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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

Mike Tyson, Race Yourself!

Written by PETA | March 16, 2010
© Star Max Inc
Mike Tyson

In an effort to rebuild his image, Mike Tyson has a new Animal Planet series in the works, tentatively titled Taking on Tyson and slated to premiere in 2011. The former heavyweight fighter will use the program to showcase his passion for pigeons via his exploits in the pigeon-racing industry.

While we would never knock someone’s love for these intelligent birds, Tyson’s claim to care about pigeons is rather incredulous given that he chooses to tout using them in a “sport” that—like horseracing—exposes them to danger and death. In a typical race, the birds are taken great distances—sometimes as many as 500 miles—away from their homes and then released to see if they can find their way back. It can only be a traumatic experience, as evidenced by the fallen pigeons who succumb to storms, shotgun pellets, and collisions with high-tension wires and who are often found starving, exhausted, and a long way from home. Pigeons mate for life, and the likelihood that both partners will find each other again or that the bird who is released will be reunited with the one left in the coop is a crapshoot. For those banded birds who are found by concerned citizens or turned in to humane societies and have their bands traced, the voice on the other end of the phone is likely to say what we have been told directly, i.e., “Wring their necks, that’s what we do with losers.”

Mike Tyson likes to tell the story of the first time that he beat someone up, saying it was over someone wanting to hurt one of “his” pigeons. Well, in pigeon racing, he’ll meet a lot of people he can beat up if that’s the criteria, but if he really wants to rehabilitate his image, then the seedy underbelly of the pigeon-racing world isn’t the ideal stage for him. If you’d like to contact Animal Planet to state your opinion on whether this show should air or if the network should stick to Whale Wars and Animal Cops, please send a polite message to Discovery Communications’ viewer relations department.

Written by Logan Scherer

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  • IAgreewithJamesMontreal says:

    I think James M. makes a very good point. Taking care of animals year round is something that merits a certain degree of respect, it is hard work. I think we are very quick at pointing any type of mistreatment towards animals, I, in no way object to that; however I hope that most of us relate a little bit with the hard work it takes to care for animals. It was stated in one of the posts that the pigeon is rather an undermined bird, perhaps adding a different twist to the show so it does not promote bird racing could actually help bring awareness to the awesomeness of these birds. I would like to encourage everyone here to not only stand up against animal cruelty but go and adopt a cat or two, a dog or two, or liberate an animal from the, often miserable conditions, these animals are subjected at your local shelter.

  • Reason says:

    Love and peace you all, except for naughty people!

  • James Montreal says:

    I think the show is a great idea. but I do agree with you about how the racing part is not a great experiance for the birds. but I think taking care of the birds all year long makes him an animal lover. perhaps you should speak to him about how the birds feel, it is possible he never considered it from that point of view. & lets at least let him make the show before you go and slam it. what he is doing will be much better for pigions than those crazy americans that use live pigions for target practice. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES I SUPPORT MIKES NEW SHOW UNLESS I SEE HIM KILL A BIRD FOR FUN. I LOVE PETA stop the seal hunt!

  • Tamira Allen says:

    I wrote a letter to the discovery channel and I hope many others will … Regarding “Taking on Tyson” myself and my family will not be watching. We love most of your programing but I couldn’t let my children be entertained by the exploitation of one of our most under appreciated animals. Might I remind how intelligent these animals are and how they feel just as we do. Knowing that most of these beautiful animals will die before even making it to the finish line lowers my esteem for your programing. I would be very displeased to see a well known company stoop to unsavory examples of animal cruelty. Sincerely The Allen and Worcester Family

  • AAG says:

    Another idiot on Animal Planet. I am watching Animal Planet less and less. Anna is so right! The shows on this channel are so abusive towards animals and the images that is projected of them is totally negative. Meerkat Manor the beauty of animals the joy of animal companionship are shows that are gone. Tyson is an idiot and has always remained one past and present nothing has changed.

  • ocean17 says:

    yeah iron mike gee million thanks i had no idea that if you socked a caged tiger in the head it was like hitting cement.

  • Christine says:

    I do not think this was meant be seen in a negative light Mike we know you’re nice guy revamp your idea and put your fame toward a better idea!!

  • Rex's Mom says:

    Idiot Tyson used to own tigers and he used to punch them in the face. He said it was like hitting concrete. I hope he doesn’t own ANY animal. He is an abuser both to people and animals and Animal Planet shouldn’t air this stupid show.

  • Ti La Ra says:

    Most of these pigeons just get killed because they aren’t good enough for the racing. The racers just kill them no veterinarians involved. Nothing humane.

  • Carla says:

    What a jerk!

  • Anna says:

    Animal Planet has turned into the animal cruelty network. Since Marjorie Kaplan took over not too long ago Kaplan has been increasingly using the exploitation of animals and highlighting people who are involved in questionable activities with animals to grasp and grope for falling ratings. httpcorporate.discovery.comleadershipmarjoriekaplan It is pretty clear that Kaplan will support any kind of animal abuse in her quest for ratings. She’s not getting them but no one at Discovery Networks who owns Animal Planet seems to have the sense to hire a competent person instead of a lightweight like Kaplan.

  • Michele says:

    He is just as bad as another “Mike” who is trying to rebuild his image. They are both violent men who do not deserve to be in the limelight. I hope no one forgets that Mike Tyson chewed off someone’s ear and was a wife abuser.

  • Andre Inglis says:

    Truly caring about animals will help his image. Pigeon racing will not. Mike has so much potential. He could easily do something that would work better.

  • ocean17 says:

    another nonhero bites the dust. no compassion no ethics no responsibility no morals and no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. no of course not. reeffin’diculous. totally disgusting and totally cruel. welcome to the real world. animals are not to be used in entertainment ever.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Mike Tyson is not a bona fide animal lover.

  • Kelley says:

    What is Animal Planet thinking? I assume Peta has contacted someone at the network about this?

  • NT says:

    what an idiot.

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