Thank-you PETA

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 25, 2005

Just when it seemed I had reached the breaking point on deciding the topic of this week's column, along comes the radical thinking of the folks who stick out their collective chests while standing on an animal rights pedestal.

Here's one disclaimer before I go forward. I do wholeheartedly agree there's an issue with the overpopulation of dogs and cats, not only here in poor, po-dunk northeastern North Carolina, but other areas of the United States and the world n places inhabited by the rich and the financially challenged alike.

There is a need for a spay and neuter educational campaign. But we already know that. It doesn't take a slick, often times sassy, ad campaign to force it down our throats.

Responsible pet owners, at least the ones I personally know here in our little neck of the woods, love and care for their animals. The majority I've spoken with since the June 15 arrests of the two PETA employees for tossing dead dogs in an Ahoskie dumpster are just as puzzled as I in regards to what PETA really stands for.

So, let's take a brief stroll into the current world of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (locally, they're comically known as Persons Euthanizing in a Truck and dumping in Ahoskie.

I see where PETA is promoting its 25th anniversary Gala, set for Sept. 10 in Hollyweird, err, I mean Hollywood. The star-studded line-up includes Alex Baldwin, Pamela Anderson, Sharon Osbourne and Andy Dick, otherwise known as all the good little liberals of the world.

The menu for this black-tie affair is primo vegetarian. No pork-on-a-stick or lip-smacking fried chicken for this high society crowd. It's "please pass the multigrain cutlets and the tuno" followed by folks reaching for their checkbooks.

But at least the world's most famous "pair" will be there. No, not Dolly Parton, but rather Pamela Anderson.

While on the subject of people whose acting skills leave a lot to be desired, I saw where Pamela's ex, rock-and-roll legend in his own mind Tommy Lee, shed down to his birthday suit for an ad for

Tommy Lee, formerly the bad-boy drummer for M\u00F6tley Crue, stripped to reveal his tattoos. The ad, showing Lee naked from head to just below the naval, promoted PETA's "Ink, Not Mink" campaign.

"Be comfortable in your own skin and let the animals keep theirs" was the slogan in the promotional ad, aimed at those poor animals whose fur is treasured for the coats worn by the rich and famous n perhaps most of whom are friends of Tommy Lee.

But I guess it's perfectly fine with PETA to have a convicted wife beater join their list of celebrity spokespersons. In 1998, Tommy Lee served six months for battery while married to Pamela Anderson.

Here's some more news from PETA. During the fifth inning of a recent New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays baseball game animal rights activists Matthew Prescott and Lara Sanders were live on the largest video-display board in North America for what was supposed to be an "ordinary" Jumbotron marriage proposal.

Prescott, coordinator of PETA's international "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" Campaign, apparently reserved a spot on the Jumbotron for two reasons – his proposal to Sanders and an opportunity to address John Bitove, who owns both the Toronto Raptors and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) Canada who is a regular at the SkyDome during Blue Jays baseball games.

In his brief moment of fame, Prescott explained to the crowd that KFC Canada breeds chickens to grow so large that many become crippled under their own weight. He then dropped to a knee and proposed to Sanders.

I have two concerns here. (1) Prescott must have his priorities confused n propose first; protest second. (2) Chickens are raised for two reasons and two reasons only n for their tasty eggs and for their delicious legs, thighs, breasts and wings. The bigger the chicken, the better. It's not like they are suffering because their brains are so small (an average weight of 4 grams compared to 30 for a cat, 70 for a dog and 1,500 for a human) that it's impossible to send pain waves to the rest of their bodies.

Finally, PETA's recent ad campaign comparing animal abuse with slavery is, in a word, disgusting.

In a bizarre effort to show animal cruelty, the PETA folks showed a black civil rights protester being beaten next to a photo of a seal being bludgeoned. Another part of the ad displayed a white mob surrounding two lynched blacks, comparing that brutal human suffering to a cow hanging in a slaughterhouse.

What's next for PETA? How ‘bout an ad campaign comparing the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust with the mistreatment of animals. Oops, I forgot…they've already done that one.