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May 10, 2005 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Peta Kills Animals
posted by konolia (137 comments total)

 
Man, karma's a bitch, ain't it?
posted by me3dia at 11:52 AM on May 10, 2005


No, me3dia, karma would be animals killing PETA.
posted by jonmc at 11:54 AM on May 10, 2005


I especially like the second link, konolia, where you found a site on which [PETA/a news agency/your cousin] [supports/denies/explains] the allegations in the first link. Very in depth, very thorough.
posted by gurple at 11:57 AM on May 10, 2005


Another way to look at the very same set of statistics is to say that of all the unwanted dogs, cats and other "companion animals" PETA took charge of over the last four years, they managed to place almost 20% of them in new homes.

The question should be, is that a high or low figure when compared to other animal rescue/advocacy groups doing the same thing? It shouldn't be a "dirty secret" that not every animal taken in by any of them is cared for for the rest of its natural life - some will need to be put down, "killed" if you want to use that term.
posted by yhbc at 11:58 AM on May 10, 2005


No, me3dia, karma would be animals killing PETA.

True, I was referring to the backlash they're going to have on their hands as this gets out.
posted by me3dia at 11:58 AM on May 10, 2005


Brought to you by the animal lovers at the Center for Consumer Freedom.
posted by malocchio at 12:01 PM on May 10, 2005


some will need to be put down, "killed" if you want to use that term

I once suggested we should change the Holocaust Museum's name to "Ethnic Detainee Cleansing Museum", until that idea was shot down with Friendly Fire.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:04 PM on May 10, 2005


If it's the truth, why does it matter who says it?
posted by smackfu at 12:04 PM on May 10, 2005


the backlash they're going to have on their hands

I don't get it. Since everyone knows that killing and eating animals is a good idea, and since PETA is fringe lunatics only for suggesting otherwise, then how could they have any bad karma as a result of, to some small extent, following the accepted practice of killing animals?

Perhaps, they are turning over a new leaf and are beginning to join the rest of humanity in the rightful killing of animals.

I know, I know, they may be guilty of hypocrisy. I don't think it's bad karma when the hypocrisy is related to forgoing your former negativity (in this case preaching against killing animals) and starting to come back into normal bounds of humanity.
posted by nervousfritz at 12:06 PM on May 10, 2005


I'm sorry, but I cannot muster an ounce of outrage.
posted by Specklet at 12:07 PM on May 10, 2005


If it's the truth, why does it matter who says it?

Because they're claiming outrage at hypocrisy when they're a bunch of hypocrites.

"PETA Kills Animals" is a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the full range of choices that American consumers currently enjoy. In addition to malicious animal-rights activists, we stand up to the "food police," environmental scaremongers, neo-prohibitionists, meddling bureaucrats, and other self-anointed saints who claim to "know what's best" for you.

And yet I can't find anything where they took a stand against bans on pornography or sex toy. "Full range of choices" my ass. It's a group with a shallow moralistic brief that's dishonest about its true vision. Sorta like PETA.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:12 PM on May 10, 2005


This was one of the things that Penn & Teller pointed out in their Bullshit Episode on Peta. (Should be on Amazon or at your local video store) Those Peta folk are nutty: Not fans of pets (as in you having any.) They can have my beloved pet cat when they pry it from my cold dead hands.
posted by dontrememberthis at 12:16 PM on May 10, 2005


I don't know whether the stuff on the site is true or not but as a vegetarian (14+ years) and dog owner I hate PETA with a passion. These people are so fucking stupid that they don't see how their shock tactics just cause people to ignore their message. Animal Rights causes would be far further along if it weren't for these morons and the double digit IQ celebrities who lend them their name.
posted by dobbs at 12:22 PM on May 10, 2005


God, this is stupid. yhbc is spot on.

PETA gets thousands of animals dropped at their doorstep. What are they supposed to do with them? In the absence of a large enough network to effectively care for all of them, euthanasia can be considered an Ethical Treatment.

It's not like their front door leads to a meat grinder. If everyone here who is so up in arms about stopped patting yourselves on the back long enough to go adopt a pet from them, this might not be an issue.
posted by mkultra at 12:23 PM on May 10, 2005


From this fact sheet on hunting:

"Even when unusual occurrences cause temporary animal-overpopulation problems, natural processes quickly stabilize the group. Starvation and disease are unfortunate, but they are nature’s way of ensuring that healthy, strong animals survive and maintain the strength of the entire herd or group. Shooting an animal because he or she might starve or become sick is arbitrary and destructive."

There may be some distinction there between domesticated and wild animals, but it still seems like a contradiction in belief systems.
posted by boymilo at 12:24 PM on May 10, 2005


If it's the truth, why does it matter who says it?

PinkStainlessTail beat me to the punch. I think this reeks of hypocrisy; they are not a group that has the animals' best interest at heart. Most "humane" organizations similarly euthanize animals, and few would claim that they are doing more harm than good.

Like many, I disagree with PETA's tactics, but I do believe that they are acting out of honest convictions. I don't believe the same can be said of the CCF.
posted by malocchio at 12:29 PM on May 10, 2005


It's a group with a shallow moralistic brief that's dishonest about its true vision.

Even worse, they're a lobbying group pretending to be a group of concerned citizens. So morals isn't the motivation-- it's other peoples morality getting in the way of profits of the corporations that fund them.

Did you read that, konolia? The people who created this site are against convictions and for profits. And yet Jesus, who you claim to like so much, threw the moneychangers out of the temple. What a way to honor Him.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:30 PM on May 10, 2005


Spot on malocchio and Mayor.
posted by tr33hggr at 12:31 PM on May 10, 2005


(n.b. Like dobbs, I find PETA's tactics generally annoying, but their principals are sound)

boymilo- The difference, I think, is that the overpopulation problem of domestic dogs and cats is endemic and not by any means temporary.
posted by mkultra at 12:32 PM on May 10, 2005


So... These guys are gonna bring us tobaccokillspeople.com next, right? Oh, no... Wait...
And what's their objection to PETA? That PETA says it's wrong to kill animals? And they think that it's right to kill animals?
Eh. I've been a vegetarian my whole life. PETA is Ok, not great and not the demon that everyone seems to hold it up to be. Kinda like Michael Moore. But I don't see why people are offended by seeing animals killed in grisly factories, you know, if they eat meat. If you don't like it, don't eat meat.
posted by klangklangston at 12:32 PM on May 10, 2005


PETA gets thousands of animals dropped at their doorstep. What are they supposed to do with them? In the absence of a large enough network to effectively care for all of them, euthanasia can be considered an Ethical Treatment.

Of course euthanasia can be an ethical choice for unwanted animals. I think the point of this article is that PETA is so incredibly intolerant and wacked on the topic of animals that this reeks of hypocrisy on their part. Frankly I posted this because I thought it was rather interesting, considering all the other stuff they have done over the years. Think of it like you would if Jerry Falwell and Pat Robinson were passing out condoms at the high school.
posted by konolia at 12:32 PM on May 10, 2005


Mayor Curley, let me point out that Jesus is pro-profit. You might want to read up on the parable of the talents.
posted by konolia at 12:34 PM on May 10, 2005


boymillo, I don't think there's a lot of room to argue with the effect of hunting on a herd versus nature:

Hunters are looking for trophies and/or meat yield. The can target any member they want because they have guns and therefore don't have to catch their quarry.

Four-legged predators are looking for the easiest animals to bring down. Starvation destroys the sick.

Man kills the strongest members of a herd. Nature kills the weakest. Which sounds better for the vitality of the herd?
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:34 PM on May 10, 2005


I'm sorry, but I cannot muster an ounce of outrage.

I can: This is fucking stupid.

I hate PETA as much as the next guy, but arguing they are immoral for putting animals to sleep? SHOCKING.

Next thing you're going to do is tell me that the anti-war vote should have gone to Bush instead of Kerry because Kerry (gasp) was in a war!
posted by rafter at 12:34 PM on May 10, 2005


What mkultra said and

boymilo writes " There may be some distinction there between domesticated and wild animals, but it still seems like a contradiction in belief systems."
Which natural process is in place to deal with abandoned domestic animals, boymilo? Or you believe the ethical thing to do is to let the cats and dogs run wild and free in the cities, spreading disease, attacking people, other animals and property for food? There is a huge difference between a deer born and raised in the wild and a poodle abandoned in the streets to die...
posted by nkyad at 12:37 PM on May 10, 2005


Another great part of that Penn & Teller episode was where they pointed out PETA's intolerance for medical testing on animals and then showed how several of its executives have been/are treated with medication resulting from medical testing on animals.

