Kristy Lee Cook Reality TV Series Angers PETA
Former 'American Idol' contestant Kristy Lee Cook, who is starring in a new reality show, 'Goin Country,' is under the watchful eye of PETA. The show, airing on the Versus network, follows the singer (and hunting enthusiast) trying to land a record deal as she participates in hunts across the country.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) -- the largest animal rights group in the world -- has never been shy about criticizing anyone whose actions fly in the face of their animal-rights slogan: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment," so it's no surprise that they're taking aim at the premise of the show, making it clear they object.
According to FOX News, a spokesperson for the organization released the following statement: "Instead of angering thousands of would-be fans by killing helpless animals on camera in attempt to get her '15 Minutes of Shame,' Kristy Lee Cook's fame crusade would be better served by following in the footsteps of fellow Idol alum-turned-country-stars Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler -- as well as Simon Cowell -- all of whom have used their fame and talent to speak up for animals."
Carrie is a vegetarian, Kellie has spoken about only wearing fake fur, and Simon is a vocal advocate for animal adoption (demonstrating that there is a tender side to him, after all).
Kristy Lee didn't take this sitting down. She shot back at PETA, defending herself and the thousands of Americans who hunt. 'Given that hunters have done more for American wildlife conservation than any other group in history, I make no apology for being one," Kristy explains to FOX411.com. "Indeed, I join the ranks of millions of American hunters who celebrate our outdoor heritage and who conserve millions of acres of wild lands. These same people support more than 600,000 jobs across the country and provide a critical voice to encourage more investment in American conservation."
Kristy Lee acknowledges her understanding of "people who oppose her decision to hunt," but through the course of her show, she has taken many non-hunters out with her and changed their minds -- including her sister.
"My sister had never hunted," says the Washington native. "She once hit a butterfly with a tennis racket and cried, so I was like, this is gonna be funny. We took her hunting for her first deer, with the meat going to an orphanage, and she ended up harvesting a buck. She had a great time and said she would do it again. Everybody that has experienced it for the first time has enjoyed it and had a great time. It's more about being with friends and family and having a good time."
Kristy Lee, who is an advocate of eating organically, takes a philosophical point of view, saying, "I'm a big-time organic person, and the meat we get from shooting something is as organic as it comes. If I don't take the meat home to my family then we give it to orphanages or homeless shelters. The meat is going somewhere, and it is great because I get to feed all these people. Whether you like hunting or not, I know I get to help people eat."
The singer's show also highlights the 'Kristy Lee Horse Heaven Foundation,' a charity for rescuing horses. The foundation purchases horses that have been abused or neglected.