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Duchess of Cambridge Puts Down Her Gun

Written by PETA | December 21, 2011

Following her marriage to Prince William earlier this year, Kate Middleton—now the Duchess of Cambridge—became a role model for young people in Britain and around the world. That’s why we were thrilled to learn that during her first Christmas with the Royal family this year, Kate has chosen to forgo shooting in the annual Boxing Day pheasant hunt.

(c) Howe

The Duchess’ decision (which would make a great romance-novel title) comes on the heels of a letter sent to her last week by PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, asking Kate to follow the example of Princess Diana, who did not believe in hunting for “sport,” and to stay away from the bloody Christmas tradition. As Ingrid explained, the pheasants used in these shoots are raised in intensive confinement, and if they aren’t killed outright during the shoot, their necks are wrung. Many are simply left to bleed to death.

If you’re going home for the holidays and family members begin telling you about their hunting habits, tell them to close their eyes and think of England—and its queen-to-be, who, as Ingrid phrased it, “rather than emulating Diana the Huntress, is taking after Diana, the Princess of Hearts.”


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  • R J says:

    I agree that hunting for sport is wrong. I find it uncivilized. But I think there are a lot of animal-rights activists who need to be careful of becoming hypocrites. I don’t eat meat, personally, but let’s face it – we all have to eat something. Some people think that killing plants is wrong, and only if it falls off the vine should it be acceptable as food. Maybe they think an ovo-lacto vegetarian is a killer. The entire Living Earth System is based on predation, with very few exceptions! Even grazing animals kill plant life and insects. It is a fact that life feeds upon life. Where do we draw the line on what is cruel? The Indians took from life just what they needed, but they honoured that life through mindful living with the ecosystem. That is the essence of compassionate living. (There is a fine line to tread.)

  • Carlos says:

    Even with all the pressure from the queen, Kate still cares about animals. What a woman! <3 I have never met a girl like Kate: so modest, thoughtful, loving, sweet. she loves her husband, and thinks about fitting into their family, but still thinks about animals.

  • Victoria says:

    I hope that this decision is a real one and not just to appease the cameras.I don’t think a lot of people realise the full measure of cruelty in shooting as it is often done in a way that can cause maiming and the thought of being still alive whilst in a dog’s mouth is awful. I saw a website recently where people from a shooting society made really nasty comments about people who had chosen not eat meat which might show that they are getting defensive! It is always best to be polite though and not stoop to their level.

  • Serge says:

    KATE Middleton won’t shoot during her Christmas break so the Royal Family can enjoy a quiet holiday. The Duchess of Cambridge, who is said to have devoted a lot of time to learning to shoot, will join her husband, Prince William, and other royals on the annual December 26 shoot in the grounds of the Queen’s Sandringham estate, in eastern England. However, she will lay down her gun to avoid complaints from animal-rights campaigners. “The palace is very concerned to avoid any controversy,” a courtier told the London Daily Telegraph. “They do not want pictures of Catherine shooting to cause the same sort of complaints that we have had in recent years.” Several members of the royal family were criticised in the past by animal-rights groups for taking part in hunts. The Queen angered campaigners in 2004 when she took an injured bird from a gun dog’s mouth and beat it to death with a stick during a hunt. The Earl and Countess of Wessex also were criticised in previous years after being pictured at pheasant shoots. In September, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote to Catherine asking her to persuade her husband to stop killing “for fun” after the Prince gave his brother Harry a gift of game birds to shoot for his birthday. However, a friend of the Duchess told the newspaper that the decision not to shoot at Sandringham “has more to do with tradition than anything else” because “ladies do not hold the gun during a shoot.”

  • Elle says:

    My kind of princess!

  • dani says:

    Yes, but did the whole event get cancelled? Did the rest of the British clan participate in this abusive act? Her husband and royal family?

  • John Alexander Gibson says:

    Thank you Kate Middleton for not engaging in the cruelest of acts, less pheasants will suffer this boxing day thanks to your compassion. Hunting is a vile and disgusting act that should be banned across the world, with me being British I am truly ashamed that hunting and culls still go on, the excuse being to control population. No species should be cruely murdered, it is a crime.

  • Neila Wood says:

    God Bless you Kate–Princess Diana would’ve loved you beyond words–thank you so much for not participating in this cruel sport—Love you and best wishes always–from America!