Justin Bieber really loves animals and PETA hates that Justin Bieber really loves them because it’s perhaps an unhealthy fascination. Let’s look at Bieber’s loving/disturbing relationship with mammals.
The most recent incident occurred on Thursday, when the owner of a white lion cub, Alex Haditaghi, posted an Instagram photo of Bieber caressing little Alex the Lion right before Bieber’s concert in Toronto the night before. The caption: “Somebody else is also in love with my baby! Working towards building Canada’s biggest animal sanctuary.”
In the caption for a video clip of Bieber feeding the cub, Haditaghi called Bieber a “class act” and wrote that “Justin really cares about the conservation of these beautiful animals!” It got the intended press—MTV wrote “Justin Bieber Holding a Baby Lion Is Too Cute for Words.”
However, PETA felt differently and reacted, as they do, with a reprimanding tweet.
Bieber’s mammalian love knows no bounds.
Prior to the lion incident, there was the engagement party Bieber’s dad Jeremy threw on April 30 in Toronto during which several animals, including a tiger, from the Bowmanville Zoo, roamed about as decoration for the festivities.
PETA informed everyone that the tiger was a victim of abuse, writing on their site: “What Justin and other party guests probably don’t know is that Michael Hackenberger, the owner of that zoo, was recently charged with five counts of cruelty to animals because of PETA’s undercover footage, which shows him viciously whipping a young tiger during a ‘training’ session and then bragging about it.”
The bulletin added (emphasis theirs): “We’re calling on Justin and his family never to use animals as selfie props or party entertainment again.”
Here he is petting the Bengal tiger at Jeremy’s party.
Whenever Bieber isn’t bonding with wild animals, he’s hanging with domesticated ones of his own. The fact that he’s owned several disappearing pets, including a Yorkshire Terrier named Esther, prompted my colleague Madeleine to do this poll on whether the puppy situation would end well. (Is Esther still around?)
Justin’s red carpet date to the 2011 MTV Movie Awards was none other than a young albino boa constrictor, Johnson, that was later auctioned off. Its new owner told E! News in 2012, “I found it really disgusting that celebrities like Bieber would stoop to a level of using living creatures as a fashion accessory and then so easily discard it.”
Bieber also previously had a hamster named Pac that’s now deceased. His dog Sammy, while living in Ontario with Bieber’s grandparents, died in 2014. His cat Tuts was seen on Instagram and had a Twitter account but hasn’t tweeted since October 2014.
In a blatant show of abuse, Daddy Bieber—a regular source of these animal issues—once allegedly tossed their bulldog Karma (which Justin bought) off a balcony and left it with a trainer.
Most famously, there was the adorable Capuchin monkey OG Mally Bieber flaunted circa 2013. Bieber used Mally for various photo ops before bringing him into Germany, where the monkey was taken from him and sent to an animal clinic. The clinic’s owner smartly noted that “a baby monkey was never going to be suited to be on a world tour even if he is traveling by private jet.” Because monkeys don’t care about first-class.
This is what happens when privileged pop stars get ahold of precious animals. Bieber ultimately decided to give up ownership of Mally and years later he apologized in a GQ story: “Honestly, everyone told me not to bring the monkey. Everybody...Everyone told me not to bring the monkey. I was like, ‘It’s gonna be fine, guys!’ It was the farthest thing from fine.”