Target: Speaker of the House, John Boehner
Goal: Permanently ban the use of live animal mascots in colleges.
While college fans celebrate and cheer for their team, there are some in the stands who are not enjoying the festivities. It is unfortunate that some universities keep live animal mascots near the cacophony of noise that coincide with football games and other festivities. Unlike humans, animals rarely get excited or pumped up when they are around loud noises; they would rather run away from it. And yet humans keep them caged near these noises, thereby adding stress to their already unnatural environment. Sign this petition and tell Speaker of the House John Boehner to eliminate live animal mascots from schools.
In 2007, it was estimated that 33 colleges and universities used live animal mascots. Here are some examples of the animals that suffer for school spirit. Uga, the live bulldog from the University of Georgia died from a heart condition that his father also suffered and died from. Experts believe that Uga’s death was the result of poor breeding. Baylor houses two bear cubs, and have been using these animals since the 1920’s. The college has gone through 50 cubs since 1932, and these cubs are housed in separate cages. And finally, there is Mike the Tiger from Louisiana State University, who is a traveling mascot.
You may think that fans must adore these live animal mascots, after all, what is there not to love? Unfortunately, these animals are not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. The bear cubs that Baylor houses routinely show signs of anxiety and stress, as they have been known to pace and hurt themselves. Bill the Goat, who is the Navy’s mascot, has been stolen repeatedly and previous goats have been killed through improper treatment.
While school spirit is important for colleges and universities, animals shouldn’t be mistreated for human amusement. Animals should be allowed to exhibit natural behaviors and live in a shelter or natural habitat, not crammed into a cage or traveling on the road. Tell Speaker of the House John Boehner to discontinue this mistreatment of animal mascots by banning the practice immediately.
Dear Speaker of the House John Boehner,
It upsets me that there are schools in the United States that allow live animal mascots. As a place of learning, these campuses shouldn’t allow animals to suffer for the sake of humans. While I believe that school pride is a part of the learning environment, causing an animal to suffer should not be included in the curriculum.
Many of these live animal mascots have shown signs of distress, such as pacing in their cages or hurting themselves. These animals have been recycled out for younger cubs, or kidnapped because they have been seen as an object and not as an animal. It is time to end this practice. I implore you to ban the use of live animal mascots in all schools, and send these animals to a sanctuary or refuge where they can practice natural behaviors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gian2347 via Wikimedia Commons