PETA to City: Ditch the Fireworks and We’ll Help Fund Drone Display

Fourth of July Without the Bombs Bursting in Air Is Better for Wildlife, Pets, Vets, and Other Living Beings, Group Says

For Immediate Release:
April 18, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Trenton, N.J.

As Trenton Mayor Kyle Stack seeks to raise thousands of dollars to mount a Fourth of July fireworks show, PETA sent a letter to her this morning asking that she forgo the fireworks and, instead, celebrate Independence Day with drone shows, special-effects pyrotechnics, or other quiet but exciting and colorful displays that won’t cause injuries, panic, or disruption.

PETA points out that animal shelters report a spike in the number of lost dogs following loud fireworks displays and that the noise also scares wild animals onto roads, where they can be injured or killed. The stress isn’t limited to animals, either: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder often find the loud noise of the explosives upsetting.

“Drone shows are quiet, safe, practically pollution-free, and so popular that they’ve popped up everywhere from Disney World to the Olympics,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is offering to kick off a funding drive to help Trenton switch to dazzling Fourth of July displays that are safe for everyone, including wildlife, companion animals, and other vulnerable residents.”

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’s letter to Trenton Mayor Stack follows.

April 18, 2019

The Honorable Kyle Stack

Mayor of Trenton

Dear Mayor Stack,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many thousands in Michigan, with a progressive new idea that I hope will spark your interest: Would you please consider canceling the fireworks display that you’re raising funds for and substituting drone shows or other alternatives to conventional fireworks for your Independence Day display so that wildlife, domestic animals, children, noise-sensitive veterans, and elderly people can enjoy a quieter, less stressful celebration this year?

As you may know, during fireworks displays, dogs often panic and flee from loud noises, sometimes jumping through glass windows or over fences and ending up lost, seriously hurt, or even killed. Fireworks displays also scare wildlife onto roads, where they risk being hit by traffic. The loud blasts cause birds to fly into chimneys and houses—and even to panic and abandon their nests and their young. The stress caused by conventional fireworks displays also affects veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, who are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives.

Drone shows are quiet, safer, and produce virtually no air pollution, and they’re growing in popularity. You may have seen them featured at Disney World’s Starbright Holidays show, the New Year’s Eve celebration over Sydney Harbour, the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and this past Fourth of July at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, among other places. Other communities—including Banff, Alberta; Carefree, Arizona; and, at the behest of PETA, Costa Mesa, California—have implemented other ways to celebrate, such as special-effects pyrotechnics, which produce dazzling displays without high-decibel explosions.

By eliminating conventional fireworks, Trenton would allow everyone to enjoy an Independence Day celebration. If you agree, we’ll chip in to your fundraising efforts. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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