No “pet” names, it’s insulting

In the latest case of dumb things dumb people do because they are dumb and think dumb… ethicists have suggested that calling animals “pets” is demeaning and dehumanising.

“Despite its prevalence, ‘pets’ is surely a derogatory term both of the animals concerned and their human carers…”

Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers”, they insist.

Even terms such as wildlife are dismissed as insulting to the animals concerned – who should instead be known as “free-living”, the academics including an Oxford professor suggest.

The worst thing about the findings of this pro-animal journal:

“It is edited by the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, a theologian and director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, who once received an honorary degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury for his work promoting the rights of “God’s sentient creatures”.”

That’s some great theology right there. Because animals have sensitive egos.

Also. We can’t talk about bad human actions in terms of animal behaviour:

“Phrases such as “sly as a fox, “eat like a pig” or “drunk as a skunk” are all unfair to animals.”

It’s this sort of thinking that leads to the development of stupid weasel words. I mean. Vacuous and empty phrases that lack any grace or clarity.

PETA wants animal inclusive Bible

Let me just start by congratulating PETA for sinking to a new low with the name of their blog. The PETA files. Because we all think animal rights should be associated with child abuse, for the lols.

Then, let me move on to highlighting PETA’s latest ridiculous campaign.

“When PETA heard that the Committee on Bible Translation had revised the New International Version (NIV) of the Christian Bible to use gender-inclusive language, such as replacing “men” with “people,” we thought, wouldn’t it be great if the new NIV showed consideration for female (and male) animals too? So we wrote to the Committee on Bible Translation and asked them to use “he” or “she” rather than “it” to refer to animals in the next edition of the NIV.

“Language matters. Calling an animal ‘it’ denies them something,” PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich told CNN. “They are beloved by God. They glorify God.”

Since God loves all His creation (and if you’re not convinced of this, try reading Matthew 25:40, Isaiah 11:9, or Luke 6:36), it’s only fitting that humans do the same by showing respect to every living being. Maybe Psalm 50:11 says it best: “I know and am acquainted with all the birds of the mountains, and the wild animals of the field are Mine and are with Me, in My mind.” Perhaps if we change the way we speak about animals, our thinking will follow.”

Here’s the CNN piece referred to in that post

There are some more stupid quotes from PETA in that article, here’s the meat of their argument.

“God’s covenant is with humans and animals. God cares about animals,” Friedrich said. “I would think that’s a rather unanimous opinion among biblical scholars today, where that might not have been the case 200 years ago.”

Now, I’m not sure that PETA has even a rudimentary knowledge of Greek or Hebrew – but they may be interested to learn that their beef is with the languages themselves, not with the Bible translators. Because the languages have male, female, and neuter nouns – and you’d have to bring gender to the table by your own agenda, to suggest that animals are anything other than an it. You’d have to create a bias in the text. Which is exactly what translators shouldn’t be doing.

David Berger, a Hebrew scholar lets them have it on this basis in that CNN article:

“In Hebrew all nouns are gender-specific. So the noun for chair is masculine and the noun for earth is feminine. There’s simply no such thing as a neutral noun,” Berger told CNN. “It’s unusual to have a noun that would indicate the sex of the animal.”

Another scholar, from Baylor University, David Lyle Jeffrey, disagreed with the rest of the nonsense from PETA’s suggestion…

“I agree with their contention that God cares for all of creation,” Jeffrey said. “It is true that we have a responsibility to reflect that affection.

“In gender-inclusive Bible translation the generic terms for humankind, let’s say, are then replaced with an emphasis on he or she. Instead of the generic he, you say he and she. I don’t quite see how that would work with animals,” Jeffery said.

“Do we need to know the gender of the lion Samson slew? What would it give us there?” he said. “You could try to specify that, but you would be doing so entirely inventively if you did. It’s not in the original language. … Nothing is made of it in the story.”

“When you get to the point when you say, ‘Don’t say it, say he or she’ when the text doesn’t, you’re both screwing up the text and missing the main point you addressed.”

Celebrity science

When I’m not suggesting that some science is bad science I’m laughing at bad science. An organisation called Sense About Science collects a litany of celebrity science gaffs and publishes an annual report (PDF).

My favourite comes from PETA activist Heather Mills…

“Did you know that when you eat meat, it stays in your gut for 40 years, putrefies and leads to a disease that kills you? “That is a fact,” according to the model and charity campaigner Heather Mills”

Via New Scientist

Salad LOLs

I subscribed to PETA’s media releases recently just for the laughs. It hasn’t disappointed. They’re about to protest the Southern Baptists. They want to convert them to vegetarianism.

