PETA wins as Alaska Airlines backs out of Iditarod race



PETA protesters have pressured Alaska Airlines to discontinue its support of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, a sponsorship that has spanned 40 years.

The group has been staging protests at the company’s headquarters in SeaTac.

PETA heralded the decision and announced it has sent a box of vegan chocolates to the company as a thank you. It has already succeeded in getting several major companies to withdraw support, including Coca-Cola, Costco, Jack Daniel’s, Maxwell House, Nestlé, Panasonic, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Safeway, State Farm, and Wells Fargo.

The animal rights organization opposes “speciesism, which is a huma-supremacist worldview.”

This year’s Iditarod race begins with the ceremonial start in Anchorage on Saturday.


  1. Seriously? Well, Alaska Airlines based in Seattle explains that. Good Lord. Has Wells Fargo ditched that stage coach logo? Those poor horses!! Pulling that coach is grueling and cruel!! Did PETA protest that when they had them pull their sponsorship? When did everyone become such a woosy.
    Well, my bacon is almost done frying. Smells delish. Time for breakfast. Then I will write a letter to AK Airlines with my bacon greasy fingers.

  2. This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. So if dogs are dying, instead of taking away from the Iditarod, why not try to correct the problems. Animal welfare is not about getting rid of everything that people do with animals; it’s about making sure they are safest while doing it.

    The facts are this absolutely doesn’t stop anything PETA claims is occurring and they have not done anything to help the dogs participating. I find it odd that every time PETA is involved, the deaths increase. Seems to me it raises a lot of questions about PETA. Welfare means to adopt ideals that will protect animals.

    Some animal rights groups are actually listed as terrorists, according to the federal government. If you are celebrating this not flying doesnt stop abuse it actually simply means domestic terrorists tossed a fit, and an airline gave in.

    • PETA is considered a domestic terrorist group in some states, since they killed show dogs with anti freeze, broke into a mink farm and released the animals in the dead of winter in MN or so and they subsequently died from exposure and starvation. PETA is hell bent on abolishing any kind of animal ownership and consider guide dogs and other service animals slaves. They are totally of their rocker.

    • Animal welfare IS about getting rid of everything to do with people and animals. PETA is a terrorist group as well as HSUS. They want all domesticated animals eliminated, pets and livestock. They are the highest kill “shelter” out there. Better dead than live in captivity is their motto. Do some research and spread the word about them.

      • You got that wrong…PETA is an Animal Rights Group that does not care about Animal Wellfare.
        Please learn the difference between the organizations.

      • Animal Rights groups are absolutely against any human-animal relationships.
        Animal Welfare is about making sure the relationships are healthy for both parties.
        AR groups will go to extremes to promote their agenda.
        AW folks find ways to work with people to adjust environments and living conditions for the animals.

        Hope that helps.

      • Exactly. And they feed off of publicity hence only focus on events that receive lots of coverage as it is free advertising for their dirty deeds. People are so gullible it is frightening.

  3. PETA thinks they are helping. Well they support companies like Coke which contains aspartame in it, but that’s OK, as long as PETA gets its way.
    And let’s not forget Nestles, where they steal water from communities to make their products, but that’s OK as long as PETA gets their way .

  4. It’s time to start boycotting the companies that have caved to that despicable PETA. It is also time to start going after PETA and get those despicable fools shut down.

  5. Time Alaskans say goodbye to Alaska Airlines and fly Delta or Continental. They have screwed Alaskans for years!!!!

    • It’s been years since Aaska Airlines cared about Alaskans. It’s cheaper to fly Alaska Airlines Seattle to Boston than from Anchorage to Nome.

    • Not the entire point, I realize but Continental doesn’t exist any more – they were bought out by United years ago.

  6. As amazing an airline as Alaska is, I am surprised they could not rest on their reputation as the best. Instead of figuring their worth was determined by their superior service, prices, equipment, and excellent hiring, someone at AlaskaAir decided that folks who publicly equate dogs and cats on par or often superior to humans, hold signs, and often act rudely can determine just “how good” AlaskaAir really is.
    So for those perhaps a dozen protesters who will actually show up AT the Iditarod, good for them to express their displeasure by attending in our fair tolerant city. But ironically, the rest of the PETA folks have learned they can scream and rant and stay IN cozy Seattle…and get their way.
    How brave.
    Pets already get a nice discount when flying on AlaskaAirlines! I think they are doing a fine job supporting our dogs. But apparently, not anymore for the working dogs pulling at the harness for their next pack adventure.

