The Onion asks, "Should Animals Be Doing More For The Animal Rights Movement?"

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Much like The Colbert Report, I’m beginning to suspect that there’s an animal sympathizer working for The Onion. (See, for example, Exhibits A, B and C.)

In this piece of bizarre hilarity, the talking heads at The Onion explore whether nonhuman animals are doing enough in the fight for animal rights:
 



 
While most of this is an over-the-top caricature of the misconceptions people have about the animal rights movement, I think The Onion is spot-on when they suggest that we should drop certain “problem animals” if we’re to ever secure rights for nonhuman animals. Might I suggest the entire corporate cadre of PETA in place of the noble water buffalo? I doubt that the latter would ever be so insensitive as to don a white hood and parade around the streets of NYC or mock women for their eating disorders. Just a thought.

By the way, I apologize if this video is old hat; I stumbled upon it while clicking through to “Facebook, Twitter Revolutionizing How Parents Stalk Their College-Aged Kids” from “Next Tarantino Movie An Homage To Beloved Tarantino Movies Of Director’s Youth.” Next up: “Ex-Pedophile Shares Tips On How To Make Your Kids Less Attractive.” Labor Day: not so laborious.

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Women deserve better (and so do the animals).

Friday, August 14th, 2009


While I have a few misgivings about this latest Onion spoof – which takes PETA to task for its misogyny – overall, I think it’s spot on.

First the cons. The Onion definitely loses points for suggesting that PETA promotes veganism, when its campaigns usually just toe the vegetarian line. There’s a world of difference; the former implies that PETA is an animal rights organization, rather than the welfare group it really is. PETA being the “mouthpiece” of the animal rights movement is an all too common misconception, and it’s disappointing to see The Onion perpetuating it.

Also, while I think The Onion nails it re: PETA’s forthcoming campaign – “I’d Rather Be Raped By An Animal Than Wear Its Fur” – “It”? For serious? I don’t think I’ve ever seen PETA use the speciesist pronoun “it” in their ad materials. Nor is “it” a very AR thing to say. I live to be corrected, though.

Most importantly, I’m uncomfortable with how The Onion so smugly dismisses PETA’s nude models and protesters – women, them all – as pathetically “clueless” vis-à-vis their exploitation. Just because a woman disagrees with me re: the ethics and efficacy of nude activism, doesn’t make her a stupid waif, at once deserving of scorn and in need of rescue. That’s, um, sexist.

On the other hand, many of PETA’s supporters are frustratingly myopic and dense. Take, for example, the response to PETA’s recent “Save the Whales” campaign, in which the “whales” are actually – wait for it – fat omnivores. The concept involves a hefty dose (pun most certainly not intended) of fat-shaming and sizeism, with little regard for how this might hurt marginalized humans – vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. (Note to PETA: animal advocates come in all shapes and sizes. Just saying.)

PETA’s / PETA supporters’ defenses of nude campaigns usually – but not always – involve a similar lack of awareness: of feminist theory, of intersectionality, of the interrelatedness of dominance and oppression, and of the value of human diversity and dignity. For a cogent example of this, one need look no further than PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, who claimed that she could not possibly be sexist because she’s a woman (!). Said with a straight face, while waving her feminist card in the air, natch. (Perhaps The Onion isn’t that far off, after all.)

The Onion’s faux feminist is right when she says that women deserve better. So, too, do nonhuman animals. From all corners.

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Breaking: Gymnast Shawn Johnson Put To Sleep After Breaking Leg

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The Onion reports:
 


 
This video is chock full of snarky goodness, but my favorite part?

“Shawn was only 17 years old, so we never got to breed her.”

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Breaking: Human Head Found In Hamburger

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

The Onion reports:
 


 

In related news,

 


 

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Nor does he come with an "off" button.

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

“Each year hundreds of dogs are abandoned because their owners are tired of playing with them. A dog is not a toy.”

Fundación Altarriba - A Dog is Not a Toy

Fundación Altarriba - A Dog is Not a Toy 2

(For those who cannot view the two print ads, each one depicts a forlorn dog, lying abandoned amongst piles of old, broken children’s toys: dolls, stuffed animals, buckets, soccer balls. Each dog is Photoshopped to look a little toy-like: one has a slot on her tummy for batteries, while the other has a large plastic hole on his hind leg – perhaps he’s supposed to be a piggy bank? The text reads: “Each year hundreds of dogs are abandoned because their owners are tired of playing with them. A dog is not a toy.”)

It’s sad that an ad campaign actually has to state such an obvious truism but, as the animal welfare organization Fundación Altarriba observes, hundreds of companion animals are tossed out like someone’s garbage every year (presumably, these statistics only encompass Spain, where the organization is based; the numbers run into the millions in the United States). Like unwanted or outgrown toys. But they’re not toys or garbage; they’re living, sentient beings, and bringing a dog into one’s family is a lifetime commitment – or rather, it should be treated as such – similar to adopting or birthing a child. Adoption is for life.

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"Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys"

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

The title pretty much says it all.

What *will* the mad scientists at NIH spend your tax dollars on next?

(Via Alex @ That Vegan Girl.)

(Crossposted to.)

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