For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Pembroke, Ga. – After learning that Liberty Auction will allow the public to bid on tortoise-shell lamps and hunting trophies owned by convicted killer Alex Murdaugh, PETA sent a letter today to auction owner Lori Mattingly, asking her to donate the items to PETA’s Museum of Atrocities Against Animals instead. The group points out that by allowing the macabre collection to appear in a museum—the “only place” the artifacts belong—Liberty Auction could help educate future generations about the ways that animals were once slaughtered for human amusement.
“Violence should have no place in our society, and we’re hoping you’ll donate the tortoise-shell lamps, mounted heads, and other decorations created at the expense of animals’ lives,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Your donation would help educate people about the trade in exotic-animal parts and hunting and encourage them to value kindness over cruelty.”
The letter notes that hunting devastates entire families and leaves countless animals orphaned and badly injured when hunters miss their targets. Over half of the 360 living turtle and tortoise species—some of the most widely trafficked animals in the world—are now endangered. Decorating one’s home without exploiting animals of any species is easier than ever, with many goods today being made from innovative vegan textiles.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Mattingly follows.
March 23, 2023
Liberty Auction House
Dear Ms. Mattingly:
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, and PETA U.S. is the largest animal rights organization in the world—in response to the auction of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh’s items. Violence should have no place in our society, and we’re hoping you’ll donate the tortoise-shell lamps, mounted heads, and other decorations created at the expense of animals’ lives to PETA for use in our Museum of Atrocities Against Animals. Our collection will cause future generations to shake their heads in disbelief at how gentle beings were slaughtered and mutilated for the most trivial reasons.
Tortoises are fascinating, intelligent animals who communicate with each other through sounds, plan activities as a group, and can live to be more than 100 years old. More than half of the 360 extant turtle species are endangered, and they’re some of the most widely trafficked animals in the world. So you can see why we’d appreciate your donation of lamp stands made from the shells of these sensitive animals to our museum.
Likewise, it’s impossible to justify killing sentient beings for “sport,” as hunting devastates families when deer are killed, leaving behind fawns who cannot feed or fend for themselves. The terror of being stalked and ambushed causes wildlife to endure tremendous stress, and the inescapable, earsplitting sound of gunfire disturbs otherwise peaceful communities. Animals don’t deserve to be killed for twisted human amusement so that their heads can be mounted on a wall.
The future of interior design is vegan. As consumer demand for cruelty-free goods rises, the clothing, trinket, furniture, and automotive industries are quickly adapting to meet it. With widely available, innovative, cruelty-free textiles made from pineapples, mushrooms, cacti, and other plant-based materials, it’s easy to decorate a home stylishly, without displaying parts of an animal on a living room table or a wall.
A museum is the only place where these tortoise-shell lamps, mounted heads, and other atrocities belong, which is why we ask that you donate them to PETA’s growing collection. They would fit in perfectly with the alligator shoes, colobus monkey fur coat, steel-jaw trap, and other vile objects we have collected. Your donation would help educate people about the trade in exotic-animal parts and hunting and encourage them to value kindness over cruelty. Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I look forward to hearing from you.