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Kristy Lee Cook Debuts Hunting Reality Show; PETA Reacts

Our Country

American Idol alum Kristy Lee Cook--otherwise known as the gal who was proud to be an American on the seventh season of the hit show--has just premiered a new reality show called Goin' Country.

The funny thing is, the program is not about buying boots and ten-gallon hats, or learning to sing like Patsy Cline, or anything that might logically pop into one's head when considering how to "go country."

Nope, it's about hunting--getting out in the woods and shooting wild animals. Are you sure Hank done it this way? Cook thinks so, explaining to Fox News, "I never used to like killing animals until I got out and experienced it."

Not surprisingly, the show, which airs on the Versus Network, has drawn ire from those opposed to hunting. As one might imagine, animal-rights organization People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) is at the forefront of this critical mass, and wasted no time blasting Cook's involvement in the project.

"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," the organization said in a statement.

Indeed, Underwood and Pickler are regular PETA covergirls (both have won its annual "Sexiest Vegetarian" competition), and Cowell is an advocate for pet adoption.

Cook took PETA's criticism in stride, responding, "Given that hunters have done more for American wildlife conservation than any other group in history, I make no apology for being one.

"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."

She also added that she believes hunting is part of an organic lifestyle. "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...Whether you like hunting or not, I know I get to help people eat."

Cook maintains that hunting is a recreational and fun activity, and that she's turned around several people who were formerly opposed to it. "Everybody that has experienced [hunting] 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."

Additionally, Cook points out that her reality show highlights her animal-related charity, "Kristy Lee's Horse Heaven Foundation," which rescues abused or neglected horses. "Spotlighting [the horses] is really important to me," she notes.

Ironically, the singer just posted today on Twitter that she's signed a deal with independent label Broken Bow Records. That's the label home of Jason Aldean, and a great place for her to land--but the name is kind of an amusing coincidence given all this talk about hunting, ya think?

All I can say is: I'm sure Blake Shelton--who routinely makes fun of PETA on his Twitter account--would be proud. Me, well, I think I'll just stick to watching Whacked Out Sports.

What do you think of the newest girl with a gun? Be sure to let me know!

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