NOTHING! And yet, the always lovely and never-overdone People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have decided to run a contest wherein they will give away one free, human vasectomy “in honor of” National Infertility Awareness Week. Granted, after the hue and cry of the infertiles who rose up en masse and basically told PETA to shove it, they have now changed the campaign to “during” NIAW.
Not good enough, PETA.
I need to be abundantly clear here that I think at its core, PETA is an organization that is trying to do really good things. And I have to give them props for keeping themselves and their cause constantly in the headlines.
I also need to be abundantly clear I am against animal cruelty for cruelty’s sake. I am a responsible pet owner. I truly believe that every house pet should be spayed or neutered when it comes into a family. The cheeseburger I enjoyed last night started out as a cow who was fed grass, not corn, and was not pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. I try and buy health and beauty products that aren’t tested on animals. (Although I’ll be damned if you’ll convince me that medical testing on animals is a bad thing because, dude. My dad died in a clinical trial of a new cancer drug. I’m really glad the rats found out it was safe for him to ingest in the first place and gave the doctors the best hope of finding the right drugs to test.)
And I do have to give PETA some credit here. Their campaign has certainly been attention-getting (as evidenced by this very post). I even kind of like the idea of giving away a vasectomy to a guy who gets his pet spayed or neutered. That’s cute. A snip for Fido, a snip for Frank. And both human and pet overpopulation are real global concerns, concerns which would be somewhat alleviated if more pets were spayed or neutered and if more men who have too many children underwent vasectomies.
It’s the fact that they put the whole thing on the backs of the people who are LEAST capable of contributing to human overpopulation – infertile people – that just bothers me. It’s like saying “Hey, good job, barren ones! Your inability to fulfill biology’s most imperative instinct is actually a superawesome fun thing! Yay you!! PS, don’t bother entering this contest, we know you won’t need the grand prize anyway.”
When these concerns have been raised to PETA (and they have, and I sincerely hope they will continue to be), the response has been dismissive and condescending. “Can’t you freaking infertiles understand how SERIOUS this issue is? We’re all gonna DIE if people keep having kids and dogs keep having puppies!!!” Yes, but PETA, I can’t get pregnant – not for lack of trying – so how about you stop referring to permanent birth control and infertility in the same breath? “NO, man! We’re all gonna DIE!!!”
OK. Fine. You don’t want to apologize? You don’t want to even acknowledge that this was in the slightest of poor taste? Then the fury of the millions of infertile people (15% of the population – WAY more than contribute to PETA) will continue to rain down on you.
It’s a shame, really. PETA has dome some good work and has a very loud voice which can speak for the animals who cannot speak for themselves. (As opposed to Mr. Ed and all of Dr. Dolittle’s patients, who obviously CAN speak for themselves.) They’ve just lost the support of so many people who might otherwise have supported them, all for lack of an apology.
Now I can blather on about this for a long while yet. Ask anyone who lives with me. But I really do want to encourage you to take the opportunity to really get involved and work towards a greater understanding of the disease of infertility. I encourage you to join, or “like,” Resolve.org to get involved in their campaign.
What Can You Do?
Get involved with Resolve.
Have a blog? Contribute your voice here.
Sign the petition.
“Like” my friend Karen’s Facebook page
Check out Resolve’s “Turn Your Passion Into Action” page.
Eating a really good, juicy bacon cheeseburger may not help, but it’ll tick off PETA and make you feel better. It worked for me!