Don’t Ring in Holidays With Animal Cruelty

Target: Brooke Roner Zaugg, Executive Director of Radiant Foundation

Goal: Advocate for end of animal exploitation in live nativity scenes and other holiday-themed religious events.

Lambs are a popular fixture in Christian holiday celebrations during Easter and Christmas. But these gentle animals—and many other domesticated animals such as donkeys, camels, and goats—are tragically exploited and even killed as a result of these festivities. This inhumane treatment draped in religious rituals needs to stop.

The following is just a small sampling of the cruelties that have allegedly befallen animals during live nativity scenes alone. A small donkey reportedly died after a large man sat on him as a prank. At a staged scene in Kentucky, handlers were apparently caught on video punching, kicking, and even electrocuting camels. Florida nativity scenes, meanwhile, were allegedly the site of untreated broken bones for a camel as well as a camel’s fall right into a crowd.  Other incidents from across the country reportedly included a sheep’s sexual assault and the deaths of multiple animals due to dog attacks or vehicle strikes. Even a typical display with no major incidents is far from typical for these frightened animals, who must endure harsh and unfamiliar outdoor terrains and cramped living quarters.

Sign the petition below to urge one major producer of live nativity scenes to promote animal and cruelty-free events.


Dear Executive Director Zaugg,

You have hosted the world’s largest live nativity scene. While this production—and similar productions across the nation and around the world–are conducted as a celebration and affirmation of faith, they too frequently go against the core tenets of Christianity by exploiting and sometimes even leading to the loss of life. Animals used in live nativity scenes at best are subject to stressful conditions that harm them physically and emotionally.

At worst, they may experience inhumane treatment (ranging from assaults to negligence) or death. Many states have reported concerning and disturbing incidents centered around live nativity displays. Please use your platform to speak out against cruelty and to advocate for the omission of live animals from any future nativity scenes. These events should not inspire despair but hope and belief in the best of humanity.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ejdzej

One Comment

  1. Alan Pryor says:

    Why is it that humans can find the worst possible way to do anything? Live Nativity scenes are unnecessary.

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