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Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson Put to Sleep

Written by PETA | June 18, 2009


I’m sure that once her career was over, Shawn would have been sent off to Japan and ground up into dog food anyway.

Written by Shawna Flavell

Commenting is closed.
  • mannie says:

    This is the craziest thing Ive ever heard

  • LAURIE says:

    your some sick parents thats something you do with your dog not your kid sick you need help

  • Mel says:

    Thank you for the article however this proves my case that Renee’s comment about “booster” shots in this case is incorrect. The items they were listing are common vitamins that you and I take daily read a OneADay or Centrium bottle and you’ll see them. They are NOT steroids. That said they should know better to not use something illegal and dangerous to horses. I would expect a full investigation made because in this case it looks like it could be criminal. I personally will maintain that polo as a game itself is better for the horses than racing based on ground and such but that doesn’t mean that I support mistreatment of the animals.

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    mel You should check out this article on the polo horse tragedy httpwww.cbsnews.comstories20090423nationalmain4963989.shtml?tagcontentMaincontentBody.

  • mel says:

    I did research online regarding the polo match but have not found proof of the claim that these 21 horses died of “booster” shots before event. This includes the more liberal Sites I’ve found actually say that “State veterinarians were still performing necropsies but suspect the horses died from heart failure brought on by some sort of toxic reaction in their bodies. Possibly tainted feed vitamins or supplements. Maybe a combination of the three.” All sources I’ve found and none are Wiki sites say the same thing. Again I’m not saying this doesn’t happen or we wouldn’t see crackdowns on the case but I’d be careful to say that their deaths were from “booster” i.e. steroids etc. shots when we do not know at this time.

  • Mel says:

    Renee reading your response I have to question if you’ve been anywhere that horses have roamed. Horses get injured running wild or tame and have had to be put down because of it. Hard ground soft ground racing on the ranch whatever it’s a fact of life. Regarding barn burning to collect insurance that is an illegal act and fire departments can detect arson quite well now. “Booster” shots are also illegal however they do need to crack down on them more if they so choose to continue the racing industry. I would also like to see the source of where you got “20 polo horses dying in a day from.” Even so polo is not the same as horseracing. Different style of contest it’s more along the lines of running around in the field they play on grass and spurs are illegal which is good you can correct a horse’s direction without using more cruel means such as spurs and whips. As far as euthanasia I am interested to know if you have or had a pet. If so and the pet was injured or diagnosed with a fatal disease i.e. severe heartworms have you had to choose between doing all you can to save it’s life which does extend its suffering at times pending the injury or disease and still have to put it down. Or did you choose to put said animal to sleep knowing that you did the kindest thing for your pet? It’s something even I don’t like to think about but I would do what was more humane for the animal even there it’d be tough.

  • Renee says:

    Umm to those of you with the “euthanasia is kinder” spin the point would be ending the use of horses for racing since most of them go through undue lifelong stress and suffering and end up in a can of pet food or used as an insurance profit by barn burning. Without the racing the injuries would not be taking place that then make euthanasia the next stop. Without the racing there would be no “booster” shots before races like the ones in FL that killed over 20 polo horses in one day and no hormones pumped into these animals. This video is one of those rare moments when humor can wake people up…so WAKE UP.

  • mel says:

    Derek there is a difference unfortunately. The animals you listed can lay down and stretch out their legs to where they put zero pressure on said leg so it can heal properly. Horses cannot do that if you have seen a horse laying on the ground it looks like a cow they nestle their legs underneath them. And unlike a cat or dog which can lay on its side with legs stretched out with no illness if a horse did that they’d be at risk for other health issues such as stomach issues I think bloat is one of these possible ailments. Bloat can be fatal to a horse. They did try to treat Barbaro’s leg and that surgery and healing process was successful. He lived a year before he had to be put down to an infection coursing through his body. So hence my encouragement to PETA to help scientists and vets find a way to create I guess horse therapy and maybe advancements in helping a horse be able to easily rest its broken leg without risking the horse laying on its side and getting bloat or standingstomping it and actually rebreaking it however minor in the process.

  • Sarah says:

    So funny and it makes such a good point.

  • Derek says:

    Just amazing Keith. A human’s broken leg can heal a dog or cat’s can and any other animal’s limb can heal except a horse. How naive… Truth is it’s just too much trouble to go through what is necessary to heal a horse’s leg especially when the horse will not be nearly as productive for the rest of its life.

  • Stefan says:

    stolen from the onion

  • claire says:

    Brilliant really gets the point home.

  • Keith Markman says:

    What is even more ironic is that people don’t seem to be understanding that the Onion is actually making fun of PETA here. I support PETA btw but it is absurd to equate putting a horse to sleep with putting an 18yearold HEALTHY human girl to sleep. Horses are put to sleep when they’ve broken their legs because they are in terrible pain and the leg never heals properly. So more irony putting a horse to sleep is actually the “humane” thing to do. It is also humane to put a 17yearold dog to sleep if the dog has cancer running rampant through its body the dog is in terrible pain can’t comprehend its pain and isn’t going to get any better. Whoever said it’s just about “bucks” is being very silly.