    • Dogs ARE superior to humans. Dogs have enslaved the entire human species, and we love them for it! I type this as I am made into a warm pillow by both a big dog, who weighs as much as me, and a little one, who both demands, and gets, constant attention…and cheese. Dogs are brilliant.

  7. Alaska Airlines management elevator did not go all the way to the top anyway! Shame but it’s true. The truth needs to made public which its actions seems to exemplify !

  8. They are not an Alaska based company, and PETA has been out to destroy the Iditarod for years. Neither obviously know that Dog Mushing is the official sport of Alaska.

    • Rob,
      You are correct that dog “mushing” is our state sport, but dog “racing” is not.

        • Looking at the fact that half of the dogs who enter the 1,000 mile corporate sponsored race never finish it (and several usually die each year) …I would say that your comment “they love it” is a far reach from the actual reality out there.

          • Steve, when you spout such demonstrably false nonsense as “several usually die each year” you do your cause no favors. Do care to share your source for this false information?

      • Dog mushing requires time, commitment and dedication to their animals. They get treated better than alot if humans. It’s a shame to allow these hate groups to gain so much power. The races will go on with or without the sponsors who opted out.

  9. A huge win–for the dogs. Thank you, Alaska Airlines. Now, it’s time for Chrysler and every other remaining sponsor to distance themselves from this madness.

    • I couldn’t agree more I am with you. How do all these people know if the dogs want to run thousands of miles they don’t. But the by standers want to have it their way. Time for the dogs to have it their way. I am happy Alaska Airlines dumped their support.

      • Yeah, they are much better off getting fat and lazy tied to their chains doing nothing but wasting their lives. The only excitement they have is when “mom or dad” come home or the neighbors cat walks by……sled dogs are a whole different caliber of dogs.

    • So how is this a win for the dogs Craig? No longer being able to do what they are bred.tondo? Not what they have done for so many years? And what they love to do? Sorry but Alaskan Airlines bent to the tantrums of animal extremists who don’t know an Iditarod dog from a toy poodle.

      • Maybe you shouldn’t have been bred to do what you do. Do you like cock fighting? Dog fighting? They’re all bred to ‘do what they do’.

    • PETA, like many groups, are much more interested in PR than in helping animals or their “cause.”

    • Right. Dogs are so much happier being locked in kennel or house all day doing nothing. Obviously you must not own a dog. Mine loves to run. The faster the further the better. He loves activity and when we do have to leave him for any length of time he goes to dog daycare to be with friends for more activity.

      Sled dog kennels are full of activity and stimulation and those dogs thrive on it and genetically love to run and go. The more go the better. On the race trail they are pampered and cared for and rested. You do not see any of them refusing the next day of ‘go’. They thrive. Try spending some time at a race kennel. Go out on a training run. Then come back and say this is animal cruelty. PETA and their ignorant converts are huge hypocrites.

    • You have no concept of what a sled dog lives for. They are not your average dog, they do not make good pets, they have to have a job and be active. I raised them for years. Do you suggest we just annihilate the breed? Like PETA is fond of doing with strays, injured, rescued dogs?

  10. This is great news. Times are a-changin’. People do not want to support events that cause animals to suffer and die. The Iditarod has killed over 150 dogs, as a direct result of mushers pushing them far beyond their physical limits, forcing them to run 100 miles a day for two weeks straight. Many dogs are kept chained 24/7 when they aren’t being forced to run. It’s time to end this cruel spectacle.

    • Obviously you know nothing about these dogs. They along with the mushers train all year for this race. They are seen by a Vet regularly and checked at each stopping point along the race. Keep right on listening to PETA and you will loose your pet eventually as this is their goal!

      • You need to do your math! 100 miles a day for 14 days is 1400 miles! So how long is the Iditrod???? Not 1,400 miles.

        The Iditrod began to celebrate the Serum run that saved many, many people’s lives. All in Nome may have died without those dogs.

    • According to animal custody records it has filed with Virginia, PETA has killed about 40,000 animals at is so-called “shelter” since 1998. According to records, last year it killed 1,809 dogs and cats and only adopted out 44. The kill rate in some years is over 90 percent.

    • You idiots really need to learn real facts and not believe every word that you hear on the internet. You make yourselves look so stupid.

    • Ignorance is bliss I guess. Have you ever even visited a race kennel? Have you ever watched the Iditarod? Try getting involved and learn the truth. Do not buy the lie peddled by hypocritical PETA.

