Ryan earns 'Bad Dad' award from PETA
JANESVILLE He was a late entry and had some tough competition, including a parent who tied a toddler up outside a betting parlor, a motorcycle rider who placed a plastic bag over his child's head instead of a helmet, and a man who tattooed his baby, but Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) won, because someone who holds high public office simply should know better, according to spokeswoman for the group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.
This Thanksgiving weekend, in a highly publicized move, Ryan, who had bought his 10-year-old daughter, Liza, a high-powered weapon, took her out into the woods and had her shoot and kill a deer for light entertainment. And today, PETA has notified Ryan that he has been named PETA's Bad Dad 2012, explaining in a letter from PETA's president that parents should teach their children to be kind to animals and to choose nonviolent, helpful activities over those that result in maiming and death.
"You can't teach kids to be tough, if that was the purpose, by encouraging them to kill those who can't defend themselves," wrote
PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Being a good dad means encouraging children to engage in safe, peaceful, and fun ways for them to enjoy nature, including canoeing, bird watching, biking, and hiking--even clearing the woods of hunters' beer cans and other trash would be a blessing."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to Ryan:
"Dear Representative Ryan:
"On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands in Wisconsin, I am writing to present you with PETA's Bad Dad Award (your certificate is on the way). You deserve the award because, instead of teaching your young daughter respect for wildlife and encouraging her to embrace nonviolence, you gave her a gun and encouraged her to kill animals for fun.
"You seem to have a desperate need to assert your old-fashioned idea of manhood, to wield power over those who can't defend themselves, even to the point of stealing their very lives for nothing more than the perverse thrill of it. I imagine there must be a lot of people who are disappointed in your lack of empathy, not only for those who are unarmed in the face of the fancy weaponry that helps you do your dirty work but also more broadly. I suspect that while you love your daughter, you don't understand that the love of one's offspring is shared by other living beings, including deer, whose fawns become orphaned when they are killed. And given that your daughter was practicing, one wonders if she is already among the ranks of hunters responsible for allowing deer to flee
wounded, only to die out of sight, slowly and in agony.
"How appalling to use your influence to desensitize your child to the suffering of others. In fact, the young people who have opened fire on their schoolmates, including 16-year-old Andrew Golden who, along with an accomplice, killed five people at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and 17-year-old T.J. Lane, who killed three people at Chardon High School near Cleveland earlier this year, had first expressed their love of hunting animals. In light of this fact alone, it seems grossly irresponsible to encourage a child to kill for fun.
"You can't teach kids to be tough, if that was the purpose, by encouraging them to kill those who can't defend themselves. Being a good dad means encouraging children to engage in safe, peaceful, and fun ways for them to enjoy nature, including canoeing, bird watching, biking, and hiking even clearing the woods of hunters beer cans and other trash would be a blessing. While this letter is blunt, its point is to ask you to ponder the value of encouraging compassion in your daughter, as well as in your other children, by switching to humane family activities.
"Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk