Are you ready for tonight “Planet of the Apes” fans? Debuting tonight, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the sequel to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” hits theatres everywhere. While on the outside the film franchise may appear to attract crowds looking for action, science fiction, and to generally see apes tear humans a new one, you would be hard pressed to find someone who walks away without taking part of a larger message.
At the heart of the film is our collective fear of what could happen if animal testing goes too far. While the practice of using animals for drug testing, or general testing, is for “science,” deep down there has always been an inner human concern that what we are doing is wrong. As more and more news breaks announcing that another country has decided to drop animal testing, it is becoming a topic of conversation reaching a larger audience than it ever has before.
In many ways, the premiere of this film, which is highly concerned with the moral questions surrounding animal testing, could not come at a more pertinent time. So, while the majority of people waiting in line to see the film may just be there for the action, hopefully they will walk away with renewed views on animal testing.
Until then, let’s take a look at the many ways that this franchise kicks ass and should be a household name for any pro-animal rights activist:
1. No Real Animals Were Used to Make the Movie
2. It’s a Highly Effective PSA Against Animal Testing
Plain and simple, this film is a cautionary tale. While it may seem that this alternate reality could never actually be real, the fact remains that our fears that it could says something about the immorality of testing on animals. We know very readily how intelligent and self-aware chimps and apes are, yet, we continue to exploit them in the name of “science.” Science without morals is an incredibly dangerous thing, so perhaps it is time we stepped back and reevaluated the way we use animals.
3. Apes are Portrayed as the Highly Intelligent Beings They are in Real Life
While the actions of these super intelligent apes might be a bit frightening to audiences, you have to take a step back and wonder whether people are afraid because the apes on screen carry weapons or because they never knew that apes were highly intelligent beings before. Wouldn’t it scare you if you learned that the animals you consider “dumb” have 97 percent of the same DNA as you and possessed many of the same capabilities for language and comprehension? The reality of an ape takeover becomes a bit too real when you know the facts.
4. Apes are Heroes: Humans are the Villians
Ah, finally some catharsis for all of the animal rights activists out there. Apes finally get to save the day – well for other apes, not so much for people. By switching the perspective of the traditional hero, we can see the crazy ways that humans are actually villains in the eyes of the animals we hold captive and use for testing. An interesting way to consider the issue.
5. Even People Who Don’t Identify as Animal Rights Activists Get the Message
The message is short and sweet. Don’t treat other things in a manner that you would not want to be treated yourself. Because, who knows, one day the roles may be reversed.
6. The Future Tense Makes Us Realize There’s Time to Change
While the films hit close to home, they’re still far enough in the future that we feel like we have control over the future. Perhaps we may want to reconsider how we treat apes…just throwing it out there!
7. Though it’s Fiction, it Highlights Real Things that Occur With Animals Held in Captivity
The aggression that these apes exhibit is not necessarily typical of all apes in captivity. However, animals have been shown to develop zoochosis, and go partially insane while in captivity. I mean, how would you react if you were put in a box without an indefinite time of release?
8. Animal Captivity Doesn’t Exist in Monkeygate
One of Caesar’s first course of action is to set all of the captive apes free! What a way to use his power for good!
9. “Caesar Is Home” Should be the Slogan for all Apes
Caesar says he’s home when he is free in the forest. All apes should be able to call the forest, or their natural habitat their homes, not a laboratory.
10. Evolution is Revolution…Will We Evolve?
The question is there folks. Take what you will from this movie, it does offer an option. Will we evolve and stop abusing animals and give them the respect they deserve. There are organizations fighting everyday to get human rights for apes, to learn more about them, click here. For more on organizations working to end animal testing, click here.
Lead image source: NME.com