Media stunts distract from legitimate concerns of PETA

By Briana McGeough 2008

Imagine a hear of cattle having their throats slashed with a large knife and then being hanged by their hind legs to slowly bleed to death. Or picture a group of chickens getting their beaks severed and being crowded into a dark, excrement-filled shack with only an area smaller than a sheet of paper to move around in.

Thanks to the commercial meat industry, which over 90 percent of Americans supports, these barbaric procedures and conditions are a grim reality. Another tragedy of the meat industry is the countless number of lives that are lost unnecessarily. During a time when fossil fuels are so difficult to obtain, it is unfortunate that so much of this precious energy is wasted, just to produce meat.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been working for years to correct these problems. While some PETA members have taken ludicrous actions, like drenching people waring leather in pig blood, many other members of the organization have taken a more practical approach. Recently, a local news network received footage from PETA of animal cruelty that occurred at a local farm. The network refused to air this footage. When asked, network officials said that the footage was too graphic to be aired on television.

In the past, graphic content hasn’t stopped news stations from airing footage of a natural disaster, a war or even a cosmetic surgery. Could the refusal to air the tape have more to do with the fact that one of the largest sources of income for national television stations is the meat industry? Or maybe that many of the network’s viewers, local farmers, rely on livestock of r their livelihood?

I must ask, if PETA is not allowed to share their message with the public through video, then why wouldn’t they do something drastic, like douse someone in pig’s blood, if that’s what they have to do to get publicity? It seems to me that they are only doing what they have to in order to get their views across to the general population.

The animal rights movement has reached national opposition as well. FBI Deputy Assistant Director and top official in charge of domestic terrorism John Lewis said, “The number one domestic terrorism threat is the eco-terrorism, animal rights movement.”

Now I might be missing something, but I don’t think that a protest over business executives wearing leather or eating hamburgers was the reason that the World Trade Center was attacked on Sept. 11. If that were the reason, then I would think the war on terrorism would be a much easier battle than we are making it out to be.

A common misconception about the animal right movement is that it only benefits animals. In reality, human being benefit as well. The earth has enough quality farmland to adequately feed 15 billion people;
the earth’s population is currently under 8 billion, yet 29,000 people starve to death every single day because our land usage is so inefficient that we can’t possibly feed the world’s population.

Fifteen vegetarians can eat off of the land required to feed on e meat eater, so if everyone were willing to give up their pork chops, then the problem of world hunger would be greatly reduced.

A vegetarian, animal-friendly diet is also very fuel-efficient. It takes 145 times as much fossil fuel to transport livestock as it does to transport an equal number of pounds of potatoes.

This means that following a vegetarian diet and driving a gas-guzzling SUV is actually more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly than being a meat eater who walks everywhere.

Even if you are not willing to consider a vegetarian lifestyle, just realized that the animal rights movement is legitimate and the national opposition to it is not helping anyone. Animals are not the only ones who benefit, and this mainstream fear of animal rights activists is absolutely ludicrous.

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