About 15 to 20 years ago a man became something of a folk hero when he launched a website for PETA. But this wasn’t a site related to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
No, this site was a protest against that animal rights group and bore the name People Eating Tasty Animals.
Many hunters, anglers meat eaters, fur and leather wearers, and others found the site highly amusing.
PETA — the real PETA — wasn’t quite so amused.
They resorted to legal action to shut down the site.
The man who originally registered the domain, Mike Doughney, moved the site to www.tastyanimals.us, and PETA.org now directs visitors to the animal rights group.
So I decided to hold a little good-natured contest at that time and ran a “Name that PETA competition” allowing people to come up with a new name for PETA other than People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, since they were so fond of their acronym.
The mail started pouring in as people sent in suggestions — many of which couldn’t be reprinted in a family newspaper. It was clear many people were getting a weight off their shoulders and venting, but, many were quite good.
One interesting letter came from a person representing PETA itself. I don’t remember who it was, but he or she was a high-ranking representative of the organization’s leadership and actually showed a sense of humor about it with a suggestion of their own for the competition.
In the end, however, the winner ended up being People Evidently Taking Acid. I simply thought it was best reflected the disagreement most people have with PETA. And it didn’t contain any off-color words.
There are strong views on both sides.
Recently, Vermont has seen its own little PETA controversy after the group sent a letter to Commissioner Patrick Berry of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department asking him to eliminate the “Let’s Go Fishing” program after the department issues a press release seeking volunteers to teach the program.
“Teaching children to fish tells them that it’s OK to inflict pain and suffering on someone who is different from them,”said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in a news release. “Particularly at this impressionable young age, we should be teaching our children lessons about nonviolence, empathy, and acceptance.”
So by taking your kid fishing, you’re teaching them to be violent?
Next thing you’ll see PETA claiming kids who fish will grow up to become terrorists.
But that’s the thing.
PETA isn’t about actually trying to stop anything. They’re about garnering media attention. All they’re really after is the headline in order to attract another member and more donations.
Why else would they have models stripping to nothing — an action I’m in favor of, by the way — and holding signs? Will that stop someone from hunting or fishing? Only momentarily.
But it will get PETA some news coverage.
So PETA wants Berry to cancel the “Let’s Go Fishing” program “for the sake of kids, parents, and the fish themselves, who suffer as a result of this misguided program.”
I have a better idea.
Vow to take your kids fishing soon. Perhaps you’ll wait until the weather warms up a little, or maybe you want to wait until trout season opens in a month, but promise yourself and your kids that you’ll go fishing at the first opportunity.
I can promise my girls will be on a pond full of perch, bluegill or crappy as soon as the weather warms a little and we’ll be chasing trout and bass a little later in the spring.
Then, sit down at the computer and send in an entry for the “Rename PETA Contest” part II.
Use the acronym for PETA and create a new name, like People Eating Tasty Animals. Send your entry(ies) by email to me. If I get enough to make it worthwhile, or some really good one, I’ll write another column with some of the best.
Remember to keep it clean — or at least PG-13. This is a family newspaper.
Pretty Exciting Topics Ahead. Don’t you think?
Contact Darren by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.DarrenMarcy.com.