Dear "Franz," (a postscript)

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Photo via gwenael.piaser

A few days ago, I posted a snarky little missive addressed to “Franz,” an angry, speciesist troll who left several (now deleted) comments in response to this post. At the time, I gave little thought to his all-too-predictable ranting before deleting the comments, however, upon further reflection, I kind of wish I’d left them up. So much to deconstruct!

Franz’s initial comment left me wondering whether he was an uber-militant vegan, or just another speciesist troll. In it, he noted that he’s an Ohio resident, and yes, all “pig farms” are like the one depicted in Death on a Factory Farm. And anyone who thinks otherwise is “fucking ignorant.” And furthermore, unless a “morsel of meat” has never crossed your lips, you’re a “fucking hypocrite” for criticizing factory farming.

He followed that up with an obviously speciesist rant about vegans (like myself, presumably) who spend (“waste”) time on animal advocacy issues when there are More Important Things to worry about. Who cares about the dismemberment of fully conscious pigs, when millions of Humans have died in the “civil unrest” in Darfur? And, ZOMG, what about the peoples?, and so on and so forth.

Obviously, anyone who spends more than a reactionary thirty seconds considering the issue can see what an utter load of bullshit anthropocentric excrement it is. For starters, we can play this game forever: Who cares about the rape of women in Darfur when other women are being murdered? Who cares about genocide in Darfur when there’s an AIDS epidemic in (Southern) Africa? Who cares about AIDS when the entire human population is threatened by climate change? Ranking oppressions is an exercise in futility. Who gets to decide which injustice is the most egregious – and thus the most worthy of our attention? Could it be the oppressors, hmmmm?

(FWIW, hop on over to any A-list feminist blog, and you can see the same dishonest attacks leveled at women who dare to criticize “trivial” examples of misogyny in Western cultures: Who cares about “Fat Princess” when women are forced into hijabs in Islamic countries!?!?1! This line of “reasoning” is nothing but a smokescreen, and a transparent one at that.)

Not to mention, such an argument assumes that we can only care about and work on a single issue at any one time; that different forms of oppression and social injustice exist separately and are wholly independent of one another, as if in a void; that one’s compassion, kindness, justice and ethics towards one marginalized group will not inform a person’s attitudes and actions towards other marginalized groups; and that a being’s compassion is a finite pie that must be doled out a slice at a time. Wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.

But I digress. The most interesting part of Franz’s rant came in the second comment. By this point, my eyes were glazing over, but I’ll try to paraphrase as best I can. Franz implored me to consider the story of some dude whose wife and (three?) children had been murdered. I forget the man’s name, but seeing as Franz mentioned the case directly after scolding me for not personally rescuing the entire population of Darfur, I assume that the murders were a part of said genocide.

What about John Q. Smith, whose wife and children were murdered and dismembered right in front of him? Don’t you care about him?

The “casual” sexism inherent in this sentence didn’t hit me until a few hours later. Here, John Q. Smith’s (unnamed) wife and children are the primary victims: it is they who were murdered and dismembered. While I’ve no doubt that this is traumatic for John, the crimes committed against him (being forced to watch as his wife and children were murdered and dismembered) are nowhere near as serious as the crimes committed against the wife and children (murder and dismemberment). They lost their lives, while John was allowed to live.

Yet, the way Franz frames the sentence, you’d think the most horrific abuses were reserved for John. Franz doesn’t ask “What about this woman and her children, who were murdered and dismembered?” – rather, he saves the bulk of his pity for John, whose wife and children were murdered and dismembered. To Franz, John’s wife and children are not even worthy of names – they’re some man’s wife and children, i.e., property, and that’s all we need to know. Seriously, we may as well identify the woman and children with numbers and ear tags. You know, like “livestock.”

(More below the fold…)

Dear "Franz,"

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Re: your attempt to denigrate my ethics by implying that I care about non-human animals to the exclusion of human animals – YOU FAIL.

And also, please to read a blog’s comment policy before trolling, mkay?

As per said comment policy, yes, you are banned, so don’t bother. That is, unless you’d like to share with everyone the steps you’re taking to end the genocide in Darfur.

{{hugs}}

Kelly

*jawdrop*

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Yeah, I know it’s the New York Post…and maybe this is their misguided attempt at “satire” (dog, I hope this is supposed to be satirical!)….but still. FELONIOUS BALL OF FUR DESERVED EVERY BLOW – WTF!?

THE stupid cat had it coming.