    • Dog mushing requires time, commitment and dedication to their animals. They get treated better than alot if humans. It’s a shame. The races will go on with or without the sponsors who opted out . PETA toy have no place in Alaska. People harvest and utilize animals as a way of survival. I harvest, I eat, I wear and leave no waste. Sometimes when you live in a state of survival you would understand but, spoiled, entitled, better than always think they know best. Not!

  11. Alaska Airlines is just a name, has nothing to do with the Alaska story.I flew Alaska last week ,6 hour delay, no reason given, changed seat assignments, missed appointments. Too bad they want Alaskans’ money but do not support the real Alaska. Fly Delta. Go through Portland or Salt Lake or Minneapolis. Better mileage plan.

  12. I guess I now know some companies I will not support. It is disappointing that a small number of crazy activists try so hard to end animal ownership. ANTI ANIMAL RIGHTS but am PRO Animal Welfare. Know the difference!!!

  13. Does PETA know the abuse that goes into a contestant for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show??

  14. Really disappointed in Alaska Airlines for letting this terrorist group scare them. They are no long “Alaska’s Airlines”. I’ve always supported them but in the future my money will go with the cheapest fares.

  15. Good on Alaska Airlines and PETA for pressuring companies to stop funding cruelty to dogs and their deaths for barbaric Iditarod.

  16. Why would they send vegan chocolate as a thank you? Seems like quite a rude thing to do when somebody bends to your demands to send them some gross food-like substance.

    • I don’t know anything about Alaska or what happens to the dogs that race but I strongly know that I will never support PETA or anyone else who kills animals.

  17. Why are we caving in to terrorists? More animals die at the hands of PETA in one day than have died at the Iditarod over the last 20 years!

  18. PETA and Alaska Airlines don’t realize how mushing has elevated dog health to a new level.
    PETA needs to focus on backyard dogs on short chains that never see a vet.
    Mushers supply their dogs with good care and feed.
    PETA is barking up the wrong tree.

    Shame on Alaska Airlines.

    PETA has few members but supporters of mushing are in the hundreds of thousands.

  19. This is fantastic! The Iditarod is cruel and completely unnecessary. People torture and kill so many dogs for what? Entertainment? Thank you, Alaskan Airlines for finally seeing how unethical and brutally wrong the Iditarod is.

    • Again, you know nothing about these dogs or the handlers and you are doing more harm than good. These dogs jump and howl with excitement when you hook them up and suffer depression when left behind. Way to to, you ignorant know it all. Stop pushing your demented ideas on others!! Let me guess you probably wear a vagina hat on the weekend.

  20. Did you know that PETA has only one shelter and murders well over 90 percent of the animals they pick up? Including ones that could easily be rehired. Most of their money pays high salaries or is in offshore account. Check out the facts
    Alaska— I loved to fly with you—but no more. And no more Starbucks either.

  21. PETA kills thousands of pets they take as “rescues” from gullible people. Now they have made fools of an Airline. Best not to fly with a company so easily swayed by a fake money grubbing charity. What would they fall for next, what corners will they cut. Wonder if meat will be off the menu on all Alaska Airline flights? Welcome to Vegan Air.

  22. I called, sent to marketing 206 392-5105, left a message with strong request for a call back. Hey, if PETA can get to them, why not us?

  23. I think they should change their name to Washington Airlines. They certainly aren’t Alaska with this stunt.

  24. Wow, so much hate in the other comments! Count me with those praising AA for this modern move. The Iditarod “celebrates” history by killing dogs each year. What do we stand for if we think that’s okay? Most things in history deserve to stay back in history.

  25. This is ridiculous. You people have no clue about these beautiful dogs and what they live for!! Your ignorance is doing more damage than good. These dogs live to run!! They are overwhelmed with joy every time you go to hook them up and suffer depression if they are left behind. You’re all idiots.

  26. Alaska Airline, bring it. I will share this information about the anti-dog, cowardly airline that people need to boycott.
    Poor choice of action.
    Anti Alaska, anti dog.

  27. Just when we were going to start flying on Alaska Airlines! Such a BS move, giving into pressure from animal extremists. So disappointed and disgusted.

  28. PETA is a bully of an oganization.. They are not about the animals at all. Iditarod and other dog teams take excellent care of their animals. If all these companies are afraid of PETA what does that say about these companies. I guess we should boycott these bullies now including Alaska Airlines.

