PETA gives Aspen props for drones over fireworks |

PETA gives Aspen props for drones over fireworks

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many across Colorado, to commend you for choosing to replace fireworks with drones at the annual Fourth of July celebration this year. I am delighted to inform you that the Aspen Chamber Resort Association has earned a Proggy Award (Proggy for “progress”) from PETA for choosing a progressive celebratory event that will protect Aspen’s wildlife, domestic animals, children, veterans and elderly people.

As you may know, during fireworks displays, dogs panic as they try to escape from the loud noises and have been known to jump through glass windows or over fences and end up getting lost, seriously hurt, or killed. Fireworks displays can also scare wildlife onto roads, where they risk being hit in traffic. The loud blasts cause birds to fly into chimneys and houses — and even to panic and abandon their nests and their young. The stress caused by these displays also affects veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives. As you noted in your decision, fireworks also pose a risk of wildfires, which can kill smaller animals — such as beetles and squirrels — who cannot flee quickly enough from fast-moving flames. They also decimate the habitat and food sources of others, such as black bears. Fires have also been known to wash ash into rivers, depleting oxygen and suffocating fish.

Drone shows — which are safer than fireworks, produce virtually no air pollution, and are growing in popularity — were used recently at Disney World’s Starbright Holidays show, the New Year’s Eve celebration over Sydney Harbour, and the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as well at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, among other places.

Aspen Chamber Resort Association has set a fine example for other Fourth of July event organizers to follow, and we hope you’ll continue to celebrate without fireworks in the years to come. In honor of your compassionate decision, we will be sending you a framed certificate and some delicious vegan chocolates. Our best wishes for your success!

Ingrid E. Newkirk

President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals