Groups Speak Out Against Using Animals at Olympic Opening Ceremony

Posted by 4 years ago | Permalink | Comments (11)

When Danny Boyle announced that the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games would involve 12 horses, three cows, two goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, nine geese, 70 sheep and three sheepdogs, compassionate people around the country – and the world – were dismayed.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk immediately fired off a letter to Boyle explaining that the animals would be stressed and anxious when forced into an unfamiliar and frightening situation. All the bright lights, noisy crowds and fireworks would create a traumatic environment for the animals. Urging him to reconsider, we have offered all of PETA US’ Hollywood resources and links with studios that could create jaw-dropping animal animatronics such as the stunningly realistic animatronic lion featured in Ang Lee’s upcoming movie, The Life of Pi, to help make the ceremony both spectacular and animal-friendly.

Now PETA has also joined with the Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), Animal Defenders International, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), Viva!, Born Free Foundation and Animal Aid to urge the Olympic Committee members to reconsider. In the letter coordinated by CAPS, the groups emphasise how misleading this idyllic portrayal of farming in Britain would be when the overwhelming majority of farmed animals spend their brief lives on filthy and extremely crowded factory farms.

You can join PETA in appealing to the Olympic Committee to reconsider their use of animals by contacting [email protected] Please copy your letter to [email protected].


  • Brien Comerford commented on June 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    England like my United States is not a bona fide animal loving country. Cows, chickens, ducks, goats, geese and sheep are routinely abused, tortured and massacred. A better idea for the London Olympics would to only have musical performers who love animals display their talents.

    Paul McCartney
    Brian May
    Leona Lewis
    Jeff Beck
    Bryan Adams
    Howard Jones
    Heather Small

  • John Bonser commented on June 29, 2012 at 11:33 am

    It never fails to amaze me that some people are so up their own arses, that they can never see anything in the real World. It’s quite obvious that Danny Boyle know’s nothing about modern-day farming, although there are many farmers that do husband their cattle in a humane way. But the majority of supermarket animal products come from totally unacceptable factory farms.
    I’m a vegetarian, my only ‘crime’ is that I buy goats-milk yoghurt, and cheese. I’ve tried vegan ‘cheese’, and soya yoghurt, and to me, it tastes terrible.

    I hope that with Sir Paul putting a word in, as the closing act of the show, and all the other big Artists putting their names to the protest, it will seem a sure-fire thing that the ‘animal act’ will be cancelled.

    I would also say that the majority of the countries involved, are far more rural than the UK, so there is really no point in parading distressed animals in front of the audience.

    • Eve Hamer commented on December 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Hi John,

      I totally agree.


  • Bill Park commented on June 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I was appalled to hear that animals are to be used in the official Olympic opening ceremony. Animals are humiliated, abused and exploited enough without being used in this jingoistic “sporting”event.
    Danny Boyle has made some thought provoking movies, but this is certainly one of his worse ideas.
    Common Danny boy scrap this plan immediately.

    Yours sincerely,
    Bill Park.

  • Verna Coxen commented on June 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    It’s about the Olympians not animals, it’s totally uneccessary to bring animals into the ceremony. What are they thinking? It will distress the animals, leave them out…please!

    Thank You

  • Evelyn & John Turk commented on June 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    What’s got Animals to do with the Olympic Games! It’s never happened before.
    All we want to see is Athletes from all over the world in an enjoyable, peaceful
    Millions of people will watch the ceremony – don’t spoil it!

  • Cath Shaw commented on June 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Horrendous!! Things like this take us back donkeys years in terms of animal welfare. We should have a “Boyle is Bonkers” campaign.

  • Jill Deane commented on July 1, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Exploiting animals in this way sends a clear message to the rest of the world that we are not, (as many of us already know ) a high animal welfare country.

    How do they intend to depict the inevitable slaughter scene l wonder ? Perhaps Sir Paul’s wish for all abattoirs to have glass walls will be granted.

  • Leslie Allo commented on July 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    We have seen many spectacular opening ceremonies for the Olympics over the years and the idea of using these poor animals who have no choice, who undoubtedly will be petrified is ludicrous. Humans are taking part, humans are supporting and humans are organising, so let the humans do the opening ceremony. Lets not cause any more unnecessary fear in our poor defenceless creatures.

  • Jane Plant commented on July 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    When I read about the proposed idea to use animals in the opening ceremony of the Olympics, my first thought was Why? This is so unnecessary and cruel. As has already been pointed out by others, this would cause so much distress to the animals involved, as if they don’t suffer enoughh distress already and is just a cheap gimmick which gives a very false impression of farm animal’s lives. As if the Olympics are not causing enough disruption already, don’t involve defenceless animals who have no say in the matter.

  • stella ashley commented on July 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    The reason animals are being used at the Olympic opening ceremony is because it it is a cheap answer to other possible alternatives.
    I would like to ask the person responsible for making this idiotic decision whether it was his/her idea?
    Whoever the idea came from, they do not know animals or have any idea of their needs.

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