Quick Hit: PETA still unbelievably sexist.

The Philippines Bureau of Customs seized several sex dolls from PETA, who have been using the dolls to protest against KFC in Thailand, Japan and the red light districts of the Philippines with a banner reading, “KFC Blows.”

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  1. Mina
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “‘If you and whatever formal education you have in the biological sciences can come up with a better solution than what in vivo research provides, please share with the rest of the class.’
    “I see! You are a smarter and better person than me for completing more college than I have.”
    She’s not saying or even implying that. She’s implying that if you can come up with a better solution than what in vivo research provides to the biological sciences, you would use whatever formal education you have in the biological sciences in order to do that.
    “Are you going to continue with classist statements as well (?), because you probably make more money than I do.”
    Would it also be classist for an civil engineer to talk about using whatever formal education you have in civil engineering in order to solve a structural problem in building bridges?

  2. Kmari1222
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “And I am extremely offended by the idea presented that animal testing in labs is inhumane or cruel to the animals.”
    Maybe what you do isn’t “cruel” (although we all must have different definitions, because I think testing an animal against its will is cruel) but other labs indeed DO violate the welfare act. I have seen pictures of beagles with chunks of thigh cut off and then cauterized for the sake of testing (fully conscious). There was an undercover investigation of IAMS and it was found that the dogs were forcefed oil through tubes in their throats, had no bedding or toys in their concrete cells, and cats were found dead because rusty nails had penetrated them. Marshall Farms, which sells ferrets and beagles to testing, had a huge fire that burned alive hundreds of dogs because they couldn’t keep their sprinkler system with the code (they recently were fined for it and were told to change it immediately.)
    This is cruelty to me.
    And as far as using meds that were tested on animals, its not hypocritical because there are no alternatives. If there were, then we would be using them.

  3. PamelaV
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    A MALE-
    Sorry, I was referring to Peta specifically when another person mentioned “throwing blood” and “bombs”. I honestly do think “terrorism” depends which side you are on. Maybe ALF believes torturing lab animals is terrorism against animals. I am not a member of ALF, I am a member of a local AR group who uses education and our own very limited resources to help animals in our community. Violence isn’t an option for us. I am just tired of everyone lumping all AR people into the “terrorist” category. I should have made myself more clear.
    Don’t pretend her(?) tone wasn’t implicative of what I accused it of being. Look how it’s phrased.

  4. Mina
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Don’t pretend her(?) tone wasn’t implicative of what I accused it of being. Look how it’s phrased.”
    I sure did look. There’s nothing classist or snobby about valuing formal education in a field when discussing how research in that same field is done. ;)

  5. Faerylore
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Mina, for clarifying my statement better than I apparently did.
    Kmari1222, I agree that that example is cruel, but that is also not a representative case, though I believe that PETA or ALF would probably present it as so.
    And PamelaV, I really didn’t mean to offend you as such, but I would be curious to see what alternatives you would promote instead, to address the need that animals fill in research.
    I, for example, am currently doing nutritional research with parrots to improve the way we’re feeding them in captivity for my thesis. How am I supposed to study their nutritional needs, if I can’t use them in my research? Like I said earlier, no respected researcher I know chooses to do research with animals (in vivo) when an in vitro or ex vivo design would suffice or even work better.
    But yeah I stand by my comment earlier that someone would probably need at least a BS in a relative field (animal science, the biological sciences, etc) in order to actually contribute a workable alternative to in vivo studies. But so far no one has been able to get rid of it entirely. Maybe with stem cell research or cloning technology we’ll get closer to it, but even that would be a long way off, and might never happen.
    So my stance on this issue is that animal research is needed and bc of that so is animal welfare research so that we can better understand how to meet the needs and improve the lives of research animals where possible. I basically think that as long as we’re using live animals in our studies then we must treat them in a humane manner and allow them as much natural behavior as possible in the constraints of the study.

