“Wherever you see bears performing, they’re suffering,” says Oscar winner Sir Mark Rylance in a new PETA video that details how traveling shows torment bears, from chaining and muzzling them to preventing them from digging, roaming, hibernating, and doing anything else that’s natural and important to them.
“Speaking as an actor, we should be clever enough to entertain people ourselves without putting animals through this kind of torture,” the theater icon and Ready Player One star says. “Please don’t buy a ticket to an event — a circus, a fair, any event — where you see a bear performing.”
Since 2013, PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — has rescued 72 captive bears and transferred them to reputable sanctuaries where, as Rylance describes, they’re “thriving in huge habitats where they can spend their days roaming and foraging on natural terrain, swimming in ponds or pools, and living the way bears were always meant to live.”
Rylance also sat down for an exclusive video interview with PETA in which he shared his philosophy on animal rights. “I think people will look back in horror at our treatment of animals today,” he says. “Putting them up and making them dance—it’s absolutely ridiculous and so cruel, and there could be such a richer, more valuable relationship for us with animals.”