PETA knows people are laughing at them. They’re laughing too.
Article about the PETA request for Hunters and Collectors to change their name.
Author: Ashley Fruno, PETA.
Date: 7 March 2017.
Last week, some people thought they were waking up from the strangest dream: animal rights group PETA was asking iconic Aussie rockers Hunters & Collectors to change their name.
PETA say they knew Hunters and Collectors were never going to change their name. (Pic: David Crosling)
Strange? Yes. But a dream? No. It’s true, we at PETA sent a letter asking the band to do just that. Plenty suggested that the idea of changing the band’s name was for the birds, and we agree — for the 300,000 peaceful waterbirds who will soon be shot as hunting season recommences in Victoria and Tasmania.
Let me let you in on a secret: we really don’t care if Hunters & Collectors become “Hunters & Collectors of Antiques” or “Hunters & Collectors of Vinyl Records” or anything else. But we will shed “True Tears of Joy” if the band agrees to make a point about the appalling and gratuitous annual slaughter of our feathered friends.
While being banned in Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia, duck hunting is still considered a recreational “sport” in parts of Australia. This year in Victoria, it’s legal to “hunt and collect” up to 10 ducks per day, despite the fact that waterbird populations are at their lowest level in 34 years. Many of these birds are wounded but irretrievable, so they are simply left to languish and die.
Duck hunters at Heart Morass State Game Reserve in Victoria during the 2016 season opening. (Pic: Yuri Kouzmin)
The media don’t often report on this issue because, in a world full of Kardashian click-bait, no one wants to read about dead ducks. The facts alone, no matter how terrible, are not considered interesting enough for the media to cover, so many compassionate Australians don’t even realise there’s a war taking place in our wetlands. Experience has taught us that provocative and controversial campaigns make the difference between allowing important yet depressing subjects to remain invisible and exposing them to public view.
People love to laugh at PETA and our media releases, and we encourage everyone to do so.
We’re laughing, too, at the absurdly disproportionate outrage of some commentators who took the story a little too seriously and of course at the fact that this simple request is still, days later, getting people laughing, shouting, commenting, and, best of all, acknowledging and thinking about the exploitation of animals. Any response is better than to “Turn a Blind Eye”.
Of course, H&C are not themselves out there with high-powered rifles and a taste for blood, but a name change could well make some fans think about the fate of animals who, going peacefully about their business, are blasted out of the sky just for hunters’ own twisted amusement.
“When the River Runs Dry”, PETA will still be there, fighting animal abuse with laughter and tears. Have a laugh on PETA, but check out PETA.org.au to find out more about the atrocities that humans visit on other animals.
Ashley Fruno is the associate director of campaigns for PETA Australia.