Vice President Dick Cheney

In the wake of his hunting accident where he sprayed a companion with birdshot, Vice President Dick Cheney is being urged by an animal-rights activist to abandon hunting and take up a less violent sport.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has written Cheney a sarcastically toned letter to that effect, hoping this “brush with tragedy” will convince him to rethink his recreational activities.

“May I recommend that you put down your guns and pick up a tennis racket instead?” writes Newkirk. “The risks to your fellow tennis participants would be minimal – at worst a sore elbow or turned ankle – and it would greatly benefit your heart, which I worry can’t take many more frights like the one you have just experienced.”

Newkirk’s letter continued:

Even when hunting tame, gentle birds who have been hand-reared (as you have been known to do), bagging a slow-moving buddy can be even less challenging, which is why there are so many hunting accidents every year. In fact, hunters pick off so many of their brethren that PETA has considered abandoning our campaign against killing for “fun” and just letting hunters finish off themselves. With the number of hunters in America rapidly declining – it fell 7.3 percent in 2001 alone, leaving a miniscule 3.9 percent of the public still taking up arms against defenseless wildlife – this may happen in the not-too-distant future.

Mr. Cheney, there is so much violence in the world that is beyond our control, but you can avoid hurting innocent animals (and well-connected lawyers) by putting down your guns and taking up a nonviolent sport.

Meanwhile, as WND reported, a North Carolina columnist claimed today Dick Cheney’s shooting of friend Harry Whittington was not an accident, but was meant to be a “Godfather”-style message to his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, not to testify against the vice president in the Valerie Plame leak investigation.

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