“PETA members — including one dressed as Jesus carrying a sign reading, “For Christ’s Sake, Go Vegetarian,” and another dressed as a chicken with a sign that says, “Jesus Loves Me Too”– will bring a pro-vegetarian message based on biblical teachings of compassion to people attending the Southern Baptist Convention in Louisville on Tuesday. Other members will hold signs reading, “Thou Shalt Not Kill. Go Vegetarian” and “Blessed Are the Merciful. Go Vegetarian.” They will also hand out leaflets that relate vegetarian living to Christian teachings.”

Seems they’re a little bit confused about the difference between chickens and people. That sentence could be made much clearer with a comma – either after the “compassion” or after the “people”… the easily misinterpreted (if you don’t put too much effort in) sentence pretty much somes up most of my problems with PETA – then there’s the fact that the Bible makes eating meat perfectly acceptable. The fact that meat tastes so good means that God meant us to be carnivores. Surely.

Flying off the handle

Did you see it? Obama. Killed. A. Fly. With his bare hands. My hatred for flies is well documented. And now, when I’m home for Christmas, I’ll be able to use the presidential defense when I swat a fly with my hands…

More significantly – Obama is a ninja. Check it out.

This little piece of karate awesomeness (sans chopsticks) has earned Obama the ire of PETA. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about.

PETA’s blog – called the “PETA Files” (as if we needed any more evidence that they’re a massive joke foisted on us by the ultra right) – loudly condemned the President – and the story has received global attention.

They’re sending him one of these awful fly catchers – who needs one of these when you have such awesome ninja skills.

“Simply place Katcha Bug over the bug and slowly slide its plastic trapdoor shut. The bug will step onto the trapdoor as it closes, and you can carry Katcha Bug outside, where all you need to do is slide the trap door open, allowing the bug to walk away. “

Here’s what PETA said – it’s a bit of a beat up – but still, it’s worth learning that if you want to be taken seriously you need to pick your battles.

“Believe it or not, we’ve actually been contacted by multiple media outlets wanting to know PETA’s official response to the executive insect execution,” a blog on the group’s website explained. “In a nutshell, our position is this: He isn’t the Buddha, he’s a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act.”


Ahh, PETA, you’ve outdone yourselves.

PETA continue to get great media coverage for being the dumbest group of activists around. It’s like they sat in a strategy meetings and decided that the only way to get people to take them seriously was to act like idiots.

Pike Place Fish at the Seattle Fish Markets is famous for flying fish – there’s a customer service training course that has become a global phenomenon because one day some of the workers there decided to improve life working with stinky fish by flinging them around.

According to PETA this is a no-no. Throwing dead fish around is undignified. Especially at a conference for vets (which raised the PETA hackles on the issue).

“Killing animals so you can toss their bodies around for amusement is just twisted,” said Ashley Byrne, senior campaigner for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, D.C.

“And it particularly sends a terrible message to the public when vets call it fun to toss around the corpses of animals. If anyone should be promoting compassion and not callousness toward animals, it should be vets.”

Update: Sorry, I should have pointed out that PETA is objecting to having “sea kittens” (their attempted rebranding of aquatic life) tossed around.

PETA patter

It’s been too long since I last bagged out PETA. Far too long. They are stupid. Let that be on the record here. If in 15 years someone is vetting me for some high powered role and this disqualifies me… so be it. I’ll stand by this. PETA is stupid. People who protest about animal rights are generally stupid – there’s a generalisation for you… but they’re particularly stupid when they’re protesting about people shooting dogs. In video games. Where they’re also shooting ze Germans. And the dogs are nasty attack dogs. They’re not puppies.

PETA’s real beef should be with those who train vicious attack dogs, but then they don’t like beef either.

If PETA were normal humans they’d be much more worried about the fact that the game involves people being shot, but no, it’s all about dogs.

A PETA statement says:

“Not since we were pitted against Nazi attack dogs when we first escaped from Castle Wolfenstein 17 years ago have we seen such barbaric treatment of dogs in gameplay as we did in Call of Duty, World of War.”

This case was prosecuted by equally stupid students – who started a petition, because:

“Killing dogs as a form of entertainment … over and over again. That’s one of the objects of the game,” says Lucci, 19, a senior at NDA. “Parents need to know what they are buying their kids. Killing animals should not be a form of entertainment.”

