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choking the chicken

Banned Books Week is in full swing: participate.


choking the chicken

United Poultry Concerns, a group "dedicated to the Compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl," is protesting AFLAC advertisments "that represent ducks in dangerous, unnatural, and degrading situations."

The leader of this fine organization, Karen Davis, has also suggested that "it is speciesist to think that the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center was a greater tragedy than what millions of chickens endured that day and what they endure every day."

I don't even know what to say to that.

Oh, but there's more.

Orbitz, a discount airline company, is running a chicken cartoon ad that says: "Pluck the chicken and find the low fares" with an arrow pointing to the chicken saying, "Pluck me!" If you run the mouse over the bird's tail, he/she says "Ouch" and the feathers disappear, and the bird's rump turns pink. The top of the ad says: Orbitz.com - WashingtonPost.com.

There is nothing funny about pulling feathers from a live bird or putting this idea in the public domain.

Someone please tell them that it is not a "live" bird. It is a cartoon. I'm sure if my children see that ad they will run outside looking for chickens to pluck.

Do these activist groups not see the difference between reality and fantasy? What is the point of protesting every time a cartoon chicken gets choked? Believe it or not, people do teach their children the difference between fake violence and real violence. And honestly, not once during any of those AFLAC ads (that my kids love, mainly for the way the duck says "AFLACK"), did either of my children, nor myself or my husband, have the urge to run out and put a duck in a harmful situation. Get a grip, people.

Then there's my other favorite group, PETA. The most recent PETA-file has them protesting a church pig roast in Pennsylvania. Said a PETA spokesperson:

If the pig roast goes on as planned, "in good Christian tradition, we will probably bear witness of some sort," he said, adding, "although I wouldn't rule out turning over tables."

I have no beef (pun intended) with animal activists and vegans. What I do take issue with is people imposing their beliefs on others by disrupting their lives, taking physical action, harassing, or otherwise trying to coerce others to conform to their views or suffer the consequences.

This holds true not only for animal rights activists, but the environmentalists who want to slap their bumper stickers on my car or the anarchists whose "scavenger hunt" includes breaking windows and giving police cars flat tires or the religious pamphleteers who knock on my door and refuse to leave.

Even if I believe in your cause, I will never support your organization if you resort to these tactics. I will never support you if you confuse fact with fiction or get your panties in a bunch over cartoon treatment of animals. I will never in a million years support you if you compare the death of chickens to the death of thousands of people at the hands of terrorists. I will not support you if your means of getting your point across includes destroying someone's property or shoving scary literature in my kids' faces.

Extreme activism does not further your cause, it only diminishes it.


I think you just said in your last paragraph everything I could have said. I only have one more to add - I'm really sick of people telling me that when bad things happen to me it's because God is angry or when good things happen to me it's because God made it happen or if I don't go to church I'm going to hell. I really have no problem with what people want to believe or what gets them through the day, but don't push it on me. My belief system is my own. Fundamentally I think that if I'm a good person, do and say good things, stay within the law and don't harm anyone then I'm going to live a decent life and be surrounded by others who live just like me.

[Sighs Deeply]

The perfect response to activist whackos :-)

I couldn't agree more. Here's a good example. My husband works for a major magazine publisher. They publish a number of magazines, including a few of the top name fashion books. The owner of the company had no position on fur/anti-fur, until a PETA activist burst into the office of the editor-in-chief of one of his flagship books - security wasn't as tight then, now you can't get into the building without a keycard - while the owner was in there for a meeting with said editor-in-chief, and began throwing around red paint. To spite them, the owner decreed that all his fashion magazines would be pro-fur. Exactly the opposite of what the moron with the paint was trying to accomplish.

I've never understood what makes those people tick. Do they believe that their victims will suddenly see the light simply because they've been doused in red paint or they have to pay money to restore the finish on their car after a bumper sticker's been put there against their will? Personally, as has been stated in examples here, I think that would make me angry and would have the opposite effect. And I'd like to know why they're not out there protesting Warner Bros. and the Cartoon Network. All those Bugs Bunny cartoons where Daffy Duck was injured in some way -- sometimes by Elmer Fudd's shotgun -- and who can forget all the injuries that Wile E. Coyote suffered at the hands of the Roadrunner? Coyotes are animals too, why aren't they being defended? A.L.F. liked eating cats, is PETA trying to pull those reruns off the air?

I think I'm going to print up a t-shirt that says, "Extreme Radical Activists: Not the Coldest Beers in the Fridge."

You mean the AFLAC duck isn't real?!
And that chicken isn't either?
I don't even want to hear about the easter bunny.

I was going to say something else until I read this comment above about cartoon violence to animals, a subject near and dear to my heart, since I enjoy watching Tom & Jerry cartoons with my kids, and laughing until I weep. In recent years, some of the more violent cartoons really have been censored, which I find sad in a stupid way.

With regard to living animals, I do have something against driving entire species into extinction. I have less sympathy with individual farm animals, and often eat them myself, although I do think they should be treated humanely. I don't think there really is such a thing as "animal rights" since rights are part of some sort of social contract, if I am not mistaken, implying some sort of responsibilities as well, and you don't hear anyone talking about animal responsibilities. A few years ago, an animal rights group showed films of animal transport and slaughter to my daughter's grade school class without obtaining or asking our permission beforehand. She came home quite traumatized. This achieved their desired goal, I suppose; she's not much of a meat-eater. I'd still like to break their arms, though.

I do, however, still like the idea of throwing factory effluent onto the desks of the executives responsible, but that's just me. As much as I dislike cars, especially big ones, I can't get behind damaging private property.

One animal rights activist criticized the production of honey as the exploitation of worker bees. PETA activists would often protest in front of a local lab dressed in fuzzy bunny suits.

I used to think these people were funny, but their violent tactics make me want to go out and buy a fur coat, celebrating with a steak dinner. Why are they so violent lately? Maybe its because many are followers of Peter Singer (linked to in the Karen Davis letter.) Singer believes in euthanasia (for people, anyway). He believes that human beings are no better than other animals, like chimpanzees in his opinion, little babies are pretty low on the evolutionary scale. He says - I think that a chimpanzee certainly has greater self-awareness than a newborn baby. . . there are some circumstances, for example, where the newborn baby is severely disabled and where the parents think that it's better that the child should not live, when killing the newborn is not at all wrong ... not like killing the chimpanzee would be."

When a duck get s offended, please let me know. AFLACK!!!

I want to speak out for all gekko's. We never use telephones. How dare you humans!

I'm thinking of that old adage (maybe from Mark Twain, maybe not) about self expression... "Your right to swing your fist ends where it hits my nose."

A protesters right to self expression stops at the point where it damages myself or my property. It would be interesting if the directors of PETA walked into an office full of Mink in live and pelt form. Perhaps a sort of reverse terrorism should happen.