My school is planning a donkey basketball game to raise money. Are these games cruel to the donkeys?
Animals do not comprehend or willingly participate in sporting events. Yet donkeys are often prodded around school gymnasiums, kicked, whipped, and screamed at by young, impressionable students who are more concerned with winning the game and showing off for their friends then with the animals’ well-being.
The donkeys are dragged from school to school and are usually not given food and water beforehand so that they don’t have “accidents” during the games. The deprivation, constant travel, unfamiliar surroundings, loud noise, and rough handling are extremely stressful for the donkeys. They often develop unpredictable temperaments and have been known to lash out in frustration or fear, causing injury to participants or bystanders.
The games may desensitize young people to animal suffering and teach them that we have the right to abuse animals for our own entertainment. Animals should not have to pay the price at school fundraisers. There are countless humane and fun ways to raise school funds. After all, what kid doesn’t love dunking the science teacher or pieing the principal?