PETA is asking you to think twice before you go see “The Lone Ranger.” Why? The organization claims that horses were put in danger, and nearly killed, during filming of the new movie starring Johnny Depp.
The animal rights organization writes, “During filming, a horse almost drowned after being forced to swim across the rain-swollen Colorado River and being swept downstream. The horse was saved only because a production crew was in a pontoon boat downriver and someone was able to throw a lasso around the animal’s head and pull the horse ashore. Making a movie with horses can be dangerous for humans, too. During the filming of another scene, Depp fell off his horse and was trampled.”
PETA states that horses are the animal most often killed or injured on TV and movie sets, also referencing the HBO series “Luck,” cancelled after only one season after three horses died during filming.
Why are horses so vulnerable to serious injury or death during filming? PETA says, “Horses’ high casualty rate is attributable to several factors. While horses are domesticated and therefore more easily trained than exotic animals, many people involved in the film industry are unfamiliar with their behavior and needs and therefore make demands on them that are stressful, uncomfortable, and downright dangerous. Horses are also prey animals who are easily frightened and have a high flight instinct—and when they flee, they can seriously hurt themselves. Some horse trainers are inexperienced and/or abusive, and even reputable trainers know that they may be putting their jobs on the line if they resist when asked to put horses at risk.” The organization recommends the use of computer-generated horses, instead of live ones, for movies.
Not everyone on the set of “The Lone Ranger” was willing to risk horses’ lives though, according to PETA. One horse trainer was reportedly fired “for refusing to shoot potentially dangerous scenes.”
What do you think? Do you still plan to go see “The Lone Ranger?”