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No Surprise: PETA Objects to Tyson's Bird Show

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 17th 2010 1:03PM
The other day when Animal Planet announced 'Taking on Tyson,' a new reality program about former heavyweight boxing champion -- and ex-convict -- Mike Tyson's love for pigeons, you had to be a little skeptical. It's hard to imagine the bruiser having a soft spot in his heart for fowl, but he does.

Well, apparently, the good folks at PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals, are not happy about the show. They aren't doubt Tyson's affection for the birds, but they deem pigeon racing -- and the breeding and caring for the birds -- as cruelty. It's as bad as dog fighting, they say.

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA prez, told PopEater.com, "One wonders whether Mike Tyson - as a self-appointed ambassador of and 'rookie' to pigeon racing - realizes that just as losing racehorses end up in the glue factory, these gentle, loyal birds who race their hearts out in order to get home to their life mates often become lost in storms or have their necks wrung for failing to beat their competitors' time."

It's hard to believe that Animal Planet would get involved in any program that would to anything knowingly harmful to animals. It kind of goes against the entire mission of the channel. But anything with Tyson is likely to court controversy. He is the man who once chewed off part of Evander Holyfield's ear during a prize fight. He's also the guy who was in 'The Hangover' last year and was surprisingly appealing. He's a mass of contradictions.

As for his pigeon prowess, even the guys on 'Pardon the Interruption' -- Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser -- were talking about this new show yesterday and attested to the fact that Tyson loves his pigeons. They'd seen him with them.

'Taking on Tyson' isn't going on the air until 2011, so presumably, they'll work out all the issues by then. PETA may never be happy with the whole idea of having pigeons placed in a competitive arena, but then they're also against all kinds of things that other people enjoy as sport. It's all a matter of perspective.

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I agree, and looing forward to see if animal planet with air it. I think it will be interesting to see.


March 17 2010 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with dan6pitcher, that comparison was either way out of line and or overtly racist. If that is the authors sense of humor maybe they shouldn't be posting. This site really needs not only somebody checking the post before they go out but also people who actually have an idea as to what they are talking about.

March 17 2010 at 4:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm confused by that first paragraph. Was that sarcasm or poor choice of words?

March 17 2010 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, what a racist comment: It's hard to believe a big black man would like a bird other than fried chicken.

You do realize that most black people would find that statement very offensive, especially considering that raising pigeons is a very common hobby amongst black people.

That being said, PETA is a joke. Those people need to give it up, because while their message of not being evil when dealing with animals is lost with all of their stupid actions. People who have pets provide them with love and a home far nicer than anything they'd ever have. Even their protests against leather clothing, meat eating and dairy are a joke because Cows would be long extinct without our need/desire to use them to provide us with so much.

I don't think anyone with half a brain takes PETA seriously, but you idiots in the press continue to pay attention to them...just like you do with the idiot TEA Party morons who don't even understand what they are protesting.

March 17 2010 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dan's comment


"...raising pigeons is a very common hobby amongst black people."

Hahaha!! I did not know that. You learn something new every day I guess. And here I am, going all these years without having raised any pigeons. I feel cheated.

March 19 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You do know who Mike Tyson is?

March 21 2010 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah well PETA are a bunch of hypocrites.


March 17 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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