Stadium Can Protect All Area Residents—Including Companion Animals, Wildlife, and Even Veterans—by Ending Home-Game and Special-Event Blasts, PETA Says
For Immediate Release:
October 20, 2020
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Tulsa, Okla. – After fireworks at ONEOK Field started a fire at a nearby construction site, PETA sent a letter this morning urging the owners of the Tulsa Drillers to take all fireworks shows out of the ballpark’s lineup.
PETA points out that fireworks don’t just start an estimated 19,500 fires per year: The frightening explosions also cause dogs to jump fences and even break through glass doors in an attempt to escape the noise. In addition, the war-like booms cause wildlife to flee onto roads, fly into buildings, and abandon nests and can be deeply distressing to humans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Fireworks sound like an all-out war to Tulsa’s most vulnerable residents, causing far worse harm than just property damage and construction setbacks,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is urging ONEOK Field to be a good neighbor by switching to laser-light shows and other noiseless celebrations.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to the owners of the Tulsa Drillers follows.
October 20, 2020
Dear Messrs. Hubbard and Hubbard,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many hundreds across Oklahoma, in response to the fire caused by a fireworks show at ONEOK Field. We strongly urge you to cancel all plans for future shows at the stadium in order to protect all residents of Tulsa.
Traditional fireworks sound like an all-out war—not only to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but also to dogs, cats, and wildlife—and their use has devastating consequences. Terrified dogs climb or dig their way out of fenced-in yards as they frantically try to escape the chaos, resulting in increased stray-animal intakes at shelters across the nation, which further strains community resources. Many arrive with bloody paws or broken bones, some are never reunited with their families, and others are doomed to a worse fate.
Fireworks produce plumes of smoke laden with particles that are harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and other animals. Birds caught in or near fireworks displays easily choke on the toxic residue. Most birds cannot see well in the dark, so this type of disruption can lead to injuries if they inadvertently crash into power lines, cars, buildings, trees, or each other.
In addition, humans have been injured in fireworks accidents, and the displays can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory problems. Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are also sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives and the smell of the gunpowder. On average, 180 people go to emergency rooms daily with fireworks-related injuries for an entire month around July 4; in 2019, fireworks-related injuries sent an estimated 10,000 individuals to U.S. hospitals. It’s projected that fireworks start 18,000 fires per year, causing an average of $43 million in property damage every year.
We truly hope you’ll consider financing other celebratory displays, such as laser-light shows, and skip the fireworks in the future. Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk