condivisione.

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer2 years ago

Interesting and good.

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Naomi Dreyer
Naomi Dreyer2 years ago

Interesting and good.

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ANA MARIJA R.
ANA MARIJA R2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

More magic please.

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