Hailed by followers as the truth and debunked by detractors as extremists, PETA falls short when it comes to common sense and true compassion. Here are the seven most idiotic campaigns the hypocritical animal-rights organization runs. Follow the links provided to the PETA campaigns, find out more about these shams and let your voice be heard wherever possible.
Hot supermodels and celebrities routinely shed their own clothing and use nudity, albeit with well-placed hands, to draw attention to the cruelty of animal farming for the sake of fashion. Fur used in coats, hats, linings, gloves and other articles of clothing begotten from the skins of minks and other critters belong on the varmint, not your body, so goes the argument.
Why it’s idiotic: There are two reasons this campaign misses the mark. One, it’s the rich supermodels and celebrities who wear the mink stoles to restaurant openings and movie premieres, not the pimple-faced high school students PETA targets.
Secondly, it’s redundant. I’d rather see celebrity hotties naked than wearing fur, too.
The PETA clan believes in anthropomorphic, Disney-fied view of wildlife; that peace and harmony exist simultaneously in nature and man’s impact and interference doesn’t play a role.
Why it’s idiotic: First, the facts. Nature rarely finds equilibrium. It’s a never-ending seesawing of events balanced around predator-prey populations and overall ecosystem health. Nature is a cruel teacher and human morals and ethics only serve to confound and compound any issue.
Man has impacted every piece of the food chain since pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. To not manage wildlife species and the ecosystem against the inevitable needs and expansion of mankind would be irresponsible; after all, cities, towns, farms and the like aren’t going anywhere -- and that includes the massive concrete and glass structure PETA calls headquarters.
On a more basic level, PETA does nothing to save, conserve or actually help wildlife. Sitting in their ivory tower, casting blame and guilt on everyone else but their followers, PETA leaves the boots-on-the-ground conservation work to others -- namely hunters and fishermen.
PETA -- which believes we shouldn’t own pets but knows that's a hard sell to kids and those easily brainwashed by furry faces and big eyes, who provide most of their support and donations -- feels compelled to not only try to convince people to quit eating meat but also to try and convince them to stop feeding their dogs and cats meat.
Why it’s idiotic: While the extremists at least get some of their facts correct, like the various supplemental needs of cats and dogs, they overlook some others. As they note, dogs are omnivores, but cats are definitely carnivores. Unnatural feeding of both species is a setup for more pain and suffering for the animals they claim to care so much about.
Additionally, they cite various incidents of contamination and disease in meat-based pet-food ingredients, but fail to mention that vegetable-based ingredients are just as dangerous and are responsible for just as many outbreaks. As such, they cite a 2007 outbreak of melamine but fail to mention that the source was contaminated wheat gluten from China.
Further, the crazies espouse the evils and lack of oversight of commercial pet food companies. I’ve personally seen one of the Iams/Eukanuba manufacturing plants and can assure you that at least at that location nothing is further from the truth; more than 200 quality checks take place on products from when the raw materials enter the plant to when it leaves bagged on pallets. It’s also held to human-grade production standards, with cleanliness and sanitation of utmost importance.
Not only does PETA stand against the eating of animals; they also don’t believe animals should be used in laboratory experiments. This campaign seeks to end the use of man’s best friend in any type of research.
Why it’s idiotic: I love dogs. Not only do they provide me with ample fodder for training and hunting articles, which I get paid to write, they help me escape the stress of life; during training, only the dog and I exist, and the rest of the world fades away.
That doesn’t mean I can’t see reality through love-stained glasses, however. The simple fact of the matter is, the canine genome has been mapped while the human genome is still a muddled mess. The ability to isolate genetic markers and issues in dogs is helping to lead to cures in humans.
The mother lode of heartstring pulling and iconic imagery, this campaign aims to end Canada’s annual harp seal hunt. White-fur pups, blood-splattered ice and cruel-looking clubbers are featured in their campaign material.
Why it’s idiotic: Again, hyperbolic statements and imagery, and the fact that they never let details get in the way of a good heart-wrenching tug on the donation strings, PETA simply ignores that 90 percent of seals are killed with high-powered rifles nowadays, and 98 percent of all animals are killed in an acceptably humane manner, as found by a team of veterinarians observing the hunt.
Neither PETA nor the Humane Society of the United States, for that matter, convey or portray the fact that the killing of newborn white-coat and young hooded, or blueback, seals is illegal. No, those are the main images used to facilitate protest and pry donations from wallets. Further, animal-rights groups like to tout the quota number set by the Canadian government as the number of animals killed. In reality, it’s a fraction of the total quota. In 2010, the quota was 330,000 seals, of which about 67,000 were killed out of an approximate population of 5.5 million.
The final flapping moments of death-row chickens bound for six- to 10-piece McNugget boxes at McDonald’s around North America are the focus of this crusade. PETA wishes that the singular, original product of your 10-piecer of scrambled chicken parts didn’t have such a stressful death.
Why it’s idiotic: Far be it from me to disavow a more humane death for what will eventually be my dinner. A quick, ethical, humane death is a basic tenet of hunters. However, PETA’s answer for the conventional slaughter of chickens is called controlled-atmosphere killing, and while it sounds fine and dandy, it still results in the death of the chicken for eating by people, a basic tenet which PETA does disavow.
According to PETA, Nestea electrocutes, poisons, suffocates and decapitates animals all to provide you with a refreshing summer cup of iced tea. The animals are mice and rats, and by signing the petition, you can stop Nestea from conducting research on vermin.
Why it’s idiotic: As with most PETA publicity, they hyperbolize a single salient point and downplay, or outright misrepresent, facts. The video on nesteacrueltea.com features a four-minute video, of which 50 seconds is dedicated to the plight of vermin. The remaining three-plus minutes features unspecified animal-testing footage of much cuter, and more human-like, creatures than lab mice.
Why? Because nobody in their right mind will care about the campaign if the lives of mice and rats are weighed against that of a human.
Now, I don’t know this for fact, but I highly doubt that the research being conducted on the vermin responsible for spreading the bubonic plague is about putting a more refreshing tea on the market. Likely, it has more to do with effects of caffeine and other tea and coffee by-products on muscle and brain tissue, as well as structures such as the nervous system, which is fine by me as I’ve consumed five cups of coffee and a Mountain Dew while writing this piece.