PETA should stick its beak in somebody else’s laboratory. Here’s the full text of a letter from the animal rights wackos, which appears in the Montgomery Advertiser:
The crash of a bald eagle named Spirit into a window during a forced pre-game flight at the Auburn Tigers' stadium on Saturday is a sad example of how animals suffer when we drag them into human celebrations.
The screaming fans, air horns, music and booming sound systems of sports games can be stressful, terrifying and disorienting for animals. If given the choice, bald eagles make their homes near lakes, rivers, and quiet forests, far away from human disturbance.
Other birds released to commemorate human occasions, such as homing pigeons who are bred to resemble white doves, may fly for days without eating or resting, often getting lost, falling prey to predators, or succumbing to weather extremes.
Animals aren't performers or party decorations, and they don't deserve to be frightened, hurt or even killed just so we can have a momentary thrill.
In light of Spirit's disturbing accident, let's hope the Tigers will be good sports and retire their animal mascots to sanctuaries, where they can live out their days in peace and safety.
I can’t remember where I read this so I’m going strictly from memory (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong). Spirit was involved in an accident of some type when he was in the wild. The accident caused damage to his beak and he lost the hook at the tip that allows the birds to rip meat from the bones of their prey. Spirit was rescued and treated at Auburn University’s Raptor Center. He has recovered fully, but if he were released to a “sanctuary,” and he would starve to death in a matter of days.
The eagle flying before the game is a great tradition and last Saturday’s mishap was the first time any such an incident had occurred. That bird was saved from certain death by the veterinary doctors and students at Auburn and I’m sure Spirit doesn’t mind repaying that favor by thrilling the fans for a few moments before home games.
There are two things Alabama residents are passionate about—football, and making sure outsiders and control freaks keep their noses out of our business. Or, in this case, their beaks out of our pots. As far as we’re concerned, the acronym PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals. Preferably at a tailgating party on a fall Saturday afternoon.
Update: Via a friend of the blog, here’s one of the very first “viral links” on the internet. Originally domiciled at www.peta.org, this is the original People Eating Tasty Animals website. And yes, I remember it well.