Indeed, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is literally aiming their efforts at the Duchess of Cambridge for what is being called as Kate's "unique position to be able to wield considerable influence over whether people everywhere view animals and their place in our world with kindness or blithely ignore their suffering."
This message, written in a letter from PETA president Ingrid Newkirk and addressed to Kate Middleton, is a direct plea to help stop Prince William from going after any animal, especially those with feathers. This after the Duck, er, Duke of Cambridge bought some 250 pheasants, ducks and partridges, all farm-raised for Prince Harry's birthday last week.
The reason for the purchase?
So that these privileged men can join friends for a day of shooting these little critters.
According to a source, Newkirk wrote to Kate Middleton, “We understand that Prince William has given a gift of ‘game birds’ to Prince Harry for his birthday. There is no honour in buying birds and reducing them, as if they were clay pigeons, to shooting targets. Those who aren't killed outright are often dispatched by having their necks wrung, which does not cause an instant or painless death.”
The PETA head honcho continued, “May I ask you to use your influence on the Princes and ask them to reconsider this gift?... Please ask the Princes to open their hearts to the suffering of birds casually used as skeet and make the compassionate decision not to kill for fun."
In conclusion, Newkirk said to Middleton, "By canceling the planned "day's sport" in favour of a more enlightened, fitting and humane pursuit, they will win hearts and commendations and spare hundreds of birds a terrifying end, making it clear that the monarchy is in tune with the social movement against cruelty to animals.”
With all that said, it isn't as if PETA has always been down on Kate Middleton about Prince William and his penchant for this sport in particular. In fact, in honor of their wedding this past April, the animal rights organization gifted the royal couple with the traditional something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
Not only did PETA send the couple some movies representing "something old," (including the classic Bambi, which carries an anti-hunting message) but also a book for their "something new" -- The Cove, which argues against the hunting of dolphins.
As for "something borrowed," PETA indefinitely lent Kate Middleton and Prince William a signed, first-edition copy of Animal Liberation by animal right activist and author Peter Singer.
And, for that "something blue" wedding requirement, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals passed along two movies that would put them in a mood that could be considered, well, blue. One was PETA's own Glass Walls, a movie about slaughterhouses and narrated by Sir Paul McCartney. The other is a PETA documentary entitled I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk.
And so, with these messages of animals rights sent directly to the new couple with the latest sent directly to the Duchess, PETA is hoping to have Kate Middleton and Prince William thinking about and, hopefully, forgetting about shooting anything that moves -- most especially the birds that have been on the royal agenda for literally hundreds of years. Apparently, this very verbal group of animal activists believes it is time for a change in this particular way some of the monarchy behaves.