PETA wants MLB to change “Bullpens” to “Arm Barns”
The craziest sports story of the week belongs to PETA, which has decided that after over a century of baseball existing, the name ‘bullpen’ is offensive to cows.
No, Girl At The Game has not rebranded to a sports version of The Onion.
This is a real thing PETA is choosing to bring into public conversation during the 2021 World Series. According to their press release on Thursday, which is rife with baseball wordplay, they would like MLB to rename bullpens “arm barns.” They’ve even changed their Twitter name to Arm Barn.
Their reasoning is that “words matter” and bullpens “devalue talented players and mock the misery of sensitive animals.”
Words absolutely matter, as do the treatment of humans and animals. And Arm Barn sounds kind of epic. But as a vegetarian of two decades and someone who has lobbied MLB for more plant-based options at ballparks for years, this is not the issue on which to focus.
Personally, I think underpaying minor leaguers to the point that they have to cram into tiny apartments like sardines in a can devalues them more than doing their jobs in something called a bullpen.
PETA’s Twitter bio says “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”
So, if they wants to find a bone to pick with MLB, they should complain about baseballs and gloves being made out of cowhide. Or, how many meat-based food options exist at ballparks. There are so many more important problems they could choose to complain about instead.
No one in their right mind sees relief pitchers warming in the pen and thinks to themselves, “I should go torture and slaughter cows.” They’re wondering if the guy coming in to pitch can hold on to a one-run lead. Google seemingly supports this claim, because when you search “Bullpen” all the top results are about baseball, not animal abuse.
If it sounds like I’m being insensitive to animals, it’s only because this is such a non-issue in a world full of serious animal abuse issues. Cows don’t know baseball bullpens exist, ergo, how could they be insulted by their existence? And pitchers are not treated like cows in baseball bullpens, so the similarity exists in name alone.
Of all the problems MLB has, this non-issue should rank in the thousands, if at all. Minor leaguers live below the poverty line, fans are blacked out of televised games, ballpark tickets price out far too many, and the next generation of sports fans are more interested in basketball. There is a lot of work to be done without getting distracted by
Now, if PETA wants to help me get every MLB and minor league park to sell veggie burgers, I’m all ears.