Thursday, December 22, 2011 3:07 p.m. EST
(North Pole -- WKZO -- The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals today released its holiday message addressing the troubling issue of violence against animals committed by one of history’s greatest abusers: Santa Claus.“While many like to think of Santa’s reindeer gleefully hauling toys for children, basking in Rudolph’s playful glow, the legend paints a much darker picture,” says PETA Regional VP of Operations Stan Beecher. “We’re perpetuating the idea in children’s fragile minds, that it’s okay to chain 8 helpless animals to a load roughly the size of Mount Kilimanjaro and savagely whip them into not just pulling this impossible weight, but demanding they fly with it.”Mr. Beecher further alleges that such supernatural reindeer behavior could only be accomplished by performance-enhancing drugs - “Any parent should be deeply disturbed by the message it’s okay to cheat to win. Hey, Santa does it.”A representative for Greenpeace expressed concern over how much ozone-damaging methane gas is released by the reindeer each year on their epic journey.