There is much controversy over the PETA campaign to offer a vasectomy to one man who gets his pets spayed or neutered this month in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week.
I have worked with RESOLVE in the past, as a chapter leader and as chairperson of the Northeast Region. I worked to promote National Infertility Awareness week.
It isn’t merely that the contest exists. I understand many men wish to have a vasectomy for one reason or another. I’m perfectly fine with that. I am not fine with the timing of this contest. Many people have worked countless hours advocating for National Infertility Awareness Week. They’ve worked with physicians, lawmakers, community leaders and more. I have been one of these people.
To see PETA do this is a slap in the face to those who have worked to support, advocate for and educate the public about those dealing with infertility. There are already so many myths and misconceptions about this disease, treating infertility as if it is not a valid cause is both hurtful and insulting.
You would not offer those who spay and neuter their animals a neck injury in honor of quadriplegic awareness week, would you? Of course not, that would be callous, insensitive and mean. So is this.
Infertility affects one in 8. You probably know someone struggling privately with this painful situation. You have compounded this hurt with your thoughtlessness.
I saw your post “apologizing” on Facebook:
“Thank you for contacting PETA about our contest offering a free vasectomy. We meant no offense to those who are struggling to conceive. Please know that there are many people who wish to be sterilized—it’s those people that we’re aiming to reach.”
While I note the mention that we were not the audience you meant to target, that is beside the point. I recognize you are reaching out to men who want this procedure done, but your attempts to piggyback the week that the infertility community uses to educate the public are wrong. Please take down your contest, or at the very least, any mentions of RESOLVE or National Infertility Awareness Week.
Please use these links to learn more, as I would prefer to not direct any readers to PETA directly as I believe they hopped onto NIAW purely for the shock value / media exposure.