PETA Takes on McDonald's

Apparently People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has learned nothing from one of its biggest advertising
fiascoes, which is a good thing from this writer’s point of view. Claiming
that talks with McDonald’s aimed at reducing animal suffering had broken
down, PETA vowed to wage an advertising campaign against the popular restaurant
chain.

One of the ads will feature a drawing
of Ronald McDonald holding a bloody butcher knife and a dead chicken with
the tag line – “Son of Ron – America’s Biggest Serial Killer.”
Didn’t PETA learn anything from the backlash over the ad they took comparing
meat eaters to Jeffrey Dahmer?

McDonald’s spokesman Walt Riker
said the ad campaign was “unwarranted and tasteless and disgusting,
and I’m sure it will turn off a vast majority of Americans who might see
it.” Indeed.

Let the Vegan Kid Wear His T-shirt Already

    Utah has been hard hit in recent
years by animal terrorists destroying fur farm property and releasing
animals, but unfortunately the legitimate concern over those acts of violence
has started expressing itself in counterproductive and unconstitutional
ways. There is currently a legal battle going on between Cooper Hills
High School and one of its students, John Ouimette, over the use of the
word “vegan.”

    Ouimette is apparently a vegan
and, believe it or not, the school district that Cooper Hills is part
of bans the use of the word vegan from student clothing arguing that it
is a gang-related term because many people in the Straight Edge movement
call themselves vegans.

    I donÂ’t have a lot of sympathy
for Straight Edgers, who always seem to come off as pretentious neo-Puritans,
or ethical vegans for that matter, but the logic of banning the word “vegan”
makes about as much sense as banning the Star of David as a gang symbol
as another high school recently did.

    Ouimette was forced by an
assistant principal to remove a T-shirt with the saying “Vegans Have
First Amendment Rights” and is suing the school over the incident
claiming his First Amendment rights were violated.

    The principals should be ashamed
of themselves. What sort of lesson does the school system think it is
teaching young Mr. Ouimette? First, it is sending the message to other
students that veganism is inherently connected with violence. This of
course is due to the most fundamental of logical fallacies, the undistributed
middle – some vegans commit acts of violence, Ouimette says he’s a vegan,
therefore Ouimette (and other vegans) must be the sort of people who would
commit acts of violence.

    More importantly, though,
if I were Ouimette the message I would take away from this whole flap
is that animal rights claims about animals are so accurate and dangerous
to the status quo that they have to censor me rather than let other students
hear my views. Certainly there is a legitimate concern about animal rights
groups giving one-sided presentations to ill-informed students, but on
the other hand the treatment of animals is certainly a legitimate debate
and one that schools should embrace rather than shrink away from.

    An honest, fair look at animal
enterprises will only strengthen support for medical research and other
areas as it debunks the myths that animal rights groups feed students.
Trying to suppress these ideas will only reinforce misconceptions and
myths as well as alienating young people with serious, legitimate concerns
about the treatment of animals.

Smithsonian Caves to Fear, Cancels Foie Gras Presentation

Animal rights advocates had
been targeting the Smithsonian Institute for several weeks after it announced
plans to hold a program called “Foie Gras: A GourmetÂ’s Passion”
on Sept. 21. Foie Gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese. Animal
rights groups maintain the practice is cruel.

Rather than citing its agreement
with this argument, however, the Smithsonian cited concern for the safety
of visitors as the main reason for canceling the program. “Because
we are always concerned with the well-being of our participants, we have
regretfully concluded that it would be in the best interests of everyone
involved to cancel the program,” said Mara Mayor, director of the
Smithsonian Associates. Michael Gilnor, owner of Hudson Valley Foie Gras
and a scheduled speaker for the event, accused the animal rights groups
of inciting fear of violence to force the Smithsonian to cancel the program.

