Apparently it is common for students at Kansas State to sneak live chickens into the auditorium when their team plays rival Kansas, whose mascot is the Jayhawk. The student(s) then throw the chicken out onto the floor as a way of mocking the Jayhaw mascot.
Yeah, it didn’t make any sense to me either.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got wind of the practice, however, and sent a letter to Kansas State objecting to this mistreatment of animals.
The athletic department followed up with a statement asking fans to discontinue the tradition, saying,
These actions severely tarnish the image of our University, its athletics teams and the majority of our outstanding fans and supporters and while viewed by many as harmless pranks, these acts are likely illegal.
PETA’s Debbie Leahy told the Associated Press, “Any student who throws live birds on a basketball court should be thrown out of school.”
A bigger question might be how the chicken throwers managed to get in to Kansas State in the first place.
N.C. vs. Duke: blood feud. Reggie Hayes, The News-Sentinel (Indiana), March 6, 2007.
Kansas State Athletic Department Condemns Chicken Toss. Associated Press, February 28, 2007.
The Associated Press reported today that Bobby Berosini lost his final appeal in this long-running battle with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
According to the Associated Press, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling requiring Berosini to pay $250,000 in legal fees that PETA incurred in lawsuits related to a defamation lawsuit that Berosini filed against PETA in the late 1980s.
Berosini initially won the first round after a jury awarded him a $3.1 million judgment against PETA. That award, however, was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court and Berosini was ordered to pay PETA’s legal fees.
According to PETA, Berosini actually paid the $250,000 amount in question in the latest round of lawsuits several years ago.
Former Las Vegas showman loses PETA legal fights fee. Associated Press, March 5, 2007.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently awarded grants of $1,500 to 15 animal shelters around the country. What did these shelters have to do to be recipients of PETA’s largesse? They each are boycotting Iams pet food because of PETA’s allegations that Iams relies on “painful and often deadly laboratory tests on dogs, cats, and other animals.”
PETA’s Mary Beth Sweetland told The Lake City Report (Florida),
Nearly 100 shelters have decided to boycott Iams after learning about the company’s cruel and unnecessary tests on animals. Iams uses its profits to create misery for dogs and cats, but these shelters need funds for their vital work of protecting animals from harm.
Iams spokesman Kurt Iverson responded by saying that PETA is,
. . . spreading a lot of untruths and sensationalized stories. The story that they are telling is based on a facility we used two years ago and that we no longer use. They also don’t tell you that the person that was gathering their video footage was the person Iams was paying to take care of those dogs and cats.
PETA donates $1,500 to local animal shelter. Justin Lang, Lake City Reporter (Florida), January 27, 2005.
As long time watchers of the organization probably realize by now, there is simply no absurdity which People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will refuse to embrace in the furtherance of this cause. PETA is currently unhappy with cable television’s “Animal Planet” because of a new series which uses technology to provide viewers with a unique, vivid look at predators.
The series, “Spy on the Wild,” involves placing miniaturized cameras on animals and then recording what they do naturally. The Los Angeles Times sums up what viewers see in a “Spy on the Wild” episode on peregrine falcons,
In “Spy on the Wild,” the falcon takes off and glides in “Matrix”-style slow motion, in death defying barrel rolls. A miniature camera attached to the bird’s neck shows the ground rushing up.
Then the image dives underwater to a close-up of a shrimp’s claw. The force of this claw is so great, says the narrator, that it momentarily boils the water when it slams onto prey.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would apparently prefer that shows like this simply not be made. The Los Angeles Times quotes PETA’s Laura Brown saying (emphasis added),
When animals are portrayed as violent creatures, it encourages animal cruelty. No animal should ever be used simply for entertainment, particularly when you have to strap cameras to their backs or attach bulky devices.
Presumably, peregrine falcons and other predators should only be shown in their natural environment munching on tofu or perhaps queing up to order a veggie burger.
Animal planet bares its competitive teeth. Charles Duhigg, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2005.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals activist Jason Baker was fined $15 by authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for protesting outside a KFC in that city.
The Associated Press quoted Baker as saying,
Everyone knows Vietnam is not a place where you demonstrate.
. . .
I would do it over again in a heartbeat.
I would encourage him to do so (and maybe the next time he’s there, Baker might want to take note of the appalling human rights problem in Vietnam — or would that be asking too much of a “compassionate” person like Baker?)
Michigan man fined $15 after protesting outside KFC in Vietnam. Associated Press, November 25, 2004.
UK newspapers are reporting that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is unhappy with a Heinz ketchup advertisment that features a hamster.
The ad features a hamster in a cage drinking from a ketchup bottle instead of a water bottle.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said of the ad,
We are concerned about child copycat incidences arising from this ad. Hay, grass, cereal mix and water are an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet and in no case should water be replaced with ketchup.
Heinz said in response that, “The advert is about exaggerating the fact that all foods taste better with Heinz Tomato Ketchup, and in no way is Heinz encouraging families to copy the adverts.”
Wow. The first place I ran across this was in British tabloid The Sun and assumed it was a hoax or, at best, exaggerated, but numerous other British newspapers are reporting the same story.
The RSPCA has really mastered the art of unintentional self-parody of late.
Heinz tomato ketchup guinea pig ad criticised by RSPCA. Media Bulletin, November 23, 2004.
Guinea pig’s tomato sauce TV role leaves a bad taste. Russell Jackson, Scotsman.Com, November 23, 2004.
RSPCA criticises guinea pig ad. ITV.Com, November 23, 2004.
Fury over new ketchup ad. The Sun, November 23, 2004.