  6. Kmari1222
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate conversing with you on this subject.
    I do agree, testing the nutritional values of food using parrots is likely a good way of testing. Since I don’t have a degree in anything, I’m barely in college now, I can’t suggest any alternatives except this: in order to create more jobs that we always need, why not hire scientists to figure out alternatives? I think that is a simple suggestion, with maybe a not so simple answer, but I DO believe it is because a whole lot of this nation just doesn’t give a shit about animals.
    Sure, we say we do, like my grandma. Then when I told her I spent $500 on a surgery for my sick ferret, she said “Don’t get me wrong I love animals, but I would’ve shot him.” ummm ok grandma..
    I do realize that a lot of people don’t equate animals with actual living things, but they are, and they deserve to be taken care of, not exploited. And while my examples may not represent animal testing in its entirety, i do believe it is a significant portion that needs to be reconciled with. Also, thank you for treating your animals with respect. It’s very appreciated.
    Also, maybe eventually animal testing WONT be needed. Maybe we can study parrots in the wild to see what they eat (I’m going to get a degree in ornithology, maybe I’ll be doing that one day!!) or test bath soap on humans instead of animals. willing humans.
    Anyway, faerylore, I appreciate you sharing your views and being respectful. I like to talk about these things without flat out arguing :)

  7. Liza
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    PamelaV, don’t you dare denounce my knowledge on this topic. I don’t know who you think you are, or what you thought you were reading but not ONCE did I say all animal rights people were terrorists. That would be incredibly hypocritical of me since I am one myself. I said PETA are terrorists, and that is a statement I will stand by until I die.
    Here’s a little vocab lesson for you:
    terrorism: [noun] the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear
    Unfortunately, I no longer have a link to back up what I am about to say, but believe me that it’s true. A woman owned an animal shelter that catered to sled and working dogs. She took in abandoned and abused animals, rehabilitated them and found them homes and work. She was terrorized by PETA because they felt that her training dogs to work was inhumane. She received several threatening letters, then belligerent phone messages, then finally she was vandalized. The kennels were smashed, her car was beaten, and violent and offensive statements were spray-painted all over the buildings. And they identified themselves as PETA throughout this. If that’s not terrorism, nothing is.
    In 2005 PETA killed 90% of the animals that they took in (www.petakillsanimals.com). Having worked in an animal shelter, I can tell you that nowhere near that number gets euthanized elsewhere, and the ones that do are put down for legitimate reasons (such as health and temperament). PETA seeks to end all domestication of animals because it’s “cruel.” There is nothing cruel about taking in an animal and giving it food, shelter, and love and ask for little more that affection in return. I really don’t think anyone here could say that Jessica’s pictures of Monty are an indication of his suffering.
    So really, one small exaggeration between blood and paint that is deliberately chosen to represent blood and you’re going to hop on a high horse and act like I don’t know my shit? I don’t think so.
    And I can’t believe you actually made the link between a group that commits regular actions that do or can hurt people and animals and the Boston Tea Party, which was in reality a staged pseudo-event to attract media to their cause. The difference is that there is no way throwing tea would kill anyone. Seriously, I am laughing so hard at that. You must be exhausted from making such an incredible leap. I hope you wore good shoes. hahaha

  8. PamelaV
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for debating in a respectful manner and not sinking as low as other people on this thread. I really (genuinely) do appreciate your input on this topic.
    The animal testing thing is something that conflicts me every day, as a person who has had a chronic health problem since a very young age. I would never say that a mother shouldn’t get medical help for her child, or that someone should turn away life-saving medicine because it was tested on animals. I feel it really is survival at that point. I just don’t feel that animals should be viewed as expendable and that due to grant money, the status quo, etc. people aren’t really making the effort to change and look for more ethical ways of testing things. I am absolutely NOT anti-human medicine. I don’t think a reasonable person can say “No, you can’t put your kid on chemo if she has cancer”. I just wanted to reiterate that. No one accused me of this, I just think that people see it as “either we test this on animals, or you hate kids”. It’s not like that.
    As far as non-medicine goes…there is absolutely no excuse for animal testing things like mascara and soap. The laws don’t even require it! Hopefully everyone on this board realizes that and will do their part to boycott companies like Cover Girl, Proctor and Gamble, etc.
    I would be happy to address your reply (actually I agree with you on a lot of it) when you can address me as an actual human being.

