I believe that at its core, PETA stands for a good cause. It is important for animals to have a voice to raise serious issues about cruel treatment upon them. Their efforts to promote vegetarianism are rooted in a good thought. Pushing for pets to be spade or neutered to reduce abandoned animals is a good thing pushed for many years by Bob Barker. Even reducing animal testing for products is a worthwhile cause.
However, their penchant for saber rattling in light of tragedies to animal turns more people off than it alerts them or motivates them for their cause. Recently they were outraged Michael Vick only received two years of jail for his 'dogfighting ring'. The problem is their outrage is usually done in a way that turns themselves into bad guys as much as the people that commit the offenses.
This is because they are unlikeable and have too many members and fringe followers that undermine their credibility.
For those of you that haven't heard, after the Kentucky Derby, Eight Belles, who finished in second place, had to be euthanized because at some point during or after the race she broke both of her front ankles.
How has PETA responded?
- They are calling for the second place purse to be stripped from the owner.
- They are calling for the trainer of the horse to be suspended.
- They are calling for the jockey of the horse to be suspended claiming he knew the horse was hurt before the race was over.
- Are saying horses shouldn't be whipped during the race.
- The title of their piece is there article says "Eight Belles" Should Sound the End of Racetrack Betting"
They also say on their website that the jockey, "whipped her mercilessly as she came down the final stretch".
There are legitimate issues in horse racing that need to be addressed. PETA hit on some of the least important ones in order to make their case. Calling for head of a jockey or a trainers is ridiculous.
They say the jockey should have known the horse broke its ankles. How was he supposed to know this? Are jockeys supposed to be the Robert Redford character in The Horse Whisperer?
They want whips taken out of horse racing? Now I'm not an expert but I actually think that this could put horses in danger. The whip is used for many things and sometimes separating from a crowd of horses where injuries can truly take place.
Talked to some smart horse people over the weekend and one thing no one has mentioned is that horses often get hurt when they cross the finish line because changing speeds, slowing down in particular is when a horse is prone to get hurt.
Consider this, a horse going full speed who then tries to stop their 1,000 to 1,500 pound frame quickly as opposed to running out and gradually slowing down. The quick stop puts more considerable more stress and pressure on their legs than when they are in a full sprint which leads to breaks.
So if my information is correct that horses get hurt when they are suddenly pulled back by a jockey then PETA is saying that the jockey should have put Eight Belles in more danger. If jockey Gabriel Saenz had pulled Eight Belles up on the back stretch he would have put her in danger in two ways. 1st, the aforementioned strain that would have been on her legs.
Second, Eight Belles was in 2nd place meaning that 18 horses were in full sprint behind her. So imagine if Eight Belles got run over by a couple of the 18 horses while the jockey tried to save her by pulling her up at the end of the race. The other horses would have been put in danger as well.
So my point, PETA doesn't know what the hell they are talking about.
PETA should focus their attention on real and sensible issues. Their are legitimate and fair points to be made, but thanks to their never ending stupidity and grandstanding their claims will fall on deaf ears.