Word that two, perfectly healthy mules were purchased at an auction for the sole purpose of being killed and stuffed for a museum exhibit has sent thousands of individuals into a tailspin of anger and dismay.
On Monday, the American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas acknowledged the accusations – they did indeed purchase two mules and have them destroyed in order for their bodies to be preserved by a taxidermist and then placed on display.
In an effort to explain their decision to destroy the animals, the American Museum of Agriculture released the following in a press release on Monday afternoon:
To complete this exhibit, Museum Arts strongly recommended that we obtain professionally preserved mules in full harness to allow our visitors to understand how essential animal power was to this stage of American agriculture. Our board did consider the use of fiberglass replicas but were advised that the impact of the exhibit would be substantially diminished. Mr. Phil Paramore of Museum Arts said, “The reason that you use a real animal is to most accurately show the way the activity was done at the time. A fiberglass replica just doesn’t convey the same message.
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.
Despite the museum’s attempt to explain their actions, the outrage and disbelief remains.
Two lives were destroyed for the sole purpose of creating a “realistic” museum exhibit.
Emails to the museum can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org