November 13, 2012
President and CEO
Dear Mr. DiDomizio,
On behalf of PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] and our more than 3 million members and supporters, I am writing to ask you to keep hunting magazines sold at your stores out of the reach and view of minors by displaying them alongside adult publications such as Playboy and Penthouse. We also urge you to refuse to sell these magazines to anyone under 18 years of age. Hunting magazines present killing as fun and exciting and encourage violent behavior in young people . . .
These publications recklessly promote killing without explaining the devastating consequences. The stress that hunted animals suffer from being pursued compromises their natural feeding habits, making it hard for them to store the fat and energy that they need to survive the winter. Hunting also disrupts migration and hibernation patterns. For animals like wolves, who mate for life and live in close-knit family units, hunting can devastate not only entire families but entire communities. And many animals who are shot with a bullet or an arrow flee injured—only to die slow, agonizing deaths from blood loss, shock, starvation, gangrene, or attacks by predators.
Like other forms of casual or thrill violence, hunting spawns a dangerous desensitization to the suffering of others. According to published reports, many of the young people who have opened fire on their schoolmates—including 16-year-old Andrew Golden who, along with an accomplice, killed five people at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and 17-year-old T.J. Lane, who killed three people at Chardon High School in Cleveland earlier this year, had first expressed their bloodlust by hunting animals. Not every hunter will kill a human, of course, but in this era of escalating violence, it is irresponsible and downright dangerous to allow kids access to magazines that promote killing for “fun.”
Your British counterpart, W.H. Smith, has already implemented an age restriction on the sale of hunting magazines, and we urge you to follow suit. Please protect animals and impressionable children by keeping hunting magazines out of young people’s reach and sight—just as you would with pornography. Thank you. I look forward to your reply.
Executive Vice President