In any case, it doesn't bother me that PETA puts a few animals to sleep. They're probably happier in doggie and kitty heaven.
posted by poppo at 12:38 PM on May 10, 2005


boymilo, I think PETA may argue that keeping animals as pets is an unnatural circumstance that leads to the overpopulation of those animals; in other words, even if they are putting down hundreds or thousands of the dogs and cats left with them, it's still our (as in humanity's) fault that there are so many of them in the first place. That may be the distinction between domesticated and wild animals you mentioned.

Not that this isn't hypocritical, if true. However, having worked at a shelter where the people really, truly and sincerely cared about every animal brought in, I can tell you that many animals are euthanized, and sometimes it is the most ethical choice, and the best for the animal. There are very few no-kill shelters, there aren't enough people willing to adopt animals that are brought in, and not nearly enough people spay and neuter. Hypocritical PETA may be, but they aren't alone.

I too would have liked to see another link discussing these allegations, because if PETA is spending money on abrasive and (imho) ineffective advertising that it could be using to lower the number of animals they have to liquidate (if this is even true), then they do have something to answer for. Not for euthanizing the animals, but for being so holier-than-thou about other forms of animal-killing. I'm going to take a look around and see if this makes the radar anywhere else.
posted by jennaratrix at 12:41 PM on May 10, 2005


konolia: Mayor Curley, let me point out that Jesus is pro-profit.

He put profit over conviction? Really?

I think I want a new bible teacher because this one's hopped up on happy pills.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:41 PM on May 10, 2005


I once suggested we should change the Holocaust Museum's name to "Ethnic Detainee Cleansing Museum"

Yeah, it's OK to kill animals, but when you do the same thing to humans, it's genocide...
posted by C17H19NO3 at 12:45 PM on May 10, 2005


Its okay for PETA to kill animals because they do it with love.
posted by fenriq at 12:46 PM on May 10, 2005


Wow, konolia, good to see that after a five-month lapse, you were drawn back to the front page for this absolute gem. What, there was no new outrage from Madonna, or letter from Michael Moore, or new JibJab movie to post?

As an aside, knowing your Jesus is a "pro-profit" version suddenly explains so much.
posted by soyjoy at 12:49 PM on May 10, 2005


I think the point of this article is that PETA is so incredibly intolerant and wacked on the topic of animals that this reeks of hypocrisy on their part.

How would that be, other than your say-so?
posted by mkultra at 12:50 PM on May 10, 2005


This is a fight between an extremist loony asshole, narrow minded, mostly mistaken bunch of self-righteous sociopaths and a shadowy cabal of cynical corporate shills who care not for your "right to personal choice" and only that you are able to cram as many beer-battered clam sausages down your beefhole as you have cash in your pocket.

I suggest we let them fight it out in thunderdome and the winner can be "awesome magnificent bastard" for a day. CCF is using a nice PETA tactic back on them though, good judo.

The problem with PETA putting down strays (which is a horrible but necessary thing) is that they are admitting that they as humans have a right to make decisions about the fate of animals, a stance they are publicly all-out against. If they brought their rhetoric and tactics back to the realm of the sane and approachable they would not look so fucking silly when things like this come out.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:53 PM on May 10, 2005


Next week, Christians kill everything!
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 12:55 PM on May 10, 2005


Mayor Curley, let me point out that Jesus is pro-profit. You might want to read up on the parable of the talents.

I think you've gravely misread that parable if you think it means Jesus is "pro-profit." The good servant is the one who increases his MASTER's property - not his own! The servants were stewards of their master's property, and they were rewarded or punished appropriately based on their stewardship.

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." - Matthew 19:24
posted by me & my monkey at 12:56 PM on May 10, 2005


beer-battered clam sausages down your beefhole as you have cash in your pocket.

Mmmm, beer-battered clam sausages....
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on May 10, 2005


I think I want a new bible teacher because this one's hopped up on happy pills....Wow, konolia, good to see that after a five-month lapse, you were drawn back to the front page for this absolute gem. What, there was no new outrage from Madonna, or letter from Michael Moore, or new JibJab movie to post?

mayor, soyjoy: you guys are better than that. Don't get personal.
posted by jonmc at 12:59 PM on May 10, 2005


My beefhole hurts.
posted by COBRA! at 12:59 PM on May 10, 2005


"Not counting the dogs and cats PETA spayed and neutered, the group put to death over 85 percent of the animals it took in during 2003 alone. And its angel-of-death pattern shows no sign of changing."

This is my favorite thing from the site, which is a horribly cynical boeuf en coute, in which the shell of citizen activism is used to hide corporate image-making. I think it suggests that PETA should be as responsible for the little baby animal souls that it 'kills' through birth control as it is for the animals it puts to death. Thanks for the link.

Disgrace by JM Coetzee, which won the Booker, is a great book about animal euthansia and human responsiblity (among other things) set in post-Apartheid South Africa.
posted by OmieWise at 12:59 PM on May 10, 2005


en croute dammit. en croute
posted by OmieWise at 1:00 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus didn't write the bible; people who wanted to use Jesus to make money did.
posted by boaz at 1:00 PM on May 10, 2005


I could totally murder lovingly euthanize a beer-battered clam sausage right now.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:01 PM on May 10, 2005


This is a fight between an extremist loony asshole, narrow minded, mostly mistaken bunch of self-righteous sociopaths and a shadowy cabal of cynical corporate shills who care not for your "right to personal choice" and only that you are able to cram as many beer-battered clam sausages down your beefhole as you have cash in your pocket.

Wait, who is who? And where can i get some good beer-battered clam sausages in LA? My beefhole needs some stuffin' and i got some money burning a hole in my pocket.
posted by schyler523 at 1:02 PM on May 10, 2005


I am still unconvinced. Since people seem childishly happy to have found an apparent inconsistency in an organization they despise, I would propose the following question: all of sudden the whole world decides PETA was right all the time and animal consumption is discontinued. What do you think should be done with all animals who would be killed for food? My point is, from PETA's point of view, euthanizing every cow is far more ethical than letting they live in their present condition. The same goes for abandoned pets, most of whom can't even feed themselves without human intervention.

Jesus is pro-profit
Yes, and the Pope is pro-choice.

I am not associated in any way with PETA or any of its sister organizations
posted by nkyad at 1:02 PM on May 10, 2005


PETA gets thousands of animals dropped at their doorstep. What are they supposed to do with them?

drop them at konolia's doorstep. I'm sure that being against Planned Animal Parenthood, not to mention Animal Abortion, she'll be happy to take them in.


let me point out that Jesus is pro-profit.

konolia, it's one thing to take -- ahem -- Matthew literally. but to put a different meaning on a parable is entirely another. I have no idea what kind of commentary you've read, but if you check out -- to name just one of the best out there in English -- John P. Meier's excellent one, you'll see that, in Professor Meier's words,
“The fact that both servants receive the same reward shows that what is valued is not one’s accomplishments in a quantitative sense but the fidelity of one’s commitment, as mirrored in one’s whole-hearted activity”.
now, on one hand you're very correct if you state that "talent", for the Gospel writer, is a unit of measure, and money -- the metaphorical meaning (like "a talented person") came later. but to try to use Matthew to spin Jesus as a pro-material possession kinda guy is stretching the text so wide that it isn't even funny.

if anything, since the start of his ministry -- back when he was still a disciple of John -- Jesus' escathological message is one of the most clear parts of his teachings -- and one that we can find in the earliest layers of tradition. the Son of Man was coming soon, according to Jesus, konolia, in judgement. people needed to repent and prepare for the Kingdom.

let's look at the same saying in the synoptics:
Mark 10:25 -- "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

Matthew 19:24 -- "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

Luke 18:25 -- "Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
His disciples couldn't even take stuff with them in their journey, except a staff. no bread, no purse, no money. they could only wear sandals and single tunic.
no mention of hedge funds or the King David Street Journal's editorial pages there.

as I said before, k, reading a little more carefully the book you keep bashing people's heads with would be a welcome innovation.
posted by matteo at 1:03 PM on May 10, 2005


And why don't we just airlift all these homeless animals to iraq? I bet some iraqis could use a friend.
posted by schyler523 at 1:03 PM on May 10, 2005


My beefhole needs some stuffin'

You're in the wrong thread for that. You wanna go here for that.
posted by jonmc at 1:07 PM on May 10, 2005


Muslims don't like dogs, schyler, they consider them unclean animals -- jenleigh will point that out in a future post, I guess
;)
posted by matteo at 1:08 PM on May 10, 2005


The problem with PETA putting down strays (which is a horrible but necessary thing) is that they are admitting that they as humans have a right to make decisions about the fate of animals, a stance they are publicly all-out against.

Unfortunately for them, they are simply in a no-win position on this issue. They simply don't have the resources to keep all these animals alive. This is more of an image problem than a real ethical problem. There is nothing logically inconsistent with believing that you have no right to do something, but doing it when you are placed in a position where you can do nothing else.

mayor, soyjoy: you guys are better than that. Don't get personal.

