Wednesday, January 16, 2008

This site, Peta Kills, is kind of WTF.

On the one hand they're saying a lot of ludicrous stuff. On the OTHER hand, that IS an exceedingly high percentage of companion animals that PETA euthanized, (e.g. 90 percent in 2005, and there's evidence of them killing perfectly healthy, adoptable animals) and I wonder WTF their policy is and what is going on with that.

The ludicrous stuff:

Meanwhile, PETA manager Dapha Nachminovitch confirmed that, yes, PETA does kill animals. That $9,370 walk-in freezer declared on PETA's 2002 federal income tax return is indeed for storing dead animals. And PETA contracts with a Virginia Beach company to incinerate the bodies.


Any organization that euthanizes animals under any circumstances, including veterinary hospitals and most animal shelters, is going to need one of these freezers. So PETA does in fact euthanize animals. If you want to sound the alarms about that, you'll also need to criticize almost every animal shelter and Humane Society, as well as every vet office (and I really doubt that euthanasia itself is PKA's concern, see below). If you want to call them hypocrites, yes, it's terribly ironic and all, but I don't think that euthanasia need be at all incompatible with animal-welfare and animal-rights concerns.

The issue is simply the number of animals they euthanize, and their reasons for doing so. Which are, in fact, pretty damn shady-seeming. But it's not like the fact that they euthanize animals in the first place, or that they have a walk-in freezer or incinerate the bodies, is in itself anything atypical or especially macabre.

Anyway, this is an example of something I hate: sensationalism and fact-distorting in order to persuade an audience. Especially when they have perfectly legitimate points in the first place, buried under all the sensationalist crap. Same problem I have with, say, PETA itself. I was wondering if this site was maybe actually an animal-rights organization itself, but apparently not, they're just trying to slander and discredit PETA.

"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.

LOL @ "meddling bureaucrats" and "environmental scaremongers." Because the environment is just fine, and anyone who says otherwise is just a hippie trying to fuck with your all-American barbecue. :D :D :D (Wonder if they deny global warming. How dare you deny us our freedom to squander fossil fuels? Damn geophysicists, with their "facts" and their "evidence" and their "the polar ice is drastically shrinking." What are they playing at? What's their real agenda, eh?)

How exactly is saying PETA KILLS ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!! enhancing consumers' freedom of choice? Oh wait, it's not. It's simply a stab at an organization whose mission of vegetarianism is at odds with their own interests, on grounds which have nothing to do with their vegetarian stance, animal husbandry, etc.

Reminds me of those organizations supporting "smoker's freedom," whose indignant full-page ads you could find in newspapers around the time that Big Tobacco was taking it in the teeth, and which were sponsored by Philip Morris. How very libertarian. How much do you want to bet this organization gets hella funding from, say, people who sell meat?

We welcome your support. Click here to make a financial contribution. Donations to CCF are tax-deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

YAY. Anyway, maybe I should use this as an example in class. :P You know, of shitty arguments.


Tracy said...

That Web site is owned by the Center for Consumer Freedom. Here is information about the CCF:

Guest Choice Network, the predecessor organization to CCF, was formed in such a way so as not to appear "owned" by Philip Morris, to address the lack of interest restaurant owners had in Philip Morris's "Accommodation Program," and to have a broader appeal to industry than just tobacco. GCN was designed to "create an aggressive mentality by [restaurant] operators [to oppose} government smoking bans," according to a letter by Rick Berman to Philip Morris [2073148834]

In a 1995 letter to Philip Morris (PM), Rick Berman (of the public affairs company Berman & Company) proposed that PM form an aggressive front group called the "Guest Choice" network to motivate restaurant owners to aggressively fight smoking restrictions while appearing to be acting on their own. Berman said to PM, "...if you want to gain more ground quickly for the smokers' rights issue, the [Guest Choice] program must create a proactive, aggressive mentality by [restaurant] operators regarding government smoking bans..." Berman described how hiding Philip Morris' involvement would allow the group take more aggressive action:

"Additional benefit -- if externally perceived as driven by restaurant interests, there will be more flexibility and creativity allowed than if it is 'owned' by Philip Morris. The American Beverage Institute, which opposes overly aggressive DWI laws, enjoys this profile."[1]

PM took Mr. Berman's suggestion and formed the "Guest Choice Network," changing its name in recent years to the "Center for Consumer Freedom," which in addition to fighting smoking bans also fights the organic food movement and lobbies against lowering the legal blood alcohol limit for drunk driving.

For more information:

Like animals?
Wanna lose weight?
Care about the environment?

sensitivepoet said...

Thanks for the site, that looks interesting and useful. I guess there was a good reason I was so reminded of Philip Morris.

Out of curiosity, how'd you find this blog? I don't get comments that frequently and I like to know where people are coming from and how they get here. :)

Gene said...

Have you seen the Bullshit episode on this subject?

Also, here's some more recent numbers. /shakes head

By way of greeting, I apparently knew you back when I was a tiny kid. Our parents are in contact to some degree, I guess. Anyway, I'm reading now.

sensitivepoet said...

Hi Gene! I remember you. So, what have you been up to these past... 15 years or so?

Six said...

Aww... you remember me? I don't even remember me then.

Since I was 8? Hmm... well, it's in the blog mostly but the highlights are... I became a big nerd. Graduated from high school. Got a bio degree. Went to Central to get a BS in CS. Here I are.

sensitivepoet said...

As for me, I blossomed into an even bigger nerd, went to college for a number of years, and am now doing a master's degree in poetry.

Bryan said...

Same sort of bullshit as: this documentary.

And yes, PETA as an animal rights activist, their propagandist approach bothers me sometimes. But all else side, what the hell were they thinking with this shelter?

btw, I found you while googling

Oh that 'center' for 'consumer' 'freedom'...