A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Olympic Opening Called Cruel to Animals

British animal protection organization Viva says the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games will be “wrong on so many levels.”

The theme of the show is the British countryside – all very peaceful, green, idyllic and pastoral … and with more than 100 farm animals, including horses, cows, geese, chickens, ducks and sheep, being paraded around the stadium.[readon]


“Why would anyone think it was a good idea to subject farmed animals to the pandemonium of an Olympic opening ceremony?” Viva asks. “It smacks of the Roman gladiatorial arena. Many of those animals, especially the sheep, are likely to be terrified.”

Danny Boyle, the creator of the show (best known for his movie Slumdog Millionaire) argues that the RSPCA will be on hand, and the committee in charge of organizing the games said, “The welfare of the animals in the opening ceremony is of the utmost importance.” (Well, they would say that.)

Viva campaigns director Justin Kerswell also points out that the depiction of the British countryside with happy animals roaming pastures and hillsides is entirely deceptive.

“It is also perpetuating a myth of a British countryside that doesn’t exist anymore. The stark reality is that most animals raised for meat and dairy in Britain are increasingly intensively farmed. Almost all broiler chickens, ducks and most pigs are kept indoors in factory farms in their thousands. Danny Boyle’s vision of the British countryside is about as believable as the set of Teletubbies.”