I got an email from a clever and competent reader the other day, about a Cow Raffle he's holding in order to help raise funds for his 14-year old son, Logan, to travel to Great Britain as a Student Ambassador through the People to People program.
And yes, you read that correctly. A Cow Raffle.
Since Logan is the middle child in a family with six children, his parents decided that since they didn't have the required $8000 on hand to send him on the Great Britain trip, they'd hold a very unique fundraiser, and came up with the Cow Raffle.
For just $10 a ticket (and only 1000 tickets will be sold), you have the chance of winning the cow pictured below, either live or cut, wrapped, and in a freezer (which you also get to keep!)
As of Friday, Logan's family had sold around 250 tickets. If you want a chance to win the cow, check out the Cow Raffle Facebook page! And while you're checking it out, leave a supportive comment or two, because there are some crazy folks leaving mean comments there. Like Cathy Matthews, for example, who wrote, "You're disgusting and heartless. Here's reflecting all your vileness back to you. Hope whoever wins that poor animals flesh chokes on it."
Anyway, you should totally buy up some cow raffle tickets. Because STEAK. YUM.
Or, you know, a cute cow for your backyard. Your pick.
Now here's where the story gets really interesting. Since the Cow Raffle was publicized by the family's local news stations, PETA caught wind of it, and sent Logan an email. And in that letter were these choice quotes:
"Call me crazy, but it just seems a little strange to me that you feel that someone needs to die in order for you to go on a school trip. Know what I mean?"
"Aside from the fact that cows also don't want to be hoisted into the air by their back legs and have their throats slit while they're fully conscious, the 400-600 lbs of beef that you would "process" wouldn't be doing anyone any favors. Eating meat can be a recipe for disaster in the form of heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and even impotence—something I'm sure no one in your town, particularly the fellas, would be too pleased about."
This is a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD KID that they wrote that to, you guys. But it gets even better. They also said:
"Would you consider allowing me to work with you to move the cow to a reputable sanctuary where he or she can live out the rest of his or her days freely (as nature intended)? In return, I'd like to work with you directly on your fundraising efforts by helping you raise money in a way that doesn't cost someone their life. One idea I’d like to suggest would be a veggie dog sale in your community hosted by PETA's bikini-clad Lettuce Ladies. Of course, I'd be down to brainstorm other creative, eye-catching (and totally newsworthy) ideas with you if this is something you'd like to work with me on. I'd also love to send you some free goodies! So, if that's something you're interested in, just shoot me an e-mail back with your full mailing address, and I’ll send some free swag your way."
So, here's a screen capture of the video page from PETA's Lettuce Ladies website, which was linked in the email sent to a FOURTEEN YEAR OLD BOY.
Now, I'm not naive enough to think that PETA would ever employ common sense about anything, but for crying out loud HOW IN THE WORLD did they find it the least bit appropriate to recommend that a 14 year old boy fundraise with the freaking LETTUCE LADIES?
You know what PETA could do if they were really concerned about moving the cow to "a reputable sanctuary?" They could buy the rest of lottery tickets, win the cow, ask for it to be delivered alive, and then do whatever the hizzell they want with it. But you know why they won't do that? This is why.
Yup - PETA, it turns out, euthanizes 90% of the freaking dogs and cats that they take in, so since they're obviously not very good at keeping their domestic animals alive, there's no reason to expect that they'd be any more successful with a cow.
Look. I love animals. LOVE THEM. I start crying at the drop of a Sarah Maclachlan song, you guys. And I have absolutely no tolerance for animal cruelty. That said, I work in life sciences, and have a huge appreciation for not only raising animals to feed people, but also raising animals for the purpose of creating new life-saving medications/drugs. Whenever I take a tylenol, I know that somewhere along the way, I have a laboratory animal to thank for that. And when my sweet dog Ella gets her monthly heartworm pill, I am fully aware that another lab animal deserves the gratitude that I have for making it possible to give her that kind of preventative medication.
So while it's not a profession I would PERSONALLY have the stomach for, I am a huge proponent of animal farmers and animal researchers and all of the folks who have a hand in making our lives (and our pets' lives!) better through the respectful and humane use of farm or lab animals.
And here's the thing. COWS ARE DELICIOUS.
Support Logan. Buy some raffle tickets. Win a cow!
UPDATE: 3/25/13 4pmEST: PETA is apologizing.