Forgive me, all you animal- rights nuts, you freaky lovers of things furry, fierce and woefully incontinent. I’ve got something to say to all assorted people who’ve got nothing better to do with their days than stick their noses in another man’s litter box.

The dead cat at the center of a whacked-out catricide trial now eating up precious court time and tax dollars in downtown Manhattan is no innocent wittle victim.

PHOTOS: Man On Trial For Cat Killing

Norman the Cat, who was pummeled to death last year at the age of 8 by an inarguably hot, allegedly drunk, former Met minor leaguer and bit-part actor named Joseph Petcka, had serious issues.

The first of which may have been his name.

Owner Lisa Altobelli testified yesterday that she named Norman after the zhlubby character Norm from “Cheers” – “my favorite show.” Norman Bates sounds more accurate.

No one likes to see a little frisky drowning in a pool of his own blood. Well, not many.

But Petcka had grown tragically fixated on the idea of getting along with the pet pussy that Altobelli called “my little buddy.” He wrote in his diary that he’d made “progress” getting the pea-brained flea bag to allow Petcka to pet him.

Early on March 27, 2007, Altobelli testified, Petcka had too much to drink. She said he chanted, in a weird, sing-songy voice, “Nor-man. Nor-man!”

So Altobelli did what anyone overly attached to a neurotic hairball would do when danger was afoot: She left Petcka alone in her apartment with her beloved cat.

Hours later, Altobelli returned. She found the puss under a table.

“He was cold,” she said, crying crocodile tears and hanging her head petulantly.

Petcka claims the thing sank his teeth into his hand. So he had to violently knock him away.

Innocent victim? Or kitty provocateur?

Why can’t we just ask Petcka to clean a few hundred litter boxes, and end this fiasco?

Petcka, if you couldn’t discern from the dreck above, is currently on trial for killing his girlfriend’s cat Norman – pummeling him to death with his fists. Petcka’s “defense” is that Norman attacked him, thus justifying the beating. Trouble is, Norman’s declawed. And, erm, even if he weren’t – there are other ways to deal with an angry cat. It’s a fucking cat, ferchrissakes, not a cougar.

Petcka is a liar, a psychopath, an animal- and (future) woman-abuser. He allegedly killed Norman in a jealous rage because Altobelli loved the cat more than him. A woman who cared for an innocent, fluffy, unconditionally loving sentient being more than her cold, unfeeling asswipe of a boyfriend – you don’t fucking say!

If you’d like to fire off a complaint to the New York Post, here’s there online form for submitting letters to the editor. Andrea Peyser – the sub-human who wrote this piece – can be reached at andrea.peyser@nypost.com.

Please keep the misogyny and death threats to a minimum, people; instead of calling her a bitch or cunt or suggesting that you send your own C-list actor over to her place so that she, too, can experience the joy of being beaten to a bloody pulp, why not remind her of the link between animal abuse and interpersonal violence?

Also, here are a few related petitions you can sign, if so inclined:

NY Post Columnist Says Beaten Cat Deserved to Die!

Celeb. Boyfriend Kills Girlfriends Cat in Jealous Rage

(Crossposted from.)

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DawnWatch: NY Times reprimanded by its public editor for "Death By Veganism" piece. 6/24/07

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Working title: Nina Planck, spanked.

Photo via Art Freak

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jun 24, 2007 7:53 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: NY Times reprimanded by its public editor for “Death By Veganism” piece. 6/24/07

All those who wrote to the New York Times protesting Nina Planck’s “Death by Veganism” op-ed (you’ll find the DawnWatch alert about it at http://tinyurl.com/2b3sp5) can give yourselves a big pat on the back. Your outcry was registered.

The New York Time’s current public editor is Clark Hoyt. The Times tells us, “Clark Hoyt is the readers’ representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column will appear on Sundays at least twice monthly.”

According to Wikipedia, the New York Times established the position of Public Editor in response to the 2003 Jayson Blair scandal. Wikipedia explains “The job of the public editor is to supervise the implementation of proper journalism ethics at a newspaper, and to identify and examine critical errors or omissions, and to act as a liaison to the public. They do this primarily through a regular feature on a newspaper’s editorial page.”

