Who’s funding wacko PETA?
When the extreme animal rights group PETA complained about President Barack Obama swatting a fly, the penny finally dropped for me.
For a long time I’ve read comments from PETA and thought these people can’t be for real. Vets and sensible animal welfare organisations regularly work with my office and Department to deliver better labeling for free range eggs, or improving the safety of animals being transported.
But PETA runs a completely different set of campaigns that can only be described as bizarre. They oppose kids being allowed to keep goldfish. They oppose horse riding. And they even oppose guide dogs for the vision impaired.
It gets stranger. There’s a campaign they’ve been running for while to rename fish. PETA wants to call them “sea kittens”, arguing if fish sound cute they won’t be as tasty.
Time and again I’ve wondered what planet these people are on. But when they rushed to the defence of the hapless Obama fly it became clear that maybe there is method in this madness.
Could it be that PETA is actually funded by the other side of the argument to discredit anyone who cares about animals? It’s brilliant!
When people think about animal welfare campaigns, instead of considering sensible improvements which might make a difference, PETA shifts the focus to issues which lie somewhere between comedy and the utterly ridiculous. It’s a disaster for the sensible campaigns and moves the debate from animal welfare to outright extremism.
There was a reality TV program called The Mole, with one person pretending to help the team but actually trying to destroy it from within. It was entertaining in a reality TV sort of way, but not nearly as creative as the sabotage of animal welfare by PETA.
Think of the organisations trying to improve the quality and safety of pet food. How must they feel when the international news finally turns to animal welfare and it’s about the integrity of a dearly departed fly?
We have lots of flies in Australia. There’s a good deal of support for the Obama approach when we meet and greet them. They can also be a significant animal welfare problem for our sheep.
As a public relations campaign for a fly nirvana, I suspect this one is doomed. But as a strategy to stop any of the real animal welfare campaigns from gaining traction, it is perfect.
This leaves us with two theories. One: somewhere there is an animal-hating evil genius who provides tactical advice to PETA. Or two: they’re just really silly people.
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