On March 31, 2011, PETA launched a Win a Vasectomy campaign offering “one lucky man” who spayed or neutered his pet a free vasectomy “in honor of” National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). The infertility community responded in force expressing their outrage in a massive grassroots social media campaign that started with my open letter here on this blog.
On April 6, I started a petition on Change.org calling for PETA to remove the link between their insensitive and disgusting campaign and NIAW and to formally apologize. On April 8, after gathering over 2,200 signatures in only two days, PETA removed all references from their website to RESOLVE and NIAW.
While they are sorry the infertility community took offense, PETA has yet to issue a formal apology for their actions.
PETA Petition Timeline of Events
MARCH 31, 2011
- PETA launches their Win a Vasectomy campaign.
APRIL 4, 2011
- I read about PETA’s campaign in an article in The Irish Independent.
APRIL 5, 2011
- I post my Open Letter to PETA addressed to Ingrid Newkirk, PETA President & Founder.
- Carrie Snider, Special Projects Coordinator for PETA, responds to my email.
APRIL 6, 2011
- I post both her response and my second letter to PETA.
- I create a Change.org petition demanding PETA remove the association with NIAW.
- RESOLVE issues a press release formally condemning PETA’s actions.
- RESOLVE launches a “Turn Your Passion into Action” resource page on their website.
APRIL 7, 2011
- The PETA Petition reaches its 1,000th signature.
- Free Vasectomy? PETA Angers the Infertility Community (Nichole Beaudry, Babble.com)
- PETA Says “Just Adopt” (Dawn Davenport, creatingafamily.org)
- PETA changes their campaign from “in honor of” to “during” NIAW.
- I issue my own press release.
- Why I’m Not Talking About PETA (Melissa Ford, Stirrup Queens)
APRIL 8, 2011
- The PETA Petition reaches its 2,000th signature.
- Hey PETA, Infertility is Not a Joke! (TheFertilityBlogs.com)
- PETA steps in it, just in time for NIAW (FertilityLabInsider.com)
- By 8pm EST, PETA removes all references to NIAW from their website.
APRIL 9, 2011
- I release the PETA Petition Victory Vlog.
- PETA’s Vasectomy Campaign Hurtful to the Infertile (Care2.com)
APRIL 10, 2011
- I post an open Thank You Letter to PETA.
- PETA removes infertility link from vasectomy contest (The Toronto Sun)
- How Blogging, Online Petitions, Phone Calls, and Email Writing Really Can Make a Difference (infertility.about.com)
- PETA Founder and President, Ingrid Newkirk, emails me back directly.
APRIL 11, 2011
- I post a quick overview of events from over the weekend.
APRIL 12, 2011
APRIL 13, 2011
- PETA vasectomy contest low blow for some (The Toronto Sun)
APRIL 14, 2011
- I make a guest appearance on The Surrogacy Lawyer Radio Show.
APRIL 18, 2011
- Offensive Animal Rights Ad Enrages Infertility Community (Dina Roth Port, The Huffington Post)