For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Alpena, Mich. – The Alpena Chamber of Commerce is preparing to kick off a fundraising initiative for its Independence Day fireworks display, so PETA sent a letter this morning to the organization’s president and CEO, Adam Poll, with an offer: If he agrees to swap noisy fireworks for a laser light show—which is kind to wildlife, animal companions, and vulnerable humans, including those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—PETA will gladly contribute to fundraising efforts.
“The booms and blasts of fireworks scare wildlife out of their nests, drive terrified dogs out of their yards, and send veterans back to the worst days of war,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA would be pleased to help Alpena mark America’s independence 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, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Poll follows.
March 28, 2022
President and CEO
Alpena Chamber of Commerce
Dear Mr. Poll:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally—ahead of the fundraising initiative for your Independence Day fireworks display. We’d love to help you host a spectacular Fourth of July celebration that’s safe for all members of your community, so we have a respectful plea: Will you please host a laser light show instead of fireworks in order to protect all residents of Alpena, including humans—especially older people, those with breathing difficulties, and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder—companion animals, and wildlife? If so, we would be happy to donate to your initiative.
Fireworks are bombs bursting in air to dogs, who may frantically try to escape the chaos by climbing or digging their way out of wherever they are, leading to increased intake at animal shelters—which maxes out shelter capacity and further strains community resources. Those who arrive at shelters often have bloody paws and broken bones, and some are never reunited with their families. Others are doomed to a worse fate—hit by cars or strangled when their collars become caught on fences.
Fireworks produce plumes of smoke laden with particles that are harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and other animals, exacerbating asthma and other respiratory problems. Employees have been seriously injured in fireworks accidents during professional shows, and 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.
We hope you’ll consider alternative entertainment for your Independence Day event so that all vulnerable individuals will be able to celebrate without harm or fear. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,