PETA Targets Donatella Versace

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced in March that its India chapter would target Donatella Versace with billboards.

The billboards feature pictures of Donatella with the copy, “Fur is worn by beautiful animals and ugly people.”

PETA’s Dan Mathews tells Indian newspaper Mid-Day,

Donatella’s selfish, cruel nature is evident in the photograph, which is in start contrast to the gentleness and beauty of the animals whose skins were stolen for her shows.

Of course, Mathews is one of the uglier animal rights activists around, having in 2000 declared his admiration for the man who murdered Gianni Versace. A profile in Genre magazine that year noted,

When asked who is among the most important men he loves of the century, he replied, “Andrew Cunanan, because he got Versace to stop doing fur.”

Someone’s got a selfish and cruel nature, and it ain’t Donatella Versace.

Source:

PETA targets violence. Hemal Ashar, Mid-Day, March 20, 2005.

Kyoto Protocol Goes Into Effect Without United States

The Kyoto Protocol went into effect on February 16, without the world’s largest generator of greenhouse gases, the United States. In addition, the protocol exempts large greenhouse gas generating countries such as China and India from its requirements.

Under the terms of the treaty, it would be ratified once countries representing 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions had signed it. That point was reach when Russia ratified the treaty in November 2004.

The United States has rejected the treaty arguing that it would be too expensive too implement controls on greenhouse gases, and that it would put the U.S. at an unfair economic disadvantage to make such changes given that China, India and other countries will not be forced to make the same cuts.

President Bill Clinton signed the treaty in 1999, but the Senate has refused to ratify it ever since, and is unlikely to do so in the forseeable future.

Even among those countries which did ratify the treaty, reducing emissions is likely to turn into an accounting game with high-emissions countries trading emissions rights with low-emissions countries without making much of a dent in emissions. This is one of the reasons Russia changed course and finally ratified the treaty since it will likely benefit economically from such emissions trading. As the Washington Post summed it up,

Moreover, they [the United States and Australia] say, many countries, including Japan and several in the European Union, are unlikely to meet their emission-control targets and will have to buy “credits” — most likely from Russia, which will have plenty to sell because many of its industrial plants shut down during the economic meltdown in the 1990s.

“They are going to take credit for sagging economies and flat populations,” said James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Bush’s proposals for voluntary emission controls and incentives to develop clean technologies would have as much impact on American emissions as Europe would achieve under Kyoto, he said.

Critics counter that binding emissions quotas are needed to create the changes necessary to reduce the threat of global warming, but its difficult to see how a shell game in which major CO2 producers are exempt altogether will accomplish anything beyond symbolic.

Source:

Kyoto Treaty Takes Effect Today. Shankar Vedantam, The Washington Post, February 16, 2005.

Kyoto Protocol comes into force. The BBC, February 16, 2005.

Developed Countries Should Lower Trade Barriers, Period

In the wake of the devastating tsunami that parts of Asia in December, the World Trade Organization’s Supachai Panitchpakdi urged developed nations to lower trade barriers with nations hit by the tsunami.

How pathetic. The developed world should eliminate their ridiculous trade barriers with developing nations permanently. Such barriers have done far more long-term damage to the developing world than the tragic — but one-time — horrors created by the December 2004 tsunami.

Along with further worsening poverty in those countries, trade barriers directly contribute to corruption and other problems in developing nations by making it difficult for enterprising individuals to succeed in the market.

Anti-free traders shouldn’t worry, however — special interest groups here in the United States were quick to defend their particular fiefdoms from liberalization.

Deborah Long, the hack in charge of speaking for the Southern Shrimp Alliance, argued that suspending duties on Asian shrimp imports would be unfair. Lloyd Woods, who serves the same role with the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, argued that the best way to help Sri Lanka, Thailand and India wasn’t to eliminate textile tariffs against those country, but rather impose import quotes on Chinese textiles!

Straight from the land of the tariff and the home of the scared s–tless by the prospect of truly free trade.

Source:

Rich nations are urged to ease trade with affected countries. Elizabeth Becker, The New York Times, January 15, 2005.

Is PETA Training Slaughterhouse Workers?

Here’s an odd little item from India-based Express Newsline. A new slaughterhouse is being built in Delhi, India, planned for completion in December 2005. According to Express Newsline, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is involved in training workers at the slaughterhouse,

MCD will also be adopting more humane methods of slaughtering. A list of 100 butchers has already been sent to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for training on how to treat the animals. The abattoir will use methods like stunning and electric shocks before the animals is slaughtered.

Is PETA really in the business these days of training workers on the optimal way to slaughter animals?

Source:

PETA lessons for 100 Ghazipur butchers. Express News Service, February 2, 2005.

PETA Once Again Simulates Cow Slaughter in India

A brief little blurb appeared in India’s Express News Service earlier this month that read,

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will organize an awareness campaign against cow slaughter on Tuesday at the Panchwati Circle on C G Road. Dressed as ‘angel of death’ and ‘cow’, PETA activists will enact the slaughtering of a cow to create an awareness about the ill-treatment meted out to the cattle.