  9. Faerylore
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Kmari1222, I would so sign up on that wild parrot observational study with you!
    PamelaV, I agree with you on the makeup, soap, etc animal research. My basis on animal research has always been on whether or not it is needed and if there was a way to provide meaningful research without using the animals.
    Another thing ppl sometimes miss when they talk about using animals in drug research is that the animals (as a species) definitely benefit just as much as people do and they usually benefit before people (as with ppl there are still human trials to do). We wouldn’t have any of the medications in vet medicine that we have, if they hadn’t been tested on animals at some point. You can get chemo for your dog or cat as well as your child, and I think that they all deserve it (even if expense can and certainly does get in the way for vet med). The examples are endless, from insulin to arthritis meds, etc.
    There is also non-medical research that is valid as well (though a lot of it will hopefully benefit medicine somewhere down the line). Nutrition for example is very difficult to study without animals, but what we learn improves both human and other animal lives.
    In the end, I think that the research should serve the animal’s needs (at least at the species level) as well as human needs. And there is also definitely research designed mainly to benefit animal lives (even if it’s because we’re keeping them in captivity). That’s one of the issues I have with makeup, lotion, etc. It serves a (dubious) purpose for people, but gives nothing back to the animals (again as a species) that were sacrificed for it.
    I also agree that animals shouldn’t be viewed as expendable. In my field, most ppl (myself included) get involved because we love animals, and want to make an (improving) difference in their lives. I think that with a lot of research, there just isn’t any sort of valid alternative right now. Esp with stem cell research being put on hold by the government. Doing research with animals is extremely expensive, for that reason if not for the ethical ones, if there was a valid and meaningful alternative for their research that didn’t involve animals, people would take it. Esp considering the amount of extra time and effort that lab animals require even when they’re not being actively used in a study. It’d be easier for everyone if we didn’t need animals in research, but that hasn’t happened yet. But I agree that that is not an excuse for treating animals inhumanely or for denying them as natural an environment as possible.

  10. Mina
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    “Another thing ppl sometimes miss when they talk about using animals in drug research is that the animals (as a species) definitely benefit just as much as people do and they usually benefit before people (as with ppl there are still human trials to do).”
    Indeed. Several years ago the Boston Globe ran an article about a case of misuse/abuse of animal testing at Tufts Veterinary School. Some readers wrote letters to the editor complaining about that animal testing because it’s not 100% applicable to human medicine. o_O

  11. Posted December 30, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Up here in Canada, PETA posted ads in British Columbia after BC pig farmer Robert Pickton was arrested for killing at least 26 women, and probably as many as 49, and quite possibly feeding them to his pigs. The PETA ads showed a picture of a pig’s face and a woman’s face with the line, “Neither of us is meat.” I think that was probably the most offensive PETA campaign I’ve ever heard of. I really have no idea what train of thought leads an organization to chastise a community that has lost their loved ones for eating meat, but I’d really rather not follow it.
    Here’s a decent editorial on the ads.

  12. Faerylore
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh indeed, Mina!
    God forbid a school of veterinary medicine conduct research where the primary interest is contributing to veterinary medicine! And how short-sighted of them to think that whatever the researchers learned would never cross over and benefit human medicine either. But I suppose that is part of the many joys otherwise known as ‘letters to the editor’.
    Rufus, how amazing to find PETA displaying an absolute lack of compassion… Sadly, almost nothing amazes me anymore when it comes to how they display their (specifically PETA but also ALF) warped viewpoint.

  13. A male
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “I honestly do think “terrorism” depends which side you are on.”
    Indeed. We have no problem calling pro-life organizations and their most extreme supporters terrorists*. Quite frankly, now that I am reading, by their own admissions, by their own public threats, I believe that ALF and other extremists are even worse and more dangerous (except they have apparently not killed anyone yet, by simple technicality).
    * “I don’t think you’d have to kill — assassinate — too many . . . I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million or 10 million nonhuman lives.”
    -Jerry Vlasak, founder and spokesperson of the North American Animal Liberation Front
    Does this quote by Vlasak, given BEFORE THE US SENATE, sound familiar? Does he sound like anyone known to feminist or pro-choice organizations? He sounds exactly like a right to life leader talking about killing “abortion doctors.” Are organizations like his, terrorist, or not?
    Site: “It has been estimated that in the past decade, ALF supporters have committed well over 700 criminal acts and caused more than $100 million in damage. Every year in the United States, the number of incidents attributed to ALF increase in size and cost.”
    I am surprised publicly outspoken, hate speech, death threat dripping leaders such as Dr. Vlasak who do not tone down their rhetoric for 60 Minutes or before the US Senate, are not in jail. Others operate anonymously and autonomously, apparently specifically to avoid arrest or implication of the larger organization. Very clever. Also like the most extreme pro-life supporters.
    “Maybe ALF believes torturing lab animals is terrorism against animals.”
    I am sure millions would agree. However, millions would also never consider doing what ALF and other extremists do, by their own admission and proudly proclaimed on their websites. I certainly know by being in church that any pro-lifers I know would not feel like proud ALF supporters about terrorism committed in their name. At church, they sing, they pray. They donate money, they vote. They aren’t the ones putting out death threats, committing vandalism, planting bombs, and setting homes and businesses on fire. If pro-lifers behaved like animal rights extremists, or even the single organization ALF, a lot more clinics would probably be closed down.
    “I am not a member of ALF, I am a member of a local AR group who uses education and our own very limited resources to help animals in our community. Violence isn’t an option for us.”
    That is the way it should be. I fail to understand why pro-lifers or these animal rights extremists cannot be like your group or feminists who seek to change minds through education, not intimidation or terror.
    “I am just tired of everyone lumping all AR people into the “terrorist” category. I should have made myself more clear.”
    Now that I know about
    and all their linked sites and their own lists of hundreds of proud achievements, labeled and acknowledged as = ARSON = LIBERATION = PICTURES = PRISONER = SABOTAGE = VANDALISM = VIDEO, at
    educated readers should know who responsibility really lies with. ALF and others.
    Seen at vandalized pet shop, left by apparently first time activists: “We are a small group of vegetarians, we love and respect life, nature, animals and admire everything thats being done by ALF all over the world in the name of animal’s freedom.”
    If I ever saw something like this, or anything “really” put out by ALF, as seen on their own press site, put up near my home or place of work, I’d be happy to carry a gun (illegally) to use on them if I saw them. Strangely enough, I do not consider it necessary to protect myself against pro-lifers.

