PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was in the news last week for asking followers to update their social media profile pictures with their “Shoot Selfies, Not Animals” Facebook frame. In response, hunters had some fun and we know many found irony in the request, knowing that they’re the ones truly invested in successful, sustainable wildlife conservation while the anti-hunting group is famous for outrageous publicity stunts and raising money.
Now, PETA’s claiming victory, saying hunters unwittingly spread their anti-hunting message 250,000 times and triggered a 50 percent increase in “likes” on their Facebook page. Then they went on the attack to say hunters are “bullies and cowards,” before warning, “Nearly every serial killer and school shooter killed animals before moving on to humans.”
That’s right, hunters. PETA thinks you’re probably psychotic and a ticking time bomb.
Hunting Helps Save Wildlife Populations
PETA will never acknowledge, if it even understands, that hunting is about far more than the harvest. It is about time spent in the field with friends and family. It’s about the animals, being in nature and the responsible sustainment practices that ensure there are healthy wildlife populations for generations to come.
At NSSF, we know how important all this is. We’ve worked with partner organizations to remove barriers to youth hunting through Families Afield and to update laws through the Sunday Hunting Coalition. We’re unapologetic in these pursuits because we know that time spent in the field with family grows responsible hunting conservationists and better citizens.
We know that we’re inextricably linked to our food and we take responsibility for what we feed our families. Hunters extend this bounty to our neighbors. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation estimates 2.8 million pounds of deer, elk, antelope, moose, pheasant and waterfowl meat were donated around the country providing 11 million meals.
On top of that, recreational shooters and hunters support the firearms and hunting industries that have contributed more than $12 billion in Pittman-Robertson excise taxes since 1937 that supports education and conservation. That funding has helped bald eagles, rocky mountain elk, and many other animal species come off endangered and threatened species status.
PETA’s Record Includes Killing Animals
Let’s be honest. PETA is anti-hunting, but they are also committed to shocking you and raising money.
PETA has a long string of over-the-top displays from the public funerals for frozen turkeys in grocery stores, “public art” protests of nearly-naked models smeared in fake blood. Let’s not forget their comic book, “Your Mommy Kills Animals,” complete with a crazed 50’s-era looking housewife frantically stabbing a rabbit. But it’s not just limited to hunters. PETA compares meat consumption to the Holocaust, bizarrely stating that animals view all people as “Nazis.” They attack the dairy industry too, claiming that breeding livestock is akin to rape. They claim to be champions of animal welfare, but the truth is PETA kills animals while they rake in money.
In 2014, PETA euthanized 2,454 of its 3,369 cats, dogs and other animals, most of them at their Norfolk, Va., shelter. Most of those were given up by their owners. That same year, only 23 dogs and 16 cats were adopted. But they’re laughing all the way to the bank. In 2016, PETA collected $65,740,009 in contributions, $543,889 in merchandise sales, and $751,020 in interests and dividends. That’s $67,034,918. But don’t worry; the organization spent $15,578,094 on research, investigations and rescue, so they maintain a nice cash reserve.
PETA say they shamed hunters by “tricking” them into using their Facebook frame.
But who’s trolling whom? Hunters know PETA and what it stands for. They weren’t fooled. They were exposing hypocrisy – and having more than a little fun at the radical organization’s expense.
Larry Keane is the National Shooting Sports Foundation Sr. VP & General Counsel.