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Jewish World Review August 10, 2001 / 21 Menachem-Av, 5761

Michael Long

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PETA Condemns Home Invasion and Murder of Defenseless Bull Shark -- Author's Note: The people who run People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are experts on ethics.

They have to be-how else could they so scrupulously avoid having any themselves?

PETA is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Members portray themselves as harmless practitioners of street theater who want nothing more than a little loving kindness for dogs and cats. But take a look at their positions. They are in opposition to-are you ready for this?-Easter eggs. Wool sweaters. Milk. Circus elephants. And, especially, life-saving experiments that involve animals.

PETA will go down in history as the 21st century word for "Luddite." PETA is a clear and present danger to the progress of modern medicine in general, the longevity of individuals in particular, and the way we live now, precisely.

My original intention was to offer the following parody by itself, but, frankly, PETA is so off its nut that I figured readers would believe I made up most of the positions I attribute to the group. So for your convenience, I've linked topics in the text to the PETA website, where you can read for yourself: the folks at PETA aren't just crazy, their actions directly and indirectly hurt people, every day.

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- PETA today announced that Jessie Arbogast, the 11-year-old boy bitten by a bull shark July 6, "got what he deserved."

"A coma's too good for him," said PETA spokesperson Neil List. "The price for his life is that an innocent shark is now dead."

Arbogast was injured as he attacked a defenseless bull shark after invading its home. When Arbogast kicked and splashed in water near the shark, the animal acted in self-defense and ate Arbogast's right arm. Not content to accept this fair payback of amputation for criminal trespassing, Arbogast's uncle wrestled the shark to the beach, removed the food from its mouth, and then killed the helpless animal in cold blood.

"Sharks live in the water-little boys don't," said List. "If this hooligan went into a neighbor's home uninvited, he would have been in big trouble. Yet he went into the shark's home and suddenly everybody blames the shark."

Hospital officials claim that young Arbogast has spent the last four weeks in a coma, though animal rights supporters suspect this is merely a front for the abhorrent sleeping habits of a lazy child.

"They have everything to gain, drumming up support for this little shark-murderer," said List. "For all we know, he's been on an animal-murdering spree since this incident happened-probably hunting, fishing,   eating hamburgers, even keeping goldfish in a bowl."

PETA's condemnation of the shark murderer Arbogast joins a long and proud tradition of the group's opposition to other abusive organizations such as March of Dimes and events such as the Alaskan Iditarod; abusive holidays such as Easter; and general abuses such as wool sweaters, fishing, and milk.

Tragically, not all PETA campaigns are successful. "Alas, we failed in our recent effort to deny Timothy McVeigh a last meal that included meat. And that's a shame: Now he's killed a cow, and her blood cries up from the ground to us like a silent moo. Also, I understand that maybe he hurt some people in Oklahoma."

Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA and author of the quote, "There really is no rational reason for saying a human being has special rights. ... A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson said Ms. Newkirk was busy tossing pottery and mumbling to herself.

In a related story, PETA spokesperson Neil List explained the organization's seemingly hypocritical silence on abortion. "Sure, we argue for animal rights by supporting the defense of all sentient life forms that cannot adequately defend themselves-the mentally disabled and children, for instance. We're even sympathetic with people who don't want to eat plants. But, come on, be reasonable. If we actually held to our principles and said abortion was wrong, too, how do you think that would go over with all our trendy friends? Do you seriously believe we'd get invited to parties anymore? Well, do you? Didn't think so."

List explained that the apparent hypocrisy is further avoided by "[making] it clear to others that to disagree with us is to be morally repugnant and, worse, terribly uncool. Anyway, if you do disagree with us, we will lobby the government to silence your freedom of speech. Not that we'd destroy your lab or anything, though we certainly won't condemn anyone for doing that."

"We feel that the best way to engage in rational persuasion is to line up the most informed folks we can find-you know, Pamela Anderson, James Cromwell, Steven Seagal, and the occasional topless or naked model."

"Okay, you got me," said List. "We're not about logic, we're about public relations. If we were really interested in truth, we would respect the opinions and rights of others, and not try to force our opinions into law or, say, create a tax on meat. Or maybe we would tell people about the links between vegetarianism and toxicity, arthritis, and cancer alongside our hype. But come on, that ain't gonna happen. Propaganda, attitude and marketing to children -that's where it's at."

For interviews, contact PETA directly. For information about a specific topic, feel free to follow PETA's lead and twist the truth any way you like.

JWR contributor Michael Long is a a director of the White House Writers Group. Comment by clicking here.


07/27/01: Dispatch From The Front: The Gun Control War
07/20/01: Summer song
07/03/01: It's a Wonderful Recount

© 2001, Michael Long