13 April 2011

PETA asks Michael Jackson’s children to convert Neverland into sanctuary

Do it for your father and his love for Bubbles—the chimp not the thin sphere of liquid enclosing air or another gas.

That was the overriding message animal rights organization PETA conveyed in a letter to the children of late pop star Michael Jackson that suggests Neverland Ranch should be converted into a sanctuary for exotic animals.

Apparently plans are underway to transform the 2,800 acre property into a “community park and center for animals” or what PETA labeled as a “menagerie.“

The international non-profit, never afraid of making strange or brazen requests, asks Prince Michael and Paris Jackson to reconsider and instead make Neverland into a “true wildlife sanctuary where animals can be properly taken care of instead of a zoo, where people are encouraged to gawk at imprisoned animals in the name of profit.”

The letter then attempts to pull at the children’s heart strings. Enter Michael and Bubbles:
Your father showed his well-known love for exotic animals by building a zoo at Neverland and through his notable affection for his chimpanzee companion, Bubbles. We praised your father for having made the responsible decision to relocate Bubbles to a true sanctuary where he could live with other primates. By turning Neverland into a sanctuary, you could both honor your father's memory and provide a safe haven for animals like Bubbles—while also educating the public about the plight of captive exotic animals.
The correspondence for compassion didn’t stop at emotional pleas but also flexed a little business savvy.

PETA advises the Jackson children to “establish an organization that would provide rescued animals of all shapes and sizes with a safe, permanent home on the ranch's more than 2,800 acres” by gaining an “understanding of everything that is involved in operating a sanctuary by familiarizing yourself with the Standards of Excellence established by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and by visiting existing sanctuaries, such as Save the Chimps in Florida and the Performing Animal Welfare Society's wildlife sanctuaries in California.”

You see it’s not just naked women and shock and awe, there is also a briefcase and PowerPoint side to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

No matter if you love or hate, agree or disagree with PETA, this is one cause that most of us can get behind. Do we really need another roadside zoo?

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/sheasphotos