Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Random notes on PETA, with politically correct linkage

The circus is coming to town.

Argh, here we go again.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is demonstrating. I would like to demonstrate, but not with PETA. In fact, some PETA members demonstrated yesterday here in downtown Greenville and... yes, you guessed it, one attractive female got naked, or nearly naked in the winter cold.

Can I ask why they keep doing this? The naked-girl routine? Does this mean we should be clothing the poor animals? What is the purpose? What's the frequency, Kenneth?

And why is it always a bombshell gal that gets naked? I mean, if we are discussing circus elephants... shouldn't a chubby gal (like me) get naked instead? Isn't that closer to what we are talking about?

But then, how would that go over? People might well ask: why is she doing that? Are we supposed to clothe the elephants? But see, with a young and attractive female, people just GAPE and forget their sense.

Does anyone honestly believe that the GREENVILLE NEWS would take 44 photos of two everyday PETA demonstrators, if one wasn't nearly-naked and covered with fake-blood?

Graphic at left from strength never power.

And yes, as a former Yippie, I get it. I really do... getting media attention in our jaded times is important and necessary. I have enthusiastically participated in several rather bizarre political actions in my life, wearing chadors, clown make-up, Nixon masks (while blowing bubbles!) and such. But when the Yippies wanted naked women in a political action, the women would always demand naked men accompany them in said action, which was only fair. (Yippies being what they were, this was never a problem.) PETA has apparently never heard of that, and I never see naked men in their demos, only women. Why?

Anyway, if yall want me to go out there (fully clothed, I do not want to frighten the horses) and hold a sign about the elephants, I will be happy to do that. My email is in my profile, drop me a line. But this will be as an independent person... not as a PETA member, which I'm not and won't be, unless they cut this shit out.


More cool stuff/linkage:

Rural Advancement Foundation International USA - cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just and environmentally sound family farms: While focusing on North Carolina and the southeastern United States, we also work nationally and internationally.

Southwest Women's Fiber Arts Collective - connects fiber artists with one another and with opportunities to sell work, learn new skills, teach, and secure materials. SWFAC performs outreach to women and children by teaching fiber arts: We promote the concept of cottage industry as a means of fostering economic self-sufficiency and artistic development for women and others working in the fiber arts.

Local Harvest - a handy-dandy online guide to locate locally grown food: Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. (Of course, you know you shouldn't be eating meat, at all, ever, under any circumstances, but if you DO, please eat meat with no hormones or chemicals, grass-fed, free-range, blah de blah.)

Equal Time, since I mentioned meat!

Pangea Vegan Store - sells a very nice fake leather jacket that looks real. (Unfortunately, it costs about the same.)

Ethical Planet - sells all kinds of neat stuff...including some of my favorite candles from Way Out Wax!

My post about calorie restriction last week brought some private emails from people who wanted to ask me some questions but didn't feel okay posting. That's fine, people, keep those cards and letters coming in! It all makes me feel dreadfully important. And let me assure you, at this time of year, when they start giving out all the bigshot blog awards to 23-year-olds, I really need that.

One person asked me which "woo-woo vegan cookbooks" I was talking about... so here are some:

Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz - comes with a blurb from Joan Jett, of all people. (This cookbook is popular among people I know.)

How It All Vegan!: Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet and The Garden of Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. Sarah has her own website... and both of them have fabulous tattoos!

But the best vegan recipes are from my friend Jackie, at her blog THE VEGAN DIET! And the best vegetarian/vegan publication overall is still VegNews.

Listening to: Joy Division - A Means to an End
via FoxyTunes


Rachel said...

The full name of the organization has an asterisk at the end which directs one to a qualification that women (female humans) are not animals and are thereby exempt from ethical treatment.

sheila said...

I never got the whole beautiful naked woman thing. I'd like to see a couple naked dudes standing on the streets in Cleveland though. Not in the summer...but right now. Would make for a good seinfeld follow up to the shrinkage one. lol.

And yeah, having them stand out there and humiliate themselves? That's ethical.

JoJo said...

PETA turns me off big time. I supported them in the late 80's but they go too far now.

As to a vegan diet, there is no way I'm giving up dairy. The thought of soy milk, soy cheese, etc. makes my stomach churn.

Meowser said...

What I don't get is why musicians who I respect, who otherwise seem like intelligent, thoughtful people, support PETA. Emmylou Harris? Nellie McKay? The Indigo Girls? Why?? (Aren't there plenty of other vegetarian and animal-rights groups they could support instead, that aren't being total boneheads about it?)

I suppose PETA made its reputation back when they hadn't turned into flamebaiters yet, when they talked about things like vivisection and lab-testing cosmetics on animals, and they were influential in those areas in a positive way. But between the women-in-cages thing, and all their autism and fat bashing nowadays, I wouldn't give them a dime even if I did go vegan.

