Joaquin Pheonix, that masterful actor, has taken up the cause of PETA and their crusade to end the brutal killing of exotic animals for their skins. The skins are used to make shoes, purses, ties, belts, and other ornaments for the pleasure of humanity.
Caution readers – this video is graphic.
In this advertisement for PETA Phoenix narrates the gruesome video of animal cruelty. Am I sounding like some sort of liberal crusader, dashing the hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs around the globe? I may sound so – but in reality my interest is in conservation. Conservation is not strict protectionism, not tree hugging, not strict environmentalism – an environmental conservationist, such as myself, merely recognizes the need to conserve what we have. And what we have is a beautiful, delicate, eco-system that sustains our own lives.
I am a conservationist in the vein of T. R. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt tripled the size of our national parks during his Presidency. But Roosevelt is also known as a big game hunter around the world. His exploits are well documented. Roosevelt hunted for the thrill of the hunt – not for food or clothing – for the sheer joy of facing a wild animal. I have hunted – but I teach young boys who want to hunt that there must be purpose. One purpose, unfortunately, is to balance the ecosystem. Man has destroyed natural predators and animal populations must be controlled.
The breeding of animals has a long history with humans. From horses to cows to dog and cats, specialized breeding has given domestic comfort to pet lovers and has helped feed an ever more populated planet. The breeding of animals for fashion also has a long history – a history with unsavory practices including cruelty for profit. Are breeders any different than Michael Vick and others who breed animals for the pleasure of watching them kill each other?
Organizations such as PETA are necessary in the culture of modern man. While I sometimes find myself at odds with some PETA positions, I recognize the need for someone to keep the rest of us honest and honorable. In the case of the Phoenix video on cruelty to exotic animals – I concur. It is worth noting that without PETA most of us would be completely ignorant of the atrocities of man.
It turns out that all I had to do was go to bing and enter PETA Images. I can justify my internet use as being necessary to protect innocent wild life around the globe.