As far as tactics go, the latest idea from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is rather tame.
The group has asked the Kansas Department of Transportation to erect a memorial sign on Interstate 70 where dozens of cattle were killed in a recent wreck. Apparently at least 30 cattle being hauled to a slaughterhouse died when the truck drove off an overpass in Kansas City, Kan.
“In Memory of 30 Cows Who Suffered and Died at This Spot” is the wording of the requested sign.
“It’s tragic enough that cows will end up in slaughterhouses, where their throats will be cut and some of them will be skinned alive,” Dan Mathews, PETA’s vice president, said. “PETA’s sign will remind truck drivers that the least that we can do for these animals is to take care to save them from plunging off an overpass to a bloody, drawn-out death on the pavement below.”
While Mathews’ description is gross, the sign itself is not very provocative, which is rather surprising. This animal rights group attempted to exploit the murder of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller by posting billboards suggesting both pro-life and pro-choice factions should choose a vegetarian lifestyle. PETA activists regularly throw blood on fur-wearing individuals, stage nude demonstrations and currently have a rather misogynistic campaign featuring women in slings, casts and bandages because their vegetarian partners have so much energy by going meat-free.
In a region where raising livestock to feed the world is a healthy part of the local economy, it’s hard to take the group seriously. Their intent is fine, and we have no beef with a vegetarian’s preferred diet. We can’t help but think PETA’s tactics are designed merely to draw attention to the organization, not the message.
If that is the intent — fine. Everybody in the country has the right to their opinion.
But not everybody’s opinion needs to be posted on public right-of-ways. We were pleased to hear KDOT rejected PETA’s request.
“We don’t post fatality signs for anyone — animal or human,” Steve Swartz, KDOT’s public information officer, said. “The state doesn’t have any such program to mark the spot of a fatality.”
We always appreciate it when common sense carries the day.
— The Hays Daily News