PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) sent a letter to General David Berger decrying the brute killing of animals and drinking their blood.
“The photos showing giddy Marines swallowing scorpions and guzzling cobra blood are more reminiscent of a frat party gone wrong than a military drill,” Shalin Gala, VP of international lab methods with PETA, expressed in a press release. “PETA is calling on the Marine Corps to take immediate action to replace this barbaric exploitation of animals with cutting-edge, technology-based survival training courses that will better prepare troops.”
The letter alludes to a recent news story, which included narratives of how armed service members “learn to de-fang tarantulas before eating them, as well as consuming lizards and other creatures indigenous to densely forested areas” throughout the training. Cobra Gold is a multinational, annual exercise sponsored by the United States and Thailand, which boasts more than 5,500 U.S. personnel along with service members from various countries.
Thai military instructors provide jungle survival training, and these Cobra Gold “sessions are among the most photographed events during the exercise.” Thai-spearheaded survival training includes eating geckos, killing chickens, drinking cobra blood and devouring live creatures autochthonous to the jungle as part of survival readiness. PETA recommends instead “more effective non-animal training options, including interactive video games with food procurement components” to supplant the existing training.
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