PETA hates CU’s buffalo and wants them to kill Ralphie tradition

PETA hates CU’s buffalo and wants them to kill Ralphie tradition

Apparently CU is objectifying buffalo, and PETA wants it to stop

CultureNovember 21, 2019 By Will Brendza

Ralphie the buffalo is a goddamn celebrity on the CU Boulder Campus. When that bison comes to town, she is showered in love and admiration, people scream, frat bros shotgun beers, women swoon and everyone gets amped.

After all, that buffalo, which has been the mascot of the school since 1934 has been called “one of the best mascots in sports.” Why wouldn’t people get excited? Prior to every home game, Ralphie and her team of varsity athlete handlers take a full-tilt sprinted lap around the Folsom Field football stadium. People lose it. The crowd erupts and then Ralphie vanishes, disappearing like a mythical beast until she runs again.

It’s a time-honored tradition. And, to be perfectly honest, it’s the best part of any CU Boulder football game.

But now, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants to kill CU’s Ralphie tradition. On November 20th, in the wake of Ralphie V’s retirement (yes, there have been five Ralphies in the last 85 years) the animal rights organization sent a letter to the president of CU, entreating him to kill the college’s beloved buffalo mascot tradition.

“Thank you for retiring Ralphie V. I hope he'll be going somewhere where he'll be safe and among others of his own kind—please let us know if you need any help with making those arrangements.” writes Martha Holmberg, the senior director of Youth Programs at PETA, in the letter. She argues that football stadiums are unnatural for buffalo’s, and says that by “parading” Ralphie around, CU is objectifying her rather than treating her like a sentient living creature.

Considering the cruelty inherent in using sentient beings as mascots may I respectfully request that you agree not to replace this individual with another animal but rather forgo their use from now on?”

Okay, Martha, let me clear a couple of things up for you: First of all, Ralphie is a she not a he. And secondly, she is one of the best-cared-for, most pampered buffalo’s on the planet, and perhaps in all of history.

Ralphie’s manager John Graves agrees. He says that no one cares more about Ralphie than he or her handlers do, and that, as “Queen of the Campus,” Ralphie enjoys far better care than most buffalo’s. She lives at her own ranch when she isn’t performing on-campus; her work-year is limited to a few months and she only needs to make a handful of appearances; she’s well-fed and exercised often and she never has to fear about natural predators — never has to worry becoming someone’s bison burger.

“From the time Ralphie V was 6 months old, I’ve been by her side nearly every day for the past 13 years.” Graves told the Denver Post. “I am confident she is happy and healthy. That will continue in the years ahead at her ranch alongside the next Ralphie.”

PETA’s letter to CU is a publicity stunt — a virtue-signal flare-gun they decided to shoot over CU’s campus just to stir the pot and get people riled up. They know that Boulder is full of animal rights die-hards who will take their side, and they’re trying to mobilize that crowd, trying to put pressure on the university from within, to kill it’s Ralphie tradition.

As far as I’m concerned, CU should double down in response — they should adopt a herd of buffalo and start a new home-game tradition: the Ralphie Stampede.

After all, they’d almost certainly be giving those bison better lives as university mascots than they’d otherwise have.