Animal rights activists are urging Food Lion to stop using live animals in its advertisements.
Supermarket News reported that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last week called off a protest at a California commercial shoot when the group learned that the iconic lion wouldn’t be on the Food Lion set. PETA instead issued a statement condemning the use of real lions, which Food Lion has done for more than two years.
“PETA is calling on the company to make a pledge for the future: no wild animals in ads, ever,” Delcianna Winders, deputy general counsel of the PETA Foundation, said in a statement. “Food Lion can and should create eye-catching ads without resorting to the use of deprived, captive wild animals.”
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Food Lion said the animal was never scheduled to be on set the day of the shoot, Supermarket News reported, and that it requires its filming partners to adhere to a number of measures ensuring the safety and well-being of the lion, including using animal-actor trainers and third-party oversight of the filming process every time the animal is on set.
The supermarket chain’s television commercials feature a large talking lion offering his “two cents” about grocery shopping.
Food Lion, the No. 3 supermarket in the Charlotte region by market share, operates 106 locations in the Charlotte area, more than any of its local competitors.