MORE ANIMAL ABUSE! COMING SOON TO A THEATRE NEAR YOU!
So here is the thing. My friend, mentor and fellow Jivamukti Yoga teacher Jessica Stickler asked the question recently in one of her posts: what on a partial basis do you do to stick to your word? How do you align action and intention? How do you hold yourself accountable? Well in my opinion we always should hold ourselves accountable for our actions, we should always really make our actions count. We can all do this in our own way, using our own personalities, our own personal lives, what we feel is right for us. A lot of people always ask me Karo what should I do, I want to be an activist like you. I believe that many people if not all people already are activists in their own right. Not everybody is a frontline animal rights activist (I am and have been for years with traumatising & heart breaking effects) believe me when I say this isn’t for everyone. But we can hold ourselves accountable. We can like Jessica mentions here align action and intention. We can spread awareness, be a spokesperson for the powerless and the voiceless and take a stand!
So let me take a stand here. I saw this clip for a new movie called Mia and the White Lion. Mia and the White Lion is a french film by director Gilles de Maistre. He works with lion wrangler Kevin Richardson on this movie. Now this is something which doesn’t get spoken about enough. Animals in movies is just as awful as animals in zoos, in circuses and any other spaces where these animals are held captive. ANIMALS ARE NOT FOR OUR ENTERTAINMENT! Animal wrangling the word “wrangler” is derived from the Low German “wrangeln” meaning “to dispute” or “to wrestle” is NOT what we should be supporting AT ALL. This movie claims to have a beautiful moving animal activist story but actually represents the complete opposite. Why? Well to create Mia and the White Lion, Richardson purchased six newborn white lion cubs (two males and four females) from Ukutula Wildlife Park, a notoriously abusive South African “lion mill” and petting park with known ties to the canned hunting industry — the very thing the film claims to be against.
The thing is for some reason when I explain to people why I think zoos and circuses are awful and a form of animal abuse people can find some understanding and sympathy for that in their hearts, but movies and tv series who use animals for entertainment purpose only seems to be something so accepted and in a way “normal”. In my opinion it is absolutely NOT normal to work with lions and tigers on movie sets for both the actors and the animals sake. Take this film for example. Casting on the film started in April 2014 and took over four months. Children who had made the short list spent a day at a lion farm[Ukutula], where they interacted with lion cubs aged from new born up to 6-months old and were observed by Kevin Richardson and the director, Gilles De Maistre. Their final casting decision was determined by the way in which the children interacted with the lions.
Once the child actors were chosen, six newborn cubs were purchased from Ukutula, likely for tens of thousands of dollars. These cubs were ripped from their mothers as soon as they were born so that they would imprint on the human cast and crew of the movie during filming. This was done per the dubious advice of Richardson the “lion expert”, who explained that “the only way for the lion not to harm the child would be that they grow up together. Wild cats only “tame” themselves after a long process of habituation.”
So I hold these makers accountable. And I hold myself accountable for sharing this story. Please don’t support abuse by paying to see the movie or by sharing anything done by people like Kevin Richardson or Eddie Serio in close contact with wild cats. The wild cats should be as the name gives away WILD and free! Wild animals can be observed yes, can be studied yes, but we should know to keep our distance, to not disturb their natural habitat, their homes, their families, that in my eyes is conservation. To protect, to conserve, to stay the hell out of the way and do everything in our power for all these beautiful animals to be wild and free and save in their own environments.
Check the resource for this blog HERE. Thank you Jessica Stickler for always keeping me and everybody else on their toes.