Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Anal Electrocution. That's all I have to say.

A vegan or a big fan of PETA I am absolutely not, but I am also a little skeptical on the principles of this article, which claims that to be made into a beautiful coat is the nicest thing that could happen to a mink.

I've always thought that if I were a slave in ancient Egypt, I might rather die building the pyramids at 30 than of old age at 35, so this is a point I have already considered from several angles. Readers of mine who think I make controversial points for sheer shock value or to show my hipness would expect me to leap gladly onto this particular bandwagon. (Item: My points aren't shocking, they just might be different than yours. And I may not know much about hipness, but I know that if I want to be hip, writing a religion blog is not the hobby to have.)

I stopped eating red meat several months ago and am cutting down on chicken and pork. But actually I'm in the large middle ground here with those who find actual mistreatment of animals bad, but don't particularly care one way or another whether a fish gets eaten by a bear or eaten by me. Cecily-with-a-calling is a vegan and her partner and children are too. They are coming for Thanksgiving and she warned me her daughter might ask me why I ate animals. I said I planned to respond:

"It's OK, the salmon I ate was a bad salmon who voted Republican."

(To her credit, C had much more of a sense of humor about this comment than lots of people would expect a vegan to as they have a reputation as a pretty dour bunch. And no, I wouldn't actually say that. Probably.)

That having been said, that the animals fur products are made out of are skinned alive is indeed nasty and gross and the distinction that the animal is crying out not because it completely understands what is going to happen to it, but is instead crying out for its mother is not nearly so significant to me as it is to the writer. I will never look on Linguist Friend's fur hat the same way again, which is not to say I was a great fan of fur hats in the first place, because, well, come on. Look at them. If I wanted my head to look like that, I'd just ask Joe-the-hair guy to cut my hair a little more like Phyllis Diller's.

Up until now, I'd thought animals being skinned for fur were killed by anal electrocution.

I guess when it comes to fur "nasty and gross" is a relative thing.



Jason Pitzl-Waters said...

I think many vegans HAVE to have a good sense of humor. How else does one deal with constant requests to defend PETA's stupid attention-grabbing stunts, or smile and say neutral statements when accused of upsetting someone for not eating the non-vegan cookies they brought to work.

But then I eat honey, so I am "unclean" by strict vegan standards.

LaReinaCobre said...

Fortunately, I have yet to meet a militant vegan. The author of that article repeated himself several times. I think he just wanted to come up with half a dozen ways to describe nutty PETA members.

TheCSO said...

I promise that the Japanese Gadget Toilet will be on a GFCI.. oh wait, you meant of the animals. Nevermind.

TheCSO said...

On a more serious point, I have known one very militant ("Look at this great gas mask! I got it off a COP!") vegan, and that was.. interesting.

I once asked him about the evidence that plants experience a sort of "pain" analogous to what the less complex animals experience. (I wouldn't call it 'pain' myself in either case..) His answer, and I can at least respect the integrity of this, was that he's a kingdomist. Anything in the animal kingdom? It's wrong to eat, unless of course it's people, since they could CHOOSE to be eaten. (Did I mention he was rather extreme?) But anything in the plant kingdom, who cares. As great a phrase as "I'm bigoted against plants" is, his real point was that the line has to be drawn somewhere, and he'd chosen the kingdoms as his line. This was a surprisingly nuanced position, with room for others to feel differently, and it still kind of surprises me that he held it.

He actually had a pretty similar position about fur. It was *wrong* for Americans, say, to wear fur, because they had other options. But if you were somewhere that fur was the only practical option, then it wasn't all that bad, really. That he believed Russians who couldn't afford Gore-Tex weren't going to Hell still surprises me, too.

Oh, and his opinion of PETA was that they were a bunch of wackos. 'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

How is the Japanese Gadget Toilet doing? Are you glad you got it?

TheCSO said...

Haven't yet. I'm still half planning to get one, but for now it's in the realm of "ways to make CC roll her eyes". They ARE nifty..

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