Pestilential, preposterous PETA

By Shelley McKinney
web posted September 4, 2000

Every time I read news about those fun-loving people from PETA, the first thing I think is "What's for dinner?" Perhaps a succulent pot roast, cooked slowly in the oven with a dash of burgundy. Or maybe grilled chicken marinated in lime. Lamb chops? Veal scaloppini? Whatever the decision, meat is generally the main course around our house, and we are brazen and unashamed and armed with a very nice set of sharp knives with serrated blades.

Rosie O'DonnellA recent piece of news from everybody's favorite animal rights group has me thinking about trout, rolled in corn meal and pan fried. PETA has recently been appalled by the scandalous behavior of none other than Rosie O'Donnell, who actually has the nerve to...enjoy sport fishing. Please keep in mind that Ms. O'Donnell uses the traditional pole-line-and-hook method to prey upon innocent aquatic life, rather than the meaner method of standing on a river bank and trying to shoot the fish out of the water with a .357 Magnum.

Rosie O'Donnell was recently involved in an accident to an arm while fishing at her estate in the Florida Keys, which resulted in the talk-show star and gun-control advocate's having to wear a cast. As if this weren't enough, Ms. O'Donnell subsequently received a letter from PETA leader Ingrid Newkirk, asking her to stop fishing.

"Please do not think, as I once so naively did, that fish do not feel pain. They do. I hope lots of beautiful, feeling animals will be spared from any more Rosie rodeos," Ms. Newkirk wrote.

In a brilliant riposte, O'Donnell spokesperson Lois Smith rejoined, "Rosie doesn't keep the fish she catches. She throws them back in the safest manner."

This produces a vivid mental picture, doesn't it? I can just imagine Rosie tenderly un-hooking a little fish and placing it gently back in the water (as opposed to just hurling it over the side of the rowboat, which would surely be unfeeling) so that it could swim madly away, blubbering about the hole that big, barbed hook had just pierced through its lip. Anything to save a fish from a painful belly-flop, though, right Ms. Smith?

If PETA had a response to Lois Smith's blunder, it hasn't been recorded -- probably because they were all busy with PETA's new advertising campaign which surprisingly features none other than New York City's outspoken mayor, Rudy Giuliani.

Now, now, don't get all upset. Mayor Giuliani is not in league with PETA, but it is true that they are using his image in a spoof of the National Dairy Council's successful "Got Milk?" campaign. The mayor is pictured with a milk mustache, and the caption of the PETA ad reads "Got Prostate Cancer?" The campaign is being used to promote PETA's idea that the consumption of dairy products leads to prostate cancer, and the advertisements are appearing on billboards in Wisconsin, which proclaims itself as "America's Dairyland." [PETA has since apologized to Giuliani for that ad - ed.]

It's amazing that the same group that could get so worked up about fish suffering pain could be so cavalier about inflicting pain on people, but the friendly souls at PETA aren't spurred to much compassion for People, the Monsters of the Universe. Not only do they have no cow's milk (it's mean to exploit cows for the needs of humans) they also have no milk of human kindness. And not much logical thought, either.

PETA relentlessly pursues their basic hatred for mankind in general; they see themselves as holy warriors in a cause that is surely as righteous as the cause of Christ Himself. Unfortunately, they have missed several key points of Scripture, and that fact succeeds only in making them look more frantically whacked out than ever.

For instance, PETA has been hard at work with ad campaigns other than the one featuring Rudy Giuliani. Also featured on billboards, these public awareness raising designs can be seen in both the United States and Canada. There is " image of God holding vegetables in each hand and reminding followers, "I said, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill.' Go Vegetarian," according to PETA's web site. "PETA hopes that the billboard, part of a larger campaign based on biblical teachings of love and compassion for all beings, will encourage people to exemplify God's word by rededicating themselves to the Sixth Commandment and going vegetarian."

It's just enough to make you want to soothe your indignant feelings by going out for a big, juicy steak, isn't it?

First of all, PETA has the wording for the Sixth Commandment all wrong: The actual words of Deuteronomy 5:17 read "You shall not murder." And just in case ardent PETA activists want to protest that killing innocent animals is murder, Deuteronomy 12:21 reads, " may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the LORD has given you...and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want. Eat them as you would gazelle or deer."

God obviously has some different ideas about animals than the people of PETA, but anybody who had bothered to read only as far as the first few chapters of the book of Genesis could have realized that. While in the Garden of Eden, God placed Adam above all the animals and allowed him to give them their names; in Genesis 3:21, after the Fall, we find that God "made garments of skin for Adam and his wife."

Those skins came from the first sacrifice ever made to "cover" humans, and they came from animals. Those animals were killed -- not murdered -- in order to give the first sinful people a physical covering, since it was probably obvious to everyone that the whole fig leaf idea was just not going to be practical in the long run. But this clothing made of skin was also symbolic: God used this first sacrifice to set the stage for the eventual death of His own Son, the One who was called "The Lamb of God" and covered the sins of the world.

But you'd hardly expect the people of PETA to discern this, especially since they are so busily trying to hoodwink the gullible into thinking that God instructs us in the Bible to love our neighbors and our cows and our chickens and our fish and our seals and our chinchillas and our whales as we love ourselves, and it simply isn't so. Nowhere in the Bible does God give the same precedence to animals as He does to human beings and anybody who says that He does is just lying, to be frank.

And anyway, if PETA people are so caught up in having "love and compassion for all beings," then I would really like to know why they're willing to exploit Rudy Giuliani's frightening bout with cancer with their advertising campaign. Doesn't the mayor have as much of a capacity for pain as those fish that Rosie O'Donnell so safely releases back into their natural habitat?

No, say the people of PETA. To them, animals are the most righteous creatures and mankind is the spoiler, the eater, the ravager, the wearer of skins.

They're wrong, except about the eating and the wearing. And the only other thing I can add to this statement is: "Got Worcestershire?"

Shelley McKinney is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right and can be reached at

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