It’s that time of year again when we all huddle around our television to watch some celebrities we’ve probably never heard of tucking into a kangaroo penis or swimming through a tank with a crocodile that’s had its mouth taped shut.
For the millions of people who tune into I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! every night, it’s just a harmless entertainment show. After all, what could Ant and Dec possibly do wrong? However, now that the 17th series of the show has started on TV, isn’t it time that we thought about the animal abuse the features so heavily in the show?
If you’ve never seen I’m a Celebrity before they you might not be familiar with what a Bushtucker Trial actually is, so let me paint a picture for you. Almost every day, the public votes for the celebrity they would most like to do that particular trial. The challenges are different each day, but usually each series will include things like: people putting their body in an enclosure full of insects, rodents or birds, crawling into a tunnel full of rats, holding live animals in their mouths, and eating live insects or animal parts.
If you were to ask anyone on the street what they think about using animals for entertainment then most would be appalled. Yet on I’m a Celebrity, it has become perfectly acceptable to take a crocodile from its natural habitat, tape up its mouth, and put it in a tank of water so that Wayne Bridge can swim through it to a win a trial. In another particularly shocking task a few years ago, Ferne McCann ate a live water spider by swirling it in glass before chewing it.
Just last week, people in the UK were outraged when the majority of MPs at Westminster voted that animals do not have feelings. Yet somewhere along the line we’ve decided that animals in Australia don’t have any feelings otherwise we wouldn’t be using them in this completely unacceptable way.
The latest series of the show has only been on air for a few days, but last night two celebrities tucked into a dinner consisting of fish eyes, a sheep anus, a pig brain, cockroaches, an ostrich foot, meal worms, and even a huntsman spider. We don’t know what will be in store for the other poor animals involved in this series, but if it’s anything like the previous ones then we do know that hundreds of animals will be hurt, crushed, or eaten alive.
It’s not only time that I’m a Celebrity stopped this animal abuse, but it’s also time we all started to rethink our attitudes on how much animals should suffer just for our entertainment.
You can also read this blog on the Huffington Post here