Ask Mission Inn to Cancel Cruel Reindeer Display: sample letter
The Mission Inn in Riverside, California, is exhibiting reindeer at the Festival of Lights through January 8, 2012. These undomesticated animals—their wild instincts still very much intact—are transported to and from the hotel each weekend and subjected to a constant barrage of strange noises and sights, flashing cameras, and crowds trying to pet them. PETA contacted the hotel’s owners and urged them to cancel this exhibit, but our request has fallen on deaf ears.
Animals used in such traveling exhibits are cruelly carted from one event to the next during the holiday season. Deprived of everything that is natural and important to them, they often become despondent and develop neurotic and self-destructive behaviors, including pacing, rocking, swaying, bar-biting, and self-mutilation. Their instinctual needs, such as seeking mates, raising young, and grazing, are completely stifled. Neglectful practices, such as withholding food and water to keep them from eliminating, are routine. Such events also pose risks to public health, as reindeer can transmit numerous diseases to humans, such as contagious ecthyma, brucellosis, anthrax, salmonellosis, rabies, toxoplasmosis, sarcoptic mange, and ringworm.
Please contact the Mission Inn and politely implore it to cancel this cruel exhibit.
WHOM TO CONTACT
Duane Roberts, CEO
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
Dear CEO Roberts and Executive Assistant Mueller,
It has come to my attention that Mission Inn in Riverside, California, is exhibiting reindeer at the Festival of Lights. Since animals used in traveling exhibits display many negative consequences, such as despondence and neurotic and self-destructive behaviors, including pacing, rocking, swaying, bar-biting, and self-mutilation, I am therefore respectfully urging you to help these reindeer and instead protect them from such destructive habits.
Please allow me to elaborate. Reindeer are complex animals who experience suffering and joy, communicate with each other, and who also have the capacity to nurture complex relationships and display grief upon separation. Furthermore, their instinctual needs are suppressed from the lack of a nurturing environment and are they are instead subjected to noise, strange sights, and flashing cameras. Additionally, food and water is routinely withheld so the animals won’t relieve themselves while on display.
This also proves medically dangerous to humans considering that reindeer can transmit numerous diseases to humans, such as contagious ecthyma, brucellosis, anthrax, salmonellosis, rabies, toxoplasmosis, sarcoptic mange, and ringworm. I would hope any organization that shares a core principle of human enrichment via entertainment, such as yours, would be equally concerned with any disease-spreading forms of exhibits.
Please instead take this opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to protect rather than harm animals, and be a model for other cities by discontinuing using the reindeer in your exhibit.
I know your time is limited and I thank you for your attention regarding this important message.
reindeer do not belong on display
they are not cartoon animals
that pull santa’s sleigh
they have feelings and
they want to be
in their quiet habitat
with their own company
Karen Lyons Kalmenson