A Tennessee youth group plans to stab frogs to death as a contest again this summer. Check out what they did last year...

Posted by Global Conservation Group on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers youth club have plans to host a fundraiser this summer to raise money for an agricultural scholarship. Sounds like a nice idea, right?
But their idea of a fundraiser includes stabbing frogs to death with pitch forks and spears! This will result in bleeding out or succumbing to shock or organ failure, these vulnerable animals experience a slow, agonizing death. Unlike mammals, frogs and other coldblooded animals have a slow metabolism which significantly slows down death when injured, causing the animals to suffer for longer periods of time.

The “Giggin’ for Grads” fundraiser in Smithville, Tennessee may help a high school senior defray college costs, but it also means the cruel killing of wild frogs. Raising money for college and protecting wild animals are by no means mutually exclusive concepts. No one will deny that college is expensive these days and that scholarship opportunities are not quite as plentiful as one would hope. The DeKalb County Young Farmers and Ranchers’ upcoming “Giggin’ for Grads” fundraiser aims to provide a high school senior with a scholarship based on the proceeds from the event. All the participants have to do is impale and kill twenty frogs each over the course of one night. The heaviest bag of dead frogs wins a percentage of the money raised from the event.

There are a number of problems with this scheme. First and foremost is the nature of the competition itself, which is based on the widespread hunting of wild animals. (Gigging, while some may consider legal, is subject to hunting and fishing regulations in Tennessee.) The method of hunting—using a sharp, pronged stick called a gig—is also unnecessarily cruel. In the rush of the contest, it is unlikely that any speared frogs will be put out of their misery; instead, they will slowly die of their wounds. A large group of people hunting frogs will also disrupt other area wildlife and have the potential to damage natural habitats as contest participants blunder around in the dark. Mass killing a species that is already significantly declining is not a good idea. The current fundraiser also poses a large risk to participants, who are essentially all running around in the dark with sharp sticks, and risks alienating potential donors who feel uncomfortable with the frog-killing aspect of the fundraiser. Last summer, the Global Conservation Group persuaded the Tennessee Department of Children Services to require all minors to be accompanied by an adult or have a guardian signature.
Bright, young, college-bound students should be discouraged from acts of cruelty, not taught to benefit from them.


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