Cancel Cruel Frog-Killing Contest

Target: Patrick Cripps, Principal of DeKalb County High School; Mark Willoughby, Director of Schools

Goal: Urge school officials to cancel a fundraiser that involves spearing and killing frogs.

An upcoming “Giggin’ for Grads” fundraiser in DeKalb County, Tennessee may help a high school senior defray college costs, but it also means the cruel killing of wild frogs. Raising money for college and protecting wild animals are by no means mutually exclusive concepts. Sign the petition and urge DeKalb County to come up with a more humane fundraising idea.

No one will deny that college is expensive these days and that scholarship opportunities are not quite as plentiful as one would hope. The DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers’ upcoming “Giggin’ for Grads” fundraiser aims to provide a high school senior with a scholarship based on the proceeds from the event. All the participants have to do is impale and kill fifteen frogs each over the course of one night. The heaviest bag of dead frogs wins a percentage of the money raised from the event.

There are a number of problems with this scheme. First and foremost is the nature of the competition itself, which is based on the widespread hunting of wild animals. (Gigging, while legal, is subject to hunting and fishing regulations in most states.) The method of hunting—using a sharp, pronged stick called a gig—is also unnecessarily cruel. In the rush of the contest, it is unlikely that any speared frogs will be put out of their misery; instead, they will slowly die of their wounds. A large group of people hunting frogs will also disrupt other area wildlife and have the potential to damage natural habitats as contest participants blunder around in the dark. The current fundraiser also poses a large risk to participants, who are essentially all running around in the dark with sharp sticks, and risks alienating potential donors who feel uncomfortable with the frog-killing aspect of the fundraiser.

Bright, young, college-bound students should be discouraged from acts of cruelty, not taught to benefit from them. Sign the petition and urge DeKalb County to come up with a positive, cruelty-free way of supporting its graduating students.


Dear Mr. Cripps and Mr. Willoughby,

College is a daunting financial burden for many students, and the DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers’ desire to offer aid to students is admirable. What is not at all acceptable, however, is the method of raising the money. The proposed “Giggin’ for Grads” fundraiser propagates completely unnecessary acts of animal cruelty, poses a safety risk to participants, and risks alienating potential supporters.

Gigging is an unnecessarily inhumane method of hunting frogs. Once speared, the frogs suffer slow, agonizing deaths. (It is unlikely, in the heat and rush of competition, that any frogs will be “put out of their misery” once they have been caught, as participants will be trying to find enough large frogs within the contest’s given time limit.) The fundraiser should celebrate the accomplishments of DeKalb County seniors, not the wholesale torture and killing of small wildlife.

Furthermore, the nature of gigging does not foster the safest competitive environment; contest participants are essentially blundering around in dark, marshy areas while carrying sharp weapons—and they are surrounded by other people doing the same. The potential for accidents is enormous, and the nature of the competition creates an unnecessary safety liability for contest organizers.

Finally, it is entirely possible that the contest will alienate donors who would love to support DeKalb County students but have a problem with the event itself. Given these points, I urge you to reject the “Giggin’ for Grads” fundraiser and replace it with one that focuses the attention where it belongs: on the students and their own accomplishments, rather than on animal cruelty.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alan D. Wils via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. J Davidson says:

    Too horrific for words. What’s wrong with these humanoids????? There are so many constructive ways to earn college scholarships!!!! How about community service at a local animal shelter????? Teach peace and compassion!!!!!

  2. UNBELIEVABLE! really Tennessee? I can’t believe this is America. SHAME ON YOU TENNESSEE. We can avoid giving them tourist dollars. Screw you TN.

    • Southern reptile says:

      I like frog legs. I like fish. U p_ssys keep your tourism dollars out of every state that likes frog legs and fish. Eat your veggies and shut the heck up.

    • You’re saying this when people in Washington are raising ad killing oysters for people’s food. Plenty of states are raising their own animals just to kill for their own food. And the deal with tourism?? We have enough people here. If they don’t like us or what we do then trust me we do not want them here!!

  3. Alison Lamont says:

    You Americans can be really repugnant at times. Still, what can you expect from a nation that thinks it’s OK for kids to own guns.

  4. gabriella taylor says:

    The officials of this school are literally and bonafiably DEMENTED… as are the children and the parents who raised these kids to be barbarians. No, wait, “barbarians” would be too nice a term to use on these sub-human primordial scum.

    • Again – this even is NOT sponsored by the school or any school officials.
      It is the young farmers and ranchers who are sponsoring this event as a fund raiser for a future scholorship they will award.

  5. I really thought id heard it all.
    nope..another example of human stupidity/cruelty for PROFIT

  6. gabi taylor says:

    To The School’s DENIAL:

    If this school’s pupils sought out other children to beat up for a fundraiser, WOULD THE SCHOOL STEP IN or simply ignore it?

    Fucking hicks.

    • You really think you sound like you’re making a point?? The kids are killing frogs not humans. I can’t believe you would even compare this to beating children! And we’re not hicks. We’re humans that grow our own food and hunt for food, the only means of getting food for many people around here.

    • The fact that you are comparing “beating” children and killing a few frogs makes you look like the idiot! We’re not hicks. We are people who have to work for our food, whether growing it or hunting it ourselves. They are animals. Yes us “hicks” love animals, but we know that humans are more important than an animal and anyone who disagrees with that is the one with the problem!!

  7. You people obviously do not understand the “circle of life”. I’m sure most of these frogs will get eaten. What’s the difference in eating an egg? Which IS in infact an unborn animal… Or a cow? Or chicken? Not a damn thing. Grow up people. If you don’t like it, oh well. Get a life. Yankees.

