ANCHORAGE, AK Jan. 29, 2019 – PETA sent a letter to Alaska District Court Judge Pamela S. Washington, who sentenced Andrew and Owen Renner—the father-son duo convicted of illegally killing a mother bear and her two cubs in their den in April and then trying to cover up their dirty deeds—respectfully suggesting that she amend their sentences to include mandatory viewings of the Joaquin Phoenix–narrated documentary Earthlings. The request was inspired by the ruling of a Missouri judge who sentenced a deer poacher to watch repeated screenings of Bambi.
“Killing a mother bear and her family for a cheap thrill or a trophy is a despicable abuse of human power,” writes PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Cruelty to animals is a pathological behavior and an extremely serious matter, and watching a film such as Earthlings might just help these poachers see that other living, feeling beings have as much interest in living as they do.”
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.” For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to the Honorable Pamela S. Washington follows.
January 28, 2019
The Honorable Pamela S. Washington
District Court Judge of the Third Judicial District
State of Alaska
Dear Judge Washington,
I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many across Alaska, to thank you for sentencing Wasilla resident Andrew Renner to jail for poaching a denning black bear sow and two newborn cubs and with a suggestion. We ask that, if possible, you please amend his sentence and that of his son, Owen, to include mandatory repeated viewings of the documentary Earthlings. This would follow the inspiring example set by Lawrence County, Missouri, Circuit Court Judge Robert George, who compelled a man to watch Bambi every month while serving a one-year sentence for his role in a deer-poaching operation.
As you may know, nonsubsistence hunters kill millions of animals every year and have contributed to the extinction of species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger, the Zanzibar leopard, and the dodo. It’s extremely common for animals to be injured by hunters, escaping only to die slowly and painfully from blood loss or starvation. In a highly publicized example, Cecil the lion was shot with a steel arrow by an American “trophy tourist,” then left to suffer for about 12 hours before he was finally shot yet again by this wretched man.
Killing animals where they live and raise their families for a cheap thrill or a trophy is cowardly, and future generations will look back with disgust on this bloody and bullying pretend sport.
Cruelty to animals committed routinely and cavalierly by hunters needs to be taken extremely seriously, and one can hope that repeated viewings of a film such as Earthlings would help this poacher see other living beings for who they are and not cause additional suffering upon his release.
Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk