The animal rights group PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has a problem, which can be found in its primary slogan: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment." Do you think anyone would have a problem with that?
I’m not talking about hunters and our like. Obviously, sportsmen and women have deep theological issues with the PETA mission. But what about the other 80% of Americans? Let’s analyze each aspect.
Animals are not ours to eat: That’s a pretty bold statement. Since Man is a predator; you know, front-facing eyes, canine teeth, an abundance of nerve endings in the feet; it’s kind of in our nature to hunt and eat meat. Even today, where the majority of Americans don’t hunt, a recent Gallup poll found a whopping 94% of us eat meat, so PETA is swimming upstream on this one.
Animals are not ours to wear: The fashion industry’s aversion to fur notwithstanding, it is an unequivocal fact you and I wouldn’t be here today if our ancient ancestors had not taken to wearing animal parts during the ice age when the darn cotton crop didn’t take. And don’t get me started about leather. From shoes, to belts, to the bucket seats of the soccer mom’s Suburban, wearing animals is far from going out of style.
Animals are not ours to experiment on: While research using animals is often unpleasant, it is a necessity to improving the lot of humans. Animal research has advanced medicine and Mankind in thousands of ways; from the elimination of dread diseases like polio and bubonic plague, to yet to be discovered advancements in cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease research that will improve the quality of life for our children. PETA can rant about animal research all they like, but they too are the beneficiaries of these world-wide medical advances. (I’m looking at you Ingrid Newkirk)
Animals are not ours for entertainment: So you have a problem with SeaWorld and the circus. Fine. But this broad prohibition on entertaining animals goes beyond PETA’s publicity stunts, for taken to its natural conclusion, our relationship with man’s best friend would forever be changed. Teaching a lab to retrieve or a bird dog to point in a controlled manner is probably considered slave labor by PETA, but watching a good dog work is highly entertaining for me as a human. It’s a pleasure to be in the field with well trained dogs, but it would be pleasure denied if PETA had its way.
I guess that’s the problem with PETA. They are so caught up in their zealous ideology that that they miss the most important issue: one cannot legislate moral conflicts with human nature. But please PETA, don’t stop trying. Your ridiculous publicity stunts make me lol!