If the idea of government regulators flying drones over your ranch or farm gives you pause, just wait until PETA goes airborne.
PETA -- the organization called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- has announced its plans to buy at least one $10,950 CineStar 8 Octocopter, which will spy on hunters, farms, ranches and fishing areas.
"The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives," PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a press release.
Save lives? We doubt it. More likely, the drones will be used for publicity. Call it PETA's Flying Circus.
Buying a drone is just the latest in a string of stunts the publicity-hungry anti-animal agriculture group has undertaken.
From topless young women pretending to be fish -- they call them "sea kittens" -- to using racy photos of young women to promote vegetarianism to declaring the constitutional rights of killer whales, PETA has always been first in line at the publicity trough. The organization leads the media by the nose, offering one outlandish stunt after another to run down farming, fishing and ranching.
And, of course, most of the media lap it up without any questions.
We don't know much about drones, but the information that's available on the drone air force PETA plans to launch indicates the gizmos don't pose much of a threat. They can stay airborne only 20 minutes or so, meaning that they will be of limited use.
Our guess is they won't find much. The vast majority of livestock producers are ethical and treat their animals well. After all, their livelihoods depend on those animals.
PETA would never acknowledge it, but farmers and ranchers take seriously their responsibility to treat animals well. Here's another fact PETA would never acknowledge: Without the efforts of farmers and ranchers most of those animals wouldn't even exist.
It goes without saying that PETA will milk every bit of publicity it can from its new drones. Maybe it'll even get a photo or two of PETA supporters converging on PETA headquarters asking why their contributions continue to go to waste.