The Derby That Dare Not Speak Its Name

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At the Lake County Fair in Grayslake, Illinois, once a year the locals gather for the time-honored American tradition of dressing up monkeys like horse jockeys and having them race on dogs saddled like horses.

Naturally, the annual Banana Derby has concerned people concerned:

Board member Sandra Hart is concerned over the welfare of the monkeys involved in the race, the Chicago Tribune reports. And with the support of the Lake County Board, Chicago-area zoos and other animal advocacy groups, Hart has collected over 3,500 signatures in an online petition, according to the article.

In a letter to Lake County Fair Board President Jon Brodzik Jr., Hart said the derby “does not speak to the values of our county,” the newspaper reports. Brodzik responded that he saw “no compelling reason to cancel the Banana Derby attraction at this time,” according to the article.

I don’t want to live in a country where a tiny monkey dressed up like a jockey isn’t free to race around on top of the dog of his or her choice.

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