I see nothing inappropriate about Mayor Curley's response - saying that Jesus is "pro-profit" is a tenuous position for a Christian to hold, to say the least. If I'd posited that back in my Catholic school, there would have been some serious ruler-to-buttock action I think.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:10 PM on May 10, 2005


The problem with PETA putting down strays (which is a horrible but necessary thing) is that they are admitting that they as humans have a right to make decisions about the fate of animals, a stance they are publicly all-out against.

I think Divine_Wino has nailed it. I respect the pragmatic arguments people are making in this thread. Of course euthanasia is a pragmatic option for animal shelters: you can't find a home for every animal, and some are just too sick to even try to place. PETA, however, is not a pragmatic organization. They're a bunch of strident ideologues. Now, I can respect that, too. Their position, while extreme, is at least self-consistent. What is not consistent is their actions, in this case at least. That's where they lose my respect.

It can be difficult to make real choices in the real world. Clearly, PETA realizes this. It would be nice if they could acknowledge this realization.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:11 PM on May 10, 2005


eminemem (I'm calling you that from now on): the "happy pills," part was personal, and soyjoy's comment was attacking konolia, more that her statement (which for the record I disagree with). That's what i was calling out.
posted by jonmc at 1:12 PM on May 10, 2005


Not that this has anything to do with the link, but I could give you tons of Bible references to back up my assertion that being productive and making a profit are good things. It is also true that the Bible teaches that everything is God's and we are stewards of it. Including worldly wealth. I am not a fan of the "prosperity gospel" (I consider that a perversion) but if you read, for example, the book of Proverbs there are lots of mentions of being productive. Proverbs 31 for example talks about a "good wife" and one of the things she is commended for is making garments and selling sashes to merchants-and oh yes, making a profit.

As to the moneychangers reference, Jesus' objection there was they had set up merchandising in the court of the Gentiles, which at that time was the only place at the Temple that a gentile could come and worship-plus they were ripping off people who had to buy doves and such in order to make their offerings.

As to the "happy pills" reference, sorry, I am unmedicated. My appointment is next week and I do intend to rectify that.
posted by konolia at 1:16 PM on May 10, 2005


Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated that they want anonymity as contributors. They are reasonably apprehensive about privacy and safety in light of the violence some activist groups have adopted as a "game plan" to impose their views.

Oh ha, oh hee hee oh giggle. These fuckers are shameless, they emit the oily sheen of smirking lawyers. I bet every single man and woman of them looks exactly like Gordon Gecko.

...all of sudden the whole world decides PETA was right all the time and animal consumption is discontinued. What do you think should be done with all animals who would be killed for food?

Grind ourselves up and feed ourselves to them and let them have this miserable festering boil of a planet? Let's put the cows in charge and see how they do. Can't possibly be any worse.

The notion of treating animals with as much possible respect and humanity as possible is great and laudable. PETA is wrongheaded, childish and annoying.

There is nothing logically inconsistent with believing that you have no right to do something, but doing it when you are placed in a position where you can do nothing else.

I think that is the very definition of logical inconsistency, but it is probably a matter of semantics. PETA should be doing this in as public a manner as possible and saying "LOOK WHAT YOU MADE US DO" as they crush a puppies head. That would show their activist macho.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:16 PM on May 10, 2005


I'm kinda shocked you all are shocked about this. I thought it was pretty common knowledge.

And for those of you tut-tutting PETA, what should it do with the animals it does not have the resources for?

I'm sure Konloia or the CCF will come up with a charming libertarian solution
posted by slapshot57 at 1:21 PM on May 10, 2005


eminemem (I'm calling you that from now on): the "happy pills," part was personal

How so? It was snide, but I don't see anything personal about it. I read the "this one" not as referring to konolia, but to his Bible teacher, who presumably was all about the peace & love stuff rather than the righteousness of making a buck.

But who cares - let's get back to the beefhole stuffin'!

Not that this has anything to do with the link, but I could give you tons of Bible references to back up my assertion that being productive and making a profit are good things. It is also true that the Bible teaches that everything is God's and we are stewards of it. Including worldly wealth. I am not a fan of the "prosperity gospel" (I consider that a perversion) but if you read, for example, the book of Proverbs there are lots of mentions of being productive. Proverbs 31 for example talks about a "good wife" and one of the things she is commended for is making garments and selling sashes to merchants-and oh yes, making a profit.

Being productive is not equivalent to making a profit. Being a "steward of worldly wealth" is not the same as having worldly wealth. If making a profit is so good, why do Catholic priests (who belong to religious communities as opposed to diocesan priests and the like) - God's chosen representatives on Earth according to Catholicism - take a vow of poverty?

I think that is the very definition of logical inconsistency, but it is probably a matter of semantics.

If I put a gun to your head, and tell you that you must push a button that will electrocute someone else, do you have a right to push that button?
posted by me & my monkey at 1:26 PM on May 10, 2005


To those saying that PeTA doesn't have the resources to care for all the strays they receive, I would argue that PeTA could spend their advertising budget on care and upkeep for the animals left with them, thus reducing the number they are "forced" to euthanize.

I'm not really shocked that this happens, as referenced in my comment above. The problem (to me) is this: their advertising puts people off and attempts to force a polarized debate, making correlations where people who eat meat = dirty bastards and vegetarians = god's angels here on earth. They piss people off rather than trying to actually change minds. They get really freaking sanctimonious, don't allow for shades of gray, say that meat is murder under all circumstances, and then whine that they can't afford to keep all those poor animals alive, and it's your damn fault anyway for thinking you can own animals and/or not spaying. That's the hypocrisy; not that they euthanize, but that they seek to justify it.

They can't have it all ways. They can't shoot down every single rationalization anyone else can come up with for the use of animals - as pets, food, draft animals, what have you - then turn to those very same rationalizations for their inability to practice what they preach. That's what bothers me about this.
posted by jennaratrix at 1:27 PM on May 10, 2005


soyjoy's comment was attacking konolia

Perhaps my second one about the pro-profit Jesus was, but not the one you specified: I was attacking the post, which is pure crap along the lines of all the other attention-whore subjects I mentioned. I wasn't surprised to see this Rick Berman smear campaign (not that PETA doesn't deserve some smearing, but that's a separate issue) posted to Mefi; I was, however, surprised and dismayed that it was a seasoned member such as konolia that did so.
posted by soyjoy at 1:29 PM on May 10, 2005


their advertising puts people off and attempts to force a polarized debate, making correlations where people who eat meat = dirty bastards and vegetarians = god's angels here on earth. They piss people off rather than trying to actually change minds. They get really freaking sanctimonious, don't allow for shades of gray

Welcome to modern day activism.
posted by jonmc at 1:30 PM on May 10, 2005


Could we please make this thread about the post, not about konolia and her personal beliefs? Whether konolia is Christian or not has nothing to do with PETA or CCF. Have the sense to separate the post from the poster.
posted by me3dia at 1:32 PM on May 10, 2005


PETA stands for people for the *ethical* treatment of animals. Is euthanizing an animal that would otherwise spend the rest of it's life in a cage unethical? I think not.

People dislike PETA because of their often inflammatory tactics, but they do have a point. Consider this previous post.
posted by darkness at 1:36 PM on May 10, 2005


If I put a gun to your head, and tell you that you must push a button that will electrocute someone else, do you have a right to push that button?

Does it have to be a button or could it be one of those cool ass big switches like they use in horror movies? Why not put a gun to my head and then have me pull a rope that drops a huge box of deadly vipers of some kind on them? How come so many people are putting guns to my head these days and demanding that I electrocute people? Is that a fad like those yellow wristbands that get all grubby after a week? (I am smiling while I say all this.)

Nobody has put a gun to PETA's head, they do have other choices, jennaratrix sums up just one of those choices very well and explains better than I. What is logically inconsistent is insisting that the world is black and white, when it is so clearly fucking color.

me3dia: totally.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:37 PM on May 10, 2005


To those saying that PeTA doesn't have the resources to care for all the strays they receive, I would argue that PeTA could spend their advertising budget on care and upkeep for the animals left with them, thus reducing the number they are "forced" to euthanize.

Well, sure they could do that. Of course, you could make that argument about any advocacy organization - instead of spending any money trying to advocate their position, they should just spend it on the underlying problem! Of course, that wouldn't get them very far, and it would go against their entire reason for existence.

Does it have to be a button or could it be one of those cool ass big switches like they use in horror movies? ... (I am smiling while I say all this.)

You may be smiling, but you're not answering. Have you considered a political career?
posted by me & my monkey at 1:40 PM on May 10, 2005


This is not a case of PETA having no choices as to what to do. They could run a no-kill shelter, that's what else they could do. I mean, if I had a pet I was looking to get rid of, and I heard that PETA ran a pet shelter, I would assume it was a no-kill shelter because 1) I have heard about no-kill shelters before and I know that they exist, and 2) there is not a straight line between "ethical treatment" and "killing of".

