Live Bison Don't Belong on Gallaudet University Campus
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Animals should not be used as live mascots for the sake of human entertainment. During the 2015 Homecoming Weekend, Gallaudet University displayed Abigail the bison on campus (shown above). Abigail was transported from out of state in a trailer and confined to a small pen near the noisy bleachers and football field, where she essentially served as a photo opportunity for spectators throughout the afternoon. Considering that bison are social animals, it was heart-breaking to see her standing there all alone.
While we recognize that the Student Body Government (Mary Harman and Ethan Sonnenstrahl Administration) reportedly took care to research and select Abigail from a living environment based on its apparent humane treatment of animals, we still do not support the idea of taking a bison away from her animal companions and free-roaming pasture to be used in this manner. Displaying a bison like this teaches both children and adults that it is acceptable to exploit animals for our pleasure.
We are living in an era where more people are becoming aware of the cruelty and inhumanity associated with zoos, circuses, and other forms of animal exploitation, including using animals in research and movie production. We would like to see Gallaudet move forward to protect animal rights. Instead of wasting funds to pay for a live bison for people to gawk at, we would rather see the money donated directly to Abigail's care, without forcing her to endure an unnecessary road trip to DC. If the place where Abigail lives is indeed a bona fide sanctuary, Gallaudet could even adopt Abigail as its live mascot from afar. Homecoming could serve as an opportunity to show large screen videos of Abigail in her home pasture and donations cud be collected for her care.
Please sign this petition to ask Gallaudet University and Mary Harman & Ethan Sonnenstrahl Administration to include in its official guidelines/policy a ban on the practice of bringing a live bison on campus for Homecoming or other events.
If you would like to send an email directly to Gallaudet, the following addresses can be used:
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