Thousands of new faces came to check out PETAKillsAnimals.com last night after seeing our new commercial slamming People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for killing over 12,000 cats and dogs since 1998. We ran the ad just before President Bush’s State of the Union address last night, and we’d like to share with you what one new reader told us after coming to our site:

Just saw your ad on TV. As a Franciscan Brother 3rd Order, a person who has always loved animals and as a retired zookeeper/elephant trainer, I can tell you PETA has no standing with me. I have indeed had them lie to my face about animal issues.

The founder of the reader’s order, St. Francis of Assisi (and namesake of the reader’s city, San Francisco), was a legendary animal lover, who preached to animals on multiple occasions. Animal-rights activists have sometimes tried to turn the saint into an icon of their movement. But St. Francis wore wool and did not seek to abolish the eating of meat — one Franciscan theologian writes: “In early biographies one reads that St. Francis said that if Christmas was on a Friday, the friars should be given a double ration of meat, and animals a double ration of hay.” Our reader continues:

For some people the end, what ever that might be, justifies the means. I became involved in many animal issues as a keeper in San Francisco. Whenever an issue arose and a camera was available PETA was there. I’ll never forget Dr. Elliot Katz chaining himself to the Orangutan Grotto only to give it up and go away when no one from the media would take his picture.

Dr. Elliot Katz, by the way, is the kind of respected animal-rights activist who utters gems like this: “It is time we demand an end to the misguided and abusive concept of animal ownership.”