Published 26 August 1991 in the News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
Animal rights group sinks to a new low
To the Editor:
How much weight should we ascribe to the views of an organization that lacks the intellectual acumen to distinguish between heinous criminality and food production? In placing an advertisement comparing the horrific crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer with the legitimate activities of the meat processing industry, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has established a new low for its usual lack of taste and common sense.
Quoting PETA official Kathy Guillermo, "We hope to jolt a few people into realizing that what happened to those people is no different from what happens to animals." What happened to those people was murder, the unlawful taking of human life; what happens to animals is slaughter, the killing and preparation of food. The difference is hardly subtle and is readily comprehensible by any reasonably intelligent and honest person.
PETA mistakenly places a value on lower animal life equal to that of human life. This fundamental error, which flies in the face of common sense, is the source of the irrationality inherent in its activities. This irrationality manifests itself from the silliness of the "Meat Stinks" antimeat campaign to the obscenity of the recent controversy to the shortsighted call for a ban on the use of animals in medical research.
While abuse and neglect of animals are crimes and should be treated as such, the radical extremes to which PETA would lead us are unnatural and potentially disastrous. I hope PETA's most recent imbroglio will jolt more than a few people into realizing what an irresponsible and dangerous organization it is and prevent the tragedy that would be an "animal rights future."
James M. Wallace