For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Fritch, Texas – After Friends of Lake Meredith and Alibates announced plans to fundraise for Labor Day fireworks, PETA sent the organization a letter today with a counterproposal: Be a friend to the lake’s animals by holding a laser or drone show instead and PETA will cover part of the costs. The group notes that laser light and drone shows spare wildlife a terrible fright—and they don’t release chemicals into the air, send ash into waterways, or start wildfires, as fireworks do.
“The explosions of fireworks scare wildlife out of their nests, onto roads, and even through plate-glass windows, so the best way to be a friend to Lake Meredith is to leave the animals who live there in peace,” says PETA Executive President Tracy Reiman. “PETA would be pleased to help Friends of Lake Meredith and Alibates mark Labor Day with a celebration that’s fun—not frightening.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—notes that fireworks are also frightening to animal companions and vulnerable humans, including those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
PETA’s letter to Friends of Lake Meredith and Alibates follows.
May 16, 2022
Friends of Lake Meredith and Alibates
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
Dear Friends of Lake Meredith and Alibates:
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, including many thousands across Texas—in response to your Facebook post requesting donations to fund a Labor Day fireworks display. Would you please consider celebrating with alternatives—such as laser or drone shows—in order to be a true friend to the area’s wild animals who are deeply stressed by loud fireworks? If you agree, we’ll be happy to donate to your initiative.
As you may know, fireworks trigger stress, disorientation, fear, and anxiety in wildlife. Fireworks displays can scare animals onto roads—where they risk being hit by cars—startled deer have crashed through plate glass windows, and frightened birds have slammed into walls. The loud blasts have also caused birds to panic and abandon their nests and their young. In one instance, more than 5,000 dead or dying red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky during a fireworks display in Beebe, Arkansas. And scientists studying waterfowl discovered that in reaction to fireworks shows, the birds fly en masse to dangerously high altitudes and stay aloft for as long as 45 minutes, leaving them exhausted and vulnerable.
Fireworks have also started wildfires, which kill smaller animals—such as voles, opossums, raccoons, and squirrels—who cannot flee quickly enough from fast-moving flames. Fires decimate habitats and food sources and can send ash into waterways, depleting oxygen and suffocating fish. Animals can also ingest remnants of large fireworks or fireworks debris. And fireworks release particle-laden smoke and chemicals, which contaminate the environment and can damage animals’ respiratory systems.
You already host many wonderful events for humans, such as star parties and movie nights. We hope you’ll also consider the well-being of Lake Meredith National Recreation Area’s animals by skipping the fireworks and choosing drone or laser shows instead. They’re far quieter and safer, they produce virtually no air pollution, and everyone can enjoy them. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,