Boys Can Build Character While Protecting Animals
For Immediate Release:
April 23, 2014
David Perle 202-483-7382
Seattle – The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) values being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, and kind—unless you’re an openly gay troop leader, in which case the organization hands you your walking papers. That is exactly what happened to Geoff McGrath, leader of Seattle’s former Troop 98, which had its charter revoked by the BSA after refusing to remove McGrath from his position. So this morning, PETA sent a letter to Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro—the head of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church, where the troop continues to meet and stand behind McGrath—with an offer to provide members of Troop 98 with the chance to earn a “PETA Pride” merit badge for doing good in their community and helping animals at the same time. Ideas include pledging to “try vegan” for 30 days, attending a city hall meeting regarding an animal-related topic, working to get a chained dog brought inside, asking school officials to replace dissection in lesson plans with computer software, and even protesting outside a circus that uses animals.
“Helping animals takes compassion and positive energy, and Troop 98 and Rev. Corsaro seem to have both,” says PETA’s Kenneth Montville, a former Boy Scout. “PETA would love for them to put their talents and community spirit to work to aid animals.”
For more information, please visit PETA’s blog.
PETA’s letter to Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro follows.
April 23, 2014
Reverend Dr. Monica Corsaro
Rainier Beach United Methodist Church
Dear Dr. Corsaro,
I am writing on behalf of PETA to applaud your support of Scout leader Geoffrey McGrath and Troop 98. Since the Boy Scouts have pulled their resources from the troop, we’d like to offer our support and encourage you to use this “PETA Pride” merit badge, which we developed a few years ago to help young men learn compassion for everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or species.
It is clear that the children of Troop 98 are in a supportive, inclusive environment, and the criteria for earning one of these badges focus on extending that consideration and respect to all—including animals. To earn the badge, Scouts could distribute leaflets or stickers promoting vegan eating to their classmates, appeal to school officials to use electronic software programs instead of animal dissection in the classroom, convince a neighbor to let a chained dog live indoors, pledge to go vegan for 30 days, or otherwise work to reduce the suffering of animals.
Please let me know how many badges you would need, and I’d be happy to send them to you. We wish you and the Scouts all the best.
Senior Vice President of Campaigns