It is not often you come across a press release from a reputable company or organization with the word “castrated” in the title. That is why People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officially lost its place on my list of reputable organizations.
Last week, PETA sent a letter to Michael Iavarone and Richard J. Schiavo, owners of the 134th Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, requesting the thoroughbred be castrated in an effort to prevent future generations of race horses from suffering similar injuries.
Let’s ignore the fact that Big Brown had a hoof injury that may well have happened to any other horse at any other time. It was in no way, shape or form a life-threatening injury. The biggest threat to the horse is a group of quasi-environmentalists run-amuck with a bloated ego and presumably, a large pair of scissors. Also, let’s ignore the fact that Iavarone and Schiavo sold the syndication rights months ago to their prize steed for $50 million – something this morally twisted takes time to think up.
I truly hope Kathy Guillermo, PETA Director of Research, does not literally want to see Big Brown castrated and was, as PETA tends to do, saying something ridiculous for attention, then using the attention to get people thinking about a larger matter. It has been a hit-and-miss strategy for PETA, but occasionally they can land a good shot for animal rights.
PETA has undermined its message. In this circumstance, the circular logic leads one to believe castrating a horse is for the benefit of horse-kind is the kind of psychobabble that makes PETA scary.
CBS columnist Gregg Doyle may have said it best about PETA in a piece last May following Eight Belles death after the 134th Kentucky Derby.
“The shame of it is, PETA has done so much good and could do more,” Doyle said in his article. “Only 1.8 million members worldwide? That’s ridiculous. A group like PETA ought to have 50 million members. Few ideas can unite across borders like the love of animals.”
Again, PETA looked foolish for condemning the jockey of the horse who was absolutely devastated following the creature’s death.
The song-and-dance PETA is doing distracts from any good they could do. I have a feeling if Big Brown could have a say, he would agree. Let him enjoy his life of being treated like a king and breeding with as many horses possible. He gives me hope there is still such a thing as a happy ending.
Josh Davis is a sophomore news-editorial major from Highland Park.