There are times when people become so blinded by their own goals, they forget about others' feelings.
That's the only explanation I can think of for the latest faux pas by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The group paid for billboards that try to link drinking milk to prostate cancer. In an unrivaled move lacking of taste and compassion, they used the image of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
The ad features a picture of the Mayor with a milk mustache. The caption: "Got Prostate Cancer? Drinking milk contributes to prostate cancer."
Giuliani, who is battling the disease, had no prior knowledge and is considering suing. PETA has since apologized, but sticks to its claim that drinking milk is linked to prostate cancer, a claim refuted by the American Cancer Society.
But the question remains: What kind of a person or group would stoop so low as to use a known cancer patient to convey their own agenda?
Can you imagine if they had used an image of your father or grandfather? How would you feel?
PETA is the most aggressive animal rights group, using public displays such as the Giuliani billboards to draw attention to their cause.
According to the PETA Web site, the group, founded in 1980, has "more than 600,000 members."
The literature on the site also says the group is "dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."
Obviously, with the history of the world, the group faces an uphill battle.
As an animal lover with three dogs, I know animals can be wonderful, loving creatures.
PETA has done a great job of bringing to light numerous cases of animal abuse.
But in this case, it stepped over the lines of human decency and is guilty of abuse itself.
Whatever happened to the ethical treatment of mankind?
John G. Miller is Managing Editor of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram newspapers. He can be reached at 304-626-1473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.