  8. Really people??!!!!! I mean , come on… The majority of DeKalb county is country and we “frog gig” just like you may shoot a deer, turkey, or whatever it may be just to hang it’s head over your mantle. The only difference is that around here we eat what we “harvest”… I am not for “animal cruelty”, as far as starving, fighting, or beating animals, but I guarante you that the frogs that are harvested from this will be eaten by some very appreciative folks, not just thrown away… I love animals of all kinds myself , but you people are just ridiculous!!!! Frog gigging is not a recent thing… People have done this for years as a source of food and I’m sure that many of you that are screaming “animal cruelty” for some kids out frog gigging to raise money for a scholarship have sat in your fancy restaurants and ate frog legs that you ordered off a menu and didn’t think a thing about where they came from or how they got there… I am just discussed at the people who are all about “animal cruelty” but don’t care to go to a restaurant and order frog legs or beef for that matter… Where do you think that they got the meat you are eating???? Someone KILLED it!!! And I have been frog gigging and ate frog legs (and love them) and gigging a frog isn’t any more INHUMANE than slaughtering a cow or pig or whatever your choice be, so get off your high horse and get over it!!! As long as someone is eating it, who cares!!! You people who are all about “animal cruelty”, I’m sure you don’t eat any kind of meat and are vegans and don’t hunt at all…. If not, then don’t criticise others for doing it, cause just because you order it off a menu don’t mean that it wasn’t gigged or shot or whatever…. It was alive at some point or you wouldn’t have it to eat!!!!

  9. Liberals… They are frogs… This is an easy way for kids to earn money to help pay for college. Think about the kids for once instead of your “precious” animals.

  10. A few things here…

    I am an animal lover, & I absolutely hate the concept of frog gigging. I think it’s cruel & unnecessary. With that said, there are many here who obviously value the lives of a few frogs over humans. I think that’s one of the main problems with our world today. Brain transplants from dying chickens? Really Mr. Zukor? Wow. Maybe YOU need a brain transplant.

    Second…this event is not being sponsored, promoted, endorsed, etc. by the school nor any of the administration. Again, people get their facts wrong and immediately go on the defensive against people who don’t even have anything to do with the situation. Mr. Willoughby and the rest of the administration are being asked (and harassed) to change something that’s completely out of their control. A signature on a petition targeted towards the school administration against an event that is out of their hands is a waste of your time. This event is being organized by a community group. If you want to try to stop it, you should probably try starting with them.

  11. Instead of frog gigging they should change it to PETA gigging. PETA is nothing more than hippies not wanting to live their own lives but instead forcing their beliefs on the rest of America.

    • Alison Lamont says:

      What a childish and ignorant comment to make Chad. Very selfish and blinkered as most humans are when confronted by things they don’t understand. Stop and think about the issues being raised, do some actual research instead of being dictated to by your peers, and then take a good long look in the mirror if you can stomach it. Think about something bigger than your life and then ask yourself this: ‘Do I want to be on the side of cruelty and inhumanity, (which is where you currently are), or do I want to be a better human being?’ Not many people are brave enough or astute enough to actually take the time to find out about and understand the issues and very few are big enough to admit that they were wrong. I’m not a hippy, just a very busy normal happy person and it took me 48 years before I finally cottoned on about the horrendous things that go on around us in the world. Be brave and find out some more instead of fighting it without any real knowledge 🙂

    • M HAYDUKE says:

      gig yourself

  12. Frog legs are AWESOME! Ya’ll have no idea what yer talkin bout!

  13. M HAYDUKE says:

    THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING, this was a fledgling cause and now its a success here in DEKALB COUNTY. WE WIN REDNECKS.

  14. No petitions will stop the competition. Matter of fact it just made more people from other counties sign up. Dekalb isnt the first county to have a giggin competition. We are just giving money to grads for it. Its food just like any other meat. I guess ringing a chickens neck is bad too.

  15. Kathleen Williams says:

    Since FB is not for me, the following is in response to Suzanne Whisnant Cox, owner of Ans Farms – who sponsors and advertises this tournament on and Ans Farms’ FB page (my comments were also previously directed at Governor Haslam via email):

    How ironic, and thoroughly hypocritical, that ignorance is behind such a barbarous contest in order to win a scholarship.

    By promoting a competition that intentionally involves inflicting fear, physical pain and prolonged suffering, you teach the participants that it’s acceptable to be cruel and merciless in a supposedly civilized society. In other words, the lesson learned is the antithesis of Albert Schweitzer’s Nobel Peace Prize winning philosophy “Reverence for Life.”

    “Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil.”  -Albert Schweitzer

    “Reverence for Life says that the only thing we are really sure of is that we live and want to go on living. This is something that we share with everything else that lives… So we are brothers and sisters to all living things, and owe to all of them the same care and respect that we wish for ourselves.” -James Brabazon (Author of the Biography of Albert Schweitzer)

    So congratulations, Tennessee, for demonstrating irresponsible leadership – as evidenced by your lack of academic excellence and your unscrupulous attitude regarding hunting in general… YOU take the prize for that.

    • I was almost certain frog gigging taught kids how to… wait for it… GIG FROGS!(Big surprise). I find it hilarious that some pseudo-intellectual with way too much time on her hands tries to link something as simple as hunting frogs with the intricate flaws in society, and then proceeds to post quotes that have absolutely nothing to do with anything, as if there’s some great lesson to be learned from what you are saying. You are a moron. Don’t ever step foot in the south. This is a way of life for many people down here, and you’re not going to “force change” on anyone. Who the hell do you think you are? You are nobody.

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