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PeTA's inexcusable behavior

Scott Tibbs, December 19, 2003

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has done it again. The Boston Herald reports:

Animal rights advocates will single out small children at performances of "The Nutcracker" in the next few weeks by handing out fliers saying ``Your Mommy Kills Animals'' to youngsters whose mothers are wearing fur.

"Children can't look up to a mom in a battered-raccoon hat or a crushed coyote collar," said Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Maybe when they're confronted by their own children's hurt looks, fur-wearers' cold hearts will melt.

"The fliers include a color drawing of a woman plunging a large bloody knife into the belly of a terrified rabbit. The fliers urge kids to "ask your mommy how many dead animals she killed to make her fur clothes.

"And the sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy - she's an animal killer."
PeTA continues to make itself irrelevant by going farther and farther out on the extremist fringe. Who in the PeTA organization actually thought it was a good idea to frighten children by telling them that their mommies personally slaughter animals? What kind of pervert would tell children their mommy might kill the family dog or cat? What kind of sick mind thinks that these depraved tactics are proper?

Whatever one thinks of the moral implications of wearing fur, to say that someone is prone to violence becausde she has a fur coat is laughable. Perhaps the fur coat was given to her, or perhaps she purchased it, but she certainly did not kill the animal herself.

Biomedical research is morally justifiable (not to mention a moral obligation) because of the promise it holds for saving human lives and improving human health. Killing animals for meat is also morally justifiable. However, I personally do not approve of wearing fur.

I do not think it is morally justifiable to kill animals for their fur in today's society. I believe we have an obligation to treat animals in a humane manner, and not kill or harm animals except when necessary. When wearing animal skins was necessary to keep people warm, killing animals for their skins and fur was no different than animals in the wild using each other for food. It was a necessary and natural act. But wearing fur is no longer necessary for human survival or human health. Fur is a luxury item worn for aesthetic and status reasons. While I certainly would not favor any sort of law banning fur, I do not think it is proper to kill animals for something that can be made without using animals.

PeTA's opposition to killing animals for their fur is legitimate, and they would find many people from across the ideological spectrum who would suport reasonable measures to advance animal welfare. Christians should respect the Lord's creation, and not abuse or misuse it. In Matthew 25:14-30 God commands us, through a parable, to be good stewards of what He has given us. Obviously, that includes the natural world. Psalm 24:1 says "The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

But PeTA goes beyond the "good steward" principle to ridiculous extremes. Indeed, PeTA worships the creature rather than the Creator, which God warns against in Romans 1:25. PeTA's extremism in fighting for animal rights actually damages the cause of animal welfare by making those who care for animals look like complete kooks.