Thursday, 11 October 2012

Entertainment Animals at the Olympics Opening Ceremony Environmental Issues

Besides Euro 2012 having been on the radar of animal rights activists, there is another big sports event coming up that has people riled up again. This time, however, not because the killing of animals will be involved thankfully. As probably everybody knows the Olympics in London are coming up and for the big opening show, designed by Danny Boyle (director of Slumdog Millionaire), the plan is to use live animals to recreate the British countryside that during the course of the three hour show will change into an urban setting. In this show, called “Isles of Wonder,” Boyle plans on using 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 3 cows, 3 sheep dogs and 2 goats which is 119 animals too many in my opinion. Several animal rights groups have already spoken up about this issue urging Danny Boyle to rethink his idea of using these animals and they make valid points with their arguments. First and foremost, the welfare of these animals is a big concern of course. The whole setting will be a stressful experience for all of these animals. Over 62,000 people, bright lights, loud sounds and a general hectic atmosphere will certainly not do them good. None of these things are part of the natural environments the animals come from and will most definitely stress them out and cause them to be frightened. In a normal situation they would try to get away from a situation like this, which won’t be possible in the course of this show because there will be nowhere to go. Secondly, it seems like ever since this news was announced and petitions appeared the public opinion is that most people are against using these animals in the show. People don’t want their country to be associated with something like this. Maybe it’s a good idea for the Olympic Committee to listen to the public opinion because after all they are the people they want to watch their show and the Games.

Last but not least, the animal rights groups feel like this show will give a very misleading view of the British farming industry. The largest part of the farm industry does not have animals roaming free and grazing in the open. Most farm animals belong to factory farms and live inside in small spaces. It would be wrong to give people all around the world the wrong idea about the way the farming industry works in Great Britain (and anywhere else really but that is beside the point right now). The Olympic committee has gotten the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) involved to make sure that the animals will receive the best care possible during the show, which is at least something they are trying to do right but the fact remains that using these animals in the first place is the wrong way to go. The RSPCA is opposed against the use of animals in entertainment as well as they say in a statement on their website but if this happens to be the case they want to make sure they are taken care of. They will be with the animals before, during and after the show to ensure there will be the least amount of stress put on these animals. They will also make sure that the animals will be completely gone before the fireworks start.

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