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Old 08-19-05, 03:46 AM   #1
NORML54601
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PETA compares eating meat to slavery

PETA's campaign can be found here.

Quote:
KKK vs. KFC
The difference between blacks and animals.
By William Saletan
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, at 9:43 PM PT

Do animals deserve the same respect as black people?

That's the question posed in an online exhibit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The exhibit pairs a slave auction with a cattle auction, two hanging black men with a hanging steer, herded Native Americans with herded cattle, a burning black man with a burning chicken, a shackled black ankle with a chained elephant hoof, and a pygmy in a zoo with a monkey in a dress.

The introduction includes a quote from Alice Walker that says animals "were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites." A quote from Peter Singer says the suffering of enslaved animals "can only be compared with that which resulted from the centuries of tyranny by white humans over black humans."

"What is the common link between all atrocities in our society's past?" asks the opening paragraph. "The African slave trade, the massacre and displacement of Native Americans, the oppression of women, and forced child labor, were the products of a dangerous belief that those with power have the right to abuse those without it." The text concludes that "our generation still operates in the same way. The only difference is that yesterday's victims—used and abused because they were 'different' and powerless—are now of other species."

You can imagine why the exhibit has upset some people. They think it's racist. They're wrong. Racism draws invalid distinctions. PETA does the opposite: It omits valid distinctions. It equates animals, blacks, and whites, because it misunderstands the nature and history of equality. Abuses of blacks, Native Americans, and women were products of a belief in subordinating the inferior, not the powerless. We learned to respect others not for their disabilities but for their abilities. That's why we'll come around eventually—and only partially—to animal rights.

I say this as an animal rights sympathizer. If you ask yourself which practices of our age might come to be seen in hindsight as wrongs we didn't yet comprehend, the increasingly unnecessary killing of higher animals for food is high on the list. But PETA's appeals to pity and piety don't help. Its exhibit accuses our "human-dominated society" of "tyranny," "exploitation," "cruelty," and an "oppressive mentality." It charges that we "take advantage of our power over [animals] for the sake of pleasure and profit." It bleats that they're "powerless," "weaker," and "unable to defend themselves." It asks us to be "compassionate," "caring," and "defend … oppressed groups."

This isn't how white people came to accept racial equality. Racial Attitudes in America, a comprehensive study published by Harvard University Press, offers plenty of evidence that ability was a more salient consideration than guilt or weakness. "Data collected by the National Opinion Research Center … indicate that more than half of the white population surveyed in 1942 assumed that blacks were less intelligent than whites," the study reports. Gradually, this assumption was discredited. Socioeconomic factors in IQ scores were exposed. Unions admitted blacks. President Truman integrated the military. Whites began to see blacks as peers.

By 1977, when NORC began asking people to assess various explanations of persistent social inequality, the percentage of whites who asserted black inferiority had plummeted. Over the next 19 years, the authors note,

Two of the explanations exhibit highly significant trends in opposite directions. In-born ability as an explanation was not heavily chosen (26 percent) even in 1977 when the set of questions was first asked, and by 1996 it was agreed to by only 10 percent of the white population. Taken alone, this decrease might well suggest that explanations in terms of "discrimination" have found increasing support within the white population. On the contrary, discrimination is also mentioned decreasingly, and significantly so, over time.

In other words, whites didn't accept blame for blacks' problems. What they accepted was that blacks had equal ability.

Something like that will gradually happen between humans and animals. Not the equality part—sorry, PETA—but the ability part. Every week we learn something new about animal brainpower. Crows fashion leaves and metal into tools. Ravens understand spying. Pigeons deceive each other. Rats run mazes in their dreams. Prairie dogs make different sounds to denote different animals. Dolphins teach their young to use sponges as protection. Elephants can mimic trucks. Chimps can pick locks. Parrots can work with numbers. Dogs can learn words from context. Caterpillars can build webs to catch snails. Octopuses can use some arms to disguise themselves while using other arms to sneak away.

As technology makes it easier to do without animals for food and labor—a trend illustrated by cars in the present, and laboratory-grown meat in the future—our increasing awareness of animal intelligence will prod us to give up the worst offenses, starting with butchery of higher mammals. We won't do this because we pity them for being locked up. We'll do it because we respect them for picking locks. And we'll still use chimps to test our drugs, because the faculties worth respecting in them are that much more powerful in us. "We Are All Animals," PETA pleads in the title of its exhibit. Yes, we are. But some animals are more equal than others.

