There’s a darn good reason why People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals doesn’t have much of a sense of humor [“Pity PETA,” editorial]. The group is deadly serious about enforcing its twisted value system on the rest of us.

Although PETA’s campaigns tend to take a scatter-shot approach (chipping away at meat and dairy one week, for example, and then life-saving medical research the next), its goals are plenty broad. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said as much at this summer’s Animal Rights 2002 convention: “If anybody wonders about what’s this with all these reforms, you can hear us clearly. Our goal is total animal liberation.”

PETA campaign director Bruce Friedrich told last year’s convention that “it would be a great thing if all of these fast-food outlets, these slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow . . . .Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.” For this he earned a standing ovation.

Why should we pity these people? Shouldn’t we instead root for their demise? In my book, anyone who takes PETA down a few pegs has done a good deed, whether it’s feminists, the “fat-acceptance” lobby, or even the neo-prohibitionist folks at MADD.