  14. A male
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    From “Who’s Afraid of Jerry Vlasak?” [co-founder and spokesperson of NAALPO, the North American Animal Liberation Press Office], by Steve Best, Ph.D:
    [start quote]
    Justifications for Violence
    Vlasak has defended the use of violence on two grounds. On moral grounds, he believes that any tactics – ranging from threats and break-ins to sabotage and even assault or murder — are legitimate given the suffering exploiters inflict on animals, the impossibility of ending their misery through legal systems that cater to exploitation industries and define animals as property, and the moral imperative to save animals from the violent clutches of exploiters. On pragmatic grounds, Vlasak believes that the use of violence would be an effective intimidation tactic and would stop numerous individuals from exploiting animals while preventing others from ever embarking on that heinous path.
    Similarly, when Vlasak urges animal liberation by any means necessary, he is asserting the right of animals to self defense. But since they cannot defend themselves (except for instances such as where elephants or tigers justly kill their trainers), humans must act on their behalf. And if violence is needed to save an animal from attack, then violence is legitimate as a means of self defense for animals. If one likes, this could be called extensional self defense , since humans are acting on behalf of animals who are so vulnerable and oppressed they cannot fight back to attack or kill their oppressors.
    [end quote]
    For the love of Mike. Can anyone really not see what Vlasak, and any group (such as ALF) that he supports are ideologically no different from the most extreme of the pro-lifers? Their own words: “Any tactics – ranging from threats and break-ins to sabotage and even assault or murder” for their cause are justifiable, acting on animals’ behalf because the poor defenseless animals (just like fetuses) cannot “fight back to attack or kill their oppressors?” If pro-lifers were spouting this crap on 60 Minutes or before the US Senate, Pamela, I do not believe you would have any trouble condemning pro-lifers with a broad brush.
    Seriously. I am not afraid of pro-lifers. For guys like this, I’d carry a gun (illegally), and have eyes on the back of my head.

  15. A male
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    “Esp with stem cell research being put on hold by the government.”
    Restricting and banning stem cell research is also BS. Those cells and embryos are already someone else’s hazardous biological waste, not their baby. Why not learn how they operate, and how they can help the rest of us?

  16. A male
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Crap. I thought I was so clever for making the connection. Vlasak makes the connection himself!
    Pamela: Any else about what you “think” about ALF, or “do not necessarily agree with” their actions? Any else to add? A ten minute read can uncover all I need to form an opinion, from the organizations’ own mouths. They and anyone like them are TERRORISTS. Vlasik has been banned from the UK for such hate speech, for good reason. He is inciting crime.
    [start quote]
    Vlasak told the “Animal Rights 2003� convention that he would endorse the murder of physicians whose research work requires the use of lab rats and other animals.
    “I don’t think you’d have to kill — assassinate — too many vivisectors,â€? Vlasak said, “before you would see a marked decrease in the amount of vivisection going on. And I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives.â€? When one woman in the audience disagreed, saying that Vlasak’s approach was no different from that of abortion-clinic bombers, Vlasak was undeterred. “Absolutely,â€? he countered. “I think they had a great strategy going.â€?
    [end quote]

  17. Mali
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I got into an argument with a friend of mine about why exactly real dolls, blow up dolls, and this banner were offensive. He thought it was witty, and even after I tried to explain that all of this objectifies women, he didn’t understand.
    Can someone help me explain specifically or relatively eloquently what the problem is with these dolls and the banner? I expect I am just having trouble being coherent.

