Letter: Helping people and animals are not mutually exclusive

In response to the opinion piece “Save the cuties” by Michael Zink (Jan. 29), it was interesting to read the author’s reaction to our tongue-in-cheek “Sea Kittens” campaign, which aims to remind consumers that fish suffer greatly when caught and killed for their flesh — just as all animals do.

Most people would never dream of spending a family weekend torturing kittens, but hooking a fish through the mouth and dragging him through the water is the same as hooking a cat through the mouth and dragging him behind your car.

Regarding Zink’s request that PETA spend its resources helping humans instead of animals, it’s clear that the author is frustrated by the lack of action in areas of crisis, such as Darfur. However, it seems that to place the blame on either PETA or other animal protection groups is misdirected. As an animal rights organization, PETA works to protect animals. Similarly, Amnesty International is a human rights organization, which focuses on helping people. We each work on our respective issues, but many of our supporters care about both.

To speak out against violence, regardless of whether it is toward animals or humans, is a noble effort, and I commend Zink for taking such a stance. But we must remember that one can choose the veggie burger instead of the tuna at lunch and still attend the Rally for Darfur that evening.

Ryan Huling

Jan. 29

New York

The writer is the college campaign coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Comments

  • anonymous

    I think the main difference between hooking a cat and a fish is that a cat can feel pain.