Ridiculous, Fanatic And Incompetent Is No Way To Go Through Life, PETA

I wrestled with posting this; mocking the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals is too easy, and it’s getting easier. On the other hand, it’s too easy, and easy can be fun. Plus there is a lesson worth emphasizing; even if your organization is fanatic, full of wackos, and without any sense of proportion or common sense, it it accepts contributions, you have an ethical obligation a) not to be flagrantly incompetent, and b) not to make donor feel like they need to wear bags over their heads, or wish they had just chucked their money into a swamp.

And I am always looking for opportunities to honor my favorite line from “Animal House.”

Here is PETA’s latest auto-fiasco: It tweeted out…

Words matter, and as our understanding of social justice evolves, our language evolves along with it. Here’s how to remove speciesism from your daily conversations…”

Yes, the theory is that using animal imagery, references and metaphors is somehow unethical.  There’s no explaining this logically; it makes no sense. Acknowledging the actual characteristics of animals in discourse or referring to them in metaphors advances the critical task of human communication, and does no conceivable harm to the animals involved whatsoever. Nor does it pollute human respect for goats to say, “That got my goat.” Anyway, here is PETA’s best effort—they got all their most creative, clever minds together—at retooling some common phrases for vegan sensibilities, I presume, because it would be irresponsible for a group that seeks to persuade to put forth a product created by its worst and dimmest rather than  it’s best and brightest:

Yeah, I’m sure these will catch on.Was it “Visit mommy or daddy’s office day” and PETA let the kids handle the job?

If you are going to attempt to replace old sayings that have lasted hundreds of years in some cases, you must at least do better than this, which  is “better than embarrassingly lame.” None of the alternatives even express the same thought or concept as the “speciesism” original:

  • “Killing two birds with one stone” means devising a plan of action that accomplishes multiple objectives. Feeding two birds with one–scone? Seriously, PETA? Scone?—describes resource conservation.
  • That one is still better than claiming test tubes and guinea pigs are equivalent. Nobody experiments ON test tubes. Test tubes are containers. What’s a human test tube? (Psst! PETA! The object you’re looking for is a Petri dish.
  • “Beat a dead horse” means to futilely waste effort trying to accomplish something that cannot be accomplished, to no effect. “Feeding a fed horse” will just give you fat horses.
  • For some reason someone thought finding a non-animal food that sounds a little like bacon excuses a terrible comp. Nobody needs bagels. While bacon is understood to mean sustenance and metaphorical resources in the old saying, nobody places such a broad meaning on bagels.  This one shows just how dull and incompetent PETA staff is, because fixing it was easy: bread replaces bacon perfectly. It even is used to mean money.
  • This may be the worst of all: “Taking the flower by the thorns” (you mean rose, PETA? I think so…) is just stupid. Why would anyone do that? It’s a useless metaphor. In contrast, “taking the bull by the horns,” which means confronting a problem head-on, makes perfect sense. When confronted by a charging bull that you can’t outrun, grabbing its horns…

……prevents being gored, while grabbing a rose’s thorns is guaranteeing injury when none was threatened. (Who ARE these idiots?)

In short, PETA revealed itself to be silly and incompetent. This undermines its mission via the Cognitive Dissonance Scale…

…which for most people has “public humiliation and looking like fools” way down on it, well into negative territory.  For a group that seemingly wants to be humiliated or doesn’t mind looking foolish to be identified with a genuine mission that many people place high on the scale inevitably undermines that mission, and drags it down:  “A bunch of idiots who think “bring home the bagels” is a catchy phrase advocate this, and I sure don’t want to be identified with them.”

In the spirit of PETA, I just downed a bottle of Scotch, hit my head several times with a skillet, tied half my brain behind my back, and tried my hand at fixing some other “speciesist” sayings, PETA-style:

“Got my goat” Got my goat cheese.

“Every dog has its dayEvery hot dog has its day.

“Looks like the cat that swallowed the canary” Looks like the Venus Fly Trap that caught a big fly of some kind.

“Locking the barn door after the horse has gone” Locking the cupboard after someone has stolen the peanut butter.

“Better to be a live lamb than a dead lion.”  Better to be limp iceberg lettuce in the crisper than a yummy avocado that gets made into guacamole and eaten by everybody.

