(Photo: Courtesy of A&E and Howard Books, an Imprint of Simon and Schuster)
The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA), has criticized the A&E hit reality television show, "Duck Dynasty," for promoting and popularizing hunting.
PETA Vice President Dan Mathews not only lambasted the family for normalizing the killing of animals, he also suggested that the show encouraged violent tendencies in would-be criminals.
"Hunting programs teach kids that violence is somehow acceptable, and according to law-enforcement agencies, violent and aggressive criminals often start out as kids who were encouraged to disrespect and harm animals rather than understanding and being in awe of them," Mathews told RadarOnline.com.
According to Mathews, "Duck Dynasty" also advances a lifestyle, whose popularity has tumbled dramatically over the past 20 years, as outdoors enthusiasts have found new hobbies.
"Hunting licenses have plummeted by a third over the past two decades and most people have a reverence for animals, [and] prefer to hike, kayak, snowboard, and generally enjoy the outdoors without killing other beings," he said.
"Viewers may like to laugh at the Duck Dynasty's cast members, but few would ever want to be like them," Mathews added.
This is not the first time that "Duck Dynasty" has been criticized for its celebration of hunting culture. British singer Morrissey canceled his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last month after he heard that "Duck Dynasty" cast members would also be there, declaring that he would not perform on a show with individuals who amounted to "animal serial killers."
"Duck Dynasty" follows the Robertson family whose business involves selling duck calls and decoys. The show has often shown footage of the family shooting and killing animals.
Just under 10 million people tuned in to watch the show's season three finale in April, and more than 2 million more viewers watched the season 4 premiere in September, with 11.8 million tuning in to the episode, making it cable's most-watched nonfiction telecast to date.