  29. Years ago, Joe Runyan told me that PETA was the sole reason he left the great sport of dog mushing.

    • Hannah Hamberg, a 16 year old girl from Sitka won the “paint the plane” contest in 2009. It was a depiction of a dog sled, that had many Alaska animals tethered to the sled. It was awesome! How dare Alaska Airlines paint their own plane with such trash! haha. And I remember when they handed out “Go Dee Dee” fleece head bands during the Iditarod when you got on the plane! I still have one!

  30. Ohhhh Alaska Airlines am I ever disappointed in you that you have succumbed to PETA. And yet one more movement away from your Alaskan roots. You said on KTVA tonight that you did not succumb to PETA; that you just happened to make philosophical changes at this time. Simply a coincidence.

    • I think many people have forgotten the origin of the Iditarod. It was to save human lives.
      Dogs & humans have been working partners long before these terrorists came up with this craziness. The dog-human relationship has been mutually beneficial for survival since man lived in caves and dogs helped them hunt & protect their families. Man in return cared & fed the dogs.

  31. Bear in mind that there are probably any number of Alaska Airlines employees in oh-so-trendy Seattle that could not locate Alaska on a globe. They have misappropriated our name for their personal profit. A rebranding is in order. I think “Left-Coast Airlines” would work well for them. Another option: ”Cannabis Air.” I could go on.

    I ain’t gonna forget that Uncle Ted probably saved these folks from bankruptcy multiple times in the 70s and 80s.

  32. I used to be involved in dog sled races and it’s too bad that all these sponsors are dropping out based on the opinion of a group. Sure, there are dog deaths on the trail, most of them are unavoidable. Far more dogs die on the highways when they get loose, do you know why they get loose? Because they want to run and that is what sled dogs want to do, but these dogs run together as a team and to please their humans who care very well for them and this group is depriving the dogs of what the dogs want. I’m sure it beats the alternative of getting fat and bored…..

    • It’s a known fact that if the musher falls off the sled for some reason, and it does happen, the dogs will continue to try to run the race without them. Running is their first love in life.

  33. Sounds like PETA might be trying to take credit where credit is not due. Alaska Airlines spokesman Tim Thompson said “PETA did not play a role in our decision.” Thompson went on to say “We have been proud of our history and support of the Iditarod, especially travel for the veterinarians that are focused on the safety and health of the dog teams,” and “We have been part of the Iditarod for more than 40 years and are proud of our sponsorship, which was focused on dog health and safety,” the Alaska Airlines statement said.” saying they are proud of their sponsorship doesn’t sound like they’ve bowed to PETA, sounds like PETA is claiming something they were no part of to get their name in the headlines.
    I still don’t know why they would send vegan chocolate as a thank you.

    • Steve-O: PETA issued a press release first thing this morning taking credit for it: “ALASKA AIRLINES ENDS DECADES-LONG IDITAROD SPONSORSHIP AFTER PETA PUSH” – in all caps.

      So maybe they are taking credit where it is not due, but then again, you just have to suspend disbelief on that one to accept that the Airline wasn’t pressured into this. PETA is now going after Chrysler. At least that is what their statement said. – sd

      • I don’t doubt they were pressured or that they are simply trying to have their cake and eat it too, but it’s a pretty strongly worded statement in support of the Iditarod and against what PETA is claiming. I guess it comes down to who do you trust more, PETA or Alaska Airlines. I don’t trust PETA one iota.

    • I think many people have forgotten the origin of the Iditarod. It was to save human lives.
      Dogs & humans have been working partners long before these terrorists came up with this craziness. The dog-human relationship has been mutually beneficial for survival since man lived in caves and dogs helped them hunt & protect their families. Man in return cared & fed the dogs.

    • Steve O,
      The important take away from Alaska Airlines statements is that it will now put money towards young people in the communities that it services (instead of supporting commercial dog racing)…
      This is a good thing for Alaska as more families will benefit instead of a few over privileged mushers who have not had a real job in years.
      Win – win for the future of AK!

  34. Forcing dogs to run to their deaths is reprehensible. Period. The Iditarod needs to be in the dustbin of history.

  35. This is so not right. These dogs love pulling sleds. That is what they were bred for. PETA needs to stay out of it. I know one person who takes better care of his dogs than these PETA people do. They have no right to do what they did.

