How do you know when you are living in an upside down world? When fictional characters take on reality-based meaning for some people.
According to one source, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has now undertaken the cause to change the movie industry. At least, when it comes to telling directors how they should remake a story about fictional animals, PETA is ready to lend a helping hand.
PETA’s Senior Vice President Lisa Lange has reached out to director Tim Burton, asking him to give the fictional character, an elephant named Dumbo, a “truly happy ending.”
Lange urged Burton to discontinue his “use of elephants,” as Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey circus has pledged to do by 2018, or at least to use the elephants in a way that is PETA approved.
Lange goes on to tell Burton in her letter that PETA loved the original Dumbo because it accurately told of the “heartbreaking abuse” that elephants endure in circuses and encouraged Burton to keep the same storyline in the new film.
Although, Burton hasn’t yet said whether he will even direct the remake, I’m sure if he does he will consider hiring PETA to make sure that “no fictional animals are harmed during the filming of the movie”.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a dedicated animal lover who is adamantly opposed to any form of animal cruelty. I adopted rescue animals that have been abused by their previous owners and I love them beyond reproach. However, I know the difference between a fictional character and a real animal.
Perhaps PETA may have thought a fictional film about elephants would be a good training tool to teach young children about the plight of some elephants who are abused at the hands of humans. However, I believe, instead, it did more to bring into question the judgment of the person who wrote it.
PETA’s representative’s request would have been taken more seriously if she had contacted those who are working on reality-based documentaries about the actual abuse faced by “real” elephants.
PETA has been accused of animal abuse in the past and as recent as 2014, when a family made an allegation regarding their pet and PETA employees. While these claims have not been substantiated to my knowledge, it may leave some with doubts about PETA’s mission.
In any event, if Burton has time he could pen his own letter back to PETA asking whether the past allegations are true and regardless of the answer, ask PETA if they would ensure that all animals in its care receive a “truly happy ending,” as well; only the real ones, of course.
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