Papers won't run PETA ad linked to Pickton case
Updated Thu. Nov. 14 2002 12:41 PM ET
CTV News Staff
Two Vancouver newspapers have refused to run an advertisement that likens the treatment of animals to the fate of women allegedly murdered on a British Columbia pig farm.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a U.S.-based advocacy group with a history of creating controversial ads denouncing the eating of meat. Its latest campaign makes reference to the case of 63 missing women abducted from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood and alleged evidence found on Robert Pickton's Port Coquitlam pig farm.
Pickton has been charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the case.
One section of the ad that was to have run Thursday, reads: "They were drugged and dragged across the room... Their struggles and cries went unanswered... They were slaughtered and their heads sawed off... Their body parts were refrigerated... Their bones were discarded."
It's thought the PETA campaign was intended to coincide with Pickton's preliminary hearing, which had been scheduled for Monday but has been put on hold.
Pickton is not mentioned by name in the ad but he is mentioned in a news release issued by PETA.
"PETA has just released a print ad that illustrates the well-established connection between animal abuse and acts of severe violence against people, and compares what is done to animals on factory farms and slaughterhouses to the ways in which accused serial killer Robert William Pickton apparently dealt with his human victims," says the press release.
"PETA believes that Pickton’s job as a pig killer could easily have numbed him to the cries of animals who felt his knife," the release continues.
The group says the ad is similar to one that PETA ran in the Des Moines [Iowa] Register a decade ago during convicted serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s trial.
Family of victims are disgusted by the association.
"All they're talking about is the pain of the animals, they don't care about the pain of the families," said Laurie Isberg. "They're torturing us. They're torturing us like they say everybody tortures animals."
"The parallels in this case are very clear," said PETA spokesman Andrew Butler. "What happened to the unfortunate victims of this crime are happening every single day in pig farms around the world where animals are routinely mutilated."
PETA bought a full-page ad in Thursday's edition of The Vancouver Province. But the company that publishes the newspaper, Pacific Newspaper Group, said Tuesday it would not run the ad in either the Province or The Vancouver Sun.
It's believed to be the first time a Canadian company has refused to run a PETA ad. The newspaper says it will refund PETA in full. Simon Fraser University marketing professor Lindsay Meredith said pulling the ads was the right decision.
"This is in poor taste," he said. "You don't take the destruction of 50 lives and use that to push your product."
PETA says it will try to force the newspapers to run the ads.