For Immediate Release:
18 July 2019
Group Celebrates Animal-Friendly Blockbuster and Urges Disney – in the Name of Mufasa – to Pledge Not to Use Live Big Cats in Its Productions
Sydney – In honor of director Jon Favreau‘s reliance on computer-generated imagery to create beautiful, photorealistic animals in The Lion King, PETA US is sponsoring a rescued lion named Louie 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 enjoys a peaceful life at the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine, California.
Lion-shaped vegan chocolates were sent 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 Campaigns Advisor Mimi Bekhechi. “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 used for entertainment 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 the PETA US 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 PETA.org.au.