The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are once again calling on Auburn to ground all pregame eagle flights, specifically PETA staff writer Jennifer O’Connor who in a letter to the editor published in today’s Opelika-Auburn News hints that she’s simply doing the will of the Auburn people.
“We received many calls and emails from Auburn University students who are upset that Spirit smashed into a window while being used as a promotional prop,” O’Connor writes.
Promotional prop? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prefers the term “educational presentation.”
From the Southeastern Raptor Center website:
The role of Auburn University’s eagles is to promote wildlife conservation as a part of the education initiatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Raptor Center. The USF&WS permits the Raptor Center to house eagles and use them on hundreds of educational presentations each year – including Auburn’s home football games.
O’Connor claims that in addition to thousands of screaming fans (it’s more of a drone in Jordan-Hare, we’d say), animal mascots— Auburn’s eagles presumably included— are terrified by “loud noises such as air horns, marching bands and fireworks”… none of which, of course, are used during the eagle flights.
Ah, but what about those mascots who might be targeted for cruelty by rival fans, “like the ram used by the University of North Carolina who was gutted, had his throat slit and his shoulder cut off.”
Sure, that happened. But what O’Connor is either ignorant of or conveniently fails to mention is that the killing wasn’t a Wolfpack prank before the big game but an isolated incident that occurred not on campus during football season but on the family farm of the ram’s owners in February, and involved a starving, drunk vagrant with possible mental problems. Of course, there was that one time that the Tarheels’ ram was killed by its son in a coup, but as long as Spirit doesn’t sire any bad seeds ambitious enough to commit patricide, we should be good to go.
It’s our tress we have to worry about.
You can read O’Connor’s letter in it’s entirety here.
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