Uga VII, Georgia’s real life bulldog mascot, recently died. On Saturday, a short ceremony took place before the game which commemorated his life and buried him in the stadium. After every Georgia bulldog dies, Georgia hires a breeder to breed another one. So obviously that’s what Georgia plans to do.
But after Uga VII’s untimely heart attack and death, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has stepped in and demanded that Georgia instead switch to a mechanical dog. Their reasoning is that the bulldog species is prone to physical challenges and diseases, and would thus be unethical to bring another one into existence. Their statement to Georgia’s athletic director said:
“In the wake of the untimely death of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) bulldog mascot, Uga VII, PETA has asked the school’s athletic director, Damon M. Evans, to replace the mascot with an animatronic dog — or to rely solely on a costumed mascot — instead of using another real bulldog. Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties, hip dysplasia, heart disorders, and other congenital ailments, and acquiring a dog from a breeder perpetuates the animal overpopulation crisis while causing another dog waiting in an animal shelter to be condemned to death.”
Sticking to tradition, Georgia will breed another bulldog to become Uga VIII, despite the request from PETA. Personally, I think Georgia is making the right decision by sticking to tradition. I am a huge sports fan, and I think that tradition is very important in sports. Breeding one more bulldog will not make a significant difference in the world, and if any bulldog should be breed, it should be the Georgia bulldog. What I’m saying is that, if it is unethical for bulldogs to exist at all, PETA should focus their energy on eliminating bulldogs altogether, rather than on one specifically. Yes, I understand that by having a bulldog as a mascot for a major sports team, fans of Georgia and other sports fans are more inclined to get a pet bulldog, but bulldogs will still exist even if Georgia switches to a mechanical mascot.
I think this story is an example of an organization not thinking things through. If it really is important that the bulldog species become extinct, which seems kind of weird in it’s own way, PETA should start by stopping average people from having them as pets. It’s crazy that their first step is to try to stop a football team from having one as a mascot.