People for Intelligent Treatment of Facts
Apparently PETA has a standard letter of condemnation they send to organizations that do "Living Nativity Scenes" (ie, those with real poeple and/or animals).
According to reports, they mistakenly sent one to a church that does theirs with live people, but no animals.
I especially liked a couple of excerpts...
Jackie Vergerio, PETA's captive animals in entertainment specialist, said ..."Those animals are subject to all sorts of terrible fates in some cases," ... "Animals have been stolen and slaughtered, they've been raped, they've escaped from the nativity scenes and have been struck by cars and killed. Just really unfathomable things have happened to them."
Now, I'm assuming Vergerio is correct about what's happened. But I fail to make a terribly strong connection between nativity scenes per se and those sad occurrences. That type of thing happens to animals -- it's happening right now, in fact -- and it doesn't have that much to do with Xmas creches, except where you're bringing untrained farm animals into a busy city area.
And the rape part? C'mon -- when that kind of stuff happens, it's because pet-type human-animal contact* is going to occasionally result in weird and bad stuff for the animals (and incidentally, probably just as often bad stuff for the humans.)
It has nothing to do with nativity scenes -- I have a hard time imagining that Xmas time churches around North America are full of pastors and parishioners interfering with the holiday donkey.
The thing about PETA is that they do a lot of good stuff, and who can argue with treating animals ethically? But what I see here is that -- as usual -- PETA values animal life and animal welfare far above that of humans. And the no live nativity scene policy reveals their official-but-seldom-loudly-stated agenda to eventually do away with pet ownership entirely.
In my opinion, they lack a fundamental understanding of the nature of life. They want to create a world that has never existed, and will never exist -- one where animals have lives of peace, contentment, and inasmuch as they can experience it -- happiness. No hunger, no discomfort, no death -- all of which are apparently caused by meddling humans.
But the reality is that without human intervention, most animals get eaten by other animals, and as often as not the getting-eaten process starts while the eatee is still alive.
You hear dumb things like "Humans are the only animals who kill for sport" and other such nonsense (ever watched a cat with a mouse/bird/any animal that moves? ever watched a lion play with a baby gazelle?)
Nature is brutal and cruel; life in the wild is short and usually ends painfully; being a pet in a caring household is a far better life than most animals could ever hope for in any other configuration.
In other news, I also thought it was kind of cute what the pastor said:
"No one's come by protesting or thrown bloodstained fur at us or anything," Armstrong said. "We even use a plastic baby."
Maybe somebody should explain that PETA doesn't bring the fur -- they just bring the paint to throw on *your* furs.
But the plastic baby policy is nice, and it makes me smile, not sure why...
*Let us acknowledge that animals-as-food has a pretty consistent negative outcome for the animal. As the bumper sticker says: Meat is murder. Tasty, tasty, murder.