As the anti-captivity message spreads around the world, it looks as though an increasing number of companies are finally realizing that animal exploitation for the sake of profit and so-called “entertainment” is not the answer.

The most recent company to shut its doors to wild animal entertainment is Universal Studios, which operates two amusement parks in Hollywood, Calif. and Orlando, Fla. As PETA happily reports, Universal Studios has now “officially removed all primates from their ‘Animal Actors’ shows.”

Woohoo! Free at last!

According to PETA, these parks were the “last exhibitors in the United States that still forced orangutans to perform on stage.”

At the shows, primates would be paraded onto a stage to an audience’s applause and asked to perform a variety of tricks. As Universal Studios Hollywood reports on its Animal Actors webpage, the “animals aren’t just in the live show, they’re in control!”

Yet, any animal forced into a performance environment created by humans is sadly never “in control.” A wild animal’s freedom to live out its natural life is taken away upon his or her entrance into the animal entertainment business. At this point, these animals become profitable commodities, and are treated as such, instead of the highly intelligent and sentient beings they truly are with needs and desires of their own that humans can never fully provide.

It’s wonderful to finally see Universal Studios making a change for the better. The company’s announcement comes after years of appeals from PETA, who has been urging NBCUniversal to end the use of primates in live animal shows since 2009.

“NBCUniversal made the right call in ending the use of primates in its live shows,” said PETA Foundation deputy general counsel Delcianna Winders. “Savvy and kind entertainers realize that the right decision—for animals and for business—is to shun exploitation of these sensitive, intelligent animals.”

Universal Studios now joins a growing number of companies that have ended the use of primates for profit purposes. PETA reports that Volkswagen, Capital One, and Burger King have all “banned the use of great apes in their ads.”

We may be entering a new era marked by animal-free entertainment, Green Monsters! Let’s keep the pressure on other companies to make this dream a fully fledged reality!

Image source: Rojer / Flickr