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Cara Delevingne, model and self-proclaimed wild animal lover, has gained a lot of negative press from animals advocates who are outraged by her recent photo shoot featuring captive lion cubs. The photo shoot is part of a new ad campaign from the high-end watch maker, Tag Heuer, to announce Delevingne as the new face of their brand. In keeping with her persona, the shoot is meant to capture a sense of wildness, but in using captive lions to convey this message, the shoot is a massive fail.

Tiger Cubs Are Not High-Fashion Props, What We Can Learn from Cara's Misstep


African lions are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, endangered by poaching and habitat loss. These animals are also frequently exploited in captivity, used in zoos, circuses, and roadside attractions to draw in crowds. Getting the chance to take a selfie with a lion cub is a coveted experience by unassuming tourists because many do not understand the immense cruelty involved in this industry.

While we do not know where this lion cub was raised, or the exact conditions of his treatment, many cubs who are used as photo props, sadly, are abused. Regardless of how this individual lion cub was raised, this photo shoot perpetuates the idea that cubs can be domesticated by humans and that they make great photo props.

To get cubs to cooperate and sit still for photos, they are ripped from their mothers after birth and hand-reared by humans. They are taught to be submissive through physical abuse and starvation. Although cubs need meat to properly develop, they are only allowed bottles of milk that are withheld until they are called to sit for a photo.

Tiger Cubs Are Not High-Fashion Props, What We Can Learn from Cara's Misstep


While the fashion industry does not have the best rap when it comes to animal welfare concerns, we can’t help but note the irony of Delevingne’s participation in a shoot involving such cruelty to lions. The model has described a lion cub as being her “dream date.” And her love for these animals has even inspired her to tattoo a lion’s head on her right index finger. Yet, it appears she is wholly unaware of the abuse wrought against these animals who are exploited for photo opportunities and tourist attractions.

Tiger Cubs Are Not High-Fashion Props, What We Can Learn from Cara's Misstep


“Lion cubs are not photo props. Their health and well-being should not be compromised,” said World Animal Protection wildlife expert Dr. Neil D’Cruze to MailOnline.”They belong in the wild, not draped over a celebrity just to sell a designer watch.”

Tiger Cubs Are Not High-Fashion Props, What We Can Learn from Cara's Misstep


“When you look behind the scenes, advertisements like these support an industry that relies on animal cruelty, said D’Cruz. “Our concern is that such high profile adverts will legitimise these cruel encounters with wild animals.”

In November, Delevingne joined an initiative, #Art4Animals, to raise awareness that an animal is for life, and not just a Christmas present. This initiative was also aimed to raise money for New Hope Animal Rescue. Unfortunately, this recent move with Tag Heuer calls into question the authenticity of her animal-loving ways.

Tiger Cubs Are Not High-Fashion Props, What We Can Learn from Cara's Misstep


“I am sure that both advertisers and consumers alike would think twice about the commercial use of wild animals if they were aware of the suffering involved behind the scenes,” says D’Cruz.

We hope that the uproar caused by this recent photo shoot is enough to make both Delevingne and Tag Heuer rethink their use of animal exploitation as a marketing ploy in the future. As Delevingne’s fame continues to skyrocket, the example she sets becomes even more important. We can all stand to learn a lesson from this gaffe. Lion cubs might be cute, but there is no reason they should be subject to a life in captivity because of this.

Image source: DailyMail

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0 comments on “Cute or Cruel? What Animal Lovers Can Learn From Cara Delevingne’s Photo Shoot With a Lion Cub”

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3 Years Ago

What kind of animal lover would do this kind of thing? Yes, it\'s amazing to think you can touch an otherwise untouchable animal, but putting that animal into that position comes with so much baggage that you\'d HAVE to think about those conditions before doing it. That lion\'s just a baby...any baby has a mother...that mother would rip your face off if she caught you manhandling her cubs.

Victoria and James Parisio
3 Years Ago

They are not props and should not be used as such, they are wild animals and need to be left alone and with their mothers, these anmals ARE on the Endangered Species List, and are not to be used for Entertainment let alone for publicity ADS. Just like elephants in circuses, these anmals need to be left in the wild or put back into wild settings where no one can get their hands on them again. Wild is wild and no human can take the place of their mother.

3 Years Ago

There is nothing cute about this.. animals and especialy wild animals are not props. I feel sorry for this little one and what is going to be its destiny when it gets older. This is also not good to do cos it gives people, and espesially younger people, the impression that cub petting is ok.

3 Years Ago

There is nothing cute about this. Lions are not pets, they are not supposed to live in cities within cages, they must live in african savanas, in the wild. That poor cub should be in Africa, playing with his brothers and sisters in the pack, not force to be this bitch\'s pet

Tanja Pirttilä
3 Years Ago

Just look at the last picture! The poor baby doesn\'t even want to be held by her! This is shameful and sickening! I can\'t believe how some people still close their eyes and ears on this horrible form of animal abuse. Watch this video of what baby animals need to go through whenever egocentric people want to pet them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIV79gIZMeE

Karin Nelson
3 Years Ago

Massive fail to say the least! If people keep supporting stuff like this, there will be an illegal wildlife trade. Lions belong in the wild period!! Cara Delevingne is an idiot. It\'s obvious that she can either be bought or she is truly stupid if she thinks this is OK.

allison farr
3 Years Ago

it\'s tragic and cruel, nothing cute about this,

3 Years Ago

I basically wait nothing from her, aka somebody who tatted bacon on her foot :


Janice Harris
3 Years Ago

I just happened to come upon this story just after watching Humane Society video of abuse of baby tigers at roadside zoos and for photo opps. What I saw on that video made my heart sick.Taken away from the mothers ay birth,fed nothing but milk and forced to interact with the public ,they are "used up" and no longer of any use to thier captors in short order.Yhey come to a very bad end.I ecourage everyone to watch the HSUS video and respond to it by speaking up for these cats.It is so vety unacceptable to use animals like this

Mary Alice Pollard
24 Jan 2015

Yes everyone please take the advise of Janice and see the HSUS video ( article and video -> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2922450/Humane-Society-uncovers-shocking-abuse-two-tiger-petting-zoos-claim-baby-camel-hung-mistake-giraffe-died-giving-birth-twins.html ) and also know about the lion cub petting facilities too - where these cubs end up ..... http://www.cannedlion.org/cub-petting.html Answer to the question ? CRUEL !

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