For Immediate Release:
August 26, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Danbury, Conn. – With fireworks planned for the Danbury Fair mall next Friday, PETA sent a letter today to Brooke Manno, the mall’s senior manager of business development, with an offer: If Danbury Fair agrees to fireworks-free festivities—which would be kinder to wildlife, animal companions, and vulnerable humans—PETA will dish up free vegan ice cream for every attendee this year.
“The booms and blasts of fireworks scare wildlife out of their nests, terrorize dogs out of their yards, and send veterans back to the worst days of war,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is eager to help Danbury Fair kick off the holiday weekend with a celebration that’s fun, not frightening.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Manno follows.
August 26, 2021
Senior Manager, Business Development
Dear Ms. Manno:
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 across Connecticut, in response to your decision to include a fireworks display in Danbury Fair’s upcoming annual event on September 3. We strongly urge you to cancel the fireworks and provide an alternative event in order to protect all residents of Danbury.
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 an even worse fate.
Fireworks produce plumes of smoke laden with particles that are harmful to animals’ respiratory systems. Birds caught in or near fireworks displays choke on the toxic residue. The California Coastal Commission banned the city of Gualala’s display when, following a 2006 show, seabirds fled their nests, leaving their chicks vulnerable to predators. 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 one case, 5,000 birds died on a New Year’s Eve in Arkansas after a fireworks display caused them to take flight and slam into objects such as houses and cars.
In addition, many 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 can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives and the smell of the gunpowder.
Your event already offers so many other wonderful entertainment options—we hope you’ll consider providing other celebratory displays, like a laser-light show, and skip the fireworks this year and in the future. If you agree to cancel them, PETA will hand out free vegan ice cream to attendees at the event. Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,