Thursday, September 29, 2011

PETA and Animal Advocacy

Gizmodo ran a story today that was clearly written by someone shaking with rage. I know because many of my own articles are written with rage. It stood out to me because Gizmodo is often witty but generally dry and emotionless. This was a rare opinion piece and I happen to disagree with it.

The article can be read here, but if you don't want to read it, it involves a man fishing for sharks who was then attacked and mauled by the shark. He's in intensive care and PETA is using his story as awareness about fishing. The Gizmodo writer's contention, as well as the title of the post, is that PETA doesn't give a shit about humans.

Here's the thing: PETA is an animal advocacy group. Specifically a non-human animal advocacy group. I'm sure that if the man was attacked by a shark while rescuing a child from a sinking rowboat PETA would not discuss his death at all. But the man was fishing, trying to kill sharks. So when a shark (almost) killed a human, PETA is supposed to care? Do we expect PETA to care when a matador is gored by a bull? Here in America, I think we all cheer for dead matadors. Do we expect the ACLU to care when someone in power is shut down?

I don't agree with everything that PETA does, but I am very glad that they exist. I am proud to support them. Their job isn't to care about the lives of human animals, their job is to care about the lives of non-human animals. Good job, PETA.

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