Jessica Baranko argues that a university mascot is more than just a mascot; it is a symbol of the university and something that students can identify with when they graduate. Universities and also sports teams receive criticism from various interest groups such as PETA and Native American tribes in their use of mascots, or at the least the type of mascot. This article sets to examine the reasons why real life animals should not be used for sports and entertainment purposes.
1. Pain & Suffering:
Animals are living creatures that feel pain similarly to human beings. Jordi Casamitjan believes that suffering and pain are biological traits that have been evolving in animals the past millions of years. The spread of pain and suffering has evolved over the animal kingdom by natural selection.
Animals cannot convey their emotions or agree/disagree. They may only oppose the actions of humans with their body movement, which at times is not helpful. Many argue that because there is no consent, using animals for sports and entertainment should not be allowed.
Animals do feel stressed when they are forced to do things they do not want. The best analogy for this is Jordi Casamitjan’s bullfight scene. A rope is tied to the bull’s neck. He shakes his head disapprovingly because he does not want to participate. He runs to the door and tries to leave the auditorium, only to be brought back by the fighter. Allowing the animal to be part of the entertainment causes stress as it goes against the will of the animal.
This is unacceptable and inhumane. Arrests have been made the owner has treated his pet with cruelty. How is this situation different? Entertainment uses the animal for pleasure. How would any of us like it if we were tortured against our will? We would definitely say it is inhumane.
4. Welfare problems:
Animal Welfare Online argues that keeping animals like dolphins and whales in dolpharias causes welfare problems for the animals. Again, the idea of capturing the whale or dolphin can be very stressful which can cause injury or death to the animal trying to escape. All this is done to entertain humans.
5. No legitimate reason:
Unless it is absolutely necessary, there is no legitimate reason why animals should be used. Although many animals are used as mascots, they are not always treated humanely. Where do we draw the line? How should we draw the line?
6. Not belonging:
PETA argues that big cats, bears, and other live-animal sports mascots don’t belong at athletic events. The vivid lights, noisy and screaming fans are frightening for these animals. They cannot and do not understand what is happening and become defensive as a result.
7. Risk to humans:
Having a wild animal in an entertainment setting is definitely a risk to humans, especially in bullfights. Many matadors die or get severely hurt by bulls that are angered.
8. Human Alternatives:
There are costumes for people to wear. You really do not need a real life animal to make the event entertaining. According to PETA, various schools offer scholarships to students who are chosen to be the schools’ mascots.
9. Prejudice to Native Americans:
Native American tribes are united when it comes to opposing sports teams using Native American names for mascots. At a conference in South Dakota in 2002, they were quite clear about their beliefs.
10. Put yourself in the same situation:
Put yourself in the same situation. If the situation was reversed, would you want to be in the animal’s place?