Last week OutdoorHub reported on a 16-year-old girl in Crook County, Oregon who contracted bubonic plague while hunting near Heppner on October 16. The teen is currently recovering in a hospital in Bend, but that does not mean she’s out of the limelight just yet. According to reports, the animal rights advocacy organization PETA has sent her a care package consisting of various vegan food, and a letter asking her to vow “never to attempt to harm and kill another living being again.” PETA has a reputation for controversial stunts—such as calling for the hanging of Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist that killed an African lion earlier this year—and often contacts hunters after injuries or accidents. Needless to say, many sportsmen and women consider these stunts extremely insensitive.
“We hope some good will come out of your ordeal and that you’ll decide to choose to enjoy nature in nonviolent ways,” wrote PETA president Ingrid. E. Newkirk in her letter to the sick teen, which was obtained by the Statesman Journal.
“This terrifying ordeal may have a lifelong impact on how you see the world,” she added. “As you’re striving to overcome this disease, we wonder if you might also consider permanently laying down your weapons and vowing never to attempt to harm and kill another living being again.”
Newkirk previously described hunters in terms such as “cruel” and “murderous,” and have launched numerous campaigns to harass and ridicule sportsmen in the past. Critics of her organization say these letters are especially worrisome because they target individuals. Just last week, Newkirk posted another open letter on her blog to a woman who accidentally sustained shotgun wounds during a pheasant hunt, telling her that she was fortunate that her “wounds weren’t more severe.” The letter also asks her to take a vow never to hunt again as well.
“While this hunter will recover from her injuries, the lives of countless other living beings who are capable of feeling every bit as much pain as she is, are in her hands, and we hope they will no longer be in her sights,” Newkirk wrote on her blog.
Perhaps PETA’s most notorious response to an injured hunter was when a man in Utah was accidentally gored by an elk in 2013. Shortly after the incident, PETA created a billboard with the image of an elk with bloody antlers and the text “Payback is hell. Leave animals alone.” The organization even attempted to place the billboard just miles away from where the hunter lived. PETA regularly labels news regarding hunting injuries as “payback.”
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