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'American Idol' star Kristy Lee Cook's reality TV show about hunting doesn't sit well with PETA

August 18, 2010 |  5:11 pm

KristyLeeCookWhen former "American Idol" contestant Kristy Lee Cook's new reality TV show, "Goin' Country with Kristy Lee Cook," launched on the Versus sports network earlier this month, the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was quick to state its disapproval.

Cook's eight-episode show documents her travels to hunt whitetail deer, turkeys, pheasants and even black bears throughout the United States, all while trying to score a recording contract.

"Instead of angering thousands of would-be fans by killing helpless animals on camera in an attempt to get her '15 Minutes of Shame,' Kristy Lee Cook's fame crusade would be better served by following in the footsteps" of "Idol" stars such as Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Simon Cowell, who have used their celebrity as a platform to speak up for animals, PETA said in a statement.

Underwood and Pickler are both vegetarians, and Cowell is a supporter of animal rescue and has previously worked with PETA to record a public service announcement about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars.

Cook, who has put her love of horses to work by founding a charity to rescue them, insists that hunters "have done more for American wildlife conservation than any other group in history" and that the sport is "more about being with friends and family and having a good time." She said in a statement to Fox News that all the meat from that animals she kills is either eaten by her own family or donated to charities. "The meat is going somewhere and it is great because I get to feed all these people," she told Fox News. "Whether you like hunting or not, I know I get to help people eat."

Learn more about Cook's new show at The Times' outdoor sports blog, Outposts.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Kristy Lee Cook attends the BMI Country Awards in Nashville in 2008. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press

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