PETA steps in it, just in time for NIAW.

April 8, 2011Carole No Comments »

PETA , aka. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has announced a new give-away in which one ‘lucky winner” who recently neutered their pet can win a free human vasectomy, in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week. Not surprisingly, this cavalier use of infertility awareness week to hawk elective sterilization offended many infertility patients, as you can see by the overwhelming number of angry comments on PETA’s  site below the giveaway announcement.

Resolve has issued a condemnation of this give-away, originally advertised as in “honor” of National Infertility Awareness Week. See copied press release below or you can download this pdf document directly from

Quoted from Resolve:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Andy Schwarz
Collura Comments on Exploitation of National Infertility Awareness Week®
(McLean, VA, April 6, 2011) In response to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s “Win a Vasectomy from PETA” campaign timed “in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week®,” the following statement has been issued by Barbara Collura, Executive Director for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association:
“RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association condemns PETA’s trivialization of infertility, especially during National Infertility Awareness Week®. This attack is offensive and hurtful to the 7.3 million Americans who suffer from the disease of infertility. PETA has its own mission and there is no need for it to exploit a national health observance dedicated to the needs of women and men who simply want to be parents. RESOLVE remains focused on spending April 24-30 promoting a greater awareness of – and increased sensitivity to – the issues faced by women and men struggling with infertility.”
For more information, visit”

If you are inclined to be politically active, you can participate in Resolve’s political action to try to get PETA to stop their use of NIAW in their sterilization campaign. You can even add your name to a petition containing over 1400 signatures urging PETA to disassociate it’s campaign from NIAW because “infertility is not a joke”.

In her infertility patient  blog, Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed, you can read Keiko Zoll’s open letter to PETA in which she eloquently expresses why she has a problem with linking this vasectomy giveaway to National Infertility Awareness Week. Quoted from her letter, “I think your meaning is finally crystal-clear to me. PETA has decided that it’s acceptable to ridicule, devalue, and trivialize the infertility patient community experience in the name of promoting responsible pet-ownership. By your logic, infertility patients deserve the diagnoses handed to them because we simply shouldn’t be having children in the first place. The planet is crowded enough. Our infertility is justified.

It’s okay to have a laugh at the expense of the infertility community because they shouldn’t be having babies anyway: what a fantastic PETA promotional message. Your “Win a Vasectomy” campaign is tactless, arrogant, hurtful, damaging, insensitive and disgusting.”

You go girl. I am not surprised that PETA stepped in it big time because although they are highly sensitized to the suffering, real and imagined, of animals in the care of humans, they are particularly tone-deaf to the suffering of their fellow humans. In the ideal PETA world, humans would not even exist and animals would finally be able to live happily ever after without us. Well, sorry that world view doesn’t work for me.

I love our pets and sobbed like a baby when we recently had to put our 11 year old Greyhound dog, Alice, to sleep. She  was diagnosed with incurable bone cancer and the pain medications did not alleviate her suffering. But even as I mourn her passing,  I also value my children over my animals, no question. If I had to choose between saving my child or my dog, I would save my child, every time. I would also save your child before I saved my dog. Note to self: don’t use PETA member as babysitter if you also have animals in the house. PETA does not agree that there is a difference. From the lips of Ingrid Newkirk, PETA president,  “There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all mammals. — Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s President (in The Washington Times August 29, 1999). Her quote makes me wonder what she has against non-mammals? In any case, I do think there is a difference between humans and animals and although we have a deep responsibility to prevent animal suffering when we use animals for food, clothing, as companion animals or for research, I do not think it is wrong to thoughtfully and gratefully use animals for human needs. I do think it is morally wrong to use the suffering of fellow humans to advertise a misanthropic cynical giveaway which doesn’t even help animals.

Update: PETA responded to protests from the infertility community  by removing all reference to National Infertility Awareness Week in their vasectomy give-away promotion, according to this April 11, 2011  article in the  Toronto Sun.



© 2011, Carole. All rights reserved.

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