17 October, 2005

Activism, or, I love the animals

While I don't claim to be a PETA Person, there's just some shit that's too messed up to go unnoticed. I was reading the Times this morning, and saw this article by Jim Robbins. Now, I thought hunting the Buffalo fell out of fashion sometime around when there were only 23 of them left in existence (see the image below of two hunters and a huge pile of buffalo skulls). I was wrong, I suppose. Some toothless yahoo thinks it would be a good idea to allow hunters to bag the prized big game animal due to the suspicion that they could transmit the disease Brucellosis to the local cattle. Robbins writes that
"...there is no solid evidence that wild bison pass the disease to cattle when the two species are not confined together, and even the governor acknowledges that the state's bison policy is skewed in that only 500 cattle live where they might be at risk...Bison advocates say that the animals should be allowed to form herds outside the park, and that the true motivation for controlling the population is to eliminate competition with cattle for forage on public land."
More than likely, he idea was brought about brought about by someone like this dude (the one on the top) who just want to hang some huge head on their wall.

Nancy Perry, vice president for government affairs for the Humane Society of the United States, said the bison hunt "affords trophy hunters the opportunity to shoot what are effectively parked cars."

"These bison have no fear of people and will stand and stare in curiosity as they are gunned down," she said.

The folks in Montana are going to be able to hunt Buffalo who roam outside of the protected boundaries of Yellowstone, despite the fact that the animals are clearly only following their natural instinct in finding food and have no real regard for invisible boundaries. They don't even mind people being quite close to them. Indeed, the image above, courtesy of Times photographer Anne Sherwood, is taken from a vehicle. I've been to Montana before, and have had a whole herd of buffalo block the road we were traveling on for a full 10 minutes; they even came up to the bus we were in and look in the windows and rubbed against the sides.

The state claims they are trying to make the hunt fair to the passive animals, but their claims are almost laughable. Actually, they are laughable. Robbins writes:
All the hunters are required to take a "fair chase" orientation class where state officials will encourage them to make the hunt more challenging. For example, they will be told to walk a certain distance from roads to look for their targets rather than simply jumping out of a car and shooting. (It is already illegal to shoot an animal from a road.) They will also be told where to shoot a bison to quicken the kill: in the heart or four inches behind the ear.

But those suggestions are only advisory, and people are free to hunt in any lawful way they want.

Right. So hunters are actually going to "walk a certain distance from the road" if they don't have to. Who in their right mind would shoot a buffalo way out in the wilds? It's not practical: how are you going to transport the 3,000 lb. body? More than likely, some asshole is going to be shooting from an ATV with a high powered rifle. I'm sure if hunting from a helicopter were legal, that would happen.

It's just kind of fucked. Why can't they wait and do some say, scientific testing, before granting hunting licenses to kill an animal barely over 100 years from the brink of extinction.

Speaking of animals and their rights, PETA needs to pause, take a breath, and compose themselves again before coming up with any more insane ideas such as this. I mean, what kid is going to read this? Kids want the X-Men and Green Lantern, not some holier-than-thou rag about fur production. It's not even a real comic book, it's a leaflet with pictures. Also, it's kind of suggestive in some parts. Choice excerpts below:
But how would you feel if someone took away your kitty or puppy, stomped on their head, and ripped their skin off their bodies?
Umm, I'd feel pretty bad. Luckily, household pets aren't raised for fur production. And they don't show as much emotion as the rabbit in the picture. PETA is taking the personification a little too far there if you ask me.
It would make you feel sad, wouldn't it? Why would anyone be so mean? But there are terrible people who cause our furry friends to die that way every day. And guess what? One of those terrible people is your mommy. Your mommy kills animals! I bet you didn't know that.
Wow. Kind of reminds me of that Decemberists song "A Cautionary Song" which is one bit 'yo momma' joke about a mother who goes and has sex with all the sailors when her children are asleep. Whoa aside, let's get back to some quotes.
They never get to play or swim or have fun. All they can do is cry, —just so your greedy mommy can have that fur coat to show off in when she walks the streets.
Whoa, okay. Now they are insinuating that the readers mother is a street walker. Though I don't think kids reading this would really get that, I don't think kids would want to read this in the first place so that's kind of irrelevant I suppose. Still, calling my mother a whore isn't going to make me stop wearing fur (although I don't currently wear fur, I wouldn't mind a huge chinchilla coat a-la Hova).
Mommy foxes do this because they want to get back to their babies to feed them, but they usually die anyway and their babies slowly starve to death, scared and all alone. Trapped animals who don'’t escape from the traps get stomped to death by the nasty men. Ask your mommy how many dead animals she killed to make her fur clothes. Then tell her that you know she paid men to hurt and kill the animals. Everyone knows. And the sooner she stops wearing fur, the sooner the animals will be safe. Until then, keep your doggie or kitty friends away from mommy, —she'’s an animal killer!
HA HA HA HA. Sorry, I'm sick. Actually, I'm not sorry about it. Seriously, if PETA wants people to take them seriously, they need to not put shit like this out there. Going out on a limb, I think that women who wear fur probably don't kill the animals themselves. More than likely, women who wear a lot of fur have a very expensive little dog that they pamper to death. Yes yes I know it's supposed to mean that these sorts of women fuel an industry of torture and yada yada, but suck me.

One other note. Reading the USA Today this morning, I was looking at a stat box (obvious filler), and at the bottom it said "Statistics compiled from USA Today Archives and Wikipedia.org" Good to know that a major news publication (albeit a poorly put together/researched/layed out/etc. one) uses the same sources as lazy college students researching at the last minute.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

PETA may do some weird shit, but the fact is that their tactics get them press. That's a PR win if I ever saw one. They are one of the few groups that you can see on a nightly news broadcast for throwing a pie in someone famous's face for wearing fur on the street. They go into malls and hand out brochures and comics - it might alienate a lot of folks, but people still know what PETA is and what they stand for, which is, you know, the point.

As for Wikipedia, I was reading an article recently that said the use of the online site has increased 7-fold in the past 6 months, and other sites like it are popping up. Expect for this source to become more widely used as they make more $$ and become reputable through popularity.


6:12 PM, October 17, 2005  

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