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PETA's Joke About Meat Allergy Ticks Flops on North Fork

Animal rights group in a April Fool's blog post jokes about a plan to release Lone Star ticks that give people meat allergies.

Just in time for tick season, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced in its official blog Monday that the animal rights' organization was set to release meat-allergy inducing ticks in the northeastern United States.

But wait -- it was an April Fool's joke. The post, according to PETA, was merely a prank. But some on the North Fork might not find the antics amusing.

"That's sick PETA has always been weird but this is way out there, these tick born diseases are no joking matter. Trust me I have Lyme's it can be a nightmare," wrote Billy Eagle on North Fork Patch's Facebook page.

According to a post on PETA's website, the Lone Star tick causes people to develop an allergy to meat. A person bitten would develop a rash and become uncomfortable after eating meat, the blog said.

PETA then asked how readers would feel about the organization releasing Lone Star ticks in parks in the northeast. The goal would be to help people go vegan or vegetarian, the post read.

"Really, the only pushback we anticipate will be from fast-food companies," PETA's Don Beleav, a biologist, said on the site. "Maybe McDonald's will start handing out free flea and tick collars with its value meals."

PETA also said it was willing to offer the bugs by mail.

But some North Fork residents might not be laughing. In recent years, the population of Lone Star ticks has dramatically therefore expanding the threat of tick-borne diseases.

Southold Town has taken a proactive stance on attempting to mitigate the threat of tick-borne diseases by discussing a town tick task force.

In October, Southold Town hosted a forum featuring the Suffolk County Tick Eradication Task Force, where speakers described their symptoms of Lyme disease.

Symptoms included aches and pains, loss of communication skills, seizures -- and misdiagnosis.

Organized by then-Suffolk County Legis. Ed Romaine, the task force members were there to hear the painful stories and send a strong message — Southold Town and the county could not be silent about the seriousness of tick-borne illness anymore.

“This was the worst year for ticks in 20 years,” said Linda Weir of Peconic, who said she’s been living with Lyme disease since 1979 and went undiagnosed until 2004. “Because I’ve gone on with this for so long, I have kidney and liver problems now. My granddaughter has been bit and was misdiagnosed with Tourette syndrome."

The town continued recently to discuss ways to thin the deer herd and tackle tick-borne illnesses.

Speaking out on the April Fool's caper, PETA said the aim was to raise awareness about embracing a vegetarian lifestyle.

"PETA's Lone Star tick breeding program is as fictitious as a happy elephant in the circus," PETA spokeswoman Nicole Dao told Patch. "Our April Fool's joke is a fun way to draw attention to a serious issue: that with all the delicious meat-free options out there today, you don't have to be left out in the woods—you can go vegetarian."

She added, "In fact, being bitten by the Lone Star tick might be the best thing that happens to some people: If they go vegetarian, they will have lower risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity—some of our nation's biggest killers. And they will save more than 100 animals a year from factory farms and slaughterhouses."

Dao said there was no truth at all to the post. "While Lone Star ticks are real, PETA has not intervened in their natural breeding patterns," she said. "We will simply let them go on doing their beautiful thing."

Do you think PETA's April Fool's joke was funny -- or no laughing matter? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

joe insider April 02, 2013 at 01:22 AM
This is the type of emotional and immature antics that is the reason this group will never be taken seriously. A bad and tasteless joke but this groups past follies are an even bigger joke. Remember a few years ago when they started a petition drive to get Fishkill, New York to change it's name because of the supposed "horror and cruelty" the name stood for. Only after they got over 10,000 signatures did they take the time to find out that "Fishkill" is Scottish for "fish stream or brook". Dumb asses.
cyn f April 02, 2013 at 12:56 PM
PETA is just too much. Their tactics border on violence. I'm not against vegetarianism and I do agree that factory farming is a horror, but I also think eating meat is healthy and when the animals are raised properly, there is nothing wrong with eating them or their eggs. PETA thinks the whole world should agree with them and will stoop to any level to get people's attention. They are just flat out wrong about many things but pretend to sit on high horses as heros. They have shut down animal rescue organizations because they don't feel that the animals are being treated correctly. Ever ask yourself where those animals came from and where they are going once you shut down the rescue organization PETA? PETA is just flat out wrong and confused as a group. Don't listen to them.
not a farmer April 02, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Leftist terrorist threats which go unchecked again. Can you imagine if an organization let's say the National Rifle Association came out with a threat to the health and safety fo the general population of the US? Perhaps something just as threatening like NRA members will be sending their children to schools in the northeast US to sprinkle a dust to make the school population sick and allergic to vegtables. That would be the lead story on every newscast in america for a week. This PETA are a bunch of criminals that shouldn't be allowed to threaten people without consequences.
MaryAnn April 02, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Terrible !
MaryAnn April 02, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I will never listen to them again for anything . That was the worst joke I've ever heard of any group supposed to be good and now we know it not good!
Stephany April 02, 2013 at 07:18 PM
PETA: You are no better than anyone and if this is what you consider a joke then need better leadership (among other things). I suggest you try to work a bit more ethically yourself. Even those that support your cause are shamed by this behavior.
Paris Stachtiaris April 02, 2013 at 07:30 PM
The Humane Society is a much better organization than PETA.
Karen Doherty April 02, 2013 at 07:57 PM
I commented on this PETA blog post as a person who has Lyme disease. The post or "joke" was in extremely poor taste, and quite a surprise given their compassion for animals. They didn't have the integrity to post my comment--only comments that agreed with their April Fool's prank. Shame on them.

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