It All Started With a Joke …
On April Fools’ Day 2010 (yes, two whole years ago), PETA published a blog post saying that we had been funding scientists who were genetically engineering rats to have fluffy rabbit tails. The idea was that by altering rats to be more in keeping with people’s ideas of “cute and cuddly,” we could usher in a rat renaissance of sorts, encouraging people to be kinder to our besieged, bald-tailed brethren.
… Then the Beef Industry Got Wind
Recently, an intrepid food-industry writer found said April Fools joke, thought it was real, and wrote an outraged article for Drovers CattleNetwork blasting PETA, rats, rabbits, and, oh yeah, cane toads and pigs (but not cows, conveniently) for good measure.
(c) iStockphoto.com | Josiah Jost
Mr. Food Industry also waged such a scare campaign against rats that it made me wonder if he might work for d-CON. He actually cited the Black Death, a plague that is several hundred years removed from modern-day scourges like, say, E. coli and for which rats are no longer blamed.