I mean, if a dog is all fucked-up and stuff with painful diseases, that's one thing, kill it to end it's suffering. But killing an animal just because no one came around that week who wanted it doesn't seem very ethical, it just seems sadly necessary. Unfortunately PSNTA doesn't really roll off the tongue.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:40 PM on May 10, 2005


Anybody outraged by this should realize that PETA is doing everything they can to avoid this stuff by spaying and neutering pets, and strictly regulating pet owners. Would you rather have all those wild animals running in the streets?

Most people are just outraged to get back at PETA for making them feel bad about eating clam sausage whatever.
posted by destro at 1:41 PM on May 10, 2005


destro: who says we feel bad about eating it? Some of us just find PETA to be annoying, rigid and shrill, is all.
posted by jonmc at 1:48 PM on May 10, 2005


23skidoo writes " But killing an animal just because no one came around that week who wanted it doesn't seem very ethical"

You are aware of the problem's magnitude, aren't you? It is not "an animal" but "hundreds of animals" or "thousands of animals". The sentence should read " But killing one hundred animals just because no crowd of willing pet-owners came around that week who wanted it doesn't seem very ethical"...
posted by nkyad at 1:50 PM on May 10, 2005


Low, me & my monkey. I will not stoop to calling you a critic. My answer, friend is that asking me if I have a right to electrocute someone if my own life is in danger has nothing to do with PETA putting down animals because it is financially difficult or even impossible for them not to. Ask one of those dudes who bookmarked the logical fallacies page to tell you the name of it, I forget. My specific answer to your question, which is entirely hypothetical, is no, I probably would have no right to electrocute someone in that instance. I might do it anyway, however, cause that's the kinda mick I am.

destro (you of shiny head): Personally I am not outraged by PETA killing strays, I am merely annoyed by their tatics and their intellectual inflexibility that makes them seem more like people who argue for fun rather than to achieve anything. PETA has never made me feel bad for anything other than considering myself a leftist humanist.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:50 PM on May 10, 2005


I've been trying me3dia.

And jonmc, I know, it's hardly news that activists have become annoying as a way of getting their message across. The real problem is that any good messages that PeTA may still have are going to be drowned out by the massive shouts of "A-HAH!" (think Nelson) if/when this all gets out. The fact that people may understand that putting animals down is sometimes a necessity won't matter when it is PeTA doing it after the rhetoric they've thrown around all these years.

Someone said that PeTA could use the fact (if it is a fact, we have yet to determine this actually) that they are forced to euthanize a vast number of the animals brought to their shelters as a wake-up call to those who don't neuter and spay; it certainly wouldn't be any more offensive than some of their current advertising tactics to use pictures of the animals they've had to euthanize on a giant billboard. Instead they sweep it under the rug; I spent a good bit of time poking around various PeTA sites looking for their official policy on euthanization at their shelters, and wasn't able to find anything.

me & my monkey, I knew someone would make that point, and you're right I guess; but how effective is the advertising PeTA does? Seems to me they're just talking to hear themselves talk. I'd be interested to see what the ratio of donations and new members to disgusted based entirely on their ad campaigns is; I'd bet it's more of the latter than the former. And I'd also argue that if PeTA spent less money on alienating people and more on practicing what they preach, maybe more people would donate. I sure as hell wouldn't give them a dime, and I agree with a surprising number of their key positions. They don't need to be spending money for a billboard in Times Square when Fluffy and Fido are getting whacked.

Of course, your point is that if they don't advertise, no one will know about them to donate, but in the case of PeTA, I don't think this is a problem.
posted by jennaratrix at 1:52 PM on May 10, 2005


jennaratrix- The problem with your plan is that it doesn't address the core problem of domestic pet overpopulation. Spending more on shelters just reinforces the idea that it's acceptable to let cats and dogs breed without control, under the assumption that "PETA will just take care of them". It's like saying we should control crime by just building more prisons.

They can't shoot down every single rationalization anyone else can come up with for the use of animals - as pets, food, draft animals, what have you - then turn to those very same rationalizations for their inability to practice what they preach.

Huh? Look, I love meat, but "there are too many cows" is never an argument I'd ever bring up.
posted by mkultra at 1:55 PM on May 10, 2005


They could run a no-kill shelter

Well, sure they could. Of course, that presumably would cost them significantly more, money which they may or may not have. In addition, given that they believe that pet ownership is itself unethical, they have a little bit of a problem running a shelter at all. Again, the larger issue is that they are an advocacy organization, and if I were a supporter, I'd want to see them spending my donation on issue advocacy - fixing the problem - rather than on running shelters - addressing the symptoms.

Low, me & my monkey. I will not stoop to calling you a critic. My answer, friend is that asking me if I have a right to electrocute someone if my own life is in danger has nothing to do with PETA putting down animals because it is financially difficult or even impossible for them not to. Ask one of those dudes who bookmarked the logical fallacies page to tell you the name of it, I forget. My specific answer to your question, which is entirely hypothetical, is no, I probably would have no right to electrocute someone in that instance. I might do it anyway, however, cause that's the kinda mick I am.

Well, yes, the question was a hypothetical. I am not planning on visiting you with a gun and a button. We may disagree on whether PETA has the practical capability to avoid doing what they're doing, but that's irrelevant to my question, which was simply whether it's a logical inconsistency to violate someone's rights if you're put in a position where it's unavoidable.

As for being a critic, I'd wear that label proudly.

me & my monkey, I knew someone would make that point, and you're right I guess; but how effective is the advertising PeTA does? ... Of course, your point is that if they don't advertise, no one will know about them to donate, but in the case of PeTA, I don't think this is a problem.

How is that at all relevant? They advertise their positions because that is their entire reason for being! Of course, their advertising alienates many people - no one likes being told he's a murderer. I know I don't like it. But it is obviously effective in making their cause known, which is a prerequisite for them to be able to argue their case at all.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:00 PM on May 10, 2005


I mean, if I had a pet I was looking to get rid of, and I heard that PETA ran a pet shelter, I would assume it was a no-kill shelter because 1) I have heard about no-kill shelters before and I know that they exist, and 2) there is not a straight line between "ethical treatment" and "killing of".

The "ethical treatment" party line on this (which is not just PETA- a lot of people feel this way, including me) is that you shouldn't be "looking to get rid of" a pet, except in extreme situations. A pet is not a "thing" to obtain and dispose of when it's convenient to you. It's a responsibility, one that is not stressed often enough to potential owners. An unintended consequence of the spread of no-kill shelters is that more people see them as an "easy out" when their once-cute pets get older and less adorable.
posted by mkultra at 2:05 PM on May 10, 2005


Jon: Part of the problem is the signal:noise of mediated modern lives. You can't get through to people en masse by saying "Hey, I've made this choice about my diet. I think it's the right choice, but all I'm asking is that you think about it some and come to your own informed decision. If that means you choose something else, well, at least you've thought about it and I hope that you change you mind at some further point. Until then, lemme give you some background information about your diet..."
See how that's a bit harder to fit into a 30-second spot than "MEAT IS MURDER!!!!111one!"
(And another problem is the transference of annoying interaction. I try to go out of my way not to proslytize for vegetarianism, but I've gotten plenty of lectures at places like Applebee's that vegetarianism is unamerican or makes me a queer or whatever. I can imagine that a lot of people who get those lectures simply turn it around and get shrill with meat eaters, even if those meat eaters nevver even broached the issue...)
posted by klangklangston at 2:07 PM on May 10, 2005


I wasn't really planning to lay out a new business model for PeTA here, I got a little too bogged down trying to explain why I'm upset by this.

What I'm really trying to get at is not that it's wrong for PeTA to euthanize some of the many animals they are left with, but that they don't openly acknowledge that that's what they do. Do I really think they should divert their advertising budget to Iams? Actually, I think I just don't want to see their ads anymore. I'm not advocating that they spend more on shelters, thereby perpetuating the problem of overpopulation and the basic inethicality (is that a word?) of pet ownership; I was just answering someone's question about what choice they have.

Really what I'm trying to say is, they present one image of themselves to the world, as champions of animals at all costs, and quietly, in the background, do something that (while probably necessary) many of their core constituency find morally repulsive. Do they have to kill animals? Maybe. Do they also promote other options to prevent this necessity (spaying and neutering)? Yes. Is there a basic hypocrisy in the way this is handled? I think so, and that's the issue for me.

As for the rationalizations, I was speaking of them as a whole, not specifically of "there are too many..." Generally, PeTA will tell you that there is "no excuse" for eating meat, wearing fur, "owning" pets, but then come up with a number of excuses for euthanizing animals.

