Damn It, PETA

Stop making environmentalists, animal activists, conservationists, ecologists, vegetarians, and vegans look bad. Yes, know that they’re not all the same, but most people don’t. We’re all one big, pot-addicted, tree-hugging, save the whales, kumbaya collective. And we all get judged by whoever is making the most noise or saying the most obnoxious thing.

I know this because I do it all the time whenever I decide to blame the entire Republican Party for whatever stupid thing their most fringe Tea Party candidate decides to do or say. The reality is that the Republican Party is a vast organism with many different competing aspects, individuals, and motivations. But it’s much more emotionally satisfying the blame the entire crowd for the most egregious behavior of the distant fringe.

That’s not to say that I like or even respect the Republican Party. I’m just being emotionally disingenous.

PETA actually does a lot of good in the world. Most people like animals and think that being kind to them is a good idea, even if they make those choices based entirely on which ones are fuzzy and cute. But people also tend to hate PETA and go completely deaf whenever PETA (or another animal activist) tries to raise legitimate concerns or discussion.

Shit like this? This isn’t helping. There is such a thing as bad publicity.

Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

I love this parody campaign from PETA reminding us to treat all living things with compassion, even the zerglings. For the record, yes, Zerg is my favorite race to play as in StarCraft,

Seriously, though, who can resist this adorable little guy?

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Although PETA tends to go off its meds, so to speak, overall, I consider their mission of opposing animal cruelty to be a worthy one. The horrors of factory farm were one of the primary motivations that encouraged me to become a vegetarian seven years ago. I particularly like this quote, explaining the motivation for a fictional campaign against fictional cruelty against a fictional being:

So remember, while Zerglings are not real, there are many equally “strange” and exotic animals we share this planet with who deserve our empathy. Just because crocodiles and snakes look alien to us, that doesn’t make it OK to skin them alive for a handbag, shoes, or a belt.

It’s something to keep in mind. Maize and Morrigan are my two pet snakes and they are every bit as dear to me as your dog or cat is to you. I can tell you that it’s just as upsetting to see your handbag made out of the skin of one of my favorite animals as it would be for you to see me in a coat made from puppy-fur.

Just something to keep in mind. Also, in case it’s not obvious, I don’t own a coat made from puppies. That would be wrong. Also, it would be impractical since I live in the desert.