PETA's Open Letter to Lakewood Regarding Fireworks Show

Animal advocacy group pens letter to Lakewood, praising the administration's decision to cancel 4th of July fireworks show.

Editor's note: This letter was sent to Mayor Michael Summers, as well as local media outlets regarding the .

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.

Sincerely yours,

Tracy Reiman

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.

Evan Hammersmith July 09, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Vegan cookies! The citizens of Lakewood lost out, but the city staffers are the big winners with a tray of Vegan cookies. Hell yeah! To PETA: Thanks for your concern for the asthmatic population, but you callously left out those who suffer from inner ear damage from loud booms, and the retinal damage caused from the intense light display. .
Joseph Kissel July 09, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Toughen up people!
will July 09, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Once again, PETA has gone beyond the scope of their duties to write a letter about something that really doesn't concern them. Lakewood's fireworks go over the lake. When most birds are asleep or gone. Granted there is some pollution to the lake from the leftover fireworks landing in it but the impact is negligible at best. Peta should only complain if we were chopping down trees or dumping pollutants into the lake or rivers. Everyone should send PETA a big box of steaks and chops with a message to keep the hell out of our city and its politics.
Connie July 09, 2012 at 04:33 PM
PETA is a wonderful organization. They cannot possibly name every bad thing that can happen as a side affect from fireworks. Can you not accept a thank you?
Adam July 09, 2012 at 04:50 PM
PETA may do some questionable things at times, but this clearly isn't one of them.. they aren't complaining, they aren't accusing, they're just giving a simple thank you and sending some treats.. no need to jump on them for no reason, which is what people usually accuse them of doing, give them a break.. at their core they're a great organization of people doing great work, it's just how they go about executing that work that sometimes may not be as effective as it could be
Steve July 09, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Sorry, but PETA and the Susan Komen 'race for the cure', WERE good organizations once. Now I would not give them the time of day, too greedy, with questionable Leaders, that seem to spin on a dime. Now if this was the ASPCA, then I would approve!
Busy Mom in Lkwd July 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Connie, PETA's note was not heartfelt. They took Lakewood's loss as an opportunity to exploit their cause. I am sure Lakewood will be having a wonderful firework display next year.
DAVE GIORGI July 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Steve July 09, 2012 at 06:30 PM
@Evan- I agree. Those 2:30am motorcycles roaring down Madison & Detroit are deafening. And those cop cars sure put my pupils in place, as does all the late night light pollution here in Lakewood. Guess I will have to adjust, cause it ain't goin away anytime soon.
Steve July 09, 2012 at 06:33 PM
@ Dave- quite yelling, your caps are on....It hurts my eyes you see.
DAVE GIORGI July 09, 2012 at 07:07 PM
You got my message - didn't you!
Steve July 09, 2012 at 07:34 PM
No, only a headache and eye strain...
Evan Hammersmith July 09, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Komen supports planned parenthood. For that I'll support other cancer organizations. PETA is a joke. You're right, the ASPCA is better in every way.
Evan Hammersmith July 09, 2012 at 08:16 PM
@Steve, I hope you read my post as tongue-in-cheek as was meant. I thought PETA's letter would have fit right in on the Onion.
Dan Alaimo July 09, 2012 at 09:51 PM
PETA's out for the publicity - any publicity. I'm also concerned about how the fireworks noise affects my dogs, but a public celebration that brings so many of us together is more important. So I walk them an hour before, close the windows, turn up the AC, put on some music and give the more sensitive one a benedryl - it's once a year and they get through it. A bigger irritation and danger to people and animals are all the freelance firecrackers.
Hol July 10, 2012 at 02:04 AM
Bea Trixi Clancy July 10, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Ohhhhhh....come on PETA you are taking this Way to far!!!! Protect from TRUE abuse and neglect and unjust laws..BUT fireworks????? I myself have four dogs I love and protect them...but fireworks?????? REALLY?
mittens July 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I"m actually happy that the money I give the city every year in taxes might possibly go towards something other than fake brick crosswalks, faux "olde-timey" street light posts and the once-yearly fireworks extravaganza put on so that knuckle-dragging flag-wavers can stare in awe at bright lights and loud noises while high-fiving over Skynyrd and Nuge songs. Maybe they can even re-pave Lakewood Heights west of Warren, since it's starting to look like the surface of the frigging moon. Or even pay somebody to find a tenant for the still-abandoned Rego's/Giant Eagle building on Detroit. Or, you know, just put up more signs that let everyone know where "downtown Lakewood" is. You might miss it, seeing as how it's a single intersection.
Dennis Spirgen July 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
During his long life, my daughters' beloved cat Fella was responsible for killing innumerable mice, rats, butterflies, dragonflies, bats, chipmunks and squirrels, as well as two rabbits. He was clearly more dangerous to wildlife than Lakewood's fireworks. Do you suppose PETA would have supported putting him down?
Adam July 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM
considering cats are true carnivores and that's natural behavior for their species, I have a feeling they'd let it slide
Adam July 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
one, humans are not obligate carnivores.. two, plants are not sentient beings and have no central nervous systems to feel pain.. three, I recommend all CAPS only if you want no one to take your comments seriously


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