Does the fact that people own pets, don't neuter them and then dump their unwanted pets on PeTA justify mass euthanasia of those pets? Isn't this just another way of addressing the symptoms rather than the problem? Yes, they are obviously trying to get to the root of the problem by preventing overpopulation, but is providing a humane place for people to take unwanted pets "encouraging" people to take on pets they can't handle? Who says to themselves when picking out a puppy "oh, if it doesn't work out I'll just take him to PeTA?" And if people do have to bring an animal to PeTA, is it unreasonable for them to assume based on everything PeTA has said over the years that the animal would be cared for?

They advertise their positions because that is their entire reason for being! Of course, their advertising alienates many people - no one likes being told he's a murderer. I know I don't like it. But it is obviously effective in making their cause known, which is a prerequisite for them to be able to argue their case at all.

You just made my point - their positions are their entire reason for being. They are preaching to the converted, and not about the animals at all. That's the real reason PeTA makes me nauseous. If they alienate people and call them murderers, they are making their cause known - and turning people against it. Not effective marketing, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by jennaratrix at 2:22 PM on May 10, 2005


The "ethical treatment" party line on this (which is not just PETA- a lot of people feel this way, including me) is that you shouldn't be "looking to get rid of" a pet, except in extreme situations.

Right, but once I've already decided to get rid of my pet, all that becomes moot. If getting rid of my pet is so bad, then why are they running a shelter? Because it's necessary. But necessary is not what PETA's all about. You start talking about necessary, then all kinds of things pop up, like testing medications on animals before humans, or guide dogs, or zoos, or a bunch of other stuff.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:27 PM on May 10, 2005


I'd be interested to see what the ratio of donations and new members to disgusted based entirely on their ad campaigns is; I'd bet it's more of the latter than the former.

- jennaratrix

There was/is a lady around Astor Place in New York City that had this giant poster of animals being tortured in medical experiments, just insanely graphic and scary. But hardly anyone would go near her because the poster was so fucking nasty and scary and terrifying to their kids. It was the equivalent of a guy asking for donations to NYPIRG or something with his cock hanging out of his pants. Jonmc mentioned her in another thread,she has stopped with the posters I think and now she shouts "SSSSSSIGN THE P'TISH-IN" and just gives people a crazy ass glare. She is not well and does no credit to her worthy cause.

Huh? Look, I love meat, but "there are too many cows" is never an argument I'd ever bring up.

Heh- I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants. To quote my boy A. Whitney Brown.

Me & My Monkey:
The critic thing is a joke from Waiting for Godot. As to your question "which was simply whether it's a logical inconsistency to violate someone's rights if you're put in a position where it's unavoidable."

1) Someone is not Something. I love (many) animals very much in general, but I do not think they have the same rights as humans. I give as much as my limited means allow to animal shelters and hospitals that do good work, I have personally taken a dog away from someone who was beating it and I have rescued pitbulls from people who breed them for fighting (which is gnarly and thrilling). I simply find PETA to do way more harm than good.

B) Perhaps we are both whittling away at this too much, my point is that I cannot answer your question in a way that will do any good because we don't agree that PETA is in an impossible position. It's apples and oranges. My final answer is that it is morally inconsistent to violate rights under duress, when PETA's whole position is that there can be no moral inconsistency and logic does not enter into it in any way that I can see.

klangklangston You have a very legitmate point, but reasoned discourse, while frustrating in the extreme to maintain, is the only way to change anyones mind, all else is shouting. It's a matter of degree and subtlety and requires the kind of commitment and discipline that activists of all stripes and politics often lack to their total detriment.

This is quite a discussion, maybe we should continue it IRL over beers and Not-Dogs.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:30 PM on May 10, 2005


Oh and never listen to what anyone tells you about anything at Applebee's, it will just end in tears.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:31 PM on May 10, 2005


destro, PETA doesn't make me feel guilty for eating meat, they just make my dinner less enjoyable because of their shrill hypocrisy.

PETA ceased to be relevant when they started stopping little kids on their way into school to let them know that "Mommy killed Bambi". Sorry, that's over the line.

Oh yeah, and Ingrid Newkirk is a filthy hypocritical twit.
posted by fenriq at 2:33 PM on May 10, 2005


Here is PETA's stance on animal shelters. It sounds like they are actually for humane euthanasia, when necessary, because 'No Kill' shelters often have to turn away unwanted animals in favor of more adoptable animals.
posted by drobot at 2:34 PM on May 10, 2005


I think I just don't want to see their ads anymore.
Then stay logged in to MeFi. Because the PETA ad on the front page is still there. (It no longer has Pamela Anderson in a lettuce bra, however)

I'll be interested to see if they choose to pull their ad after some heavy criticism here.
posted by raedyn at 2:39 PM on May 10, 2005


You just made my point - their positions are their entire reason for being. They are preaching to the converted, and not about the animals at all. That's the real reason PeTA makes me nauseous. If they alienate people and call them murderers, they are making their cause known - and turning people against it. Not effective marketing, as far as I'm concerned.

Of course their positions are their entire reason for being - this is true for ANY ADVOCACY GROUP! If they're alienating so many people, how are they "preaching to the converted?" To tie this whole thread together, it's worth pointing out that Jesus alienated a lot of his listeners, too - nobody likes to be told he's a sinner.

1) Someone is not Something. I love (many) animals very much in general, but I do not think they have the same rights as humans.

You're free to believe that. Others are free to believe otherwise. Beliefs are not facts. The PETA folks believe otherwise, enough that they want to convince others of their beliefs. That's what they're all about.

B) Perhaps we are both whittling away at this too much, my point is that I cannot answer your question in a way that will do any good because we don't agree that PETA is in an impossible position.

That's not important to the actual question, which was simply whether it's possible to be put in a position where you cannot act in a way you'd consider morally correct. We can still disagree on whether PETA's situation falls in that category, but any eventual agreement would necessarily rest on the answer to that question - if you can't be put in such a situation, then PETA's actions are clearly wrong no matter what, while if you can, it is possible that PETA's actions are not wrong by their own moral standards. In programmerese, using the answer to one question to determine whether you need to ask another question is called short-circuit evaluation if I recall correctly.

This is quite a discussion, maybe we should continue it IRL over beers and Not-Dogs.

I suspect it's hard to get both of those items at the same place.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:44 PM on May 10, 2005


Why is it OK to euthanize unwanted pets and not unwanted children?
posted by stewiethegreat at 2:45 PM on May 10, 2005


The group putting out this website is primarly funded by "big food", companies like Tyson Foods etc.

They hate PETA because PETA campaigns against slaughterhouse conditions, and they are threatened by PETA so they created this site.

I don't like PETA all that much, but it's important to remember that the group attacking them is only doing so because they have a financial interest in not changing their slaughterhouses. They don't care about animals whatsoever, which is what makes their attack weak.

More info on the group here, including this quote from their head, lobbyist Rick Berman:

We always have a knife in our teeth," he said. Since activists "drive consumer behavior on meat, alcohol, fat, sugar, tobacco and caffeine," his strategy is "to shoot the messenger. ... We've got to attack their credibility as spokespersons."
posted by chaz at 2:54 PM on May 10, 2005


Stewie - I'm sure you're joking (good one!) but if you are saying that animals shouldn't be euthanized, then I urge you to do some research on the stray pet population and suggest some alternatives. If you are advocating that children be euthanized, I'm not sure what to tell you.
posted by drobot at 2:54 PM on May 10, 2005


Why is it OK to euthanize unwanted pets and not ParisParamus?
posted by mcsweetie at 2:58 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus didn't write the bible; people who wanted to use Jesus to make money did.

1. Arise from dead.
2. ???
3. PROFIT!!
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 3:01 PM on May 10, 2005


Preaching to the converted means that the only people they are convincing are the ones that already believe as they do. If they are alienating people, they are not getting to those people - they aren't changing their minds, because they have been alienated and are tuning them out. And why are you shouting?

I believe that PeTA is more about listening to their own voices than actually attempting to change anything. If they wanted to change minds, they wouldn't piss off most of the people who see their ads. People who think they are being preached to, yelled at and called murderers are not going to listen to those doing the preaching and yelling. They just aren't. If PeTA wants to get support, they have to stop being about their precious positions and start being about the animals. They're more concerned about being right and taking the moral high road than about getting people to change. They really don't want anyone who doesn't toe their line, and I can't get behind a movement like that. I'll be for the ethical treatment of animals my way, without calling everyone else a murderer, thank you.

I'm not explaining this well, but I think you're deliberately misunderstanding me, too. Maybe you're one of those that likes a good argument; I'd prefer a good discussion myself, so I'm done here today.

And equating PeTA to Jesus - wow. That's just wack.
posted by jennaratrix at 3:02 PM on May 10, 2005


Here is PETA's stance on animal shelters. It sounds like they are actually for humane euthanasia, when necessary, because 'No Kill' shelters often have to turn away unwanted animals in favor of more adoptable animals.

