Leave it to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to try to ruin a good thing.
After much anticipation, I finally found some time to go see the movie "The Grey," a film about a plane that goes down in Alaska, leaving the surviving passengers to fend off a pack of wolves that don't take kindly to humans.
Before I even made it to the theater, I started hearing about gripes that PETA had with the movie's star, Liam Neeson, who said he ate wolf stew along with other cast members to help him prepare for his role in the flick.
PETA whined about other elements of the movie, but seemed to take serious issue with Neeson's comment -- enough to call for a boycott of the film, using its blog to encourage moviegoers to not "just shy away -- run away from 'The Grey.' "
My question to PETA is: Really?
Those people have nothing better to do with their time than to try to soil an excellent film because of what the actors choose to eat?
I snack on many exotic meats when I'm back in the hills -- folks would be surprised how good certain foul-sounding edibles can taste. Don't knock it till you've tried it.
As with so many times in the past, PETA has shown why it's a joke, and why -- when most people hear the name -- they often have one of three reactions: laugh, sigh or shake their heads.
Those involved in PETA claim to do a lot for animals, but I can say with confidence that they do far less than hunters -- a group they commonly target for their propaganda.
With my fellow outdoorsmen, we do more for wildlife than PETA ever will, so it's understandable that when I hear that acronym, it's worse than nails on a chalkboard to my ears.
But there is good news -- PETA's half-hearted boycott of "The Grey" failed miserably, showing how few people actually agree with the nonsense the group spouts, nonsense that always seems to be more of a sad cry for attention than a real call to action.
Neeson's film broke through at No. 1 at the U.S. box office when it came out.
Sorry, PETA, you lose.
If you want to see an epic survival movie filled with thrills, suspense and sobering grit, I recommend watching "The Grey."
And if you want the full experience, sample some wolf stew before the show. It'll make for a howling good time.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.