Battlin’ the Battlin’ Beavers
D.C. – According to a Fox
News story released on Tuesday, March 13, 2001 "The U.S.
Commission on Civil Rights will vote next month on a statement that
would condemn sports teams or mascots named after American Indians
as violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
adopted and widely accepted, the statement could eventually lead
to a cutoff in federal funding for schools that cling to traditions
like the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux or the University
of Illinois' mascot Chief Illiniwek."
in a related story, Willow Gaia-Oatbran, spokesperson for PETA,
or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, announced that their
organization would immediately begin a preliminary investigation
into whether the use of animal names as mascots in any way violates
federal statues against animal abuse, perhaps even the Endangered
Species Act of 1973.
animals subjected to enough," asked Ms. Gaia-Oatbran, "without
their having to deal with the violent stereotypes usually associated
with school, university and professional sports mascots?
for example, the "Stormy Petrels" of Oglethorpe University
in Atlanta, Georgia. The term "stormy" seems to imply
a tempestuous demeanor, perhaps verging on manic depression. PETA
feels this a cruel aspersion to cast on an innocent creature of
nature. Due to the suggested reference to mental illness, this mascot
may also be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
about the "Power Gulls" of Endicott College in Beverly,
Massachusetts? Does this mascot name not imply domination, most
likely associated with the male subjugation of the female? Is it
responsible for us to perpetuate this clearly unenlightened stereotype?
of the most offensive mascots, to many of us who hold animal rights
as dearly as our own, is the "Battlin’ Beavers" of Blackburn
College in Carlinville, Illinois. This is a clear attempt to represent
the beaver as an aggressive animal, which further perpetuates the
myth that the beaver is a risk to humans. It is a well-documented
fact that the last known beaver attack on a human was well over
thirty years ago, and it was clearly provoked. Any effort to continue
the misrepresentation of this animal’s true nature gives shelter
to trappers, hunters and others who would use animals for man’s
could go on documenting the devastation to animals caused by the
inconsiderate use of animal names as mascots," continued Gaia-Oatbran,
"but we believe sufficient evidence of abuse has been presented.
PETA will pursue all avenues available to bring federal law to bear
in ceasing this practice."
attempts were made to contact UGA
VI, mascot for the University of Georgia, and War
Eagle VI at Auburn University, but they were unavailable for
Allen is a technology professional in Georgia. As a reformed Yankee,
who has lived in the South for roughly twenty years, he has very
little tolerance for Northern sanctimony, or the erosion of individual
© 2001 LewRockwell.com