Lacey said...

You folks might want to check the actual news: PETA uses men nearly as often as women and would use more except that women willing to get partially naked are easier to find. And you answered the "why" question yourself: they get news this way. They get attention focused on the plight of the animals. And the pain and misery that these animals endure is, to some of us, far more important than false modesty. Oh, and the pain and misery endured by the cows who are producing the milk that there's just "no way" Jojo will give up. Heaven forbid you have to bear the discomfort of drinking soy milk - let them have their babies ripped away so that you can have the milk they produce for the babies, right? As long as you are comfortable.

jovan b. said...

Imagine if this was January 21, 1985 and PETA did this. Readers of this blog know how cold it got on that day.

Renee said...

Like you I take issue with PETA. I understand that the organization has good goals but their organizing and protesting methods are reductive to women and people of color. They continually defend their position by claiming difficulty getting media attention but all these messages end up doing is treating like sexual objects while their message gets lost in the lust. PETA will never receive a moment of support from me until they prove that that they believe that humans are just as valuable as animals.

mikeb302000 said...

I don't like PETA either, but I suppose they might be doing some good in gathering media attention through their gimmicks, as you said.

I'm a vegetarian, and although I really like the vegan philosophy, I'm too lazy to give up cheese. It's not laziness as much as a kind of selfishness. I like it too much and just don't want to give it up. Period.

Amber Rhea said...

Oh, PETA... bless their hearts. And I mean that in the most Southern way possible.

JoJo said...

Screw you Lacey. PETA did do great work in the beginning but they just turn people off now. The message about the animals ISN'T getting through b/c PETA are being such assholes about it that everyone just rolls their eyes.

And I'm not about to drink smelly, disgusting soy milk. If you want to that's fine, but don't get on your soapbox and act all holier than thou, condemning people who don't want to drink it.

DaisyDeadhead said...

I'm in fundamental disagreement with the vegan concept that using milk (or making butter/cheese/etc), eggs, silk, or honey, necessarily hurts animals. I do understand that the way these particular businesses are currently managed, they are exploitative and harmful...but is there no possible way vegans believe we can't live in symbiosis with animals, using them in working relationships respectfully--but not hurting them or inflicting pain? As we treat our own pets, for example. Many family farms typically had a "milk cow" that was treated virtually like a family pet. Benedictine monks were vegetarian but used their goat herds to make cheese, butter, etc. The goats got to eat excellent grain that was groan just for them by the monks, and were well cared for, sometimes even brought inside monasteries during especially harsh winter weather. In return, the Benedictines got first-class goat milk and cheese all year long.

What's wrong with these uses of animals, that are respectful, pain-free and involve "exchange" of goods and services? I see no problem here, which is why I can't behind the whole vegan philosophy, although I do respect their adherence to the bottom line.

DaisyDeadhead said...

And the Benedictines used to groan, while the grain was grown! Yeesh, sorry about that! :P

Craig? said...

hopefully I don't come off as a "holier-than-thou" vegan, but I gotta agree with Lacey. Our selfish dietary likes and dislikes are extremely trivial when it comes to the pain and suffering these animals endure.

and "DaisyDeadHead", the old idea of the "family cow" has gone the way of the dodo. Long story short, it's just not cost effective to truly take care of these animals. As long as they are property of corporations, their very basic self interests (raising their young, roaming around freely) will always be compromised or non-existent. plus, cows must be constantly kept pregnant to keep producing milk. The way it works now, we force them to get pregnant (I would hate to have THAT job - look up how they do it).

honestly though, these animals were still exploited and eventually slaughtered even in these supposed small time symbiotic relationships anyhow. Even if you were horrible enough to keep your "pet" cow pregnant all the time, what would you do with all the babies? meat, right? unless you are uber-rich and have money to spend on your family of bovines! Also, old farmers killed their cows prematurely anyway (can't imagine how, especially after forming a half a decade bond) - female cows, like any female mammal, can't produce milk their whole life. once you dry up, you're BEEF.

bottom line, it's not sustainable, practical, OR necessary. the other animals don't exist for us. how arrogant of us that we would even think that they do.

Daisy said...

and "DaisyDeadHead", the old idea of the "family cow" has gone the way of the dodo.

Really? Because I can find one less than three miles from here. I pass her on the way to the airport. She lives on less than an acre, with a mule.

(You should leave the city once in awhile.)

And you undoubtedly speak of the USA and similar countries. In Mexico? Guatemala? Honduras? A cow makes you rich in the rural areas. They would never KILL the cow, it brings them milk, cheese, cream, buttermilk, yogurt. (Maybe at the end of her life, but not while she is productively putting out milk.) The same is true for goats and their milk; chickens and their eggs.

And so, I must respectfully disagree, Craig. (OR should I say "Craig"?)