Fans and vegans slam PETA

Article about the PETA request for Hunters and Collectors to change their name.

Author:  Kathy McCabe, National Music Writer, News Corp Australia Network.

Date: 2 March 2017.

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Article Text

Fans and vegans slam PETA for Hunters and Collectors name change call to stop duck hunting

The ill-advised campaign by animal activists PETA asking iconic Australian rockers Hunters and Collectors to change their name ahead of the duck-hunting season has been derided as a Holy Fail by fans and vegans.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals can say goodbye to their credibility after sending a letter to the band suggesting their name made hunting appealing to their fans.

Fans were quick to slam PETA’s ridiculous alternatives to the moniker which has existed since the band formed in 1981, just months after the animals rights organisation started in the US.

PETA have called for Hunters and Collectors to change their name. Picture: David Crosling.

Further undermining their credibility, PETA offered the insulting “Hunters & Collectors of Antiques”, the retro-revival themed “Hunters & Collectors of Vinyl Records” and the truly awful “Hunters & Collectors of Beer Cans”.

The letter was sent ahead of the Hunnas — as many fans call the band — reuniting to perform at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide this weekend.

PETA’S associate director of campaigns Ashley Fruno admitted asking the band for a “namelift” was “for the birds”.

The letter pointed out about 300,000 ducks and other birds will be killed by hunters in Australia this year.

“Would you consider changing the name of your band to discourage people from hunting animals?” the letter asked.

“We feel sure that it was never your intention to promote the killing of intelligent, sensitive, and defenceless animals, but your name may nevertheless make hunting seem appealing to your fans.”

While the band and their label did not want to add fuel to the campaign with a comment, they did respond to a fan on Facebook who asked “Please confirm that you will not be changing your name?” with “Confirmed”.

Nova personality Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, a longtime fan of the band whose hit Holy Grail soundtracks the footy season, said PETA’s ludicrous suggestion was “political correctness gone too far”.

“This band has been around a long time; it’s totally ridiculous,” Fitzy said.

“It is a campaign just to get publicity and I hope PETA went to the band before they went public with this.

Hunters and Collectors say they won’t change their name, which PETA requested.

“Are they going to ask Pussy Riot to change their name? Or perhaps they should have suggested they call themselves Hunters And Collectors of Iconic Songs For Footy Finals.”

Frenzal Rhomb guitarist and prominent vegan Lindsay McDougall said the PETA letter detracted from their work and could backlash against those who supported their campaigns.

“In these crazy days of viral videos, five-second soundbytes and 24 hour news cycles, it’s easy to understand why PETA have to make these ridiculous statements and send these open letters,” he said.

“I know that behind these superficial campaigns PETA do a damn good lot of work but I do worry that the headline grabbing stunts run a risk, minuscule as it might be, of making vegans look a little bit silly.

“Just remember every time they make the papers for this, they’re doing a whole bunch more solid work that doesn’t get the same publicity.

“But I guess it may explain why Kate Fischer changed her name.”

Triple M host Merrick Watts said they would lose public sympathy by targeting Hunters and Collectors.

PETA are known for their stunts, here activists wear crocodile masks during a demonstration against the use of crocodile skins ahead of Milan’s Fashion Week last year. Picture: AP

“It appears PETA is again channelling their scarce and valuable resources into the biggest issues facing animal welfare: names of 80s rock bands,” the Merrickville announcer said.

“We can only imagine the countless lives that will be saved if they are successful.”

Double J announcer Myf Warhurst who has known the band for many years said they would be “mortified” their name could be misconstrued by PETA as an endorsement of hunting.

“I am all for PETA going for this cause because I am anti-duck hunting. But I am fairly certain, having had dealings with them, they would be mortified being considered part of a movement that encouraged the hunting of ducks,” she said.

Ironically, Hunters and Collectors frontman Mark Seymour is currently offering fans on the band’s Facebook page a “once in a lifetime experience” with the “Southern African Music Safari” in South Africa in October.

Hunters and Collectors have reunited sporadically since 2013 when they performed at the AFL Grand Final.

Hunters and Collectors entertain at the Day on the green at the Josef Chromy Vineyard. Picture: News Corp.

Should Hunters & Collectors change their name?