Blues band makes the right call in animal cruelty incident.

Michaelyn sent me a story about cruelty to animals by a fraternity at the University of Kansas.

Lawrence police said Monday that they were investigating the fraternity for possible animal cruelty involving a live turkey at a party Friday night.

Witnesses at the fraternity house at 1425 Tennessee St. told The Star they saw several fraternity brothers kick in a cage holding the turkey. The turkey was rented for the evening and was not scheduled to be slaughtered.

The party was a catered affair with turkey on the menu. Just not this one.

When the men broke the cage, the turkey fled and raced through the dance crowd of about 150 people. It was allegedly chased, thrown like a football and choked by the neck. When the turkey’s wing snapped, and then its leg, the animal began screaming, witnesses said. A drummer playing in the band jumped off the stage and begged the college students to let her have the bird.

“They told me it was none of my business,” said Lisa McKenzie, whose blues band, Grand Marquis, was hired to play at the fraternity’s formal dinner party. The group had played at the traditional party, which some called “the turkey pull,” for several years.

McKenzie said the brutality nauseated her and the other band members. They ended their gig before the last set and called police.

Good for them.  In the context of what amounts to a real-time Milgram experiment, that was not easy for them to do, I’m sure.  On the band’s website there is a place to send them emails.  Let’s send them some positive reinforcement.  Here’s mine:

I just read the article in the Kansas City Star about the frat party where your band stopped the show early to call the police in reaction to animal cruelty.  I wanted to write to you because I know that was not an easy decision.  When you make your living on gigs you don’t want to make waves.

However, if doing the right thing were easy, everybody would be a good person.  I believe you made the right decision and I think you deserve praise both private and public.  Thank you.

JT Eberhard

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Dan Marshall

    So since the christians get to say stuff like “teach kids they evolved from animals and they’ll act like animals,” do we now get to say, “teach people that they have dominion over all animals and they’ll abuse those animals”?

    • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      I prefer to put it like this:

      “Teach kids they’re animals and they’ll act like animals.
      Teach kids they’re irredeemable sinners and they’ll act like ______________”

  • Hilary

    I’ve always thought that line about “behaving like animals” was an insult to other animals. I have a 6 month old cat in my lap at this very instant, purring. He is absolutly relaxed, at peace, safe and trusting me to be a good human. We should all be so lucky to have an equivalent moment in our lives next to another human.


    • Smiles

      You are aware that animals do kill each other for many reasons aside from food, right? Animals are no less cruel than people, they just often lack the capacity to find “entertainment” in evil (or non-evil) acts… (some apes have been known to be real assholes and enjoy every moment.) I think it has more to do with the direction the mind has been nurtured to go… Example: If a person/ape/dog/bird is pushed into solitude and distrust of the world, it will often greet outsiders with violence…believing it is necessary for survival. And when that kitten on your lap doesn’t just kill a mouse, but injures it, then plays with it while it suffers…that is different?