Mike Tyson, VEGAN: Ploy For PETA's Sake?

The boxing legend who once took a bite out of an opponent's ear says he's going vegan, giving up animal products entirely.

Non-coincidentally, it was reported recently that Tyson is stepping into the ring of reality television with an upcoming show on Animal Planet:

The network this week announced a new reality show that will pit Tyson, a novice pigeon racer, against serious competitors.

The show is currently titled "Taking on Tyson" and promises to bring audiences inside this "intensely competitive and bizarrely fascinating world."

Tyson has raised pigeons all his life but will take to the rooftops as a racing rookie. The network says he'll be assisted by a colorful team of pigeon experts as he rears, trains and races them.

The show caught the ire of PETA, who asked Brooklyn prosecutors to halt the show:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants Brooklyn prosecutors to ground the new Animal Planet show, "Taking on Tyson," which depicts races between the ubiquitous New York birds. PETA says the show is cruel because it exploits pigeons and glorifies an abusive sport. "It is inherently cruel," PETA general counsel Jeffrey Kerr said.

The show may also skirt anti-gambling laws in the state, the Daily News reported. Animal Planet spokeswoman Patricia Kollappallil maintains everything is kosher:

"There have never been any plans for wagering on the pigeon race," she said. The birds will be "cherished and respected by their owners, including Mr. Tyson."