Are abandonment rates really higher in areas with no-kill shelters, or do people just drive to a shelter where they will take their pet? I found this about a place that switched from regular style shelter to "no-kill-lite" (errr, limited admission shelter) and it made euthanasia numbers drop down (duh) and made adoption rate go up, by almost double.

If every shelter was no-kill, that would probably be a nightmare. But having it be an alternative seems to work at increasing adoption rates, at least in one case.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:07 PM on May 10, 2005


If they wanted to change minds, they wouldn't piss off most of the people who see their ads.

I don't see how you tell someone that he's a murderer in a nice way. If you really believe that someone is a murderer, I suspect you'd act the same way. You wouldn't hope for their "support", you wouldn't be nicey-nice with them, etc. You're right - they really don't want anyone who doesn't toe their line, just like the pro-life people believe that abortion is murder, or just like abolitionists believed that slavery was unacceptable. Not that I mean to equate the three, but these positions are absolutist by nature - they don't fit well with compromise.

I'm not explaining this well, but I think you're deliberately misunderstanding me, too. Maybe you're one of those that likes a good argument; I'd prefer a good discussion myself, so I'm done here today.

No, I simply disagree with your position, and I am trying to employ logic to demonstrate my disagreement - the very nature of an argument, I'll admit. Is that so hard to believe?

And equating PeTA to Jesus - wow. That's just wack.

I don't agree with either of them, if that makes you feel better. But neither seem too concerned about being liked, only about being right.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:20 PM on May 10, 2005


You're free to believe that. Others are free to believe otherwise. Beliefs are not facts. The PETA folks believe otherwise, enough that they want to convince others of their beliefs. That's what they're all about.

PETA is treating animals as if they do not HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS HUMANS, an inconsistent point (because they are killing them when they have not commited a capital crime in states that maintain the death penalty) there is your fact. They are not in an impossible situation as they have other options, including ensuring they have the funding to not euthanize animals they take in, working with other agencies to place the animals they cannot keep. Getting out of the animal shelter business entirely as it is something they cannot support morally if they have to kill animals. Just off the top of the dome.

whether it's possible to be put in a position where you cannot act in a way you'd consider morally correct.

We were talking about logic before tattelah. 'Owever, for the last time, I think it is possible short of choosing death to be put in a position where one cannot act in a way that is morally correct, yes. I do not have a problem with PETA euthanising animals, I have a problem with their tactics, the delivery of their message and their shrill self-satisfaction and blantantly solipsistic and socially rather smug and classist positions. It bothers me that they care more about their notions of how animals should be treated in the world than the fact that there are humans in misery, in poverty, in danger all over the world. It marks them as morally suspect loons in my eyes. The distract time, money and worthy media attention from causes that matter more but aren't as mediapathic as their circus acts and grandstanding. People who have lost loved ones to AIDS or people that are concerned with the direction that the civil rights of gay people in this country are taking, for just one example, might agree with me.

This is quite a discussion, maybe we should continue it IRL over beers and Not-Dogs.

I suspect it's hard to get both of those items at the same place.


That means that rednecks drink beer and beat up vegetarians right and would never tolerate food without meat in it, right? I live in Brooklyn and I can get any combination of food and alcohol I want at any number of places, I'm sorry if you don't have that same option, but it's no call to totally show your ass like that.

Anyway I am going home to eat spaghetti and take care of my cats and my family. Kisses to all.
posted by Divine_Wino at 3:22 PM on May 10, 2005


I'm not a fan of PETA, but some of you must realize that a good majority of these animals are not just random house pets that have been dropped off at their headquarters. A lot of these animals have been rescued from labs, feedlots, abandoned shelters and are sometimes near death already.

It's not the constant upkeep and care of animals that costs a lot, it is the veterinarian bills and surgery costs that would bury the organization if they tried to save every one of these animals lives. I would imagine that a lot of the euthanasia is done after all other means (obviously, within reason -- unfortunately, economical reason) have been evaluated on an animal by animal basis.

As someone mentioned earlier, it would be interesting to see what the statistics are from other shelters because I would imagine that PETA is similar or better if the ratio's are considered.

Also, as much as I am not a fan of PETA, I'm even less of a fan of an organization that was co-founded by Philip Morris.
posted by purephase at 3:23 PM on May 10, 2005


I'd never thought I'd ever feel the slightest sympathy for PeTA, but, shit, they must be doing something wrong if they get this kind of people against them. chaz, that link is scary. And I'm not surprised to find Philip Morris at the origin of CCF. Those people are evil.

God, I hate Astroturf.

On preview: what purephase said.
posted by Skeptic at 3:29 PM on May 10, 2005


They (PeTA) must be doing something right, sorry.
posted by Skeptic at 3:30 PM on May 10, 2005


There was/is a lady around Astor Place in New York City that had this giant poster of animals being tortured in medical experiments, just insanely graphic and scary. But hardly anyone would go near her because the poster was so fucking nasty and scary and terrifying to their kids. It was the equivalent of a guy asking for donations to NYPIRG or something with his cock hanging out of his pants. Jonmc mentioned her in another thread,she has stopped with the posters I think and now she shouts "SSSSSSIGN THE P'TISH-IN" and just gives people a crazy ass glare.

Actually, she's following me (or she has a sister), there was some woman doing the same routine at the Ditmars Blvd. stop the past couple of days.

One time down at Astor Place, she was doing her thing and some Ed Grimley-lookin' dude was yapping at her in this grating Mort Goldman voice, "I love animals!" As I passed them, the shouter-lady turned to me and rolled her eyes as if to say "Whaddaya gonna do with this guy?" Nice moment of human connection, that.

But, yeah, I'd have to agree that she's pretty much the epitome of ineffective activism. Next to her PETA are positively sane and eloquent.
posted by jonmc at 3:38 PM on May 10, 2005


equating PeTA to Jesus - wow. That's just wack.

indeed -- He comes back from the dead and first thing He does, He eats broiled fish. that's just fucked up, the PeTA people would have kicked His nonvegetarian ass.

but I could give you tons of Bible references to back up my assertion that being productive and making a profit are good things.

konolia, it's not what you first said, you had said that "Jesus is pro-profit. You might want to read up on the parable of the talents."
the Bible is one thing (you can find all sorts of stuff, from incest to eating shellfish in Palestine). the Gospels are entirely another.
I am sure you are a very nice woman and I'm glad you're back but you haven't lost your bad habit of shifting the goalposts whenever somebody who has done a bit of reading on the topic you just mentioned contradicts your blanket statements. you talked about Jesus being pro-profit, Proverbs have nothing to do with it. not even Paul -- supremely uninterested in the minutiae of Jesus' pre-Golgotha activities, and it's not surprising since he had never met the historical Jesus -- can help you out on that. you've got to stick to the Gospels, and the evidence simply isn't there to back up your very precise claim. to be frank, there's a lot of hard evidence to the contrary of what you said.

re the money changers -- I suggest you check out Paula Fredriksen's work, she writes very eloquently about the Temple incident (she is reluctant to call it "cleansing") and she has done great, great work about that. let me just point out that so many pieces of evidence point to the same direction, ie that Jesus was very much opposed to the legalistic obsession of the Temple leadership -- Jesus instead is in favor of compassion over Mosaic rules, inclusiveness over the clean/unclean polarization of the Jewish leadership. if you add to that the clear eschatological component in Jesus' teaching (Jesus never was without John, so to speak, his old mentor), Fredriksen points out that
by overturning the tables, Jesus was symbolically enacting an apocalyptic prophecy: the current Temple was soon to be destroyed, to cede place to the eschatological Temple at the close of the age.
I strongly suggest you read Fredriksen, it is worth it -- I am sure your local public library carries it. and if they don't, I am quite sure that your local Church's library should have it
posted by matteo at 3:44 PM on May 10, 2005


PETA is treating animals as if they do not HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS HUMANS, an inconsistent point (because they are killing them when they have not commited a capital crime in states that maintain the death penalty) there is your fact.

I think it's pretty clear that, in today's society, animals do not in fact have the same rights as humans. PETA advocates that we should change our society so that they do. However, they, like we, are stuck in the current society. If society accepted PETA's premises, this specific problem they're having would simply disappear, wouldn't it? Where's the inconsistency here?

I do not have a problem with PETA euthanising animals, I have a problem with their tactics, the delivery of their message and their shrill self-satisfaction and blantantly solipsistic and socially rather smug and classist positions. It bothers me that they care more about their notions of how animals should be treated in the world than the fact that there are humans in misery, in poverty, in danger all over the world. It marks them as morally suspect loons in my eyes. The distract time, money and worthy media attention from causes that matter more but aren't as mediapathic as their circus acts and grandstanding. People who have lost loved ones to AIDS or people that are concerned with the direction that the civil rights of gay people in this country are taking, for just one example, might agree with me.