  • soad29 says:

    Ummmm this video is by the onion not by peta people!

  • Gerald says:

    Wwhat? Do you even know what the onion is PETA?

  • Marino Ivanov says:

    Some people think this may not be true but it is. It’s all part of Scientology and widely accepted. RIP Shawn.

  • Nate Triplett says:

    funny but ridiculous

  • mel says:

    Does anyone not get that a horse’s weight is one reason that it’s difficult to heal a broken leg? I don’t like it anymore than you or PETA does but euthanasia sadly is better for the horse sometimes. Anyone who’s been around horses a majority of their life knows that horses for the most part stand or put their body weight on that leg all the time. And anyone knows a horse weighs a lot more than you or I. A broken leg would not heal as easily because that weight adds stress to the injured bone and it rebreaks. Add to that a variety of conditions that are common in any walk of life human or animal it makes it difficult if not impossible to save the horse. Plus if a horse stays lying down for too long they can develop stomach conditions that can lead to its death. They did try to fix Barbaro’s leg and it was mostly successful true. However Barbaro also contracted a different illness in his hoof and that caused his condition to deteriorate and he had to be killed. What PETA should do instead of using Onion or frankly ANY media to tout their viewpoints or frankly just preach to the world that it’s wrong they actually should use the funds they do get and actually become active in finding ways that would help a horse heal and make it more worthwhile for the owners and vets to keep a horse alive instead of killing them. I cannot speak for any or all owners of large animals but I can say that they do care about their animals and it is a very tough decision for them to euthanize their animal. For most it’s not they don’t care about the horse except for profit it’s because they loved their horses and don’t want to do that to them. If you don’t like this think twice when the time comes when your pet is too old or ill or injured to save and the vet recommends euthanasia. Would you make your pet suffer a long and painful attempt to save their life and possibly lose the pet still or would you let the vet put your pet down knowing that they didn’t suffer.

  • bebex says:

    Haha I love this!

  • Jill says:

    Andi! I am with you! Humans think they are more important because humans put more value on humans. That action does not MAKE US MORE IMPORTANT. That’s ridiculous. If anything we are less important as we are a VIRUS on this planet. The less of us the better. So I say stop breeding any animal including ourselves!

  • andi says:

    It’s pretty pathetic how some people not only don’t get the irony of this Onion satire and what it’s drawing a parallel to race horses like Barbaro with broken bones being put to sleep but think that it’s actually true! I think it is brilliantly done and makes the point how absurd it is we put animals to sleep with just a broken leg only because they can no longer earn their “keep.” As for the arrogant statement by Brian that “People are more important than animals” Perhaps he has confused the word “important” with “innately evil and inclined to be greedy shallow morally bankrupt and powerhungry.” If so I would definitely have to agree with that sentiment.

  • Makena says:

    no parent would kill there child for an injury this is fake

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Steve Kerleles PETA has been around since 1980.

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Aneliese I changed the video to the YouTube version. Hopefully you can watch it now.

  • J. says:

    Gotta love the onion! This is quite hilarious made even more so by the fact that some gullible people thought it was real!

  • Sara says:

    She is not dead. If you go on google video or youtube you will see the same video was posted on the 16th. So they say she died on the night of the 15th. Its impossible because she was at the CMT Awards on the 17th. They have to be lying.

  • laura says:

    brian except that this is done to humans all the time. medically induced euthanasia based on decisions that “it’s for her own good her life isn’t worth living” doctors pressuring women to have abortions depending on prenatal screening results the depravation of education to disabled children… and to make a more apt analogy the stripping of collegiate scholarships from athletes who have been injured and need to recover and no longer can play resulting in them no longer being able to attend the institutions.

  • merry says:

    Thoughtprovoking AND brilliantly funny The Onion scores AGAIN!

  • Jackie says:

    The video is a joke. It’s done by the satirical news site The

  • Louise says:

    I’m in SA what was the video of cant get anything out here in the sticks

  • Anonymous says:

    If you want respect towards your loved animals show some respect towards the human race. I am not sure how you would like a family member of yours dead and refered to as animal food.

  • erica says:

    i luv how this video shows how animals and humans shouldnt be treated differently after an injury. human athletes get to recover but animal athletes have to be put to sleep.

  • Shari says:

    That was so funny! But sad because it’s true they do it to animals all the time. If they can’t make a buck off of them then it’s the “we had to put him down for his own good” bull crap! And they did it all for the poor animalyea right!

  • Brian says:

    People are more important than animals. That’s why putting them to sleep isn’t the same thing as putting an animal to sleep.

  • Steve Kerleles says:

    I’m new here How long has peta been around?

  • andrea says:

    This is the best thing Ive ever seen! GREAT POINT!

  • shayna says:


  • Annie B. says:


  • [email protected] says:

    is this video a joke

  • Aneliese says:

    What is the video of? It says that the video can only be streamed within the United States and I’m in Canada.