(ANIMAL RIGHTS) A recent photo shoot for Harper’s Baazar, featuring Sports Illustrated beauty Kate Upton, sparked outrage in the animal community due to its heavy use of real wild animals. In the shoot, the model poses with baby tigers, a lion, and a gibbon. PETA is especially concerned with the magazine’s use of the gibbon commenting, “The gibbon featured in the photographs is an infant and should be with his mother at all times. Besides the emotional trauma that he has undoubtedly suffered as a result of the separation, his delicate immune system is still developing, and he is susceptible to illnesses that humans carry.” However, this is sadly not the only instance where a magazine decided to use a wild animal as an exotic prop. Bulgari ads are notorious for featuring wild animals to somehow make their products appear more exclusive. Unfortunately, this can lead to more people objectifying animals and treating them like fashion accessories. Lions, tigers, and other animals belong in the wild, and are not meant to promote purses or jewelry. Read on to find out more about the troubling photo shoot. — Global Animal
Tamara Abraham, Daily Mail
A shoot featuring Kate Upton playing nurse to a baby tiger, lion and gibbon has sparked anger from animal rights activists.
The Harper’s Bazaar spread, titled The Animal Nursery, was styled by Carine Roitfeld and will appear in all 26 international editions of the magazine.
But PETA argues that the endangered animals are being treated like props. In a statement published on Fashionista.com, the organization singled out the young gibbon as being particularly vulnerable.
It read: ‘The gibbon featured in the photographs is an infant and should be with his mother at all times. Besides the emotional trauma that he has undoubtedly suffered as a result of the separation, his delicate immune system is still developing, and he is susceptible to illnesses that humans carry.
‘All the animals in the photographs are endangered and should be protected, rather than being treated like props.’
Suzie Dundas USA Communications Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals also expressed reservations.
‘Though Carine Roitfeld may have had the best intentions, the animals used in this ad are endangered, exotic animals – they’re not domesticated and shouldn’t be viewed as cuddly pets,’ she told MailOnline.
‘Even if these animals were sourced legally, the global exotic pet trade involves capturing, killing, and harming animals to remove them from the wild for breeding or – in the case of these ads – entertainment. It is in the nature of these animals to be wild, and this ad could misrepresent to consumers how dangerous (and endangered) they truly are.
The three-month-old tiger and the seven-month-old gibbon featured in the shoot were provided by the Miami-based Zoological Wildlife Foundation, which was furious about the PETA accusations.
ZWF Vice President Maria Tabraue told MailOnline that its animals are captive-born for at least five generations.
‘These [animals] are hand-raised by humans because the mother has rejected them,’ she explained, adding that without the organization’s help, they would not have survived.
‘They have the care of two full time veterinarians, and get the same respect, love and passion as a human being,’ she added.
Of the animals’ treatment on photo shoots, she added: ‘These animals are always accompanied by professional, licensed handlers.’
The ZWF hopes that its words will reassure commenters who have voiced concern about the animals’ welfare.
Initial reactions to the shoot were extreme. One wrote on Fashionista.com: ‘I will no longer be buying Harpers after this.’
Another added: ‘This is disgusting use of an endangered infant primate to sell clothes. This poor gibbon was no doubt ripped from its mother in the wild, just to become the play item of a dumb fashion model. Really… what is the matter with people??’
And a third acerbically read: ‘Endangered primates as accessories?! Makes the model unattractive, the stylist talentless, and the magazine more valuable as toilet paper.’