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Animals (abused) in Films #AnimalsWereHarmed

Is it me or more and more are we seeing animals in films which are part of a violent story-line?

I saw the blockbuster, IT, last night and was very disappointed to see the scene where sheep are killed quite graphically. I couldn’t look. I can never look at that sort of thing. Those are images which say in my mind for a very long time and so are to be avoided at all costs.

Because I can’t see those types of scenes I tend to recall the occurrence of them because of their impact. And it seems to me that I am looking away more and more frequently these days.

In fact, in IT, the whole sheep plot never existed in the book. Not at all. So why does it need to be included even if it is a horror film?

It’s not just movies, it’s cable and series of all types.

I use to think it was okay, it’s just fiction, none of them suffer but as we recently learned that’s not true. Even in friendly films they’re abused by their owner / trainers i.e. Crash as Harry Potter’s owl.

On a side note – animals are part of advertising too.  Coca Cola completely co-opted the polar bear for its own image branding. And I’m sure you can list thousands of others. Yet what have they gotten in return?

With these efforts, Coca-Cola has cast itself as the polar bear’s savior, in exchange for a fraction of its advertising budget and earnings. The Coca-Cola brand has an estimated value of nearly eighty billion dollars, according to Interbrand; between 2011, the year Coke announced its two-million-dollar pledge to the W.W.F., and 2013, it spent $9.8 billion on marketing and averaged $8.7 billion in profits.

In “Brand Mascots: Anthropomorphic Marketing and Other Marketing Animals,” a collection of academic writings published in 2014, James Freund, a lecturer at Lancaster University, writes, “Clearly, the tiny sum of money given by the Coca-Cola company is not sufficient to ensure that polar bears (or for that matter people) will always have a place to call home.” Freund stopped short of proposing an actual dollar figure. Coke and the W.W.F. estimate that it will cost “$10 plus million over the next five years” to establish what they call the Last Ice Area—“a sustainable area, as vast as 500,000 square miles, to uphold the habitat needs of the polar bear, other ice dependent species and local people.” Coke’s partnership with the W.W.F. has thus far raised half that amount. I called Clive Tesar, the W.W.F.’s project lead for the effort, to find out how ten million dollars could achieve such an audacious goal. The short answer: it can’t. The money pays mainly for research, such as ice models and polar-bear population studies, and for government lobbying by the W.W.F. “We can’t go out and buy the place, or make laws about it,” Tesar told me. “But we can try to persuade people to make the appropriate laws and regulations that will conserve it. That’s what we are hoping the ten million dollars will do.”

Should the Polar Bear Still Sell Coca Cola?

It’s all part and parcel of the fact that humans and corporations believe they are entitled to exploit animals as they see fit. It is long past time that we enact animal rights.

Meanwhile: I’m going to keep updating this over time adding each movie and other videos that use violence against animals (which I consider totally unnecessary) in their plot. Please add your own in comments!


  • The Hunter’s Prayer – dog to attack a person (and furthering the bad reputation of dobermans in film)
  • IT – sheep
  • A Dog’s Purpose – dog



Films with Animals

Animal Actors

Animal Actors of Hollywood

Films With Real Animal Cruelty

No Animals Were Harmed

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ just latest instance of animal abuse in film

People are outraged by a video showing alleged animal abuse from the movie ‘A Dog’s Purpose’

10 popular movies that faced claims of animal abuse

Animal Abuse in Films: Why Hollywood is No Place for Animals

film animal abuse noah johnson.png

Infographic by Noel Johnson


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