REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Eight-ball in the PETA pocket

Get real, PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has once again managed to turn a noble ideal -- that anim
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Get real, PETA.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has once again managed to turn a noble ideal -- that animals should not be treated cruelly for human benefit -- into a sick joke.

In its usual inimitable style of shoot-first-and-ask-questions-never, the animal-rights group has set its sights on Mona Rutger and her Back to the Wild wildlife rehabilitation center near Castalia.

Rutger's alleged act of cruelty was to display, for a few minutes, a bald eagle at a Kent State University athletic event.

The eagle, nicknamed Beauty, can't go back to the wild because it's been left blind by West Nile Virus. So the Back to the Wild staff cares for it -- with help, we're told, from Kent State -- and occasionally exhibits it as part of the center's educational displays.

Bad Mona, says PETA.

Never mind Rutger does more for animals by accident than PETA does in a year's worth of publicity stunts, and has received national recognition for it. PETA's flack tells us he wasn't familiar with all that.

What's sad about this, though, is not the effect on Back to the Wild, which will easily weather PETA's hissy fit. What's sad is that PETA, more blinded than Beauty by its rigid ideology, took a shot at someone it should regard as an ally.

Maybe PETA was just after the publicity. Maybe PETA even believes its own news releases; "More's the pity," as Hawkeye Pierce would say. Either way, it's once again managed to bury the cause it purportedly champions under the sick joke the organization has become.