A Florida man who was photographing wild turkeys in a wilderness preserve recently became a hunter’s victim after the hunter allegedly mistook the man for a deer and shot him twice with a high-powered rifle. The victim, Clinton Galentine, suffered a broken arm after two bullets pierced his left side. He has undergone surgery to remove bone fragments and reconstruct his arm.
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk has contacted the hunter who allegedly shot the man, reminding him that all animals feel pain and suffer when they are shot and urging him to hang up his guns for good.
Dear Mr. Trott,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Florida. We wish Mr. Galentine well as he recovers from his injuries, and we’re sure you do, too. We ask that, as you reflect on this incident, you also find it in your heart to give some thought to other living beings who feel pain just as any human does and imagine how much they suffer when they are chased and shot. Then we ask you to do something truly kind, and stop hunting.
When you accidentally shot Mr. Galentine, you saw firsthand what so often hunters do not notice when the victim is an animal. I’m sure you know that many animals are shot and injured but not killed cleanly, and many endure prolonged, painful deaths from infection, blood loss, or starvation. And of course, young animals can starve to death when their mothers are killed.
It’s not just Mr. Galentine who pays for hunters’ violent pastime. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, in 2011 alone hunting accidents caused thousands of human injuries. Texas singer-songwriter Steve Fromholz recently died after sustaining a gunshot wound from a rifle intended for feral pigs. And just last week, an Alabama quail hunter died in an accident in which he sustained gunshots to his chest and neck.
We hope that now that you’ve felt the profound regret that usually comes from inadvertently causing suffering to others, you’ll choose to enjoy nature in exclusively nonviolent ways. Thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk
Let’s hope this awful incident encourages other hunters to think twice before taking aim at any innocent victim.