We were pretty disappointed when we heard that Mattel was planning to release a “Kentucky Derby Barbie.” Barbie has a long history as an animal defender (she’s been fur-free for years)—why would she get all, ahem, “dolled” up for an event that centers around animal abuse?
Then it occurred to us that Barbie could very well go to the Kentucky Derby (or, as we say in Louisville, “the Derby”) and still maintain her animal-friendly image. How, you ask? By protesting the Derby, of course!
That’s why PETA sent a letter to the CEO of Mattel asking him to provide Kentucky Derby Barbie with two special items to take with her to Churchill Downs. She should have her very own to-scale protest sign—reading “Horse Racing is Horse Abuse”—as well as a memorial wreath commemorating Eight Belles and all the other horses who die every day on race tracks. In addition, Kentucky Derby Barbie’s box should come with a sticker that explains why Barbie is on her high horse about the dangerous practices that are rampant in the horse-racing industry, such as pumping horses with steroids and other drugs to enable them to run with injuries, breeding horses to have fragile legs, running horses too young (before their bones have fully formed), and racing them on hard dirt tracks.
Barbie’s a smart girl. After all, she has been a surgeon, an astronaut, and President of the United States. Surely she knows that there are better ways to spend a Saturday in May than at a “sporting event” that is all too likely to end in tragedy.
Written by Amanda Schinke