  36. This whole affair sounds like a “South Park” episode. Totally ridiculous.

    What Alaska Airlines should do is apologize to the thousands of Native Alaskans who view dog racing as an almost sacred cultural link to their past and an occupation which enables them to develop personally. Yeah, way to go Alaska Airlines, you just let a bunch of kooks shake you down.

  37. Thank you Ben , these dogs seem mythical and magical when you spend some real time with them. So intelligent and living very full lives. So many in the city with dogs in crates 8hrs+ with a few toys and a bone. Zero mental stimulation and growth. People think their dogs like staying on the couch beside them watching a tv they don’t relate to, waiting for another precious pet on the belly or head, or another ‘treat’- recipe for sub- mediocre existence. Where is the concern for the crated all day without interaction and stimulation dogs? Because there are millions of them.

  38. Great news! No one who claims to care about dogs should support the Iditarod. If dogs don’t die, they become sick, injured, or exhausted. And it’s cruel and selfish to breed animals and force them to endure such a treacherous race. We can all find more sporting activities to support.

    • Great ignorance: “If dogs don’t die, they become sick, injured, or exhausted.” is completely inaccurate and a tremendous exaggeration.

  39. Sent this to Alaska airlines customer service linked above:

    (Feel free to copy and paste if you don’t have much time)

    “ To whom it may concern,

    I am greatly saddened to hear that Alaska Airlines has stopped being a sponsor of the Iditarod, a race that uniquely celebrates what dogs and humans can accomplish when working together, and a hallmark of the great state that is the namesake of your airline

    I believe if we pause for a moment to think about it, we would find that this race actually advocates dog health and promotes their best care; perhaps better than many platforms would be able to. Just think; would any musher in their right mind want anything but the healthiest of dogs to compete with? With that being a foregone conclusion, it is reasonable to assume that only the best of care, the best of food, the best of veterinary care, would be practiced and promoted by mushers- the same people who spend countless hours taking care of and building relationships with their most-prized possession. Not to mention the fact that these dogs are getting to fulfill an instinct that is part of who they are! A trait that is theirs for well over a century, and many, many generations of dogs.

    So as a paying customer who not only appreciates the customer service and care that you offer, but also sees Alaska Airlines as representative of a different, and better, way of doing things, I ask that you please reconsider your discontinuance of your sponsorship of the Iditarod, and once again consider sponsoring a uniquely Alaskan event that promotes the health and welfare of Alaskans- both human and canine, and has done so for many years if we look back to the very origins of the race.

    Thank you for your time”

  40. I hope Alaska Air dumps those leather seats on their jets, some animal had to die for that, they should really use burlap for their seats. More fitting to their corporate culture.

    • They should go with hemp fiber. It is only a matter of time before the airline, in appreciation for our changing times and with sensitivity to the personal preferences of their employees, adopts a “cannabis-friendly” work environment. Such a move would honor the “community” values of their employees and evidence great tolerance and vision. Perhaps they would be the first to challenge the unfair and unenlightened drug policies of the federal government. This would be all-so-very “progressive,” wouldn’t you say? What could possibly go wrong?

  41. Anyone who thinks the dogs don’t like running should go to the ceremonial start and watch. I couldn’t believe how many “handlers” were needed to hold the dogs back as they lunged and barked and wanted to start. The most amazing musher was Susan Butcher (now deceased) who had such good voice control over her dogs that she didn’t need a dozen people holding her dogs down. If you actually watched this spectacle, you could never deny that the dogs “love” to run. I’m not much of an animal person but I really like seeing what animals can do such as sniffing out clues or leading blind people.

  42. Wow, the Iditarod has been the heartbeat of Dog Sports and livelihood for those Wonderful Husky and Sled dogs. How could a bunch of fur loving, breed drive Killing folks sway Alaska Airlines….I guess bad press scares people…..I wonder what political party the peta folk belong to…..hmmmmm?

  43. Alaska Airlines needs to redo their logo, the Eskimo has a Wolverine ruff…

    Sorry but if the are going to bend over they should go all the way!

  44. Goodbye Alaska Airlines.?
    I am sure American among other airlines are getting ready for their stocks to go up. Stupid is as stupid does.

  45. It’s way past time for Alaska Airlines to change its name – there’s nothing Alaskan about them!

  46. But dogs are superior to humans. Just ask PETA. And if a dog is owned for any amount of time by a human, they feel it is only “humane” to kill the dog once they get it “adopted” to them to supposedly rehome. Thus, 90% of their adoptions don’t get past the killing floor. Ironic that their “Ethical Treatment” is killing them.

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