PETA, the top animal rights group, is asking from the US Marines to replace the reptiles and other animals they consume during their annual jungle trainings for plants and other vegan options.
PETA sent a letter to the Marine Corps’ top general this week and urged him to cease the cruel killing of animals during the Cobra Gold exercise happening annually in Thailand.
The exercises often include lessons on how to survive in the jungle.
During these exercises, Marines often drink blood from snakes, eat scorpions, and kill chickens.
What Was the Response from the Marine Corps?
The commandant General David Berger and his office didn’t respond to the questions about whether they’ll ban these practices or not.
The numerous photos from these trainings show Marines swallowing scorpions and guzzling blood of cobras. According to VP of PETA Shalin Gala, these trainings remind more of a frat party gone wrong than a military drill!
A post at PETA’s official website titled Training or Animal Abuse? US Marines Behead Cobras, Drink their Blood says that ‘no one needed to die for US and Thai forces to strengthen their alliance.’
According to the deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Thailand, Michael Heath who spoke at the 39th opening ceremony of the Cobra Gold military international exercise, this is the longest-running international training in the world.
This year’s exercise included a cyber exercise, a humanitarian-relief drill, live-fire event, and amphibious-assault training.
The Marines were photographed consuming blood of a king cobra snake, one day before PETA sent the letter.
They can also be seen drinking water from plants, eating coconuts and other fruits, and watching a Royal Thai Marine dig into a pineapple’s tough skin with his teeth in order to stay hydrated.
The latter options are more aligned with what PETA believes the Marines should be consuming during these trainings.
There are fruits and other lush and edible vegetation in the jungle.
Previous Pleas from PETA Were Helpful
According to PETA, the US Military stopped other trainings with animals after pleas from the organization to stop.
For example, since 2011, the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Centre has ceased using live animals in their survival exercises after discussions with PETA.
Moreover, the Army also stopped a survival-skills training at Dugway Proving Ground after the organization asked the then-Defence Secretary to intervene back in the 90s.