Chennai – You’ve seen her magic on the silver screen, but you’ve never seen her like this before: dressed in white attire to resemble a bird, Bollywood’s, Kollywood’s and Tollywood’s sizzling hottie Priya Anand struck a sultry pose while holding a bird cage and a sign that read, “Let Birds Fly Free. Don’t Cage Them”, for PETA’s latest ad. Her point? That birds were born to be free and that locking them in cages and denying them that freedom and the opportunity to fly is cruel. The compelling ad was shot by leading photographer Sunder Ramu, and the stunning outfit was designed and styled by Chaitanya Rao.

“Birds are born to fly free, and no one should steal their freedom from them”, says Anand. “When they are captured and put into cages, smart, sentient, fun-loving birds become depressed and withdrawn. If you love birds, enjoy them by observing them in nature, where they belong. Remember: birds enjoy their freedom as much as you enjoy yours.”

The comedy-drama English Vinglish marked Anand’s debut in Bollywood. Her performances in the Telugu hit Leader and the Tamil films Vaamanan and Nootrenbadhu were publicly acclaimed. Soon, she will be seen in the much-anticipated Ko Ante Koti and Ethir Neechal opposite Siva Karthikeyan.

In nature, birds engage in social activities, such as taking sand baths, playing hide-and-seek, dancing, building nests with their mates and nurturing their young. But when they’re caged, these same vibrant animals become depressed and withdrawn. They often over-preen themselves to the point of mutilation. Some people force birds to endure wing-clipping so that the animals cannot fly away, yet flying is as natural and as important to birds as walking is to humans. When birds are captured and packed into small boxes for shipping, many suffer and die in transit, usually from broken wings and legs, dehydration, starvation and stress.

Keeping birds in cages is both cruel and illegal. The government has banned the capture and trade of all 1,200 species of indigenous birds in India. Despite the law, birds, including munias, mynas, parrots, owls, hawks, peacocks, parakeets and other species, are openly sold in markets.

Priya Anand spreads her wings in new peta ad campaign Gallery

Priya Anand spreads her wings in new peta ad campaign Stills

Priya Anand spreads her wings in new peta ad campaign Photo Gallery