PETA Ad in today's Indianapolis Star

Dateline: Mon 23 Mar 2009

Did you all catch the half-page or so ad in today's Indianapolis Star, targeting the March 7 "incident" involving a Murat Shrine Circus elephant's "misstep" in Indy?

Here is the lead on what the Star posted March 8, following the incident:

"As a line of children waited to ride a circus elephant at the Pepsi Coliseum, the 8,300-pound pachyderm brushed against a nearby platform and portable stairway, knocking it over."

PETA's point is that the elephant is part of a slave cartel of intelligent mammals forced to perform unnatural circus duties, sometimes under duress and even abuse.

I've long admired PETA's public relations campaigns: in your face (as when they deposited a dead raccoon on the table of a Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who was having lunch at the high-profile Manhattan restaurant Four Seasons -- PETA's point was that Vogue promoted fur, and that's not acceptable. So what she gets is a dead raccoon in her plate.)

Extreme? Sure. But PETA puts its mouth where its money is. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization is tough and savvy -- and a practitioner of gonzo journalism tactics (with respects to the late Dr. Gonzo/Hunter S. Thompson, who ate meat and god knows what else).

Anyhow, it was a well-placed, expensive ad that made a point: if your child was there, and your child was in danger, please know the facts...these circus elephants are not Dumbo, and this is not a Disney world.

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