Donna Brothers is a former jockey turned NBC broadcaster. Last week she penned a lengthy op-ed piece in response to animal rights activist group P.E.T.A. writing that the organization is “not pro-animals, and they are behaving like a bully.”
Ms. Brothers dug into the numbers, such as P.E.T.A.’s high kill rate of animals in its care, and she documented the group’s legal battles over the years. Her hope was to illustrate that this group isn’t the one you want responsible for horses’ care; nor does racing want to allow P.E.T.A. a seat at the table, where it will try to control the narrative of racing reform with the use of outrageous hyperbole.
“The deeper I dug into my investigation, the more insanity I uncovered,” Brothers wrote. “P.E.T.A. 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 P.E.T.A. delivers even to perfectly healthy and happy animals.”
Brothers also included a call to action: asking owners and trainers to share photos of themselves with their 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, P.E.T.A. 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?”
To read the piece in its entirety go to Donna’s Twitter account @DonnaBBrothers.