Alleging that these animals are treated badly at the slaughter houses, PETA plans to spread the message that ‘Leather is not vegetarian’ and promote the use of goods made from synthetic material.

I just can’t imagine a better costume for a PETA activist than the angel of death — maybe Ingrid Newkirk could dress up like that for Halloween?

Anyway, intrigued, I couldn’t find much else about this specific event, but apparently PETA has been conducting simulated cow slaughters in India for quite some time.

A press release sent out by Jason Baker in February 2001 noted that PETA planned to stage a simulated calf slaughter to protests an abattoir in front of the Gateway to India, which is a popular tourist attraction in Mumbai. According to that press release,

To draw attention to the suffering of cattle at Deonar, an ‘Angel of Death’ will beat a life-like ‘bull calf’ to death, soaking the pavement in his ‘blood’, in front of The Gateway to India while PETA members hold signs reading, ‘India: Stop Cruel Cattle transport’ and ‘Close Deonar Now’. PETA is protesting at the Gateway, Mumbai’s top tourist draw, hoping to educate both local residents and tourists about the sad state of cattle in Mumbai.

Then in October 2002, PETA’s Poorva Joshipura sent out a press release that PETA would do the same thing in Delhi to protest the government’s failure to pass an animal cruelty law that PETA favored. According to that press release,

To draw attention to the suffering of animals during transport to slaughter, an ‘Angel of Death’ will beat a life-like ‘bull calf’, soaking the pavement in his ‘blood’ (red paint), at Jantar Mantar crossing while PETA members hold signs reading, ‘India: Stop Cruel Transport’ and ‘Vajpayee: Strengthen Penalties for Animal Abuse’. PETA is protesting in Delhi, hoping to encourage Prime Minister Vajpayee to pass legislation that would increase the currently outdated and ineffective penalties for overcrowded transport and other cruelty to animals. PETA also hopes to encourage officials to take tangible action to stop rampant beating and such severe and unlawful overcrowding of animals during transport that their bones break, they suffocate and many die.

I’d love to see pictures/and or video of that.

Sources:

PETA to stage ‘cow slaughter’. Express News (India), February 15, 2005.

‘Calf’ To Be Beaten And Tortured By PETA. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, October 23, 2002.

‘Calf’ Effigy To Be Slaughtered In Front Of Gateway To India. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, February 20, 2001.

Anti-Porn Witch Hunts Are So Creepy When They’re In India

This Boing! Boing! link is fascinating, I think, because it really highlights just what partisan hacks the authors of that particular blog have become.

Here’s the short version — a kid in India uses his cell phone to take video of some girl giving him a blow job. Someone posts a copy of the video for sale on an Indian subsidiary of Ebay.

Here’s where things start to get bizarre — the Indian government arrests the president of the Ebay subsidiary, Avnish Bajaj, and charges him with disseminating obsenity because, (after all, the video was offered for sale on his service.)

One can imagine the well-placed outrage, for example, if the U.S. Justice Department ordered the arrest of the CEO of EBay in this country because someone posted an obscene video for sale.

In the Indian case, it turns out that Bajaj is an American citizen and so the U.S. government is actively intervening on his behalf with the India government. But instead of lauding the government for looking to protect the rights of its citizens, the move is derided by the usual suspects,

Update: Fleshbot picked up an interesting/creepy angle on the story as reported by Agence France-Presse: the incident is
reportedly being followed at the “highest levels” of US government as well. Fleshbot’s editor asks, “Yes, the manager of Baazee.com is an Indian-born US citizen, but still. Is this the sort of case the US State Department usually gets involved in? We’d have thought they were busy with other things, like … oh, war and stuff.” Link

And reader John McCarthy says, “According to todayÂ’s Salon, CondiÂ’s on the trail of the India phone sex scandal.”

[Condoleezza] Rice is understood to have telephoned the U.S. ambassador in India, David Mulford, about the case. The Bush administration’s national security advisor and future secretary of state has let it be known that she is furious about Bajaj’s humiliating treatment. He is, after all, a U.S. citizen.

Again, I can’t imagine Boing! Boing! treating so cavalierly the arrest of a U.S. citizen by the U.S. government for such a tertiary (non-existent actually) role in disseminating obsenity. The obvious comment that comes to mind about the administration’s role is that it is nice to see them defending the rights of Mr. Bajaj, and that hopefully they can start to take the rights of Americans living on U.S. territory as seriously as they take the rights of Americans living in India.

Instead, the U.S. efforts to protect Bajaj are simply (emphasis added)”intersting/creepy.” What the hell is creepy about protecting Bajaj from an anti-porn witch hunt? Oh, that’s right, since John Ashcroft and George W. Bush aren’t leading the witch hunt, the story’s just not the same.