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Pet Shop Boys Don’t Support Pet Shops

Written by PETA | April 8, 2009


batanga / CC
Pet Shop Boys

If you’re like me, your iPod is full of 80s pop music. I enjoy the music so much that it’s tough for me when it turns out that an 80s icon isn’t so animal-friendly. (Madonna and Michael, I’m talking about you.) So my heart leapt just a little when I heard about the Pet Shop Boys’ reaction to the letter that they received from our friends at PETA Europe.

Recently, PETA’s European affiliate wrote to the Pet Shop Boys to suggest that they change their name to the “Rescue Shelter Boys.” It’s got a nice ring to it, right? PETA Europe let the duo know that dogs and cats sold in pet shops come from breeders who often keep animals in cramped, filthy conditions and that many animals sold in pet shops suffer from inbreeding, genetic weaknesses, physical deformities, or behavioral disorders. By changing their name, the would-be-Rescue Shelter Boys could raise awareness about the cruelty of the pet trade at every tour stop.

Unfortunately, the Boys turned down the name-change proposal, but they decided to alert their fans to this important issue in another way—by posting the letter on the front page of their Web site! They even say, “The organisation PETA Europe, dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals, has written to Pet Shop Boys with a request they are unable to agree to but nonetheless think raises an issue worth thinking about.”

As if you needed another reason to love the Pet Shop Boys besides “West End Girls.”

Written by Shawna Flavell

Commenting is closed.
  • Jeff says:

    PSB is my 1 favorite largely due to their ability express themselves in ways that requires contemplation of metaphorical meanings. The “issue worth thinking about” refers to the meaning of the group’s name which makes sense seeing as the name has absolutely nothing to do with pet shops. Keep in mind that the group’s is “Pet Shop Boys” not “The Pet Shop Boys”. The name is a metaphor for the way society views gender and how people compromise individuality in both thought and expression to present themselves in a socially acceptable manner. In short we’re all animals who are caged by the ways we polish our thoughts and expressions based on what we think will be bought or accepted by others. Needless to say PETA is way offbase on this one and it may be a nice gesture for PETA to apologize to the group.

  • David Harrington says:

    As a Vegan I think this was an illconsidered idea. The PSBs are far more socially aware than most bands. OK so it has raised the issue but in doing so it gives the antipolitical correctness mob a huge stick with which to beat us.

  • Jesse says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with 99 of PETA’s mission statements. However the tactics used are poorly thought out. True fans of PSB know there is a story behind their name and it is not about promoting pet shops. Asking a band to change their name after nearly 25 years is ridiculous. Pet Shop Boys as expected reacted honorably. They always do. If anything the whole circumstance has given Pet Shop Boys more positive media than PETA who once again has come across as outoftouch with reality and common sense.

  • Martin says:

    The band called “Union Carbide Productions” didn’t exactly like what the company with the same name stood for but using the name made people aware. I guess it was the same with the band “Rape Man”. And so on. So why change “Pet Shop Boys” to something else? It works well just the way it is!

  • Holly Q says:

    Love this thanks!

  • Charlotte Bostrà says:

    EVERYBODY have to care about the petsanimals they need a good life … same as you and me.

  • Bongie says:

    I loved this story. PETA were not asking PSB to change their name because it promoted Pet Shops of course not but the publicity generated would raise awareness of the issue. Didn’t Jimmy White temporarily change his name to Jimmy Brown to promote HP Sauce? This would have been something similar. I completely understand why PSB chose not to do it but well done to them for taking it in the spirit in which it was meant.

  • Jamie Rivet says:

    Heather pet overpopulation is an important issue in animal rights since millions of animals are put down because of breeders. If you are referring to nonanimal issues yes there are important ones but this is an animal rights organization and hence not the place to deal with those.

  • Sarah Dee says:

    That’s absolute gold I love it! A new friend of mine recently bought a kitten from a pet shop and he was surprised that I was angry at him. Most people don’t know and whatever can be done to get the word out there then why the hell not!

  • Heather says:

    WOW ARE YOU SERIOUS?! there are wayy more important issues to deal with.

  • Maria says:

    I think you readers are completely missing the point. While it would be outstanding for the Pet Shop Boys to care so much for animals that they change their name I’m sure that was hardly the goal here. The goal is the one that was reached to get people thinking. It got the message out there that pet shops are cruel did it not? The entire letter is now on their website for all their fans to see. Now the fans that were unaware of the harsh pet trade now know how wrong it is. Mission accomplished.

  • Sandra Garrett says:

    I think that asking a band to change their name after 20 years of using that name to bring awareness to the issues in shelters and pet stores however good intentioned it is is absolutley ridiculous. It would of been better to ask them to mention the plight of the animals during their tour or have them link to your website from their website. I know that it is frustrating to try and get your message across and I also know that sometimes doing the foolish and the tasteless works but sometimes I just have to shake my head at your organization. I rescue reptiles and other critters and I abhor cruelty to animals in any way. I support your cause but some times I don’t support your antics.

  • Ramona says:

    I have listening to the Pet Shop Boys since the eighties and not once had I thought of going to buy a pet at a store. It’s only a name that has been here for a long time and I’m glad they won’t change it. Are you going to go after Meatloaf next saying it’s not vegetarian like and is promoting eating meat. I’m sorry but it’s only a name of an awesome band. They don’t promote anything by having that name.

  • C.E. says:

    How about Peta Shop Boys just for the tour?

  • Jocy says:

    Silly silly silly.

  • Alex O says:

    “Rescue Shelter Boys” is a horribly clunky name it does not have a ring to it.

  • Annie B. says:

    While I do agree that pet shops are inhumane you shouldn’t ask them to change their name just because of that. If their name was “Actually I think that seal slaughter is just great!” then there could be a discussion. But seriously they don’t need to change their name!

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    These guys are still around???