05/17/04 — OPINION -- Reflections

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OPINION -- Reflections

By Gene Price
Published in News on May 17, 2004 1:58 PM

Burp ('Scuse me)

Given their way, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would have all of us cavorting around wearing fig leaves and grazing on crabgrass.

We read of objections to the treatment of mice and rats in medical research labs and to how farmers treat poultry being raised for market.

Just to focus on these two complaints: How many people -- our families, friends and neighbors, and even some PETA members -- would suffer earlier and more painful deaths were it not for medical research involving animals in the laboratories?

And while some live in rather crowded conditions, chickens, turkeys and pigs seem to be an awfully happy lot -- especially at feeding time, which seems pretty constant -- in what critics call "factories."

Producers recognize that animals that are well-fed, well-housed and protected from diseases not only are in their best interest but are essential to their success in a competitive market.

The animal "rights" activists' real concern is that the poultry, hogs, beef cattle and even some goats are being raised for slaughter -- which to them is an unacceptable prelude to equally unaceptable human consumption. Some even object to the consumption of eggs.

Let's back up a moment -- or perhaps millions of years.

Creatures, creepy-crawlers, bugs, bats, bears, snakes, fish, flies, catamounts, coyotes and even some plants have been feeding on each other down through the ages.

Perhaps PETA and the other radicals should begin at the bottom of the food chain and work their way up. For starters, convince the big fish that they shouldn't be inhaling gobs of plankton and those innocent little minnows emerging from the spawning beds.

We'll do our part by dangling lures -- artificial, of course -- in front of the culprits. And eatin' 'em for dinner!