“My little 12-pound Pomeranian, Winnie the Pooh, is sitting next to [Lucci’s brother as he plays the game], and I’m thinking, ‘This looks horrible!'” Lucci says.

Lucci then adds, “My brother is a sweetheart. He won’t be killing dogs after playing. But some people might.”

Those of you concerned about animal welfare in the gaming realm should apparently play Fable 2. It won PETA’s award for most animal friendly game release.

“In this virtual fight between good and evil, characters powered by tofu are just as powerful as their meat-eating counterparts—and are more fit and attractive to boot. Featuring a strong pro-vegetarian theme, eating a plant-based diet helps you rack up “purity” points, whereas eating meat makes your character fat and evil.”

“A fun and innovative game, it’s also an effective tool that teaches gamers the real-life benefits of a vegetarian diet.”

Here’s a video of Call of Duty’s dog killing exploits… warning contents may offend if you find the shooting of pixelated canines trying to rip the throat from your pixelated character offensive…

Missed by a whisker

Everyone loves cats. Except for people who hate them, like me. There’s a whole website predicated on the idea that cats are irresistibly cute. Like the one this picture comes from – one of the internet’s most popular websites. I work with a lot of cat people. I’ll never understand them. I think I’m normal – and I think there are a lot of people out there who share my feline sentiments. Unfortunately not the marketing and branding boffins at PETA. They also think we all like cats. It seems they are capable of promotional activities not involving naked celebrities (there’s a word pairing that will boost hits to this blog), or vacuous blonds staging really smart protests about chicken cruelty at a business whose core business practice involves the killing of chickens.

PETA in its infinite wisdom has decided people are much less likely to eat fish if they’re rebranded – the entire species – as “Sea Kittens”. I am not making this up. This doesn’t hurt those of us who tuck into a big juicy steak with a clean conscience. No, this hurts those soft vegetarians who aren’t prepared to take a hard line vegan stance. Those who are still prepared to dehumanise – or dekittenise fish. Here’s a quote from the statement… it’s too good to edit.

“Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone. You’ve done enough damage, buddy. We’ve got it from here. And we’re going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it’s time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?”

And in a PR coup for the books – here’s your chance to make your own sea kitten to take home…

Create Your Own Sea Kitten at!

Chewin’ the fat

It’s pretty much widely acknowledged that Heather Mills is one crazy lady. Possibly had Sir Paul met Ms Mills around the same time John met Yoko Ono the Japanese born American singer would have been held in high regard by the British public (who for the unwashed is pretty much regarded as the catalyst for the Beatles break up – which means she’s not very popular…still). I meant to post on this a week ago when I read it, but forgot until it popped up today. I’ve got to say if there’s one thing I hate more than a credit card wielding neo-socialist it’s an animal rights activist. So PETA aren’t at the top of the organisations I’m most likely to respond positively to… Their idea of “controversial” is to have models who would generally pose naked for money posing naked for their cause… alright they also throw animal blood on models at catwalks etc… but their approach can pretty much be described along the lines of the advertising mantra that “sex sells”. Unfortunately this methodology has been picked up by animal rights/vegan protest group Viva. hich brings us to Mills, who is their latest “celebrity” activist throwing her unbalanced weight (geddit, geddit, oh I give up) behind the cause. To show that it’s not more than a ploy to boost her ailing image following a messy public divorce (and outrageously bad interview a little while ago where she pretty much blamed the plight of the planet on the media) she agreed to be interviewed on the topic. If you haven’t clicked the link already here are the highlights…

“There are 25 alternative milks available in health shops and supermarkets,” she added, saying she turned vegan when an African woman at Live 8 asked her: “Why don’t people stop drinking cows’ milk lattes?”

“Why do we not drink rats’ milk, cats’ milk or dogs’ milk?”

Mills, and Viva, somewhat tenuously link meat eating to global warming. This position strikes me as contradictory for two reasons – one, sure cows may produce massive amounts of greenhouse gasses – but doesn’t this mean that population control in the form of Maccas burger patties is doing its bit for the environment? Shouldn’t we all be eating a cow to save the planet? And two… shouldn’t a pro-life (the natural corollary of an anti-slaughter animal rights position) be advocating for cows to live out their days in peace – thus creating no real mechanism of population control and allowing the unabated flow of harmful methane leaden greenhouse flatulence into the atmosphere?

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