The infertility community is incensed by a contest run by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that is offering a free vasectomy to a lucky winner who has had their pet spayed or neutered- during National Infertility Awareness Week.
PETA has long been a proponent for having pets spayed or neutered. They offer this contest as another way to control the population.
Keiko Zoll, who writes at Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed, and serves as the Advocacy Committee Chair for RESOLVE of New England, says the problem is not with the contest itself, but rather with the fact that PETA has chosen to run it during NIAW, a week dedicated to sharing facts and busting myths and misconceptions about infertility.
Zoll explained “[t]hat PETA has specifically stated this campaign is “in honor of” National Infertility Awareness Week strikes such an insolent, cruel tone with our community.”
She went on to point out that “NIAW is hardly a ‘celebration’ of being infertile, as PETA would have the public believe with this ridiculous publicity stunt. Their campaign makes a mockery of NIAW at the expense of a valid medical patient community of over 7.3 million people in the United States alone.”
Though Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA, was unable to respond to her directly, Zoll received a response from Carrie Snider, Special Projects Coordinator for PETA, in two email responses, wherein she stated that PETA was sorry she was offended by the vasectomy campaign.
PETA has released what they consider to be an apology on their Facebook page.
Zoll asserts that PETA has missed the boat by failing to truly apologize for their actions.
She goes on to say “[i]n response to a bevy of phone calls and emails from outraged members and supporters of the infertility community, PETA has begun issuing the same statement from their Facebook page in response. Sadly, pumping out the same canned response to anyone who contacts them at this point neither strengthens their argument nor engages us as their opposition in meaningful discourse.”
The infertility community has banded together and come out in full force across the Internet, tweeting directly to @PETA, expressing their outrage and sharing links to open letters condemning PETA’s actions.
Zoll has set up a Linky Tool on her blog where those with open letters on their blogs can add themselves to a growing list of infertility bloggers appalled at PETA’s actions. As of 9pm EST, Wednesday, there were 41 blogs participating.
Wednesday, Zoll released an online petition through Change.org demanding that PETA issue a formal apology and remove the association between “Win a Vasectomy” and NIAW. As of 11:00pm EST, Wednesday, there were 887 signatures, and Zoll is encouraging people to sign this petition, tweet it, share it on Facebook, and email it to their friends and family.
RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, issued a press release formally condemning PETA’s choice to link their campaign with NIAW on Wednesday.
What are your thoughts? Has PETA gone too far with their campaign? Will you go sign Zoll’s petition?