  18. Posted December 31, 2007 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Something that no one else has mentioned so far – it seems to me that PETA’s position on pets / assistive animals is ableist.
    Tell me, PamelaV, if you had a child that was blind or paraplegic, etc, would you deny him/her an assistive animal because of your principles? Even if having an assistive animal might be the thing that allows your child to live independently? Would you, by force, take away your blind neighbor or friend’s seeing-eye dog? Surely, you can’t be supporting the consignment of disabled people to lives of dependence. Surely, you can’t be ok with taking away the self-esteem of disabled people. Surely, you can’t be supporting ALF when some day they murder a blind person in order to “save” their dog.

  19. PamelaV
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Your question has already been answered. Look in my previous posts regarding companion animals.
    I am not Peta. I’m Pamela!
    I have 5 happy companions.

  20. Holli
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The joke is that “blows” can be used to mean “is something bad” or “is preforming a blow job”. Having the sex doll sets up women as the fall guy for the joke so, when the less enlightened get the joke, they might think: “Ah, KFC blows just like a woman. Haha!” In the end, the punchline is either KFC is a corporate whore like women are or that women suck as much as KFC.
    Maybe that’ll be simple enough for him to grasp ;)

  21. acranom
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    And as far as using meds that were tested on animals, its not hypocritical because there are no alternatives. If there were, then we would be using them.

    The alternative would be NOT taking medication. (Like you do NOT eat meat.) I understand the next argument would be “But there are alternatives to meat” but I’m sure that makes it more valid. You only protest when you don’t have to give up anything?
    I don’t disagree with your opinions or stances, I just think it’s not quite true to say there is no alternative.
    I’m late in the game after getting off-track early on in the comments. I currently work at a University that coordinates all the regulations for research testing on both animals and humans. And, for what it’s worth, there are a lot of regulations and oversight for ALL kinds of testing (including uncomplicated surveys taken by people!). All of the testing we oversee is for academic research purposes. This is really valuable, highly-monitored research and I wish it wouldn’t get lumped in with research for eyeshadow and hairspray. Just like I wish honest good-hearted animal activists didn’t get lumped in with PETA.

  22. A male
    Posted December 31, 2007 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    “Something that no one else has mentioned so far – it seems to me that PETA’s position on pets / assistive animals is ableist.”
    PETA’s ideals are at the moment unrealistic. PETA supporters keep their own “companion animals” because there are still over a hundred million domesticated animals in circulation and in shelters. PETA supporters use drugs and medical techniques tested on animals, because that is the reality of current medical technology. PETA supporters better also accept service animals, until we have cybernetic sensory organs, home robots, or are willing to take people by the hand themselves to save a dog with a wagging tail, a life of “slavery.”
    “The alternative would be NOT taking medication. (Like you do NOT eat meat.)”
    I do not require PETA supporters to be in poor health or die for their principles, any more than I require feminists to remove themselves from modern society to set up their own, where there is no patriarchy. Would a feminist in need of aid refuse police assistance, just because it is a traditionally male dominated field with a known history of insensitivity to victims and women?

  23. Kmari1222
    Posted January 1, 2008 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    “The alternative would be NOT taking medication. (Like you do NOT eat meat.)”
    I totally disagree. That’s just not a reasonable statmement. Once there are medications that were NOT tested on animals, THAT will be an alternative. It all comes down to being reasonable. To not take medication that one needs for survival is basically the opposite of trying to protect life.
    So. I guess you’re right. Death would be an alternative, so I guess we should advocate that.

  24. Mina
    Posted January 12, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    BTW, speaking of animal testing and human medicine, I just saw this article on what’s sort of the reverse. Doctors took knowledge gained in surgery on people and used it to treat an animal:
    “SEATTLE—Veterinarians and pediatric surgeons combined their efforts to remove a cyst near the spine of a baby gorilla at the Woodland Park Zoo, an operation they believe is the first of its kind.
    “…Children’s Hospital has about two to five cases a year similar to the one in the baby gorilla, Ellenbogen said.
    “‘What we were able to do here was parallel to what we do in the human world,’ he said. ‘We were prepared for the worst and it turned out to be something we could treat and cure.’”

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