The public editor’s column in the Sunday, June 24, New York Times is headed, “The Danger of the One-Sided Debate.” (Page WK14)

Hoyt tells us that two recent columns by guest contributors caused enormous reader outcries. The most recent was by Ahmed Yousef, a spokesman for Hamas. Hoyt quotes a reader, who wrote that such a piece ”isn’t balanced journalism, it is more the dissemination of propaganda in the spirit of advocacy journalism.” While Hoyt did not agree with Yousef’s piece, he does contend:

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Responses to "Death by Veganism" — 5/21-5/23/07

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

If you’re interested in reading more veg*n responses to the insipid “Death by Veganism” missive, do check out…

May 23, 2007 Vegan Outreach e-Newsletter:: An Irresponsible Attack

The Veg Blog» Blog Archive » Standing on a Shaky Planck

isachandra: Meat Eating Parents Starve Baby!

FYI, you can always keep up to date with my reading list via delicious: http://del.icio.us/easyvegan. You know, just in case I don’t already pass along enough reading material.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: May 24, 2007 3:39 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Responses to “Death by Veganism” — 5/21-5/23/07

Most of us have heard about the sad case of Crown Shakur, a baby born three months premature, whose parents starved him to death on a diet of only soy milk and apple juice. Unfortunately, we have also heard that his parents are vegan, as that has been announced in every headline about the case. If the boy had starved on cows’ milk and apple juice (as a premature baby might, if not given human breast milk or formula) I doubt the headlines would have announced “Omnivores convicted of Manslaughter.”

The worst headline, garnering the most attention and thereby heading up the most emailed story of the day, was the “Death by Veganism.” That phrase headlined food author Nina Planck’s rant on the Monday, May 21, New York Times editorial page. The page editors, not the author, are responsible for op-ed headlines, and Planck’s article, while including some misleading statements against the vegan diet, did not quite match the headline. The article wasn’t 100% bad (only 95%) — it did include some important points about B12 and Omega 3s. But contrary to Planck’s claims, some of the world’s most renowned doctors (including the late Dr Benjamin Spock in the last edition of his book before his death) recommend vegan diets for children as far superior to standard diets.

I did not rush to send Planck’s article out on DawnWatch as I knew it was being responded to widely and competently from within the vegetarian community. Today, along with the article, I can share six letters that appeared yesterday in response to it, four of them commenting positively on vegan diets. Below them I will share a particularly strong column from a non-vegan food writer who was appalled by Planck’s piece.

First, a brief overview and link to Monday’s “Death by Veganism” New York Times op-ed:

(More below the fold…)

‘The War on Terra’, for kids!

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Behold – the NRA’s idea of those crazy Animal Rights Terrorists:

The Animal Rights Terrorists (from the NRA's 'Freedom in Peril')

Complete with hairy-legged, Birkenstock-wearing feminists, dynamite-toting spotted owls, angry cocks (no doubt wielding The Bird Flu), and attack lobsters, the NRA’s graphic novel “Freedom in Peril” is an exercise in stereotyping. Good for a laugh, though. It’s so absurd, it’s funny. Seriously, how could I get offended in the face of such ridiculousness?

What does irritate me is the conflation of animal rights advocates with other leftists: feminists, socialists, environmentalists, secularists, and – yes – gun-haters. (And, um gang members. Brown ones, of course. Do they come in any other color?)

While I don’t mind the NRA churning out such idiotic caricatures of us, please, don’t imply that we have the support of other radical anti-ism activists. We don’t. Speaking for myself, I do advocate on behalf of other disenfranchised groups: women, minorities, the impoverished, GLBT persons, those with mental disorders. Speaking from experience, many other animal rights activists I’ve encountered support these causes as well. However, it’s a one-way street: there’s very little crossover to our side.

Case in point: the civil liberties of animal rights terrorists activists aren’t even worth the ACLU’s time. Yup, we’re lower down on the food chain than Fred Phelps and NAMBLA. Indeed, I keep up with a number of liberal blogs, and “those animal rights extremists” are one of the few topics on which the bloggers and their trolls can routinely agree (to rag) on.

On the other hand, vegankid calls for animal rightists to integrate other progressive issues with their own activism:

So the point i am getting at is that we need to be careful not to view ourselves, vegans, as standing upon an ethical pedestal. Just because we don’t consume animal products does not give us moral high ground. If we wish veganism as a movement to grow, then veganism must become informed by all movements for justice, compassion, and non-violence. Rather than limiting ourselves to non-humyn animal suffering, we must also critically approach ability, gender, class, race, age, size, sexuality, and other categorizations that have been used to create violent hierarchies. To do this, we must put a great deal of effort on our own persynal growth and awareness.

So perhaps the internets are just giving me a skewed perception of the animal rights movement and its insularity in regards to other causes? Thoughts?

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