Unglamour shots: Posing with baby animals

What’s wrong with this picture?


Five points if you said my mullet! Ten if you said the lion cub in my lap.

As a teenager in the 80s, I thought nothing of this. I was in the mall with my brother, a makeshift studio was set up in a corner of an open area, and I got to pick which baby animal I wanted to pose with.

I never thought to question the obvious: Where is this cub’s mother? Why is he being carted around from mall to mall for photos instead of being in his natural environment? Is there a danger to humans? What will happen to him when he’s too big and unruly to be cuddly?

Sadly, animals like this are still being exploited in malls, fairs, and at roadside zoos. When these babies are too big, they end up at shoddy roadside zoos, in the pet trade, in canned hunts, or killed for their meat.

The best thing you can do is never pay for a picture with a wild animal. The Humane Society has a campaign against primates, tigers, lions, and bears being used in photo sessions. These sessions with the public fuel the exotic pet trade, puts animals at risk, and endangers the public.

Please sign it and learn from my mistake. Wild animals are not stuffed toys. Whether at home or abroad, vote with your dollars and say no to animal exploitation.


6 thoughts on “Unglamour shots: Posing with baby animals

  1. Where was YOUR mother? I don’t remember ever seeing this photo. I showed it to your dad and he doesn’t remember seeing it either.

    I agree with you 100%, this should not be permitted for the reasons mentioned! Strange how we can accept things without questioning. Hopefully, we, as a society are learning from our mistakes so that children and adults don’t even have a choice to have their photo taken with a wild animal because it’s illegal.

    • Good question! It’s unsafe for people to be around wild animals! This was a Polaroid that the people running the setup gave me. I must have gotten a ride to the mall with a friend’s parents. Are you starting to wonder what else we got up to under your “watchful” eye? Ha!

  2. We did so much as children that we would never do now. I remember having a bird in a cage – so sad:( Yet my parents saw nothing wrong in this. All we can do is educate the next generation to show compassion towards animals. I have shared the campaign on my facebook page, which is followed by many animal lovers.

    • So true. I never questioned the things I did. Caged birds are a sad sight. To have wings and not be able to fly – ugh! At least we’re moving in the right direction now. Asking questions and making changes. Thanks for sharing the campaign on your FB page!

  3. Haha Jean, you look so cute despite the mullet! I rocked that hairstyle for a long time too!! You bring up an interesting topic in this post, one that I haven’t thought much about. Celeste 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting. My hair only got worse as the 80s progressed 😛

      I was certain the practice of animal photos was over until I saw the HSUS campaign in my inbox. It’s a smaller issue than, say factory farming, but it’s unnecessary and relatively easy to end.

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