Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back to the Rant...

I was thinking today that it had been awhile since I'd had anything to really rant about.  Things have been looking good - I'm much more at peace with my infertility, I've actually come across some lovely people and places in Vancouver, and hey, the sun has been shining.  I thought to myself, 'Self, is this the end of the Happy Ranter?'  And then I saw this, pulled directly from the PETA website:

It's a two-fer: Get your animal companion fixed, and get yourself fixed too! Human overpopulation is crowding out animal life on the planet, and dog and cat overpopulation is creating a euthanasia crisis that is a crying shame. Disappearing wilderness, vanishing water resources, and pollution is the price that future generations will pay for more human births, while losing their lives is the price that millions of homeless dogs and cats pay when guardians neglect to "fix" their companion animals.
Every year in the U.S., an estimated 6 to 8 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters. The best way to combat the companion-animal overpopulation crisis is to have your cat or dog neutered. And with a global population of almost 7 billion humans, more of our species could use a (voluntary) snip too.
Now, one lucky man can be reproduction-free, free of charge, just like his pooch or feline friend. During National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24 to 30), PETA will give one free vasectomy to a man who has recently had his companion cat or dog neutered. Don't worry boys—you'll still be able to enjoy sex. But your neutered dog will be less likely to face the health and behavioral problems that unneutered dogs experience.
That's right folks, PETA wants to help celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week (USA) by offering a free vasectomy.  Oh, and that little word I've highlighted in red?  Prior to a slew of emails, phone calls and Facebook postings expressing outrage, that originally read 'In honour of'.  I'm not sure what the publicists for PETA were smoking when they came up with this, but they should all be ashamed of themselves.  
Let me clarify that I don't see anything wrong with the campaign per se.  Medical treatments and surgeries can be prohibitively expensive in the United States and this might provide an opportunity to someone who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it.  What I do have an issue with is that they would have the audacity to run this campaign at the same time as NIAW.  That they would claim it was 'in honour of' NIAW is unbelievably insensitive and disrespectful to anyone dealing with infertility.

I also find it laughable that their 'solution' to helping to curb overpopulation (of the human variety) is to offer ONE vasectomy.  Why not ten?  Or a hundred?  Why not just start with every man who works for PETA?
What I'd really like to know is this:  Did the people who came up with this idea consider for one second that amongst their own ranks, and PETA members, there might be people suffering quietly through infertility of their own?  I know if I worked for PETA, I wouldn't be working there any longer.  
There has been a huge outpouring of anger from the infertility community and many requests for PETA to take down this campaign, at the very least for the week of NIAW.  It has also been requested - demanded - that they remove any association in the campaign with NIAW.  So far they haven't done that.  From some accounts I've read, they've been rude and dismissive and suggested to people that they 'just adopt'.  Because haven't you heard?  Babies are as easy to come by as puppies and kittens!
Unfortunately, I doubt that PETA will do anything more than what they have done - that little, insignificant, change of wording.  Why?  PETA, while they do some good work, also tend to be extremists.  Crazy doesn't often listen to requests from the sane.  Plus, I'm sure they're enjoying the controversy because they are predictably lame that way.
So, if you're good and pissed off now, please click the button below to sign the petition or, you can visit PETA on their Facebook page or website and tell them what you think.   I'd provide links but that might make me sick to have a direct line from my blog.    

Petitions by|Start a Petition »