PETA: Change the name of Slaughter Beach

The following is a letter sent to Harry Ward, mayor of Slaughter Beach, from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals President Ingrid E. Newkirk.

Dear Mayor Ward,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide — including many in Delaware — with a suggestion: Before the end of the horseshoe crab spawning season, would you consider changing the name of Slaughter Beach to Sanctuary Beach?

Not only is this a more compassionate alternative to slaughter, it would also reflect the beach’s status as an official horseshoe crab sanctuary. We would be happy to contribute to the cost of new signage if you agree to change your town’s name.

Whether the town is named after a stream, the slaughter of natives, or the tides that leave many horseshoe crabs stranded and vulnerable to the hot sun and predators, the term “slaughter” is defined as killing animals for food or killing people or animals in cruel and violent ways.

Unfortunately, many people don’t look deeply into the origins of words and names, but that doesn’t diminish the negative connotations — especially for impressionable young minds — of a word like “slaughter,” which conjures up images of dead and dying animals. This imagery is quite contrary to your reputation as a family-friendly sanctuary town.

There are many beaches with names that refer to the local marine life, which not only makes residents and potential visitors aware that the animals are there but also highlights the importance of respecting them. Examples include Long Island’s Crab Meadow Beach, which is part of a voluntary horseshoe crab monitoring network; Turtle Bay in Oahu, which is named after the green sea turtles who used to lay their eggs on the beach; and Playa Tortugas (Turtle Beach) in Cancún, which is known for its sea turtle nesting season.

“Sanctuary Beach” is a kind name honoring compassion and the preservation of life. It would reflect your efforts to provide a safe habitat for these magnificent, ancient animals and would no doubt be well received by residents and tourists alike.

With the horseshoe crab already designated as your official town animal and Delaware’s official marine animal, it “shorely” makes sense to take it a step further and adopt the friendlier, more accurate Sanctuary Beach as your town’s new name. Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,
Ingrid E. Newkirk

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