Even by PETA standards, this is asinine.
Sheriff’s officials were astounded Thursday by a letter requesting the man accused of murdering his girlfriend and possibly participating in cannibalism be placed on a vegetarian diet to keep him from being “involved in any senseless killing” while incarcerated.
The letter was faxed to the Smith County Sheriff’s Jail from the national headquarters of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Thursday morning.
“You have to be kidding me, right?” was his initial reaction to the news of the letter asking the jail to feed Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, a special vegetarian diet and no meat.
McCuin is jailed for the murder of 21-year-old Jana Shearer and authorities have said, in previous stories, that when McCuin was taken into custody there was an ear boiling in a pot of water on the stove and a plate on the kitchen table with what appeared to be human flesh and a fork.
“It is up to you to prevent McCuin from contributing to any more suffering and death by placing him on a healthy, humane vegetarian diet,” the letter by PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich reads.
In a phone interview with the Tyler Paper Thursday, Friedrich responded the letter was serious and was not intended to be funny nor take away from the brutal death suffered by Ms. Shearer.
“Like humans, animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone. They have the same five senses that we do, and they have the same capacity to experience suffering and fear. And all animals share the desire to live their lives free of pain and to avoid a violent death,” he said.
Friedrich said his organization hoped to help Smith County prepare a nutritional vegetarian menu and possibly help organize a menu for the entire jail population.
But Smith said that will never happen. “I told (Gary) Pinkerton, the jail administrator, McCuin would be treated like any other prisoner and would be fed like everyone else,” he said. “The Texas Jail Commission mandates how we feed the prisoners and if I fed him differently I would violate his rights and PETA is asking me to break the law and I won’t do that.”
When asked how eating a hamburger compared to cannibalism, Friedrich said all meat is from a corpse. He further stated he believes McCuin could become violent if he ate meat and could kill.
“Only in a culture where people routinely kill and eat living, feeling beings would anyone even think to kill and eat a human loved one,” he said.
Mind you, I guess I’m not that surprised, given what I know about Mr Friedrich. You may recall I have corresponded with him before, after he started sending me PETA updates. After I let it be known I disapproved of PETA’s antics, Mr Friedrich justified each one of them.
For instance, here’s his take on the infamous PETA letter to Arafat asking that he not use donkeys for suicide bombing missions.
Our mission, as an animal rights group, is to speak up for animals. I thought that the letter made it clear that a lot of people do very horrid things to animals in the midst of wartime. As you surely must understand, raising other issues would simply find the letter tossed into the trash. It was probably tossed there anyway, but by not bringing up other issues, ones where we know his stance, perhaps we could effectively discuss the issue of bringing animals into a conflict not of their making. The practical effect, I think you’ll agree, is fewer Israeli deaths, as well, since using donkeys will be easier for them than using human beings. It seems to me that the letter will help decrease the level of terror somewhat, if it’s taken seriously, and that an outright attack on him would only decrease any likelihood of success.
And here’s his take on the “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign:
Re: the Holocaust project, I know you won’t agree with us on that either, but please know that the comparison was not ours, but Isaac Bashevis Singer’s, and that many Holocaust survivors and family members of survivors agree that “never again” must transcend the species barrier.
As I’ve said before, bark raving mad.
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