Written by Michelle Kretzer
Florida, is crowded with "elephants," and Charlotte, North
Carolina, will soon be filled with "donkeys" as Republicans and
Democrats gather for their respective national conventions. But which real
animal would win in a showdown between an elephant and a donkey? PETA takes
stock of the competition:
Physical prowess: Elephants are
active for 18 hours a day and can travel up to 30 miles a day. But donkeys are
no couch potatoes, either. They can run up to 30 miles per hour and are
sure-footed on rocky mountain crags.
Compassion: Elephants wince when they see another
elephant in pain, and an entire group will pitch in to help a mother elephant rescue her
drowning baby. But donkeys are often
prized companion animals because they are affectionate and are patient with children. Donkeys are also often
tasked with watching over herds of sheep or goats.
Beauty: Standing up to
13 feet tall with trunks that can reach for 7 feet, elephants make for quite a
majestic sight. Donkeys, the smallest members of the horse family, are
beautiful in their own right, with soft coats of fawn, chocolate, red, or black
fur and a graceful gait.
Intelligence: In an experiment
to see if elephants could figure out that they had to work together, both pulling
opposite ends of a rope, in order to move food close to them, the elephants not only succeeded
but also figured out a
shortcut that researchers hadn't thought of. Donkeys aren't short on smarts,
either. Companion donkeys
answer to their names, go for walks off leash,
and can even learn to pull carts through obstacle courses.
Enjoying leisure time: Elephants like
to cool off by using their trunks to spray water all over their bodies. They
also flirt with other elephants they are interested in. Donkeys know how to
relax, too, by finding a shady spot in which to curl up to escape the afternoon
heat or rolling on their backs in the grass or dirt. Companion donkeys also
love receiving treats and ear rubs.
close as it is, I think we have to call this one a tie. Please "cast your
vote" in favor of protecting elephants by refusing to support circuses and zoos and protecting donkeys
by opposing donkey
basketball games and the roundup and slaughter of wild
horses and donkeys.
Written by Jeff Mackey
After parents and residents expressed their concerns about a
donkey basketball event planned for Mona Shores High School in Michigan, PETA quickly contacted school
administrators with information about the cruelty of those "games."
Jill Howard Church and PETA
To their credit as responsible educators, the superintendent
and principal decided to cancel the donkey basketball and replace it with a
humane alternative. So the students are getting a valuable lesson in
compassion—and they get to have guilt-free fun, too!
Klearchos Kapoutsis|cc by 2.0
The change of events also helps protect students and other
attendees from possible harm. Donkeys, like other animals who are mistreated and
forced into loud, confusing environments, can become frightened and panic in
desperation to protect themselves. A participant in a Waterloo, Illinois,
donkey basketball game was awarded more than $110,000 after sustaining injuries
in the game, while on another occasion, a Wisconsin state senator fell off a
donkey and broke her leg.
The takeaways from this story?
Written by PETA
Last night, high school students, parents, and PETA supporters gathered en masse outside Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington, to inform people who were attending a donkey basketball fundraiser that exploiting animals for a cheap thrill is both cruel and far from educational.
During donkey basketball "games," participants often drag, kick, and punch the animals in order to get them to "play." Full-grown adults ride on the backs of animals who are only able to bear a little more than 100 lbs., and this is dangerous for both the donkey and the rider. The only thing that spectators and participants learn from events like these is that it's OK to dominate, torment, and humiliate those who are weaker than they are.
Dunk tanks and bake sales are just two of the many fundraising opportunities available in which all participants are willing participants. If you are a student or a parent at a school that wants to host a donkey basketball game, don't let event organizers resort to cruelty in order to cash in—take action by contacting your school district's superintendent and asking for a policy that bans the use of live animals in fundraisers forever.
Written by Logan Scherer
There are plenty of movies about basketball that will make any true sports fan groan: BASEketball, Space Jam, The Air Up There … but I'd willingly sit through a marathon of those movies before setting foot into a gymnasium that allows "donkey basketball" to take place.
Donkey basketball is cruel and, just as the name suggests, more ludicrous than anything the movies could ever concoct. During this "sport," which some schools use as a fundraiser, high school students ride donkeys, and the animals are subsequently dragged, kicked, and punched by participants who have no animal-handling experience. The game sends the message to kids that it's OK to torment and humiliate those who are weaker than they are. And in order to keep the donkeys from having "accidents" on the court, the animals are often deprived of food and water for hours before the "games."
Beating, starvation, and thirst—sounds like a ball, right? Yet Streator High School in Illinois plans to hold one of these "games" as a fundraiser next Monday. We've already written to the school urging the superintendent to cancel the game and implement a policy against the use of live animals for entertainment. Now we are asking you to urge Streator High School to cancel this barbaric event. If you know of any schools or organizations in your area that intend to host a donkey basketball game, ask them for a permanent ban on the use of live animals for entertainment as well.
We actually didn't say "I told you so" in this instance, just:
“We are sorry to hear about your injury. We tried to help you and the donkeys. Please tell us that you understand now.”
I thought that was pretty nice of us, under the circumstances. Here's the back story: Whiteford Agricultural Schools’ superintendent Craig Haugen is receiving a bouquet of flowers from PETA after breaking his arm in a donkey basketball game. PETA had contacted Haugen more than a week before the game, pointing out the cruelty and dangers that go along with these ridiculous events and citing incidents where people have seriously hurt themselves during games. But Mr. Haugen ignored the letter and actually went on TV to say that the game would go on and that he saw nothing wrong with it. Anyway, after we heard he broke his arm, there were just so many possibilities … but apparently my boss Ingrid has this whole big thing about "being compassionate," so he got flowers and a note and that was it. So there you have it. Enjoy your flowers, Craig, and at least read our letter this time—it'll do you good.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.