NORFOLK, VA (CAP) - In a campaign launching this week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is attacking Santa Claus for his fur-lined suit and his abuse of flying reindeer, among other infractions.
"What's the message that Santa Claus is sending to the children of the world?" asked PETA spokesman Dan Sharon. "That it's OK to slaughter baby seals and polar bears, skin them alive and use their fur to line your stupid red suit.
"And why do I doubt those reindeer feel like pulling his fat, fur-lined ass around the world in one night?" he asked. "Although I'm sure he shows his gratitude to Rudolph and his friends, probably by mounting their heads on the wall and eating their flesh for Christmas dinner."
The first round of ads, to appear in such children's magazines as Highlights, Ranger Rick and Cricket, will feature actress Scarlett Johansson in front of a Santa Claus kiosk at a mall, nude except for several sprigs of mistletoe and holly obscuring her private areas.
The tagline will read, "I'd rather go naked than sit on that lap!"
"We're letting children know that when you sit on Santa's fur-lined lap, you're sitting on the murdered carcass of a fellow creature, one that Santa probably bludgeoned to death himself with his fur-lined-gloved hands," said Sharon. "Those presents you're getting under the tree were purchased with blood money, kids - blood dripping from the limp form of a baby bear barely old enough to suckle at its mother's bosom."
Sharon actually read that very statement to a crowd of children gathered at the New York Public Library for what had been billed as a "Holiday Story Hour," leaving many of the 4- and 5-year-olds present wailing in tears before library officials forced him to leave.
Also, several PETA protesters wearing only flesh-colored thongs and pasties threw fake blood on customers coming out of FAO Schwartz in New York City yesterday. They were arrested by NYPD police officers, but not before staining an Elmo Live, a Giddyup N' Go Pony and a Baby Alive Learns to Potty Doll.
"I'd rather go nude than pull a sleigh for that dude!" they chanted at a Salvation Army Santa Claus as they were hauled off.
As usual, PETA's controversial methods have drawn fire from several quarters. "We find both the ads and the demonstrations completely inappropriate," said Darlene Fortenski of Mothers Against Everything, who added that there was no excuse for being naked, even if you are concerned about the animals.
"Besides, everyone knows that Santa isn't killing the polar bears - that's global warming," she noted. "Which we are also against."
Some holiday shoppers agreed that this time, PETA might have gone too far. "Santa has nothing to do with fur or animals. Those PETA people are ridiculous," said shopper Tony Scalise of Brooklyn, N.Y., who witnessed the fake-blood attacks at FAO Schwartz this week.
"That said, they do all have pretty nice knockers," he added.
- CAP News Staff