Editor's note: This letter was sent to Mayor Michael Summers, as well as local media outlets regarding the city's canceled 4th of July fireworks show.
Dear Mayor Summers,
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Ohio, thank you for skipping, albeit unintentionally, the fireworks this Fourth of July and for not rescheduling.
As evidence mounts about the dangers of fireworks for people, dogs, cats, wildlife, and the environment, we ask that you seriously consider saving money and lives by abandoning this display permanently.
Animal shelters report an increase in the number of lost dogs and cats following fireworks displays. Many animals go missing because they panic and jump over fences or break their chains, and some even jump through glass windows in order to get away from the terrifying sounds.
Besides being frightening, fireworks produce plumes of smoke that are harmful to human respiratory systems and that pollute waterways. Just two examples of places where these displays are especially dangerous include Narrowsburg, New York—the "bald-eagle capital" of New York—which canceled its longtime Fourth of July fireworks display this year over concerns for the local bald-eagle population after many baby eagles fled their nests last year, startled by the loud fireworks.
Also last year, fireworks were blamed for the deaths of thousands of birds in Arkansas. Such tragedies are not limited to birds: Every year, Americans are injured or killed in fireworks accidents, and toxic pollutants from fireworks displays can exacerbate asthma and other health problems.
While some Lakewood residents may have been disappointed to miss the show, hopefully the knowledge that animals, the Earth, and people with asthma got a break will make them proud. I think young people especially are happy to break with traditions that prove too taxing on the citizenry and the environment.
Executive Vice President
P.S. As a thank-you for skipping the fireworks this year, even though you didn't mean to, we are sending some delicious vegan cookies for you and your staff to enjoy.