Obama and the Fly, Part Deux

Published by PETA.
domesticfuel / CC
President Obama

Because we’ve heard from so many people who want to know more about PETA’s position on “Flygate,” we’ve decided to explore the question of “to bee or not to bee” in a bit more depth.

As we all know, human beings often don’t think before they act. We don’t condemn President Obama for acting on instinct. When the media began contacting us in droves for a statement, we obliged, simply by saying that the president isn’t the Buddha and shouldn’t be expected to do everything right—if not for that, we would not have brought it up. It’s the media who are making a big deal about the fly swat—not PETA. However, we took the opportunity, when asked, to point out that we do offer lots of ways in which to control insects of all kinds without harming them, including the humane bug catcher we sent President Obama. There is even a chapter in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights about how to rid your home of “uninvited guests.”

We have lots of other items on our agenda, as you can imagine, and PETA’s focus will remain on our core issues—promoting alternatives to eating animals, opposing fur and products made from animal skin, opposing laboratories that torment animals, and fighting the abuse of animals in circus training camps as well as other overt abuses that fall within our mission statement, which states that animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

We support compassion for all animals, even the most curious, smallest, and least sympathetic ones. We hope that everyone will take inspiration from Nobel Peace Prize–winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who believed that even insects were deserving of compassion and who would stop to move a worm from hot pavement to cool earth. Aware of the problems and responsibilities that go along with an expanded ethical code, Schweitzer said that we each must “live daily from judgment to judgment, deciding each case as it arises, as wisely and mercifully as we can.”

We can’t stop all suffering, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop any. Our wish is for all people to act wisely and mercifully toward animals.

Written by Alisa Mullins

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind