LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Darren Aronofsky will be honored by the Humane Society of the United States for using computer-generated images instead of animals in this year's biblical flood epic "Noah," the animal-protection organization said on Tuesday.
Known for his psychological films like ballet drama "Black Swan," Aronofsky said the easiest and most humane way to show the biblical animal kingdom he envisioned was through visual effects.
"It was quickly apparent that working with live animals would be dangerous for them," Aronofsky said in a statement. "It was also morally ambiguous considering we were making a film about the first naturalist, Noah, who saved and cared for all the varied species on the planet."
Aronofsky, 45, will receive the Humane Society's inaugural Humane Filmmaker award at a benefit gala in New York next month.
The big-budget "Noah," which earned mixed reviews from critics, has taken in $359.2 million at the global box office since its release in March.
The organization said the film shows that animals can be a large part of entertainment production without risking their welfare.
The treatment and use of animals in film and television production has been a hot button topic in recent years. The acclaimed HBO horseracing drama "Luck" was canceled when three horses died after being injured during production.
A separate organization, the American Humane Society, oversees animal use in U.S. film and television production.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Mary Milliken)