Eye on the Antis – December 2004

As we mark the passing of another year, we’re happy to report that hunting is still allowed, fishing hasn’t been banned, and ground beef and milk are still for sale at the local grocery store.

We can also report that HSUS and PETA and other animal-rights groups are not happy about these things, and they are continuing to misinform, raise piles of cash, dress up in giant chicken costumes, and talk young women into wearing bikinis — or less — in public protests of everything from Big Macs to fur coats.

These awards mark some of the highlights, and lowlights, of last year’s animal-rights antics.

• The "Here’s How to Deal With a PETA Protest" Award: A pair of PETA activists who were protesting milk consumption at a United Kingdom school had to be rescued by two police officers when teenagers began drenching the PETA protesters with milk and hurling milk boxes at them.
“This is a stupid idea,” said Alan Smith, a 16-year-old student. “We should be encouraged to drink milk, and I certainly won’t stop drinking milk just because a man has dressed up as a cow outside my school.”

• The "They Ought to Be Ashamed" Award: HSUS has a lot to be ashamed of, but high on the list is the effect their fund-raising has on local animal shelters. When local shelters set up booths at fairs or other places trying to raise money, it is common for people to say they’ve already given money to help the shelters. But what they had actually done was donate to the Humane Society of the United States, which has done nothing for local humane societies except steal their name and siphon off potential funding. HSUS even has the audacity to promote an annual "National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week." Instead of providing money to help local shelters, this program just further confuses the public into associating HSUS with the local humane societies.

• The "Don’t Mess With My Holiday Meal" Award: I’m not exactly sure what a Tofurkey looks like, and I’m pretty sure you can’t fill it with stuffing, but I do know that if I ever sit down for Thanksgiving dinner and find one on the table, there’s going to be big trouble.

HSUS gets this award for their campaign asking folks to consider alternatives to the best meal of the year. Here’s part of their plea: "The HSUS points out that there are good-tasting and healthful vegetarian alternatives to real turkeys. Non-meat turkey substitutes, such as Tofurkey, and other vegetarian products are available in almost any supermarket."

• The "That Stunt Didn’t Work" Award: PETA has coordinated loud, angry protests at more than 20 tour stops of Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile Tour and Talent Search Contest, which is auditioning young singers. The PR isn’t what PETA wanted as television coverage focused on the anger of the parents and traumatized kids. The Washington Post reported, "The children froze. Several stared at the ground… The three television cameras that had arrived with [PETA] were now focused on the stricken faces of the small children…"

• The "Thanks for Humanizing My Dinner" Award: HSUS wins again… this time for offering these eye-opening samples of "little-known facts" about farm animals — cattle are very social, pigs can be trained, and mama chickens pass on lessons on life to their chicks.

• The "Sportsman Taking Action" Award: This is the good… just your average meat-eating, deer-chasing citizen deciding to do something about animal-rights zealots trying to dictate how we live. Last spring, Eric Beatty of Dallas, Ga. was shopping at his local Wal-Mart in Hiram when he noticed the HSUS logo on a product proudly promoting that they were donating part of the proceeds to the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS is the nation’s biggest animal-rights group and the most-active anti-hunting group in the world. Eric made some calls, and a few weeks later an executive from Wal-Mart headquarters had agreed to yank all HSUS-related products… nationwide.

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