August 13, 2008
PETA and the fence

Well, it's not like the concept of the border fence could get any more ridiculous.

While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans Tuesday to announce an unusual marketing pitch to the U.S. government: Rent us space on the fence for billboards warning illegal border crossers there is more to fear than the Border Patrol.

The billboards, in English and Spanish, would offer the following caution: ''If the Border Patrol Doesn't Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will -- Go Vegan."

''We think that Mexicans and other immigrants should be warned if they cross into the U.S. they are putting their health at risk by leaving behind a healthier, staple diet of corn tortillas, beans, rice, fruits and vegetables," said Lindsay Rajt, assistant manager of PETA's vegan campaigns.

Yeah, good luck with that. I'm thinking their diet versus ours is not the main attraction to crossing the border, though the idea of having more food available to eat is probably a lure. But hey, dream big.

[A] government spokesman in Washington D.C. said the request will be rejected because it would limit visibility through the fence. And Border Patrol does not allow advertising on its property or installations, the officials added.

''The fencing being put in place is, in many cases, mesh fencing to allow our officers to see what's happening on the other side and to better secure the border," said Michael Friel, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversee's Border Patrol operations.

One property owner on the Texas-Mexico border laughed at PETA's proposal.

''I think it's ridiculous," said Noel Benavides, who is contesting the construction of a fence dividing his family's 145-acre ranch in Roma on the Rio Grande. ''I can't see the point of something like that."

Sure is a strange place for the Bush administration to get cold feet about selling stuff off. Hey, if we're going to have the stupid thing, I'd rather it be paid for by advertising dollars than by my tax dollars. I say bring it on. Set rates and open it up for bidding. Who knows how much this might make?

But Rajt said the rent money they'd pay would help offset the huge costs of the fencing -- and the advertising message ''might even be frightening enough to deter people from crossing into the U.S."

Guess that means we won't be seeing any of their anti-fur ads on the fence. Alas. Stace has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 13, 2008 to National news

That's just...offensive. On so many levels. Not the least of which is how it completely ignores the really unethical problems in that situation.

I haven't been able to be a fan of PETA for a while, although I am a huge supporter of caring for animals ethically.

Posted by: Julie Pippert on August 13, 2008 9:57 AM

Thanks, Kuff. As my sis stated in her comment, the even more offensive part is that these folks can't even afford corn for their tortillas because of "biodiesel" production, which has caused the price of tortillas to triple!


Posted by: Stace Medellin on August 13, 2008 12:36 PM
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