People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been up to their old tricks for decades, as this story from the archives proves.
It is a well-known fact that several states, particularly in the northeastern part of the country, have to deal with serious deer over-population issues. The number of deer-automobile collisions has sky-rocketed. Animal rights activists are not immune from the destruction that can come from such deer-auto interactions, as two PETA activists found out the hard way.
When returning from an anti-hunting campaign tour at about 1 a.m., PETA officials Dan Shannon and Jay Kelly found themselves in the midst of a collision when a deer darted in front of them on the southbound lane of the New Jersey Turnpike, said a news article in the Washington Times. The Honda Civic, which was owned by PETA, sustained severe damage. The repair bill exceeded $6,000 and the car was not usable for close to two months.
Enter PETA’s lawyer – Matthew Penzer, who thought it would be a good idea to sue the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Wildlife Division and the Fish and Game Council, because after all, it had to be somebody’s fault.
Penzer sent a letter to the director of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife that said, in part: “PETA, Mr. Shannon and Mr. Kelly believe that this collision, which occurred near the start of New Jersey’s hunting season, was caused by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Wildlife Division and the Fish and Game Council as a result of their deer management program, which includes, in certain circumstances, an affirmative effort to increase deer populations. Despite the known dangers an increased deer population poses to motorists in the state, the Division and Council actively assist in increasing the deer population for the purpose of enhancing hunting opportunities and license revenues.”
With a flair for the dramatic, Penzer penned a press release rehashing the incident. The Penzer missive said that said “PETA saw red and it wasn’t just the blood of the animal [that was] fleeing hunter’s guns,” according to the Washington Times article.
The author of the article pointed out the hyperbole used by Penzer in his propaganda:
“We have no idea where Penzer received his information about the deer fleeing hunters’ guns. How could he know that, since even he said the crash occurred “near” the start of the New Jersey deer season. In other words, the hunt had not begun, so where are the deer “fleeing hunters’ guns” coming from? And is he aware that during cool November days, a deer more often than not will be involved in chasing after a potential mate, not worrying so much about hunters.”
Not to mention the time of the collision. Who hunts at 1 a.m.?
PETA caught exaggerating? Shocking.