Animal Entertainment and Animal Performance

Tianran Yu

  Animal Performance refers to the purpose of entertaining an audience by artificially training animals to perform actions and behaviors that go against their nature. I love animals and have seen many animal shows. But after watching some documentaries and learning about the cruel training behind the scenes, I started to think about whether animal performances are really necessary. Is it good for the animals themselves, or is it just for human benefit? 

This year, I researched this social issue in-depth and reflected on the harm of animal performances through design projects. Since the 1980s, zoos all over the world have introduced animal performances to increase their income. According to the report “Assault, Abuse and Property Damage in Circus Events”, there were 148 animal accidents in these performances over 26 years, and that’s just the data from the United States. The goal of my book and exhibition is to make more people aware of animal performances and the stories behind the scenes. I want to propose new alternatives to animal performances to avoid the losses incurred by zoos, aquariums and circuses. My clock shows the stark contrast between animals in the wild and in cages, and calls attention to this social issue.