The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization really needs to start picking and choosing which battles it wants to fight. Yes, everyone knows they are passionate about their animals and absolutely everything needs to be done in order to preserve their natural homes, their safety when they interact with the human world as well as any other action deemed reasonable without going overboard. But they have fought so many ‘unnecessary’ battles that when a real case might even present itself, no one seems to give a care in the world about the issue they are standing up for.
I am writing on this because just today, as Wimbledon started yesterday, there is a news report that Wimbledon officials brought in marksmen to shoot down dive-bombing pigeons that were causing havoc on the player’s lawn and the open-air media restaurant.
The tournament employs two hawks to scare away pigeons who had become a pest swooping down on Centre Court and distracting players in the middle of tense matches.
But the hawks failed to keep the pigeons away from the players’ lawn and the open-air media restaurant so marksmen were called in.
“The hawks are our first line of deterrent, and by and large they do the job,” Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins said.
“But unfortunately there were one or two areas where the hawks didn’t deter the pigeons, so it was deemed necessary to take a harder approach,” he explained.
The marksmen were summoned by Wimbledon as pigeon droppings on the restaurant tables were thought to be a health hazard. – Article
Although it seems a little bit excessive to bring in marksmen to take out the birds rather than finding an alternative method of relocating the pigeons elsewhere, they will more than likely get a pass in the general media because most people probably won’t even consider the move very cruel and they will justify that since it was causing people inconvenience as enough cause to do it. Another reason is that PETA clearly misconstrues the word said by the Wimbledon officials.
As quoted above, the Wimbledon official clearly says they employ two hawks to scare away the pigeons which has usually done the trick in years past and had done so on days leading up to the second day of the tournament, here is what the PETA official had to say:
“Since the use of marksmen to kill pigeons appears to have been carried out as a first, rather than a last, resort and not out of a concern for public health but rather because the animals were deemed inconvenient by players, you appear to be in clear violation of the law”
That coming from PETA vice president Bruce Friedrich clearly shows they will say Wimbledon did this as a first resort even though they had other measures in place such as the hawks to keep the pigeons away. I am sure Wimbledon could have done more if they saw that the hawks were not being very effective this year instead of bringing in the marksmen but the blatant spin on the words by PETA loses any credibility and probably support that they had amongst some people on their issue.
Yea, there will still be PETA supports who will fight for this cause – and they have every right to fight for this one as they did for the bird that was killed by Randy Johnson’s 100 MPH pitch but they need to be more effective in how they fight. The more they get ridiculed for fighting cases that clearly were not animal cruelty, will only lead to more cruel acts in the future that will go unheard and will not be fought justly because people will not associate PETA with anything reasonable but rather just an organization trying to make noise in the media and not standing for anything credible.