Well, of course, if you believe some other cause is more important than it obviously must be more important! In fact, everyone else, working for any other cause than this single, most important cause, should stop whatever they're doing and work on this one cause right away! Only whenever this specific problem is completely solved should we move on to the next worst problem in the world.

And as a gay person, let me tell you that I'm very pleased with the direction that my civil rights have been taking. Fifteen years ago, if you asked me whether I ever thought there'd be a chance in hell that I could marry my partner, I'd have said absolutely not. Now, it's the issue of the day - like the post title says, who'da thunk it? A little perspective is in order here.

And finally, if you really believe that killing animals is murder, well, that's going to be something that you take very seriously.

That means that rednecks drink beer and beat up vegetarians right and would never tolerate food without meat in it, right? I live in Brooklyn and I can get any combination of food and alcohol I want at any number of places, I'm sorry if you don't have that same option, but it's no call to totally show your ass like that.

No, it just means we don't all live in Brooklyn, I guess. I'm not sure how this is showing my ass, though. Maybe this is a gay reference, I don't know. But my partner would kick my ass if I started waving it around in front of everyone.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:53 PM on May 10, 2005


equating PeTA to Jesus - wow. That's just wack.

wack? Have you been watching Mod Squad again? ;>
posted by jonmc at 3:55 PM on May 10, 2005


As for people saying that there's no way to communicate the cause of animal rights (or whatever, for that matter) without being shrill and off-putting, I say this: if I truly believed in a cause, I'd be willing to swallow my pride and stow the rhetoric in hopes of getting people to actually listen to me and act, since the cause is the most important thing, right?

Many activists are getting uncomfortably like extreme fundy christians, who bark out scripture and call you a sinner, then wonder why you haven't converted after hearing their gospel.
posted by jonmc at 3:59 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus is pro-profit. You might want to read up on the parable of the talents.

ROFL! miss the point much? LOL! this is what that prosperity gospel shit does to people.
posted by quonsar at 4:08 PM on May 10, 2005


No, I'm not saying we shouldn't euthanize unwanted animals.
posted by stewiethegreat at 4:10 PM on May 10, 2005


PETA does not have to be so abrasive in relaying their beliefs, they do not have to shout, they do not have to resort to shock tactics and they damn well do not have to go after children.

And yes, I can call you a murderer without being a total asshole about it. In fact, I can call you a murderer without you even noticing.

To try and justify their tactics because they are so passionate is a laughably stupid argument. If they really were so passionate then they'd be thinking how to best get their message across, not how to alienate the hell out of people.

stewie, come again? What does that comment mean? Is that a quintuple negative?
posted by fenriq at 4:13 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus would have joined Peta.

The problem with PETA putting down strays (which is a horrible but necessary thing) is that they are admitting that they as humans have a right to make decisions about the fate of animals, a stance they are publicly all-out against.

It's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. If they are treating animals, aren't they partially making decisions about their fate? Where did you read about this "publicly all-out" stance?

I think it's pretty clear that, in today's society, animals do not in fact have the same rights as humans. PETA advocates that we should change our society so that they do.

Again, that's not exactly what they advocate, is it?

PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.

Not quite the same thing. For example, I wonder about using animals as workers. Seriously. I don't agree with Peta on every issue (particularly in regard to experimentation, which I have been involved with), but I still agree with them on most campaigns.

Glad to see everyone already trashed the CCF. It's a bit embarrassing, i.e. getting hoaxed then refusing to admit it.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:24 PM on May 10, 2005


Goodness me.
I thought the site was a parody.

Carping about the value of future two-piece dinners while administering lethal injections to puppies and kittens isn't ethical. (Puppies and kittens everyone - Look at their big sad murdered eyes)

But animal-rights activists don't eat meat or dairy foods. (Damn Hippies)

As for PETA Supports Arson. Do You?. I'm guessing there are a couple of family planning clinics that have the answer to that one.
posted by seanyboy at 4:31 PM on May 10, 2005


This was one of the things that Penn & Teller pointed out in their Bullshit Episode on Peta.</em

Even when I don't agree with that show, it is excellent. They do great work.

konolia, aren't you reading the parable too literally? He's telling a story about fellowship and expanding the church, and saying that you'll be rewarded for that work in heaven.

On that subject, doesn't Proverbs also say that a good wife is a quiet wife? :)

posted by graventy at 4:36 PM on May 10, 2005


Oh, that worked well.
posted by graventy at 4:37 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus would have joined Peta.

really? Francis of Assisi, I'm almost certain. but Jesus -- I don't think so.
posted by matteo at 4:42 PM on May 10, 2005


really? Francis of Assisi, I'm almost certain.

Supposedly, St. Francis greatly enjoyed eating pig's knuckles (I forgot where I read that), so he'd be 86'd too.
posted by jonmc at 4:44 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus would have joined Peta.

He wasn't much of a joiner IIRC. Except, in an ironic twist, now he's got a billion joiners of his own.
posted by boaz at 4:57 PM on May 10, 2005


Oh, fuck Penn & Teller, they're hypocrites and liars themselves. Did you know he can really talk?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:58 PM on May 10, 2005


greatly enjoyed eating pig's knuckles

but the Buddha ate meat, too -- are they going to exclude him? Pamela Anderson is in and the Buddha is out?
I'm not sure that's a club I'd like to join.

Francis' "fratello lupo" routine alone seems to be enough to earn him a PeTA membership for all eternity.
posted by matteo at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2005


Don't worry. They only kill the ugly ones.
posted by tkchrist at 5:04 PM on May 10, 2005


Fratello Lupo? He was a button man for the Genovese family, right?
posted by jonmc at 5:05 PM on May 10, 2005


Oh, Jesus.
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 5:20 PM on May 10, 2005


Jesus has been made to mean a lot of things. Read American Jesus by Stephen Prothero for details.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 PM on May 10, 2005


and to all the earnest activists of every stripe:

You wake up in the morning/totally confused
can't get a date/but you're getting screwed

you're searching for a reason/a way to carry on
when everything is broken/and everything is wrong

So you tried to save the whales/You found a tree to kiss
You gave a crippled child/His dying wish

You're waiting for an answer/A message from above
You've always been a sucker/Another fool in love

What's it all about
Pussy and money
I ain't tryin to be cute
I ain't tryin to be funny
Everybody lies about
Pussy and money

It's always gonna be that way
It's always gonna be that way

You see a girl/You start talkin
She sees your car/She starts walkin

Sweet success/Just take it
If you're sincere/You can fake it

What's it all about
Pussy and money
I ain't tryin to be cute
I ain't tryin to be funny
Everybody cries about
Pussy and money

It's always gonna be that way
It's always gonna be that way

You wanna be the big dog/Down on the street
But if you spill a drop of blood/The shark's gotta eat

A million stars/out of reach
A billion grains of sand/on the beach

So you pray every night/When the sun goes down
Cause there are only two things that make the world go round

What's it all about
Pussy and money
I ain't tryin to be cute
I ain't tryin to be funny
Everybody lies about
Everybody cries about
Everybody shout it out!!
Pussy and money

It's always gonna be that way
It's always gonna be that way
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on May 10, 2005


Ban dihydrogen monoxide! The invisible killer! Every year, thousands of small furry animals worldwide die from overexposure to dihydrogen monoxide!
posted by ZachsMind at 5:42 PM on May 10, 2005


matteo: thanks for those links, and for the incisive responses to konolia's oversimplifications.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:59 PM on May 10, 2005


And yes, I can call you a murderer without being a total asshole about it. In fact, I can call you a murderer without you even noticing.

What good is that, if the point of calling me a murderer is to convince me that my behavior is monstrous? How do "get the message across" without alienating your audience, when your entire message is about the evil that your audience does? I'd love to see an example.

Look, I'm not asking you to agree with them, or like what they do. I don't, in a lot of cases. I don't like the tactics used by the pro-life movement in general (not even considering the extreme fringe of that movement). But I can understand why they do what they do, even if I think they're wrong.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:05 PM on May 10, 2005


How do "get the message across" without alienating your audience, when your entire message is about the evil that your audience does? I'd love to see an example.

Dr. King. Gandhi.

And what if your audience is merely those who are not actively evil, but those who can be swayed, which IMO is usually the majority of the populace?
posted by jonmc at 7:14 PM on May 10, 2005


May I remind the gathered masses that I went to Bible school? And that most "higher criticism" of the Bible is NOT accepted by those of us who believe it literally?

It ain't that hard to read, people.

And as for profit, do YOU work for free?

(And let's not be simplistic here, in that exorbitant profit is indeed the result of greed, which IS against the Bible. But making an appropriate profit and getting an appropriate return on one's investment is quite Biblical. Burying one's talent (a unit of money) in the sand gets one in trouble. )

And just in case anybody cares, vegetarianism as a matter of morality is not biblical, unless the meat you were about to eat was sacrificed to idols. It's okay to be a vegetarian but not okay to say you HAVE to be one to be good.
posted by konolia at 7:25 PM on May 10, 2005


How do "get the message across" without alienating your audience, when your entire message is about the evil that your audience does? I'd love to see an example.