William Saletan is Slate's national correspondent and author of Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War.
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Old 08-19-05, 04:06 AM   #2
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Can't we just classify them as a terrorist organization at this point?
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Old 08-19-05, 04:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
Can't we just classify them as a terrorist organization at this point?
Can't we just classify them as a cult at this point?
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Old 08-19-05, 04:30 AM   #4
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Old 08-19-05, 05:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockmjd23
Can't we just classify them as a terrorist organization at this point?
What, animals or Peta?
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Old 08-19-05, 05:59 AM   #6
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Old 08-19-05, 07:00 AM   #7
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hey peta, it's widely accepted by scientists (but I won't go so far as to say fact) that what allowed modern humans to evolve was the inclusion of meat in the diet.
brain size and tool use drastically increased at the same time the fossil record shows that animals were being used for food
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Old 08-19-05, 07:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikehunt
hey peta, it's widely accepted by scientists (but I won't go so far as to say fact) that what allowed modern humans to evolve was the inclusion of meat in the diet.
brain size and tool use drastically increased at the same time the fossil record shows that animals were being used for food
It's probably equally true that desire for meat is what drove brain size and tool use. Early man used it primarily to kill critters.

Chimps also love meat, but they are really bad hunters, and don't get much except for a few monkeys.
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Old 08-19-05, 07:41 AM   #9
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Say, PETA, could you send a few of your people over to my place? I need some yardwork done. Wear chicken suits with blackface and straw hats if you want, it might make a nice photo-op. That way you'll get more press and I'll get free yardwork and a chuckle. It's win-win!

[waits]
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Old 08-19-05, 08:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naughty jonny
What, animals or Peta?
sometimes both
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Old 08-19-05, 08:33 AM   #11
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Animals would be ashamed of PETA for this. Animals knew what they were doing when they signed up to become animals. They probably feel like it's their duty to protect the American freedom of eating meat. And they knew by signing up, that they too might end up in someones stomach, but thats part of the sacrifice they chose to make when they signed up to be an animal. [/sarcasm]
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Old 08-19-05, 08:36 AM   #12
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Totally insulting comparison. An animal is not a person, end of story.
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Old 08-19-05, 08:41 AM   #13
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I need to get a t-shirt that says "I'm a vegetarian, not a wacko", just so I can disassociate myself from those stupid fucks.
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Old 08-19-05, 08:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
The exhibit pairs a slave auction with a cattle auction, two hanging black men with a hanging steer, herded Native Americans with herded cattle, a burning black man with a burning chicken, a shackled black ankle with a chained elephant hoof, and a pygmy in a zoo with a monkey in a dress.
I've got to see that!
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Old 08-19-05, 08:52 AM   #15
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First they compared eating meat to the Holocaust, now slavery. I guess the comparison to terrorism is next.
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Old 08-19-05, 09:21 AM   #16
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Old 08-19-05, 09:35 AM   #17
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Erm... I'm not in the habit of eating my slaves. Ick.

And, if animals are slaves, I should be getting a lot more work out of my cow before I eat it!
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Old 08-19-05, 09:53 AM   #18
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Old 08-19-05, 10:04 AM   #19
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Couldn't they have at least used an attractive model to get their point across?
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Old 08-19-05, 10:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erasmus
Couldn't they have at least used an attractive model to get their point across?
Attractive women eat meat, lots of it.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:07 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erasmus
Couldn't they have at least used an attractive model to get their point across?

PETA does have some pretty good print ads. The Charlotte Ross one is one of my favorites.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:15 AM   #22
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This is one of my favorites, linky as it is slightly mature:

http://www.about-face.org/images/emb...ten/4/peta.jpg

Oh, and here is one of the Charlotte Ross ads in case you live under a rock:

http://www.merzhase.de/images/peta.gif

Go Franka:

http://devil-connection.com/img/arti...0504010001.jpg
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Old 08-19-05, 10:16 AM   #23
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Didn't PETA retract this a few days ago?
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Old 08-19-05, 10:17 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog
First they compared eating meat to the Holocaust, now slavery. I guess the comparison to terrorism is next.
Apparently, PETA doesn't want Jews or Blacks in their organization.
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Old 08-19-05, 10:20 AM   #25
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I likes me some Franka!

But I have to say, it used to make me laugh when I lived in Berlin and I'd run into some seriously rabid tree-huggers who'd sit in the bar lecturing me about saving our planet and how pollution is killing the animals all the while chain-smoking Camels.
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