Anytime PETA steps into a fight that no one else thought to provoke it almost appears as though they’ve done this without really thinking about what they’re doing as if they’re reacting without any real thought and are operating on pure emotion. One thing to note is that if PETA ever had an issue in the past with the Jackass movies and how they dealt with animals, which has honestly not been nearly as bad as some movie depictions have been, then it was far quieter than now. One has to remember that this isn’t the first time that Jackass has featured animals in its movies and that each time it would appear that the humans are getting the worst of the exchange while the animals are at the very least being recruited for dumb stunts but for all intents and purposes are being allowed to live their lives after their part in the movie is done. Granted, there are a few moments during the Jackass movies when the use of an animal might have needed a second thought and a possible omission, but it has more to do with the idea that the stunt was that foolish, and not due to the idea that the animal couldn’t consent.
The long and short of this article is that PETA is actively telling fans not to watch Jackass Forever due to the idea that they’re exploiting animals in a cruel and disturbing manner. The only agreeable part of this is that the animals didn’t need to be used to pull off stupid stunts, but at the same time, it would appear that the Jackass crew is being careful to consider the animal’s well-being. Each time the crew has used animals it’s a little obvious that the critters might be a bit agitated, but at the end of the day the people performing the stunts usually come off worse for wear than the animals since like it or not, the animals are adept at taking care of themselves and dealing with what’s in front of them.
What’s more disturbing than anything is the unfortunate fact that PETA appears to feel the need to step in where they’re not really needed or wanted that often since their views tend to lean to the extreme when they describe or even decide to parody the ‘abuse’ that others are perpetrating against animals. While it’s very true that some sick individuals do abuse animals and should be brought to task for such acts, PETA is notoriously quiet on this front at times and yet has justified the staggering number of cats and dogs that they’ve euthanized over the years. The excuse of course is that they euthanize animals that can’t be introduced into adoptive homes, either because they’re sick, wounded, or too aggressive. But this indicates a serious lack of empathy and a definite note of hypocrisy when it comes to how much they ‘care’ about the welfare of animals. Many arguments can be made about this, but the point is that by telling people not to watch a movie because they believe that it aggravates and abuses animals, PETA is wading through its own hypocrisy once again when trying to convince others that what someone else is doing is wrong.
I’ll be one of those that will gladly state that the Jackass movies have done some truly stupid and life-endangering things in the name of entertainment, but honestly and truly, the animals in these movies don’t appear to be abused, malnourished, or even agitated in a way that stops them from remedying their issues at that moment. Seriously, when a bull sends a human being flying it would appear that the biggest amount of stress has been relieved, while for the human the physical stress is only beginning. It’s amusing how PETA picks and chooses their moments to be vocal, much like any activist group that selects their time to ‘shine’ when it comes to what they believe in. Animal abuse isn’t fun to think about and it’s not something that needs to be filmed, but when it comes to Jackass, people are being asked to watch individuals punish themselves in various ways, and in this case, the animals are being recruited to inflict the punishment. One would almost think that the people at PETA would be happy about that part.
What wouldn’t be surprising in this instance would be if the number of viewers that decide to watch Jackass grows exponentially due to PETA’s insistence that the movie not be given any attention. That’s kind of how it works in a lot of ways after all, when someone says “Don’t look at that”, people tend to look since they can’t help themselves. And apart from that, watching the Jackass movies is kind of like looking at a car wreck, a lot of people know they shouldn’t be looking, but they do anyway.