Written by PETA
At a middle school in Tiny Poplar, Wisconsin, a science teacher is encouraging his kids to shoot animals in the area and share stories of “the kill” with the rest of the class. If the kids eat the dead creatures, they’re allowed to post pictures of their accomplishment on a bulletin board in the classroom. And not a single person in the school gets how fundamentally, deeply screwed up this is.
After concerned members of the community contacted us about this disturbing practice, PETA’s Sangeeta Kumar wrote a letter to the school’s principal informing him of the well-documented link between violence against animals and criminal behavior against other humans (this is especially true when kids start killing at a young age), and asked that he at least include some information on humane treatment of animals in his curriculum so kids could learn that there are other, more enriching ways of interacting with wild animals than shooting at them.
We’re still chatting fairly amicably with the principal about this issue—but it’s frustrating going. You can read more about this (and leave a comment, if you feel so inclined) at TwinCities.com. Note the quote at the end where the school tries to justify this sordid practice with the argument that people used to do it 150 years ago. Kind of like how they used to own slaves and deny women the right to vote.
"I doubt there were many vegetarians 150 years ago. Why was it acceptable for their great grandfathers to hunt?"
Short answer: It wasn’t. I’ll let you know if we get anywhere with this.
Well, April is the cruelest month, so this is a perfect time to officially recognize 2008’s cruelest man in academia. Through four grueling rounds against some of the most barbaric men and women in the world, Arthur Weber of MSU has come home with the big prize. Despite a late run by the seasoned group of vivisectors from Duke led by longtime monkey abuser David Platt, Arthur’s team won the final contest with a commanding score of 20 votes to 11.
When asked for comment by the MSU campus newspaper, Weber—who was voted champion largely due to a series of experiments in which he removes cats’ eyes while they’re still alive—made the following statement through a representative:
“The animals are completely anesthetized, receive painkillers, and once the animals come out of the anesthesia, 10 minutes later you can’t tell the difference.”
Awwww, so modest. So self-effacing! But of course you can tell the difference, Arthur! THE CATS ARE MISSING THEIR EYES. And don’t forget the part where you keep them alive for a week after the operation and then kill them—I bet they notice that too!
Anyway, without further ado, please join me in recognizing Arthur Weber of MSU as the people’s choice for the cruelest vivisector in the world! You’ve earned this, Weber.
First of all, let me say that I’m a big fan of TMZ. They're a hell of a lot of fun to read, and (most importantly), they cover stories about PETA whenever we do something awesome—which is a lot. But a blog they posted today, entitled “PETA - hypocrisy, table for one,” is kind of begging for a response—especially since it raises an issue that causes some confusion even within the animal rights movement. Their theory, if I understand it correctly, is that ethical vegetarians are hypocrites if they even step inside a restaurant that sells meat. I get where the idea is coming from, but it’s so fundamentally opposite to the way we actually need to do things if we want to make progress with animal rights that I feel like I should spell it out here.
As much as we’d like it to, Progress ain’t gonna come if we just sit here and wish with all our hearts that all the steakhouses go out of business. When progress does come, it comes in the form of steakhouses adding a veggie option or two to their menus. And then a couple more. And then, when they see that they’re big sellers, keeping them there, and in the process showing some of their regular customers that there are actually a whole lot of really tasty alternatives to meat. But that’s not going to happen if all the vegetarians in the world turn up their noses and refuse to eat at any restaurants that also sell animal products. Same deal with grocery stores—no one’s doing anyone any favors by refusing to shop at supermarkets that aren’t 100 percent vegan. The smart thing to do is to vote with your dollars, because if businesses don’t even know that there’s a big market for vegetarian options, they’re not going to have a whole lot of incentive for providing them.
One last thing on this—I’ve talked about the positive-reinforcement technique, but for every carrot, there’s also a stick, and that’s why PETA and other animal groups apply pressure to specific companies that are the absolute worst of the worst in the way they treat the animals they use, by calling for an all-out boycott until certain improvements are made. It’s a tried-and-true technique, and we’re going to keep using it. But it doesn’t mean that you should avoid going to a fast-food restaurant with your family and ordering the veggie burger. Because that would just be dumb.
Update: This whole thing started when TMZ reported that Morrissey was seen inside a steakhouse. Turns out they actually misreported it after all. My point still stands though.
Here’s how this works: By neglecting to address the number one cause of global warming, Al Gore—as one of the world’s most prominent environmental advocates—is arguably doing a fair bit of damage to his cause. So if he’s not going to set an example by boycotting the industry that generates 40 percent more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, ships, and planes in the world combined … well, somebody needs to pick up the slack.
Which is where OffsetAlGore.com comes in. Visitors to the site can learn the full extent of the meat industry’s role in causing global warming, and actually do something to help stem the tide by taking a pledge to go vegetarian for 30 days. That's enough time to prevent the release of more than 270 pounds of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere, and a more effective way of combating pollution than giving up driving every weekday for the same amount of time. As PETA VP Bruce Friedrich puts it:
"Visitors to OffsetAlGore.com can undo some of the damage that Al Gore is doing to the environment every time he sits down to a steak. Mr. Gore's own addiction to meat is adding to the very crisis he's devoting his life to stopping."
Anyway, check out the site, take the pledge (if you haven’t already), and let me know what you think of the campaign. We’re big admirers of Al Gore’s work here, but it really seems like the guy is doing his own cause a serious disservice by avoiding the single most important issue facing the environment today.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.