I haven’t always been as nice as I could be to Britney Spears over the past year or so, but if she pays attention to PETA’s latest attempt to reach out, I’ll have to change my tune in a hurry. Impressed by Britney’s performance as a receptionist on How I Met Your Mother last week, PETA President Ingrid Newkirk wrote to her on Friday to offer her a job. The hope is that a bit of time in the PETA offices will help her to change her mind about wearing fur and buying dogs from pet stores. MSNBC covered the story this morning, and you can read Ingrid’s letter below.
March 27, 2008
After seeing your excellent performance on How I Met Your Mother, PETA would like to offer you a real job as a receptionist. It could be for as little as an hour, and you would see—from the inside—why we are so concerned about issues like fur and homeless dogs and cats. As a “thank you” for your willingness to learn and help, we would donate $1,000 to a children’s charity.
As PETA’s “virtual receptionist,” you will see firsthand the problems that we deal with every day. You would be able help the cats and dogs who linger in animal shelters because people have chosen to buy animals from breeders or pet stores. You will also personally respond to calls about our Animal Birth Control (ABC) campaign, which provides no- to low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and other services in underprivileged communities. You will explain to callers that every time someone buys a dog or cat from a breeder or a pet store instead of adopting from an animal shelter, a shelter animal loses a chance at ever finding a home. You will explain how 6 to 8 million unwanted dogs and cats enter U.S. animal shelters every year and how most will die simply because there are not enough good homes for them.
You would also tell people about the misery that foxes, chinchillas, and other animals suffer on fur farms and explain how mother animals caught in traps are so desperate to return to their young that they will often chew off a limb to escape. You will tell callers about the number of animals killed to make one fur coat and how these animals—like us—would prefer to love and enjoy life rather than be strangled, poisoned, or electrocuted. And you will never be the same again.
We might have criticized you in the past for contributing to the dog overpopulation crisis and wearing real fur, but perhaps now that your own crisis has abated, a new day calls for a new relationship, a new outlook, and a new understanding.
We wish you well and look forward to a positive response.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk