Former President Jimmy Carter's "main concern" after undergoing hip surgery was he'd fail to kill the maximum allowed number of turkeys this hunting season, a thought that earned him condemnation from animal-rights group PETA.
The Carter Center announced the injury on Monday, saying Carter fell as he was leaving to go turkey hunting. "Carter said his main concern is that turkey season ends this week, and he has not reached his limit," the statement said. "He hopes the State of Georgia will allow him to rollover the unused limit to next year."
Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's president, told the Washington Free Beacon it was "disappointing to learn" the Nobel Peace Prize laureate enjoys killing animals who "feel pain just as he does."
"It's disappointing to learn that Mr. Carter—a Nobel Peace Prize laureate—spends some of his free time killing turkeys, who feel fear and pain just as he does," Newkirk said.
Newkirk also urged Carter to emerge from his surgery with a desire to help protect turkeys rather than continue to kill them.
"PETA urges the former president to oppose speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and consider working to protect sentient beings, who simply want to be left in peace, rather than destroying them," Newkirk said.
PETA is an outspoken critic of hunting, arguing that it is no longer needed for human survival as it was in prehistoric times.
"Hunting might have been necessary for human survival in prehistoric times, but today most hunters stalk and kill animals merely for the thrill of it, not out of necessity," the group says. "This unnecessary, violent form of ‘entertainment' rips animal families apart and leaves countless animals orphaned or badly injured when hunters miss their targets."
The group also casts doubt on the idea that hunting is a "sport."
"REAL sports involve competition between consenting parties and don’t end with the deliberate death of one unwilling participant," it says.
PETA further points out that many hunters sometimes "injure themselves" like Carter did on his way to his turkey hunt.