The companies who are hired to put on donkey ball fundraisers agree insofar as it's a key part of their promotional strategy. "Donkey ball offers an opportunity to get the whole family together and make memories, meanwhile supporting a local organization," said Brittany Brainerd, a spokesperson for Dairyland Donkeyball. " Watching or playing donkey ball is something different and out of the ordinary. It leaves a lasting memory that also helps bring many back year after year."
But Davis believes that the out-of-the-ordinary quality of controversial events like donkey ball, which has been criticized for needlessly placing animals in harmful or damaging environments, speaks to larger trends in society's relationship with animals in the 21st century. We don't need to interact with animals the way we used to -- for farm labor, for instance -- and so we've come to devise new forms of interaction, some of which can be detrimental to the creatures on which people used to rely for their livelihoods.