Most sports teams have some kind of mascot to help cheer them on and keep morale high. This usually takes the form of a human dancing and parading around in a large animal costume. However, the practice of using live animal mascots is a sad reality that some teams still partake in today. This is completely unethical and unnecessary, as it’s so easy to just pay a consenting human to wear a costume. Instead, the force animals to be in small enclosures, surrounded by loud noises and bright lights, which is obviously extremely disorienting and stressful. Like zoo animals, these poor animals suffer as a result of the trauma that captivity causes. It can even cause dangerous outbursts, as was the case at the 2019 Sugar Bowl.

Source: ESPN College Football/Youtube

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Bevo is the University of Texas’s longhorn steer and Uga is the bulldog mascot for the University of Georgia. During the teams’ football game against each other, the mascots were set up to meet each other in the middle of a large crowd. While Uga was waiting patiently on the sidelines with his handler, Bevo tried to break free and run towards the tiny bulldog with his head down and horns out. Fortunately, both animals were fine; however, it goes to show how dangerous the use of animals as mascots can be.

Animals are not props, they are living, breathing beings. While other teams have moved on from using live animals as mascots, others like UGA, UT, Louisiana State University, among others, have not. These schools are subjecting the animals they claim to love to unnecessary stress and unnatural situations.

Sign this petition to demand that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tell their members to ban the use of live animal mascots!

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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