Shareholder PETA Tells Exxon ‘Stop Funding Deadly Iditarod’

With Revenue Way Down, Dog Deaths at 150 Plus, Gas Giant Should Stop Fueling Alaska Race, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
December 8, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Irving, Texas – PETA, which owns stock in ExxonMobil, is submitting a shareholder resolution today asking the company to address two pressing issues that it faces—namely, the impact of the pandemic and the public’s opposition to its sponsorship of the Iditarod dogsled race—by ending its sponsorship of activities in which animals are used, abused, and even killed.

PETA notes that the pandemic has caused Exxon’s revenue to plummet, and the company is reportedly planning to cut up to 15% of its global workforce, including 1,900 jobs in the U.S., over the next year. Meanwhile, the oil giant is still giving roughly a quarter of a million dollars a year to the Iditarod, despite global protests and appeals from close to 100,000 people. Dogs used in the Iditarod are forced to pull heavy sleds about 1,000 miles through blinding blizzards and subzero temperatures. More than 220 dogs were pulled off the trail during the 2020 race because of exhaustion, illness, injury, or other causes.

Exxon is one of the race’s last major sponsors: Coca-Cola, Jack Daniel’s, Wells Fargo, and State Farm are among others who all pulled out because of a public outcry over the deaths of more than 150 dogs since the race began—a number that doesn’t include those who died during the off-season or who were deliberately killed because they didn’t run fast enough to win prizes.

“By pumping money into the cruel Iditarod dogsled race, Exxon is driving people away from its gas stations at a time when revenue really counts,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the company to stop throwing its money away on a notorious race that forces dogs to run so far and so fast that their paws bleed and their bodies break down.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind