Our Message to ‘I’m a Celebrity’: Stop Abusing Animals for Entertainment
Along with other UK animal charities, PETA has written to ITV show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me out of Here! to urge its producers to end cruel “challenges” involving live animals.
— The Sun (@TheSun) November 17, 2016
The programme, now in its 16th series, has drawn criticism time and time again for its use of animals in “bushtucker trials”. These challenges ask celebrity participants to perform acts such as sticking their hands or heads into tanks filled with insects, arachnids, rodents, or fish; holding live animals in their mouths; crawling into small spaces on top of masses of rats or insects; and even eating live animals.
This year alone, challenges have included eating live scorpions and beetles as well as chasing ostriches around a tiny enclosure. Here’s an excerpt from the letter, signed by Animal Aid, Viva!, and PETA:
Unlike the celebrity contestants who volunteer to be on the show, animals are not there by choice, and they deserve more than to be used in irresponsible and inhumane stunts in an attempt to boost ratings. All animals – not just the ones who are considered to be cute and cuddly – want to live free from harm, and none should be exploited for so-called entertainment.
All the animals used on the show – whether rats, beetles, crocodiles, or spiders – endure stress, are confined, and, in many cases, lose their lives for the sake of a few cheap laughs. This disregard for life sends a dangerous message to viewers that abusing animals is acceptable and even entertaining.
Millions of people in the UK have voiced their disgust at the treatment of animals on I’m a Celebrity, and it’s high time that ITV heeded the calls for programming free from this senseless cruelty.