In April, NBC News correspondent George Lewis interviewed the two college students behind SaveToby.Com, which is competing with BonsaiKitten.Com for the title of web site most hated by animal lovers.
The site features a picture of a rabbit and the claim that unless the site’s proprietors receive $50,000 by June 30, 2005 that Toby will be killed and eaten,
I am going to eat him. God as my witness, I will devour this little guy unless I receive $50,000 into my account.
If animal lovers were smart, they’d just ignore this sort of silly nonsense, but instead they post horrified e-mails that circulate until finally the issue is big enough that George Lewis interviews those responsible for NBC News.
According to one of the unnamed partners behind the site,
We’ve been getting tremendously varied responses. Many of which include death threats almost on a daily basis.
The unnamed individual maintains, however, that the site is not a hoax,
No, not at all. As a matter of fact, it’s very serious. If we don’t get $50,000, we are going to eat the rabbit.
The odd thing is that people care so much, especially given that its perfectly legal to eat rabbits.
What’s the next step? Is someone going to set up a picture of a lobster with the claim that “I’m going to eat this lobster if I don’t receive $50,000 in my account?” Fine, go ahead and eat Toby already.
But people fall for this crap and the result is that SaveToby.Com’s operators claim they’ve received $20,000 in cash (which I find hard to believe), and have a book deal — all of which they owe to the idiots circulating these stupid e-mails about the horror of the web site.
Yeah, that’s showing ’em. You have to think that the BonsaiKitten.Com folks are kicking themselves for not starting a “we’re going to eat this Bonsai kitten if we don’t receive $50,000” campaign. Anyone for BonsaiRabbit.com?
Fur files over rabbit death threat. George Lewis, NBC News, April 11, 2005.