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Oh Little Town of Confused Sheep?

Written by PETA | December 10, 2008

I’m just as psyched about the holidays as anyone else. Free stuff, snow days (oh, right, we don’t get those), e-cards— what’s not to love? Well, I’ll tell you. In certain cities across America, animals are being exposed to all sorts of danger for the sake of live Nativity scenes. Camels, sheep, and donkeys are casually put out in a pen in harsh weather and left unattended outside churches and in Christmas shows, where they are sometimes stolen, injured by passing dogs, or harassed by the public. They are often transported to and from the exhibits in cold, uncomfortable and scary conditions, and they can even spread salmonella and E. coli.

This is super scary, but there have even been cases of sexual abuse, injury in transport, and other cases of neglect and cruelty to animals used in Nativity scenes, which is why we have a better idea.

Instead of using live animals this Christmas, we suggest a lovely fiberglass display like the ones at Christmas Night Inc. These displays are cruelty-free, and they can be shoved into the back of a shed and reused year after year. Fake displays—with ultra-cute Baby Jesus statues—are much less expensive than “renting” real animals, so the money saved could go to a good cause (like vegetarian food for the hungry, perhaps?).

If you know of a live Nativity scene in or planned for your area, take action now, please! The following are a few things you can do to help:

  • Contact the pastor of the church to voice your concerns and ask for a last minute change of plan. Talking with church administrators may encourage them to consider a more humane alternative in the future.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking people to consider the cruelty involved in Nativity scene displays and to stay away from them.
  • Contact your local humane society or animal control agency if you spot signs of neglect, abuse, or vulnerability. You can find their number in the blue pages of your phone book.

So this holiday season, consider peace on Earth and good will toward humans and animals.

Written by Lianne Turner

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  • Mommy says:

    I do not know how you people got this picture but I hope you had permission. It is of my Daughters PET camel. He is very happy and living on a ranch with his half sister and is well taken care of. Do you own a horse as a pet???

  • David says:

    Kurt K Two points 1. Please read the second paragraph of this story very carefully. 2. This is by no means the first time in which PETA has uncovered the sexual abuse of animals. For example in the recent investigation that PETA conducted about the horrific abuses waged against turkeys at a “farm” that supplies Hormel the investigator stated that he witnessed one of the slaughterhouse workers sodomizing a turkey with what appeared to be a broom handle and in another instance witnessed a worker making motions that appeared to mimic rape. He went on to state that on one occasion a worker took a turkey out of sight lowered his pants a little and though it was difficult for him to get close enough to see it appears that this worker may actually have had intercourse with this turkey as alleged by his coworkers in the slaughterhouse! I know that it is not pleasant to confront the fact that there are those who walk amongst us that are not content to confine their sexual urges to their own species. If you check into the archives of other PETA investigations you will find various instances of such abuse. Finally Kurt I must state that the issue of animal abuse cannot be reduced to a discussion only about instances of sexual misconduct real or imagined with animals. Animal rights involves a broad range of issues such as harm to the environment serious implicationsconcerns for human health and problematic scientific research methods to name only a few. It is for this reason that the inexcusable abuse leveraged against animals is critically important even if no instances of sexual abuse had been documented. I hope this helps to clarify the issue for you if not you might want to call PETA directly for even more information.

  • Rebecca says:

    Kurt a story of sexual abuse of a Nativityscene sheep is linked in the original blog post. Red letterslink.

  • Kurt K says:

    Sexual abuse? What are you talking about David? Please explain.

  • David says:

    Sexual abuse along with other cruelties performed on animals used in live nativities?! Just how sick do some of us have to be anyway?!

  • SASHA says:

    I’m so glad this issue is being addressed. So many people think these animals are treated good and unknowning contribute to their abuseand I know they wouldn’t do that if they only knewat least I hope not.Let’s help spread the word!

  • L-Tur says:

    Wow. That is a fantastic blog. Excellent writing Lianne!

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