Monday, June 4, 2007

Study Concludes Few People Think Iditarod Race is 'Cruel'

Based on story in the Monday, June 04, 2007 edition of the Anchorage Daily News (

According to a national poll conducted by the University of Oregon MBA candidates, only 4% of Americans view the Iditarod as “cruel”, in spite of vigorous efforts by some animal rights fanatic (ARF) groups to portray it as such. The survey, completed after Brooks was disqualified from the race for beating his dogs, found that about 60 percent of the people in the country had heard of the race. Of those, 88 percent were unaware animal-rights activists considered the race cruel, and 86 percent had a somewhat or highly positive view of animal-related sports. Even among the minority who thought the event cruel, the Iditarod was ranked more animal friendly than horse racing, greyhound racing, bull riding or the circus.

Oregon MBA candidate Brett Lentz said indications are that animal-rights activists are a small but noisy group. They can't be ignored, he said, but they shouldn't be overrated.

I expect a couple of things will come from this study. First, I think the Iditarod will use the information to increase its marketing efforts to potential sponsors and to generate additional income. That is a good news / bad news sort of thing. The Iditarod is the most well known Alaskan sled dog race, but the least “fan friendly”, at least in terms of trying to follow the race via the Internet. Their webmasters are frequently very slow to post updates on their “leader board” and much of the official race coverage is lodged in their “Iditarod Insider” pages, which require fans to pay money in order to follow the news.

Since I already spend a tremendous amount of my limited free time and a fair portion of my income to support sled dog racing and sponsor my favorite Iditarod mushers (Aliy Zirkle and Alan Moore), the demand for even more money just irritates the hell out of me and the thought of wading through even more spam just to follow the race makes my head hurt.

The second thing I expect to come from this information makes my head hurt even more. I strongly suspect that Margie Glickman, Wayne Pacelle, Ingrid Newkirk and all the other usual suspects of the ARF community will view this as an opportunity to incite their followers to even louder, more shrill and virulent attacks against the race. Like the race, they will use this information in order to make more money through donations to their “cause”, and to generate a new flood of misinformation, half-truths and outright deception against the race and our sport of dog mushing.

Even though the report will surely result in more spam and a new, deeper dose of ARF bovine manure, it is nonetheless good news. It shows that most Americans really are smart enough to see through the ARF's campaign of deception.


No comments:

Post a Comment