So why doesn't abstinence-only sex education work? I mean, if you want kids to be disease-free and not get pregnant, you should tell them "Don't have sex", right?

And yet, it doesn't work. Not as well as programs that have graphic information, and alternatives to sex given to kids. Not as well as programs that realize that kids are going to have sex, and you want to give them chances to minimize their dangerous behaviors.

I won't deny that the point of calling someone a murderer is to make someone feel monstrous. But does it work? Will trying to make someone feel monstrous make them stop doing murdering people? You'd probably have better luck with intense therapy and meds. Will PETA jumping down peoples' throats over animal rights convince folks to treat animals better? Probably not as well as other tactics that aren't so cut and dried.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:36 PM on May 10, 2005


Dr. King. Gandhi.

Neither are good examples for the "alienating audience" argument since their respective audiences were the oppressed in India, and Blacks in the United States.

Both advocated non-violent protest against a wealth-driven oppressive power who (and this is questionable) only capitulated when the popular opinion changed enough that it was not cost feasible to continue their oppressive ways.

I think a more adequate example of getting a message across that completely alienates an audience, or personal situation, is a whistle blower. Of which there are many, many examples.
posted by purephase at 7:39 PM on May 10, 2005


Neither are good examples for the "alienating audience" argument since their respective audiences were the oppressed in India, and Blacks in the United States.

First of all, as I've said before, the idea of an "intended audience" in a media-saturated society is unworkable, so that tack is meaningless, and King and Gandhi both actively courted whites and Europeans who they thought would be sympathetic.

I recall watching a documentary of the civil rights movement where an associate of King's said that while many whites may not be entirely free from racist ideas, they didn't want to associate themselves with people who sicced dogs on nonviolent protestors or who bombed churches, and King (who was a shrewd man as well as a morally righteous man) actively sought to exploit that.
posted by jonmc at 8:01 PM on May 10, 2005


Just one snarky comment from one who is not about to read 122 thread comments: I love animals, but I love humans more. Is that wrong?
posted by kozad at 8:26 PM on May 10, 2005


May I remind the gathered masses that I went to Bible school? And that most "higher criticism" of the Bible is NOT accepted by those of us who believe it literally?

How is simple logic "higher criticism"? You read it literally, but you don't read it carefully - "talents" earned for one's master are, by definition, not "profits". The parable is clearly about how God rewards those who take risks, not that God rewards people who earn interest. In fact, since both the Old and New Testaments forbid usury, it'd have been odd for Jesus, a teacher who came "not to destroy the law but to fulfill it" to openly contradict it, and himself. This is the same Jesus, is it not, who told a parable in which a farmer is killed by God because he stored more material goods than he could use (see Luke 12: 16-20)?
I think maybe you should get your money back from Bible School - they didn't teach you the whole thing, and for people who read "literally", they seem to have encouraged some interpretations that ignore the bloody obvious.

It ain't that hard to read, people.

Yet you seem to miss the obvious, and then there's the thinking part afterward that you seem to have consistent trouble with. To wit:

And as for profit, do YOU work for free?

Wages are not profit. Profit, is, by definition, what's left after one has paid out the costs of doing something.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:45 PM on May 10, 2005


I concede that calling people murderers is harsh and off-putting, but shock has some value in that it may jar people out of their accustomed thinking patterns enough to go and do some research on their own.

One of the problems is that, in a society where we are drowned in information, people tend to have very short attention spans, and the venues available to spread messages reflect that. Because of this, there is a premium put on getting information across in very short time spans. This lends itself to "sound-bite" types of information transmission. I saw an interview with Chomsky, and he pointed out that he doesn't do "Crossfire"-type shows, as the points he wants to make cannot be made in a half-hour show, much less a ten-minute talking-point-spewing-back-and-forth dialogue. Nothing can be explained in sucha short time. When one holds what might be considered radical or fringe ideas, generally it takes a great deal of explaining and qualifying, otherwise it is immediately dismissed as incomprehensible.

While I am not a fan of PETA, I do know people that chose vegetarianism after learning small bits of information from their ads. They then went on to educate themselves, and of the few friends I am thinking of, maybe half currently think of PETA as a good thing- the other half can't stand them, largely for the same reasons that have been pointed out upthread.

The point I am trying to make here is that given certain assumptions about media and popular culture, it seems to me that what PETA does, as an advocacy group, works at least as well, and is as cost-effective as any other method of trying to raise awareness.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:29 PM on May 10, 2005


oh, and prediction/op-ed:when we claw our way up into civility, eventually humans will stop factory-farming animals for food.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:39 PM on May 10, 2005


Oh, fuck Penn & Teller, they're hypocrites and liars themselves. Did you know he can really talk?

Fantastic.
posted by nightchrome at 11:06 PM on May 10, 2005


And that most "higher criticism" of the Bible is NOT accepted by those of us who believe it literally?

Read: you're using logic and making sense and I can't hear you lalalalalalalalalalala!
posted by scody at 12:42 AM on May 11, 2005


Isn't Teller secretly JonMC..?
posted by ZachsMind at 12:48 AM on May 11, 2005


Is it too late to get in on those beer-battered clam sausages?
posted by Darkman at 1:59 AM on May 11, 2005


Or, as a substitute, saussage-battered beer clams?
posted by Darkman at 2:00 AM on May 11, 2005


Sausage-battered bearded clams?
You're cruising for an NC-17 rating there, mister.
posted by nightchrome at 2:40 AM on May 11, 2005


PETA gets thousands of animals dropped at their doorstep. What are they supposed to do with them?

Put them all in one big cage and let nature decide.
posted by biffa at 3:31 AM on May 11, 2005


So an admitted lobby group for the food industry tries to discredit an organisation who directly harms their profits and you guys swallow it like it was chocolate covered awesome.
"Founded in 1995 under the name "Guest Choice Network", CCF is one of the more active of several front groups created by Berman and Company. Its initial funding came entirely from the Philip Morris tobacco company."

Berman and Company Takes Grand Prize at National Media Relations Awards Ceremony

Top Journalists and PR Pros Honor Firm’s Creative Media and Ad Campaign Fighting the Obesity Epidemic Myth
April, 2005

Berman said in a 1999 interview with the Chain Leader, a trade publication for restaurant chains. "Our offensive strategy is to shoot the messenger,"
"If it's the truth, why does it matter who says it?"
Yeah, these guys are real credible.

PETA may be Fundies from the Planet Arse but these guys are pissing down your back and telling you it's raining.
posted by fullerine at 4:49 AM on May 11, 2005


Jon: Um. Part of the problem is that people who are rational and calm aren't the same ones whose lives are about a cause. Any cause. I could try to convert you to my way of thinking on about anything, and on a lot of things I'll make a good faith effort, but if you disagree, well, so what? I could be listening to records or jerking off instead of trying to convince you that you shouldn't eat what you like or say what you like or read what you like or listen to what you like. I mean, granted, I'd hope that by talking to you that you'd end up with a different perspective on your choices (one that you could still rationally reject), but it's not like telling you that there's no such place as South Detroit is going to get you to stop listening to Journey. Even though we all know that you'd be better off if you did.
posted by klangklangston at 6:33 AM on May 11, 2005


Me & My Monkey:
It wasn't a gay reference, it is an admittedly dated term meaning (in this case)that you were perhaps saying something slyly rude while pretending not to. I am well past the point in my life where I see anything amusing in insulting people based on who they chose to sleep with. Too much a fussin and feudin in general I guess. For the record: I assume that who you chose to interact with consensually is your own business and never none of mine and it's one of the main philosophical underpinings of my life. My point about the civil rights of gay people is simply (yes mazel mazel there are states that support civil unions) that there is a rising tide of legislation and increasing tolerance of homophobic sentiment that is worrysome to many people, myself included, the waves come in and the waves wash out. I think things like this are simply more important and creating a society where humans are treated better will go a long way towards creating a society where animals are treated better.

I mean guy, you said it:

And finally, if you really believe that killing animals is murder, well, that's going to be something that you take very seriously.


But you know, the Party is always right, right?

I find it very wonky to think that PETA considers a poor person eating a burger (because that is the best/cheapest sort of protein they can get) a murderer, but their euthanizing animals is something else. My point is that they have a decent cause, but their moral inflexibiltiy makes them incapable of pursuing the end of that cause with success.

And I am not in any way fooled by the "CFC" or whatever the hell they are, I am find both groups miserable for different reasons. Ok enough of this.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:01 AM on May 11, 2005


Metafilter: Swallow it like it was chocolate covered awesome.
posted by Snyder at 8:19 PM on May 11, 2005


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