07 April 2011

Even I have something to say about PETA

Ms. Newkirk,

I am an animal lover.  I don’t always agree with the extremes of PETA’s positions on animals, but I definitely support the spaying and neutering of companion animals.  We all have a responsibility to reduce feral populations, and the number of pets that aren’t really loved and cared for.  Rith now it seems that PETA takes joy in choosing extreme positions in order to raise awareness, and to cause controversy and conversation.  This latest stunt/campaign that includes the giveaway of a vasectomy in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week is repulsive and insulting.  I am aware that I am participating in the conversation that you wanted to spark, and honestly – I have no problem with the win a vasectomy campaign in and of itself – if you want to make a statement about human overpopulation, that’s your right.  BUT, and this is a big but, claiming that the giveaway is in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week is wrong.

Infertility is something that affects a large part of the human race, and interferes with one of our most basic biological drives.  I can remember, not too long ago, sitting through a college course on the history and future of the human race, and hearing over and over again, that as an organism we are only successful if we procreate, and our children survive to procreate as well.  This is a large part of how nature designed us.  It is not wrong to want to have a child, or children.  It is wrong to try and make your point at the expense of a class of people who are hurting, and doubly wrong to do it at a time that they are trying to raise awareness for themselves.

Your organization is not the first to make the claim that we have a moral imperative to not increase the human population of the earth.  It is also not the first to place the responsibility for that squarely at the feet of those who have had much of that choice taken away from them.  Infertile couples will not be participating in your contest – they don’t need the prize.  Choosing to refrain from having children because of moral or social beliefs is not the responsibility of the infertile community – infertiles who made that choice probably don’t know or care that they are infertile, so it doesn’t bother them.  The majority of infertile couples choose (or are able to) have only one or two children, a birth rate that favors population reduction, as that rate does not tend to replace themselves into the next generation.  As for the rest of us – I ask this question:  Did your members refrain from having children; did they spay or neuter themselves?  Or do the majority of them have children and families of their own, and are instead trying to push their social responsibilities off on those who just want something that they themselves take for granted?

Senja C. Yakovleff


  1. Well said! I don't think I will ever be able to support PETA again, no matter how much I love animals. They are one strange, screwed up organization if they think provoking people to pain and anger is the only way for them to get attention and publicity.

  2. Wow Jenni! I have read a lot of PETA letters in the past couple of days and I have to say yours is the best so far. Smartly written and to the point. Awesome!

  3. Great Letter! Too bad they won't actual appreciate the real reason for our objections that you so eloquently point out to them. Their response letters are killing me.

  4. I hadn't heard of this, thanks for bringing it to my attention. As a vegan I'm someone that should be most won over by PETA, right? But I have a problem with their more extreme stuff, too, and this, IMO, should not even be in the same realm as animal rights . . . I agree that this is very insensitive and a slap in the face to the IF community (though maybe they have a really bad PR rep who wouldn't realize that? IDK man!)
    Thanks for writing this letter, it is brilliant.


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