Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rescue Shelter Boys?

The Pet Shop Boys (Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe) has been one of my all-time favorite groups back to their first release, "West End Girls." Well, admittedly, I've never been a huge fan of that song. My favorite has been "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", although there have been quite a few other goodies through the years, like the dance tracks "Domino Dancing," "New York City Boy," and the special theme song for one of the best comedies ever, Absolutely Fabulous. On April 7, Yvonne Taylor, the Special Projects Manager of PETA Europe (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), sent the Pet Shop Boys a letter asking if they would consider changing their name to the Rescue Shelter Boys in an attempt to draw attention away from pet shop cruelty in favor of shelters for abandoned animals. You can read the entire letter on the duo's website under the news section. Taylor makes significant points: "Most dogs and cats sold in pet shops are sourced from profit-hungry breeders who may have bred them in cramped, filthy conditions. With an emphasis on quantity rather than quality, unmonitored genetic defects and personality disorders pass from one generation of puppies and kittens to the next. ... Most pet-shop animals are kept in cages or runs that are far too small for their needs. Exercise is minimal, and they often never leave their cages until the day that they are sold. ... By agreeing to change your name to the Rescue Shelter Boys, you would help raise awareness about the cruelty involved in the pet trade and encourage your millions of fans to consider giving a home to an abandoned or unwanted animal from an animal shelter." The duo isn't planning to change their name, which I completely understand, but Neil and Chris did feel as if it was an issue worth drawing attention to and they appreciate PETA's mission. Andy from the Towleroad blog asked PETA to comment about their response, and PETA's Senior VP Dan Mathews said, "Neil Tennant shows that the Pet Shop Boys are just as smart as their lyrics and appreciate PETA's creative ways of bringing issues to the public." On a personal note, I am vehemently opposed to pet shops. I have vivid memories from my childhood of wanting to break into pet shops at night and let all the animals free...something I probably would still fantasize over if I ever went into a pet shop with caged animals, which I never do anymore. As for the group, their latest album Yes is available now, and the first release "Love, etc." has a great pop-dance feel to it that I'm enjoying listening to on my iPod. Here's the video, courtesy of YouTube (or click here to view it).

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