I get a ton of press releases, asking publicity for this or that. I got this one from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). And it really bothers me.

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To start at the beginning, Galesburg Meat Company suffered heavy damage in a fire last Thursday. According to a report from WBCK following the fire, the building is a total loss.

So while the owners, Richard and Arlene Christian, go about the process of recovering from this disaster and dealing with the potential loss of their and their employees' jobs and livelihood, they get this letter from PETA. It reads, in part:

Dear Mr. Christian,

On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across Michigan, I'm writing in response to the fire that destroyed the Galesburg Meat Company business. I'd like to suggest an exciting idea, one that is more modern and with growth potential: Rebuild the business as a vegan butcher shop that rejects the cruel practice of selling slaughtered animals and instead offers healthy, cholesterol-free, plant-based alternatives. To help you get started, we'd be willing to pledge $10,000 toward the development of your new building if you pursue this direction.


The letter then goes on to promote their beliefs.

I don't know how you feel about the cause PETA promotes. I don't think it really matters. What I do find troubling is that PETA would use this disaster as a bold-faced publicity grab. And that's all it really is. $10,000 is a drop in the bucket for a group with deep pockets.

If you really believe that a vegan butcher shop is a great idea, why not come to Galesburg and start a competing business offering just that. And then let's see you hire local workers. Pay them a fair wage. And turn a profit.

Rather than exploit a tragedy to promote your cause.

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