Alec Baldwin has an unusual idea for ending cruelty toward bears in captivity: Maybe give them guns?

“People talk about the right to bear arms,” the actor says in a new video for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that shows footage of bears held in cramped pits, where they suffer from disease and distress. “After seeing this video, you might want to push for the right to arm bears.”

He’s kidding, of course, in that sardonic Alec Baldwin kind of way. (Right? Surely, he does not think that handing deadly weapons to animals is a great idea, though it does sound like the premise of a TV show that his “30 Rock” character, Jack Donaghy, would have green-lighted). But Baldwin is making a point.

In the video and in a letter to the Agriculture Department, the self-proclaimed animal activist asks that people stay away from roadside zoos and shows that use “bear pits” and that the government ban the method of confinement. “The USDA has an ethical and statutory obligation to ensure that exhibited bears are treated humanely, and until it does, bears languishing in concrete pits will continue to pay the price,” Baldwin wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

According to ABC News, Baldwin wrote that the government must force zoos to end the use of bear pits because the creatures can develop “zoochosis,” a term coined by the late actor and “Born Free” star Bill Travers to describe the problematic behavior developed by animals in cages.


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