Donna Brothers pens must-read: PETA 'behaving like a bully'

November 15, 2019 10:41am
Trainer Graham Motion considers it required reading. Dan Blacker suggested "Donna Brothers for commissioner" -- if there's ever to be such a thing in racing. And SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan said, "Finally, a credible spokesperson for our industry."

Brothers, the former jockey turned NBC broadcaster, penned a lengthy piece this week responding to animal rights activist group PETA, writing that the organization is "not pro-animals, and they are behaving like a bully."

Brothers dug into the numbers, such as PETA's high kill rate of animals in its care, and she documented the group's legal battles of the years. Her hope was to illustrate that this group isn't the one you want responsible for horses' care; and neither does racing want to allow PETA a seat at the table, where it's controlling the narrative of racing reform.

"The deeper I dug into my investigation, the more insanity I uncovered," Brothers wrote. "PETA doesn’t 'do' constructive discussion, and they certainly don’t 'do' reform. Until all animals are 'liberated' from humans, the trail of death and destruction they leave behind won't abate — even when that liberation means 'freedom' via a twisted definition of euthanasia that PETA delivers even to perfectly healthy and happy animals."

Brothers also included a call to action: to share your photos with your racehorses, or of that warm moment between jockey and equine athlete after the finish line, to illustrate how the industry cares for the animal.

"In many cases the media outlets are simply uninformed and, yes, this is to some extent their own fault," Brothers wrote. "However, PETA is handing them a story to tell. What sort of stories are we offering? This is the time to wear your heart on your sleeve.

"It’s long been respected on the racetrack to keep your emotions in check and stay mum about the people, horses, dogs, and cats that mean the most to you. This is not the time for stoicism—but rather, for activism. Are you with me?


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