Don’t ask me why, but for some reason just the other day I thought of Donkey Basketball for the first time in decades. For the uninitiated, this is, basically, regular basketball, only the players are riding donkeys. These games are usually fundraisers held at local schools.
As a kid, I thought these events where hysterical and fun. As a member of the urban poor, it was my only opportunity to see donkeys, up close and personal. Even then, though, I wondered what their hooves were doing to the basketball courts. It couldn’t be good. Yeah, that’s how my mind worked.
What I should have been thinking of is what this game was doing to the donkeys. Imagine, being thrust into an unnatural environment, surrounded by a screaming pack of humans, and most likely being ridden, shouted at and kicked by someone who is not only way too heavy, but also has most likely never ridden a donkey in his or her life.
That sounds like it should have its very own circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno. How totally and utterly terrifying. It must feel like being suddenly thrust into a ring with a Roman gladiator.
As much as I enjoyed those games as a child, I think we as a society should have reached a higher level of sophistication by now. There are a lot of ways to raise money without torturing animals in the process. For more information, check out this article written by PETA.
A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book. http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5