2 12 2007

I like animals. I like most animals more than I like most people. I prefer to leave wild animals alone as much as possible. When I see wild animals in their natural habitat, I tend to just admire them from a distance. When I was in the Boy Scouts, I made a point of learning the habits of possibly dangerous animals so I could avoid them whenever possible.

I’ve had pets my whole life. My first pet- a cat named Smokey- shared my life for 23 years. I’ve shared my life with dogs and cats and mice (sometimes all at once), and get along with most domestic animals.

I try to avoid killing animals unnecessarily. Since my wife freaks out at the sight of a spider, I get the spider-chores. Rather than killing them,  I try to collect them and carry them outside. When ants invade the house, I prefer destroying their scent trails to wiping out their nests outside (I make an exception for fire ants). On the rare instance a mouse manages to get into the house without getting hunted to extinction by my cats, I try to catch the critter and release it outside. If I could deal with roaches in this fashion, I would do so. Unfortunately for the roaches, the only practical means of controlling them is to kill them in large numbers.

I eat meat, but have no illusions as to the origins of the meat I consume. I’ve killed chickens for my family’s consumption, butchered a hog, and even dressed out a deer the one time I tried hunting for food. I wear leather garments, drink milk, eat cheese, and generally enjoy the benefits of being a member of the top omnivorous species on the planet.

I support our local “no-kill” animal shelter, encourage others to spay/neuter their pets, purchase”free-range” meat for my own consumption (and avoid fast-food restaurants), and provide food for the local birds and squirrels in the winter.

But I absolutely refuse to support or have any sympathy for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Two years ago, PETA members were caught dumping the bodies of dogs and cats into a dumpster behind a convenience store in North Carolina. The van they were driving held several empty cages and a tackle box full of  syringes and drugs used for euthanasia. It turns out that PETA routinely”liberates” animals from pet stores and kills them, dumping the carcasses into refuse bins in rural areas.  According to some PETA opponents, PETA has euthanized more than 14,000 cats, dogs, and other such pets since 1998.

When a blizzard threatened to kill hundreds of cattle in Colorado, the Governor asked PETA to pitch in some money to help. Despite their high-sounding ideals, the PETArds couldn’t be bothered. If animals feeling pain is what they’re trying to prevent, why not help save the cattle? Is it better for the animals to starve and freeze to death?
Precisely how does this equate with “ethical” treatment?

There’s a KFC down the road from where I live. Several times a week, PETA holds a  “protest” outside this establishment. As far as I can tell, none of the other KFCs in town get protested. Three other restaurants specializing in chicken can be found within two blocks of this particular KFC, but they never get protested, either. The only major difference I can find between this particular KFC and all the rest is location: A major intersection near a freeway. These “protesters” only show up when the weather is clear and even then only between noon and 1PM. The neighborhood in question is predominantly black, but every one of the “protesters” are white. None of them live in the area- they travel to and from the “protest” in several vans. I managed to speak with one of these PETArds. He told me that they get paid to drive to that particular KFC and protest.
What’s the matter, PETA? Isn’t that KFC serving dismembered chickens at other times of the day? Is that particular KFC the only one which serves cooked meat? Do they only serve meat when the weather is nice?

In the interest of fairness, I visited PETA’s website. They blithely equate their cause with the struggle to end slavery. Their advertising tries to equate the meat industry with the Holocaust. They also claim to be a strictly non-violent organization, but they seem to finance a lot of people and organizations that have been convicted of domestic terrorism. PETA claims “animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other purpose“. Does this include Seeing-Eye Dogs? Pets?

Here’s a novel idea, PETArds. If you want to live your lives without using animal products (or products tested on animals), that’s your business. Knock yourself out. Your right to those beliefs stops when it comes to trying to force me to live the way you want me to.

I have a low tolerance for stupidity. After looking at PETA and the actions of the PETArds, I’ve discovered that my tolerance for hypocrisy  is even lower.

Current status: Obstreperous

Current Music: Cygnus X-1, by Rush



6 responses

2 12 2007
Layman Pong


2 12 2007

Damned straight.

Like the comic said, “If Jeebus didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make ’em out of meat?”


2 12 2007

“Your right to those beliefs stops when it comes to trying to force me to live the way you want me to.”

Living in a democracy means having to endure people persuading you to change your mind. Not supporting animal cruelty isn’t simply a lifestyle choice. It’s a serious moral issue. I know that’s something I don’t have to persuade you of. However, it seems abundantly clear that people have to sets of standards when it comes to treating animals. There’s the one standard that says:

“People shouldn’t hurt pets, we should prevent people from organizing cock/dog fights, etc..)”

Then there is another standard we have that applies strictly to animals that we eat or exploit in other ways. This standard goes as follows:

“We don’t need to worry much about these animals, we can put them in the hands of industries which use them as commodities, we can shot them if we enjoy it, etc…).

This is a contradiction that people integrate subconsciously. Correcting a subconsciously integrated contradiction like this is almost impossible and nobody knows exactly how to do it. There is a lot of disagreement in the animal welfare/rights movement over what is the appopritate way and I can assure you that PETA gets criticism from both sides (pro and anti-exploitation) for the tactics it uses. But there is no reason to conflate PETA with the animal welfare/rights movement as a whole.

3 12 2007

“It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.”

-William Inge

When a population grows large enough, the smallest minority of strange thought rises to a significant number while still maintaining a tiny minority. With modern communication this may someday blur the distinction between sanity and lunacy.

3 12 2007

Toddle– I think you misunderstood most of my point. I am not condemning the entire animal welfare movement. I am condemning PETA for losing focus and becoming a front for whackjob fascism. PETA was one of the organizations that did a lot of good in getting laws passed to prevent needless cruelty to animals. That said, their new campaign seems to be that all meat is murder, and anyone who disagrees with them must be forced into compliance with their beliefs. That is not democracy. Persuasion by example or reason is acceptable. Persuasion by force is not. Period. Full stop.

PF I fear that day has long since been upon us. The vocal, fanatic few are the only ones who get airtime on the idiot box. The uninterested majority see only what the idiot box shows them. The voices of the sensible minority are drowned out by the sheer volume of “noise” in the information stream.

The lunatics are running the asylum, and the staff are the ones getting locked away.

3 12 2007
Layman Pong


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: