Target: William L. Jenkins, President/Chancellor at Louisiana State University
Goal: End Louisiana State University live mascot tradition
Huge football schools throughout the United States have the tradition of using live mascots to represent their universities. Ever since 1936, Louisiana State University has used live tigers to portray their mascots, the Fighting Tigers or the Bayou Bengals. Mike the Tiger is currently the sixth tiger that the university has hired and Mike VI should be their last one.
Louisiana State University’s first tiger, Mike I was kidnapped by another football team. The tiger was taken in his cage and moved to New Orleans. The cage was vandalized and spray painted with the word Tulane in green. The stress and danger inflicted on that tiger was irreversible and unacceptable. Mike I was mistreated and would not have been if he was not a caged mascot. With strong football rivalries, Mike VI and future mascots may also be in danger.
Using live animal mascots is a form of animal cruelty. These animals are locked up in small cages with no other companions. They are subjected to stares and taunts all day by students and employees of the university. Furthermore, these tigers and other big cats are often hired from organizations that do not take proper care of their animals as well. By hiring these animals, the universities are also indirectly supporting animal cruelty. On top of that, incorporating live animal mascots as a symbol of the university influences other universities to do the same.
Washington State University caught on to the trend and used the presence of a live tiger as motivation during the football team’s practices. Loyola Marymount University decided to hire a lion for the first day of classes. Both animals were subjected to poor conditions. These animals are active cats, and their cages did not provide any space for them to walk around. The animals were also left outside in hot conditions without shade.
Universities have a lot of school spirit and pride. However, their energy and passion may have overshadowed the more important issues at hand. These animals belong in the wild where they can roam freely and live with companions. They definitely do not deserve to be placed in these conditions merely to entertain people. Louisiana State University must help protect these beautiful cats by ceasing to use live tigers to represent their school.
Dear William L. Jenkins, President/Chancellor at Louisiana State University,
I realize that using live tigers have been a tradition at your university since 1936. Louisiana State University has had six tigers to represent the school’s mascots, the Fighting Tigers or the Bayou Bengals. Although I respect your school spirit and passion, tigers do not deserve to be caged up and displayed as entertainment and it is about time that you put an end to this tradition. The very first tiger that the university had was kidnapped and mistreated by a rival school, and you cannot risk possible dangers for the current tiger, Mike VI.
Keeping these cats in cages is a form of animal cruelty. These animals naturally roam in the open, and they are not use to small confinements. On top of mistreatment and poor conditions, by having a live mascot, you are encouraging other schools to do the same. This can very much lead to a vicious domino effect in which more and more of these beautiful big cats are subjected to small cages merely to be entertainment for the students.
You must put an end to this tradition and help protect future tigers.
[Your Name Here]