How can we ensure that the movie industry is truly cruelty-free? Is Vegan Hollywood actually happening? Natalie Wilson wrote a fantastic article on whether vegans should buy vegan apparel from non-vegan labels.
A similar question in the minds of vegans is whether or not they can watch movies or TV shows that violate vegan ideals.
Cruelty Free Movie Industry
The movie industry has made a lot of progress in ensuring that animals do not suffer on set. However, what the industry has ignored is the fact movie making is not just shooting scenes. It also involves the making of costumes used by characters. And it’s here that animals suffer if the costume designers choose not to use vegan apparel.
In Hollywood, an organization called American Humane plays the role of ensuring that animals do not face cruelty on set. If the production of a film is able to meet this standard, American Humane awards it with the tag “No animals were harmed”. This tag is displayed in many movies and TV shows in the closing credits.
This is very commendable. Nevertheless, a question then arises: is it ethical to “stand on mountain tops” and declare that no animals were harmed, when the costumes used by the characters were made from animal products?
Vegan Hollywood: “No animals were harmed on set”?
I loved Game of Thrones. George R.R Martin painted the fictitious world of Westeros in excellent fashion. Sometimes though, it got difficult to watch horses suffer in scenes of war and gruesome winters. However, the use of CGI technology ensured that this was not real. In other words, no animals were actually harmed on set.
But, curiosity got hold of me. I decided to research the costumes used in the show. And according to Forbes, approximately 31,653.72 square feet of real animal leather and fur were required to make the costumes of GoT season 3 alone!
Indeed, my heart sank.
At the same time, vegan actors who were concerned about wearing these costumes were given vegan clothing alternatives. This is according to Michele Clapton, the costume designer for Game of Thrones.
And this needs to be the norm. Equally, vegans should support entertainment that promotes a cruelty-free world. And animals should definitely not suffer for human entertainment.
Vegan Clothing Alternatives
Nonetheless, it is not all doom and gloom. Great cruelty-free alternatives still exist on the market. Technological advancements can also help costume designers to edit and modify vegan apparel on the screen to look like real animal products.
Really, you should take the “No animals were harmed on set” sign with a pinch of salt. Seeing that it doesn’t include the costumes used in films. On top of that, according to Vulture, American Humane receives funding from top movie producers and other industry players. This results in a conflict of interest.
So, the decision to use vegan costumes should not be left to individual actors and actresses. Certainly, it should be made at the top of the hierarchy in the movie industry.
Also, as a vegan, it is your responsibility to do research on the entertainment you consume. It is not enough that animals were not harmed on set. Research the costumes used before purchasing tickets to movies or streaming a show. This is one of achieving a cruelty-free movie industry.
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