Chicken Dinner Road sign

The northwest corner of Chicken Dinner Road and Idaho Highway 55 between Caldwell and Marsing, Idaho.

You have to hand it to the folks at PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They know how to get their names in the news. Whether it’s trying to assert constitutional rights for killer whales, having movie actresses pose naked for ads slamming the fur industry or even planning a pornographic website, PETA has long ago demonstrated itself to be lacking in logic and morality but a master at hogging publicity.

Most recently, the folks at PETA fired off a letter to the mayor of Caldwell, Idaho, demanding the name of Chicken Dinner Road be changed. To what? Just Chicken Road. It’s a “kinder alternative, one that celebrates chickens as the sensitive and intelligent individuals they are, not ones to be abused and killed for dinner,” Faith Robinson, PETA senior strategist, told Capital Press reporter Carol Ryan Dumas.

The mayor wisely decided to ignore PETA.

But our suspicion is PETA’s motive was not renaming the road so much as it was to get PETA’s name in front of the public. The organization has repeatedly found geographic references to which it feigned offense. The Tenderloin Section of San Francisco and Fishkill, N.Y., are examples.

In each instance, nothing was accomplished, other than getting some attention from the press, something the folks at PETA crave.

According to its tax return, the organization uses its stunts and resulting notoriety to bring in $52 million a year in donations. Its main argument: Animals and humans are the same.

Which got us thinking. What would happen if a farmer, or farm organization, adopted PETA’s tactics?

For example, a farmer could send a letter to PETA decrying how the group cared more about animals than people when it criticized perfectly good food in the name of animal rights. Whatever happened to people’s rights to have access to nutritious and wholesome food? Nearly 800 million people in the world go to bed hungry every night, and PETA is worried about Chicken Dinner Road? How many people has PETA ever fed?

How about sending chicken dinners to hungry children in sub-Saharan Africa or in Yemen instead of seeking the public spotlight over such piffle as the name of a road.

We fully understand PETA and its goal: to attack animal agriculture. Thankfully, it does a horrible job of that.

It turns out that it’s a lot harder to have a positive impact on society than it is to parade in front of the spotlight.

Good job, PETA, you accomplished absolutely nothing positive but looked good doing it. And probably raised more money in the process.

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