Back when I used to display, God forbid, some conservative attitudes toward American politics, I thought the people representing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were, quite literally, out of their minds.
Come on, they protested a Victoria’s Secret runway show because a couple of super models wore fur.
And then one day I began to do some research, in which I investigated the PETA Web site and viewed some of the worst atrocities I believe that I have ever seen. At one point I had to actually stop the video because I was so disturbed by what I had seen that I thought I was going to hurl. Please keep in mind, I’m a nursing major — I’ve viewed a lot of disturbing things.
The videos, which appeared to be taped by undercover reporters, show chickens packed into unsanitary living situations, wading through their own excrement among other dead chickens. Workers on the farm are displayed as horrifically abusing the chickens by taking them by the feet and smashing their heads against whatever hard object they can find first.
A person’s hamburger probably went through similar abuse when it was a cow. That abuse includes a variety of brandings, castrations without anesthesia, sometimes being skinned alive, living among their excrement and being drugged with an enormous amounts of growth hormones and antibiotics — the usual.
Moreover, the traditionally liberal organizations often side with environmentalist groups to fight against deforestation and oil drilling that might threaten animals’ health and habitat, an issue the George Party is unconcerned with. Animal rights groups have had a less-than-friendly relationship with the president, probably because of the unwarranted FBI surveillance on those organizations by the administration in the name of counterterrorism, according to a 2005 New York Times article.
It is a mutually non-supportive relationship: Mr. Bush thinks animal rights groups are terrorists, and, in turn, the “terrorists” refuse to support him and his administration. Let me rephrase this: The government is spying on people who want to save Bambi. I think there might be some confusion about goals.
Other animal rights groups have been fighting various issues, such as product testing on animals and drilling for oil in Alaska. The Bush administration has ignored requests to protect caribou and birds in Alaska from the groups by turning over nearly 8 million acres to the big oil companies.
How about we start mobilizing alternative fuel sources for our cars, something we should have done years ago. Ethanol fuel, a very real possibility, is proved to be cheaper to the consumer while also non-threatening to the environment and animals.
A very real and pressing question surfaces: How can a majority of Republicans continue to side with big business, particularly big oil, when they are clearly violating ethical treatments for animals?
People at PETA aren’t crazy — they’re concerned — and part of their sometimes “absurd” actions, such as having America’s favorite playmate Pamela Anderson model nude in their advertisements to encourage people to boycott fur, are necessary to get their point across.
Recently, the organization unleashed a campaign to combat experimentation on gay sheep conducted by Oregon State University. Without a doubt, PETA’s behavior is far more ethical than the companies it protests.
Christopher Taylor is a senior nursing major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]