Reading Time: 2 minutes Multiple cows were reportedly mutilated during the making of the film
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A whistleblower has exposed animal mutilation on the set of a new series starring Kevin Costner.

Multiple cows’ bodies were hacked apart and left to decay as part of the production of upcoming western series Yellowstone, PETA reports.

The animal rights organization has said that that the alleged use of animals on the series is not only outdated, disrespectful, and wasteful but that it poses a threat to human health.

On set

According to PETA, the whistleblower described a ‘shaken’ crew in the face of a stench ‘so strong that people couldn’t wash it off their bodies’.

The crew members’ concerns were reportedly not taken seriously on set – despite the risk of animal-borne illnesses impacting workers.

PETA added that a phone-free policy has been introduced on set, possibly to prevent further information being leaked.


The animal rights organization has suggested a number of alternatives to the use of real animals, including computer graphics imaging, which is common practice in modern filmmaking.

PETA noted also that rodeo footage with real animals has been shot for Yellowstone, despite suggestions that the filmmakers use pre-existing footage for rodeo scenes.

‘Animal safety’

Senior Vice President of Communications for the Paramount Network, which airs the series, told TheWrap that the network ‘takes animal safety very seriously’.

He added: “The production has taken necessary precautions to provide for animal safety and their well-being on set.

“All animals are monitored on set by professional handlers. We have been in touch with PETA which presented us with inaccurate claims that we were able to correct including no cows were killed or mutilated for the scene in question.”

According to PETA, neither Costner nor creator Taylor Sheridan answered the organization’s request for comment.

Plant Based News reached out to creator John Linson’s The Linson Company for comment, and has not yet received a response.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious and culturally sensitive approach to her work in all fields.