Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is in a quandary over a royal tradition: bird hunting. Actually, she has been backed into a corner. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group, better known as PETA, has targeted her as a person in a "unique position to be able to wield considerable influence over whether people everywhere view animals and their place in our world with kindness or blithely ignore their suffering." Fox News reports the story.
The quote comes from a letter sent by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk to Kate Middleton, the duchessÂ—which she won't be able to ignore, because publicity is flyingÂ— asking her to put a stop to a particular incident. It seems Prince William has purchased 250 farm-raised pheasants, ducks and partridges for his brother's birthday, to provide a day of shooting for his friends. Bird hunting is a tradition hundreds of years old among royals in Britain. And PETA has a tradition of putting celebrities on the spot.
There is no word as to Kate Middleton's opinion, but this is a lose-lose situation, bad-publicity-wise, and royals almost always meet such ticklers without comment. There are two sides to every story, and in this case possibly three: Yes. Birds are killed in bird hunting. On the other hand, bird planting of this nature generally adds toÂ—not subtracts fromÂ—the local bird population, since many birds escape. Designated hunting fields add open space to the countryside, and hunter fees are generally used for bird conservation. And the birds killed are almost always used for foodÂ—human food or even special dinners, properly plucked and roasted, for the Queen's corgis.
It's an ongoing controversy, but not one into which Kate Middleton should be dragged. It isn't fair to put her on the spot.
Â© Cindy Kroiss Â– Gather Inc. 2011
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