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PETA has a beef with Palin

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals(PETA) seems to have a beef with Gov. Sarah Palin. The organization recently posted an online game on its website which urges users to “help make the holidays safe for animals by fighting back against notorious animal abusers.” Lovers of warm and furry critters who visit the site can cast stones… well, virtual snowballs, at least, at a vrtual Palin, who is depicted in the game wearing a bikini and a fur coat. Whoever designed the game obviously has some sexual issues and a vivid imagination.

PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk received a telephone call from someone who claimed to be from Gov. Palin’s office, threatening her organization with a lawsuit if the game was not removed from the group’s website. A series of e-mail exchanges between Newkirk and Palin spokesman Bill McAllister ensued.

Bruce Friedrich, who is in charge of communications for PETA, said:

“Sarah Palin is a bully who never saw an animal she didn’t want to kill, so it’s not surprising that her staff would try to intimidate us anonymously and then backtrack when called out. Our game represents a fun way to focus attention on a very serious subject — cruelty to animals supported by Sarah Palin and the other targets of the game — and we have no intention of taking it down in response to these pathetic attempts at intimidation.”

PETA people are not only prone to hyperbole and ad hominem attacks, but they apparently can read minds also.

McAllister says its not the game which bothers him, but the charge that someone in the governor’s office threatened legal action:

“This allegation about a lawsuit is just too much. No one in our office knew anything about it. And PETA has refused to say who called.”

You can read the actual e-mail exchange between Newkirk and McAllister here. PETA and its mission are not taken too seriously by many in Alaska, whose citizens, especially native people who live in remote areas, depend on moose and other wildlife to feed their families. A bumper sticker seen in the 49th state reads:

Vegetarian: Eskimo word for “bad hunter”

Palin has been the subject of extreme criticism from PETA and other “animal rights” groups, who often depict her as shooting wolves from a helicopter, something she has never done. The state’s Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) wolf control program has outraged activists, who can’t seem to understand that the wolves are not lovable pets, but predators that hunt moose and caribou in packs.

The canines are very effective hunters. Wildlife biologist David Johnson explains that wolves had depleted the numbers of moose and caribou in Alaska, but ADF&G’s wolf control program has corrected the problem:

When we started the Tanana Flats wolf control program in the mid-1970’s moose and caribou numbers were low and falling. Wolf numbers were high. Ten years later, and some years after the program ended, there were more of each: more moose, more caribou, and – here’s the punch line – the wolf population had bounced back to a larger size than when we started.

In the early 1980’s, as an area biologist in Delta Junction, I watched as wolf control had a similar impact on moose numbers. Today, moose and wolves are again abundant around Delta.

The problem with animal rights activists and other liberals is that they react emotionally to both the problem and the solution, refusing to acknowledge that scientific methods of wildlife management not only work, but they are essential to keeping animal populations in check:

Romantic notions of the “balance of nature” lead easily to the false conclusion that if we simply “let nature take its course,” abundance will naturally result. The historical reality is that much of Alaska was hungry country when US Army explorers began to penetrate the Interior in the late 19th century. Some of these parties nearly starved for lack of game. The Athabascan inhabitants of the Interior often struggled with starvation. The “balance of nature” there seems to have been weighted more toward scarcity than abundance.

I believe our choice today is either wildlife abundance, maintained by intelligent management of ungulates, their habitats and their predators, or what will likely be long periods of limited numbers of prey species like moose and caribou, as the 19th century explorers found.

PETA people just don’t get it, and they probably never will. Meanwhile, the irrational personal attacks on Sarah Palin by the clueless, hateful left continue.

- JP

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