Some people just can’t be satisfied. In only the second competent exercise of force by a Democratic president in my lifetime, President Barack Obama swatted a fly
on national television. The only other occasion that I can think of was Jimmy Carter engaging a killer rabbit
in mortal combat armed with nothing more than a canoe paddle. And while Obama’s act of aggression impressed many, networks replayed it frequently and it became a YouTube
hit, one group was predictably unhappy – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
“We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals,” said PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich. “We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals.”
Would Bruce Friedrich sit quietly and allow a mosquito to take its sustenance from him? Undoubtedly he would if he knew a camera was on him. But when sitting alone in his back yard, you know as well as I do that he would reflexively swat the nuisance as soon as it alighted on his arm.
But PETA’s condemnation of Obama’s fly swatting accomplished its goal, which is to gain news coverage. After all, PETA’s greatest benefactors are Hollywood’s beautiful people, that collection of shallow simpletons, for whom moral posturing is just another form of the exhibitionism that feeds their egos. Donating to PETA or posing for a PETA poster allows them to claim moral superiority without real sacrifice.
I would like to propose that animal rights activists demonstrate their intellectual honesty by accepting their moral obligation to host in their bodies at least one species of Plasmodia. Plasmodia are the parasites responsible for malaria. Humans are an obligatory host for Plasmodia and Plasmodia cannot complete their life cycle without inflicting malaria upon a human being. As such, every member of PETA should accept that responsibility. At the very least, they should offer their intestines as a home to a tapeworm.
PETA has also been making news in the Northwest’s version of Hollywood – Seattle. PETA affected an apoplectic fit after learning that an upcoming convention of veterinarians would highlight a team building exercise that featured Pike Street Market fishmongers performing their famous fish throwing
. PETA does not approve of Pike Street’s fish throwers and wonders why the world does not see this in the same way that they do. How is it different from throwing dead kittens, they ask.
So? A fish is equivalent to a kitten? Well this fits with PETA president Ingrid Newkirk’s distillation
of her organization’s core philosophy with her assertion that: “I don't believe that people have the right to life, that’s a supremacist perversion. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” So, to PETA, there is no substantive difference between a human and a rat.
And now that PETA has stretched this philosophy to include insects I have to wonder how PETA would have me react to splattering a grasshopper on my windshield. Should I stop and call the police to report the event as I would if I had struck a boy with my car? Or, if I hit a boy with my car, should I just shrug it off and keep driving as I now do when I hit a grasshopper? Call me Pamela Anderson
. I need to know.
Obama may have made enemies at PETA for reacting as any normal person would have, by swatting that fly, but he should get some credit with PETA for doing something no normal person would even consider. As part of the economic stimulus package he rammed through Congress immediately upon taking office, the federal government is constructing a turtle tunnel
under a Florida highway so that the aquatic reptiles can migrate between lakes without getting flattened.
Davis, California, where I resided for six years, once tried something similar. The Western Toad, of which there are approximately 6 trillion examples, occasionally suffer the fate of Florida turtles when they cross one of Davis’s busier streets. Davis decided to build a toad tunnel
to accommodate their nocturnal wanderings. It didn’t work because toads failed to appreciate the city’s good intentions and persisted in crossing the road above ground. I don’t recall whether Davis’s economy was stimulated or not. But I suspect that it had the same effect on the California economy that Obama’s stimulus has had on the US economy.
Labels: $10 per gallon gas, Barack Hussein Obama, Flyswatter, PETA