Their mission? To preserve the history of, tell the story of, and instill pride in American agriculture and values. Even if it means killing to do so.
BREAKING NEWS: Texas Museum Kills Two Healthy Mules for Art Exhibit
Two perfectly healthy mules were purchased at an auction for the sole purpose of being killed and stuffed for a museum exhibit. On Monday, the American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas acknowledged the accusations--they did indeed purchase two mules and had them destroyed in order for their bodies to be preserved by a taxidermists then placed on display.
The museum claimed that they paid $3,000 for two mules, 28 and 32 years of age, who were destined for slaughter. Healthy mules can live anywhere from 30 to 50 years of age and the price that the museum paid would indicate that the animals purchased were likely still in good health, and unlikely to be slaughtered, as the value of their meat would be far less than $3,000. Responding to criticism over the move, the museum said in the statement released Monday that the real animals will allow visitors to get a more accurate picture of how mules are used in the field.
The stupidity of the last statement is (how on earth is a dead stuffed mule going to demonstrate how mules were used in the field. They are not artifacts, interactive or interpretive, and surely a video showing a mule at work would be more effective?), and the criminal irresponsibility of paying $3,000 for the privilege of killing two animals, is mind-boggling.
As I re-read this, I wonder at the sequence of events that would have led the AMA's collective group of geniuses to sit around the boardroom and brainstorm this idea. And I am staggered to consider that anyone in their right mind could possibly think this was a GOOD idea. Was there back slapping, kudos, some belly-busting or a round of high-fives when the suggestion was made? And what about the vision. The mission. The values?
Certainly the values the AMA intends to promote are none that I subscribe to, and none I would want my children, or their children, to hold. My message to man (and mule), should they find themselves in the vicinity of Lubbock, Texas and the American Museum of Agriculture, is to look straight ahead, put the pedal to the metal, and drive right on by.