“What these people are
doing are terrorist acts,” said Gilnor. “They use means that
are close to terrorists but without the blood.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, one of the main groups opposing the program, said it has never
engaged in terrorism. “We have made no threats whatsoever,”
said Michael McGraw. “We would most likely dress up as ducks or geese and
hold up signs.” Of course they might also decide to light bales of
hay on fire in an act of arson as happened in two recent PETA protests.
Still McGraw is technically correct that PETA doesnÂ’t commit terrorist
acts – they just show up conveniently after terrorist acts have been committed
and provide legal and financial support for terrorists.

No Compromise's Printer Woes

The web site for the radical
pro-Animal Liberation Front magazine No Compromise recently
contained a whining screed about the difficulties in obtaining a printer
who would publish its Summer 1999 issue. Apparently they did finally find
someone willing to take on the job. As a courtesy for those of you who
do not subscribe to No Compromise, here are the titles of a
few of the articles planned for the Summer issue. You can judge for yourself
whether or not you’d agree to print the magazine:

“Smashing the Fur Trade Quickly and Efficiently.”

“Staying Safe While Fucking Shit Up”

“Simple Igniter”

“Keeping Your Mouth Shut”

“Don’t Get Caught!”

“One Hour Delayed Incendiary Device”

“Electronically Timed Incendiary Igniter”

Another RICO Lawsuit Filed

In the first week of August,
a group of New Jersey furriers filed a lawsuit accusing the Animal Defense League of Jersey, the Animal Liberation Front and others of violating
federal racketeering laws. The lawsuit alleges that the ADL was part of
a conspiracy to illegally impair the operation of a legitimate business.

For its part, the ADL took
the odd tactic of putting itself on record in support of some acts of
violence against animal enterprises. ADL spokesman Darius Fuller told
the New Jersey Star-Ledger that although his group is distinct from the
ALF, physical destruction of property is sometimes a necessary act. “It’s
just a simple question of which is more important, life or property,”
Fuller said. Fuller also told the Star-Ledger that his group has regular
contact with the ALF.

Somebody give Fuller a little
more rope — he is on a roll.

Meanwhile, the Animal Defense
League of Pennsylvania and the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade announced
a conference in Philadelphia on legal challenges against animal rights
groups and how to respond to them. In a joint press release the two groups,
who were named as defendants in another Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization lawsuit filed by Jacques Ferber, claimed “Jacques Ferber Furs is abusing this RICO suit in an attempt
to achieve an injunction against CAFT and ADL. Yet another step
taken to drive off those fighting to end oppression. Who will be next?”

One of the interesting things
to note about the press releases issued from the various animal rights
groups about these RICO lawsuits is that although lawsuits against pro-life
activists and groups really set the precedent for going after protesters
who express support for illegal actions, none of the animal rights groups
has referenced this precedent much less given an opinion on the application
of the law in those cases. I, for one, would like to know if CAFT and
others believe anti-abortion protesters were also the targets of “oppression.”

Animal Rights Terrorism and Other Law Breaking

    -Animal rights activists apparently
released 3,000 mink from a farm in Kenosha County, Wisconsin recently.
Commenting the on the theft, JP Goodwin of the Coalition to Abolish the
Fur Trade (which you’ll remember from the previous item, only engages
in peaceful demonstrations) lauded the break-in saying “those mink would
have been piled into a gas chamber, but now have a chance at life. We
would much rather see those mink given the opportunity at life, than left
for a certain death.”

    -Two members of the Kansas/Missouri
HorseAid were arrested and charged with several felony counts of theft
as they allegedly purloined four ponies they claimed were being mistreated.
The HorseAid volunteers claimed the adopted owners of the ponies violated
several welfare clauses in a contract they signed and were being “repossessed”
for failure to follow said contract. Hint to HorseAid: you might want
to get a legal judgment before attempting to repossess property based
on an alleged violation of a non-economic clause in a contract.

    -Animal rights terrorists in
the United Kingdom are believed to be behind the destruction of at least
17 vehicles at the Unigate dairy in Oxford. Incendiary devices were placed
under the vehicles and the fire was so intense that 350 campers had to
be evacuated from a nearby campsite (but ALF and others would never dream
of endangering anybody’s life).