LSU Just Doesn’t Get It
It’s incredibly frustrating dealing with these people. The point is a relatively simple one: In captivity, big cats are denied everything that is natural and important to them—companionship for one, not to mention the opportunity to run, climb, hunt, and establish their territory. But officials at LSU, who have insisted on replacing their “mascot”, a Bengal tiger named Mike, with another Mike the tiger, believe that these considerations are less important than their desire to have fans enact some weird ritual that involves chanting about tigers before football games, and that apparently requires an actual frightened tiger in a cage to be done properly. Not that I have anything against weird sports rituals—I love doing the wave, or singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch—but no matter how much history there is behind a tradition, when people come to realize that it’s grounded in cruelty or oppression, it’s just time to find a new one. Simple as that, LSU. You can read ESPN’s coverage of the story here, and if you’d like to write to LSU to ask them to put their heads together and come up with a tradition that doesn’t involve exploiting and abusing exotic animals, you can do that here.