PETA Calls For Mississippi State To Retire ‘Bully The Bulldog’ And Remove Him From The Sidelines After Collision With Auburn Player
PETA has an issue with Mississippi State and their use of a live mascot.
This weekend, Miss State’s ‘Bully The Bulldog’ was shaken up after being involved in a collision with an Auburn player on the sideline.
Bully was briefly taken off the field to undergo some tests but would later return to the sidelines.
After the incident, PETA Senior Director Marta Holmberg wrote a letter to Miss State University President Mark E. Keenum calling for the school to end the use of live mascots.
Dear Dr. Mark E. Keenum,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide. Concerned citizens are contacting us about an incident in which a football player apparently collided with Jak, Mississippi State’s live bulldog mascot, during the September 28 game against Auburn University.
In light of this close call—which could easily have left Jak severely injured or even dead—as well as the cruelty inherent in using living beings as “mascots,” I urge you to retire Jak and pledge not to use live animals in the future and to retire the “Bully The Bulldog’ tradition.
Using vulnerable animals as mascots is a recipe for disaster. For example, at this year’s Sugar Bowl, Bevo, the longhorn steer used by the University of Texas, apparently broke out of an enclosure and charged the University of Georgia’s bulldog mascot, Uga, nearly trampling him.
Even if animals survive their stints as mascots without losing a limb or their life, it’s hard to imagine that they enjoy appearing before raucous crowds. Being forced into a stadium full of bright lights, screaming fans, and loud noises can be stressful—and even terrifying—for sensitive animals like dogs, who would much rather be at home with loving guardians.
Bulldogs like Jak are also predisposed to many congenital ailments as a result of inbreeding and being bred for distorted physical features, including severe breathing difficulties, hip dysplasia, and heart disorders. Poor ventilation and hot or humid weather can be deadly for bulldogs, and traveling is especially taxing on them. What’s more, breeding dogs to use as mascots—or for any reason—is unconscionable, given our country’s staggering canine overpopulation crisis.
Public opinion has turned against using animals for “entertainment,” and most universities and professional sports teams have switched to using costumed human mascots instead of real animals. Unlike animals, human mascots can lead cheers, interact with the crowd, and pump up the team—all willingly.
May we please have your assurance that you will bring Mississippi State into the 21st century by giving Jak the retirement he deserves and pledging not to use real animals as mascots? Thank you for your attention to this important issue.
While I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the use of live mascots I’m sure many Miss State fans feel strongly about keeping “Bully The Bulldog” on the sidelines.