Written by Alisa Mullins
all your friends I'm kind." That's what 6-year-old Catherine Hubbard
used to say to
insects, in the hope that they would all feel welcome and safe, according to
her mother, Jenny. The thoughtful, introspective
redhead was one of the 26 children and educators tragically gunned down at
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.
To honor Catherine,
PETA is inscribing a leaf
on the Tree of Life monument at our
Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters that reads:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
CATHERINE VIOLET HUBBARD
FRIEND TO ALL ANIMALS
loved to watch baby birds in their nests and reveled in having butterflies land
on her. She doted on her beloved rabbit, Flopsy, and would help her elderly, arthritis-stricken
dog, Samantha, to her feet when she struggled. Before Catherine's funeral, her parents asked that, in lieu
of flowers, donations be made to The Animal Center in Newtown, an organization that rescues homeless animals and
provides them with foster care. So far, more than $200,000 has been donated in
Catherine's name. Catherine
had dreamed of establishing her own animal shelter one day, and The Animal Center plans to use the money
raised in her name to build the Catherine
Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, where children can visit and learn
about animals rescued from abusive situations.
Each of us can pay tribute to
Catherine by trying to live like she would—by taking a stray cat to a shelter, stopping
to help a turtle cross the road, or walking a neighbor's dog. These are the
kinds of things that Catherine would do if she were here—and the things she
would teach others to do by her example.
PETA invites parents who want to
raise compassionate kids like Catherine to visit PETAKids.com. And urge your kids to take a page from Catherine's book and
tell all their friends that they're kind.
sierrasportsman | cc by 2.0
As President Barack Obama prepares to release his blueprint for addressing gun violence in the wake of last month's killings of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, PETA has sent him a letter, copying Vice President Joe Biden, with a simple request: Stop pointing to hunting as an example of "responsible" gun ownership. As we explain in our letter, hunting is cruel to the animals who die agonizing and, in many cases, prolonged deaths as well as detrimental to children, who should never be encouraged to hurt or kill animals, since it hardens them to the suffering of others.
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing on behalf of
PETA and our more than 3 million members and supporters to ask you, as you
prepare your statements this week on gun violence, to reconsider your defense
of hunting and shooting animals for sport as a justification for gun ownership.
In a news conference five days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary
School, you stated that "the vast majority of gun owners in America are
responsible—they buy their guns legally, and they use them safely,
whether for hunting or sport shooting, collection or protection." Yet
there is nothing "responsible" about making a sport out of killing,
about hunting, or about teaching children to hunt. As the mother of a child in
elementary school, I cannot imagine telling my son that killing for fun is
wrong when the victim is a human but perfectly acceptable when the target is a
member of another species, say, a deer or a dove. Children must be taught that
all gun violence is wrong, no matter how different from them the victim appears
This mixed message to
children can result in deadly consequences for humans as well as for other
living beings. Often, we hear of a killer who, as a child, first enjoyed
stalking and hunting
or torturing and killing animals in other ways. And
hunting can indeed be torture. Many hunting victims are injured but not
immediately killed, leaving them to endure prolonged, agonizing deaths. So
while a ban on hunting may not be in our immediate future, a change in tone
could easily be had with a stroke of your speechwriter's pen.
Americans' views are
evolving on many issues, from same-sex marriage to gun control, and the time is
right to reconsider the dangerous message that the practice of killing animals
for fun is acceptable and should even be protected. The tragedy that our nation
experienced in December presents a perfect opportunity to speak out against gun
violence of every kind. In your news conference today [January 14], you
should we be doing to make sure our children are safe and reduce incidents of
gun violence?" And you went on, "If there
is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in
Newtown, we should take that step." Supporting hunting not only
promotes violence to animals but also puts our children at risk by teaching
them that taking aim at a living creature is nothing but sport. Either our country is against senseless violence and
slaughter, or it isn't. Please do the right thing. Thank you for your time and
Executive Vice President
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.