PETA: Kill People But Please Don’t Scare the Animals

PETA:  Kill People But Please Don't Scare the Animals PETA is apparently more concerned about some frightened animals than thousands of dead human beings.

An international animal rights group called on Sri Lanka’s separatist Tamil Tigers to “leave animals out” of the armed conflict, two weeks after a grenade attack blamed on rebels at the island’s main zoo. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, said in a letter dated Feb. 15 to Velupillai Prabhakaran, the reclusive rebel leader, that “the explosive device that was set off near the zoo’s bird enclosures terrified many animals at the zoo.”

[…]

The Feb. 3 grenade explosion at the Dehiwala zoo on the outskirts of the capital of Colombo wounded at least four people, the government said. Attacks including bomb explosions blamed on Tamil rebels have killed about 90 civilians so far this year, according to the military.

[…]

Tamil Tiger rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create a separate homeland for the country’s ethnic minority Tamils. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Bruce McQuain wins Headline of the Day honors for his piece on this, “PETA pleads with rebels to stick with murdering humans.”

Granted, PETA is in the animal rights business, not the concern for humans business. But you’d think they’d at least put in an offhand disclaimer that, of course, some frightened zoo animals aren’t a bigger tragedy than four wounded innocents and 70,000 human dead.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: zappowbang

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    Any organization that narrows the scope of it’s concerns so tightly that it leaves common sense out is not worthy of attention or respect. PETA crossed that line a long while ago.

    Sure it’s in the business of protecting animal rights but I’m in business as well and I don’t focus solely on making money without regard to other responsibilities. Children think that way, not adults.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    I think PETA is being entirely self consistent. They do put animal life higher than human life. They put scaring animals at a higher priority than scaring or wounding humans.

  3. Scott Swank says:

    And the AARP focuses on the elderly, and Child & Family Services focuses on children & families, and so forth. Is there really a story here?

  4. James Joyner says:

    And the AARP focuses on the elderly, and Child & Family Services focuses on children & families, and so forth. Is there really a story here?

    Ah, but one suspects AARP wouldn’t respond to the late-night murder of young people with a call to move future killings to a more sensible hour so as to avoid interrupting the sleep patterns of the elderly.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    Because we all know the Tamil Tigers will give up their forty year old campaign in Sri Lanka if only PETA would ask them.

    Seriously, that’s idiotic.

    The reason PETA asks them to stop harming animals is because
    A) it’s PETA’s area of concern
    B) they might actually listen

    Asking them to stop killing people, when it is their raison d’etre, would be a waste of time.

    While we’re at it why isn’t PETA asking China to respect the right of dissidents to protest? Or maybe they should hold a press release against the Burqua?

    Or, hey, let’s turn it around- where’s the Club for Growth’s statement about the Tamil Tigers? Oh, they don’t have one? I bet they have a position statement about trade with india- how could they forget to append a strongly worded condemnation of the LTTE?

  6. James Joyner says:

    how could they forget to append a strongly worded condemnation of the LTTE?

    Apples, oranges. PETA is reacting to a specific event which 1) wounded four humans and 2) scared some animals. One ought mention the humans at least in passing when speaking out on behalf of the animals.

    If Club for Growth were issuing a position statement after a car bombing saying that the Tigers ought pick places other than the infrastructure to do their killing, because of the trade impact, the analogy would work better.

  7. legion says:

    The reason PETA asks them to stop harming animals is because
    A) it’s PETA’s area of concern
    B) they might actually listen

    Well, I’ll give you A); as others have noted, that’s what they’re in the business of doing. But B)? No. I don’t think even PETA is goofy enough to think they could influence either side in a violent, long-term civil conflict. They made the announcement for the same reason they do most of their publicity stunts here in the US – for publicity.

    FWIW, _that’s_ where I think PETA really goes off the rails – they put doing things that attract publicity ahead of doing things that might actually change people’s attitudes towards animals.

  8. hln says:

    Perhaps what they really mean is not to feed the already dead people to the camels.

    hln

  9. Tlaloc says:

    But B)? No. I don’t think even PETA is goofy enough to think they could influence either side in a violent, long-term civil conflict.

    Influence them not to kill each other? No way. Influence, *slightly*, how they kill each other? Maybe. It’s not like the Tamil Tigers are strongly dedicated to attacking zoos.

  10. William d'Inger says:

    Outrage is a marketing strategy. PETA and the ACLU are masters of the game, as were David Duke and Muhammad Ali in their halcyon days. They say something inflammatory and whole world hears about it. If they had to pay for the page space or air time at commercial advertising rates, they’d be bankrupt before sundown. If it weren’t for dupes giving them free resources, they would dry up and blow away. It’s sad that James is helping perpetuate their zealotry with this blog entry, and I am depressed that posters here would dignify their crap by discussing it as if it were worthy of rational consideration.

  11. Tlaloc says:

    So, your excuse for talking about it is…

  12. William d'Inger says:

    So, your excuse for talking about it is…

    When better to illuminate a parasite’s food source than during a feeding? Heightening awareness of the process might reduce the host’s propensity to grant it such succor in the future.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Why the outrage that PETA is focused on the welfare of animals? Are we so sure their lives and welfare are somehow less important that that of humans?

    And people wonder why the world is so screwed up…

  14. G.A.Phillips says:

    Why the outrage that PETA is focused on the welfare of animals? Are we so sure their lives and welfare are somehow less important that that of humans?

    The world is screwed up because so many people think like this!

  15. anjin-san says:

    The world is screwed up because so many people think like this!

    GA – Do you know God’s thoughts? I don’t, but I operate under the assumption that ALL life is sacred, not just my kind. What else would explain the amazing (and dwindling, thanks to us) diversity of life on Earth?

    The human world is one of constant violence partially because human beings give themselves permission to take life when it suits them. When people decide to cherish life, all life, perhaps we will take a step towards breaking the cycle of violence that has been going on since long before the dawn of history.

  16. G.A.Phillips says:

    GA – Do you know God’s thoughts? I don’t, but I operate under the assumption that ALL life is sacred, not just my kind. What else would explain the amazing (and dwindling, thanks to us) diversity of life on Earth?

    ya a little it’s in the bible and only human life is sacred, and that that would be the curse we live under because of our sin.

    The human world is one of constant violence partially because human beings give themselves permission to take life when it suits them. When people decide to cherish life, all life, perhaps we will take a step towards breaking the cycle of violence that has been going on since long before the dawn of history.

    you say human like as if animals all get along, but anyway I’m with you here bro but it’s not going to happen, never has never will, not that we should not try, say do you think stopping the murder of almost 50 million of our unborn fellow world citizens a year might be a good start?

    then we can worry about the rest, you see I like little fuzzy animals too but crap loads of dead human babies in the garbage gives all a bad name.