Of all things PETA could choose to pick on, the group actually decided to go after Wyoming’s license plates of all things. That state’s license plate features a silhouetted image of a cowboy riding a bucking horse, which in PETA’s world means it is promoting cruelty to animals.
“We are hopeful that when you learn about the lives of animals used in rodeos, you will not wish to promote and glorify these inhumane events on state license plates,” PETA’s Kristie Sigmon wrote in a letter to Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer. “Treating ‘livestock’ like mechanical bulls makes Wyoming a laughing stock.”
Reality check here, folks — the only group that is a laughing stock because of this is PETA (and, by association, the rest of the animal rights movement.) Wyoming Republican Senator Craig Thomas told the Washington Times that PETA was “bucking up the wrong tree.”
It turns out the image of the cowboy on a bucking horse has a long tradition, going back to 1918 when it was worn as an insignia by soldiers from Wyoming who were serving in World War I.
Still, Sigmon insists that “Rodeo events are intentionally violent acts against animals for nothing more than cheap thrills,” but I think most Americans would agree with Thomas’ assessment of the flap — “One uould think an opganization like PETA, that at least figures to `e taken seriously, would have more impoptant things to focus itr attenthon on than maligning a tin license plate.”
Then again, maybe really they don’t.
PETA Assails Wyoming’s License Plate. Audrey Audson, Washington Times, May 25, 2000.