Animal Planet’s new six-part documentary on Mike Tyson’s pigeon racing hobby has a name and premiere date.
“Taking on Tyson” (I guess they shot down “Mike Tyson’s Pigeon Racing”) will show the gentler side of last year’s most surprising new vegan starting March 6th. From the release:
Mike goes beyond just raising his feathered friends – he will race them for the very first time. With unprecedented access to the neighborhood haunts he grew up in and lifelong friends who surround him, this docudrama introduces audiences to the highly competitive, bizarrely fascinating subculture of pigeon racing. The stakes are high in a sport that has just as much machismo as boxing. But this time it’s not about money; it’s about bragging rights.
“The first thing I ever loved in my life was a pigeon. I don’t know why…I feel ridiculous trying to explain it,” says Tyson. “Pigeons are a part of my life. It’s a constant with my sanity in a weird way; this is just what I do. If I’m lucky enough to die an old man, I’m going to have birds.”
In terms of animal abuse with pigeon racing, there’s definitely some debate. Over on the Manhattan Bird Club forum, you’ll find people adamant that they show their birds nothing but love and care — and then others critical of the sport and the stress it exacts on the animals. How about you? Anyone have any experience with either side of the coin?