“Do, a deer, a female deer..” Dough, some dough, a lump of dough…

This IS fun…

 

46 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Animals, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, language, Philanthropy, Non-Profits and Charity

46 responses to “Ridiculous, Fanatic And Incompetent Is No Way To Go Through Life, PETA

  1. My response to the hilarious but serious proposal was that “Bring home the bagels” is way to synonymous with the term “bread winner”. “Bread winner” is a term historically associated with male chauvinism.

    PETA, therefore, endorses the patriarchy.

  2. Cynical John

    And this is why, here in Southeastern Virginia, (Since PETA’s headquarters is in Norfolk), PETA stands for “People Embarrassing the Tidewater Area.”

  3. Other Bill

    For too many years (preceding youtube) I thought Dean Vernon Wormer’s immortal words were “Fat, DUMB and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” I liked the thought of his doubling down on the intelligence aspect. Do-oh!

  4. Great Caeser’s Ghost; I’ve FINALLY figured out ​Intersectionality!

    PETA: Face it: You Can’t Eat Eggs And Still Claim To Be A Feminist

    ”Eggs and dairy are a product of the abuse of females!” ought to put to resat at least the following:

    *All your eggs in one basket
    *Never cry over spilt milk
    *Egg them on
    *Egg on your face
    *Got Milk
    *Milk it for all it’s worth

    Our work here is not finished: Elsie the Cow? Fuhgeddaboudit!

    And PETA can get clucked…!

    • Beckie

      ”Eggs and dairy are a product of the abuse of females!” has to be up there with some of the stupidest things I’ve heard (read). It reminds me of when I took my daughter and her friend to a concert in Chicago a few years ago and there were vegans outside handing out literature. One of them told the girls to not drink milk since milking the cows hurts them. I promptly told her that, in fact, it does the exact opposite, that she should know what she was talking about before opening her mouth, and if she ever has her own child she would understand how painful being engorged with milk could actually be.
      As for the eggs, no one is abusing animals to have them lay eggs. Every form of bird, most all reptiles and even a couple of mammals, on the planet lays eggs. Chickens just happen to lay a lot more. Eggs will just rot if they are not collected or if no rooster is around so they are fertilized to develop into chicks. Depending on the species, ducks also lay a lot of eggs. These are things that happen in nature regardless of humans. What is PETA’s explanation for that? Nature is abusing itself?
      I wonder if the next step will be telling women they can’t be a feminist if their own bodies produce and release eggs, which they do monthly after and up to certain ages, because it’s some kind of abuse. Nah, probably not since it’s human.
      In the meantime this hypocritical organization euthanizes more animals than it ever helps. That’s their way of “rescuing”.

      • On the subject of eggs Beckie, I’ve found that sports teams are not above laying them.

        It pains me to confess that any number of mine have, at times on the grandest of stages…

        • Beckie

          If I had to guess based on your avatar, you’d be my neighbor to the north. If you follow suit with other teams from WI, then I totally understand the egg laying! I do empathize, as I can’t say the ones I follow (when I do) have not done the same.

          The Brewers play slightly (sometimes) better than the Cubs and I can say that going to games in Milwaukee is almost as fun as Wrigley! At least when I was there and there was some good-natured jesting going back and forth.

          That’s where I stop with IL teams though.

  5. Michael

    Feeling for the poor fly! Surely PETA would not accept that one. Feeling like the squirrel who swallowed the acorn. Wait! What if the squirrrel chokes? Wait again! That would be an acorn that never grows into an oak tree, this decreasing the amount of CO2 capture. Wait, wait! Feeling like the idiot who swallowed PETA.

  6. Other Bill

    From time to time, my Dad would literally bring home the bacon. He’d have some business in the wholesale food market part of Miami and he’s drop into a butcher shop there and buy a side (a slab?) of bacon. Over the next couple of weeks, my mother would cut thick slices off the slab. Honestly, I think my brother and I preferred store-bought, pre-sliced, and packaged bacon because my Mother couldn’t slice it any where near as thinly as the commercial stuff. Now, of course, thick, artisanal bacon is all the rage among foodies. My farm boy Dad was half a century ahead of his time (or half a century behind — not sure which).

  7. Rich in CT

    You overlooked the best part – PETA already condemns half the behaviors in the metaphors it “promotes”!

    Feeding two birds with one–scone?

    >>It is (according to PETA) unethical for humans to feed wild animals, it makes them dependent on us!

    “Feeding a fed horse”

    >>It is (according to PETA) unethical to keep domestic animals, let alone overfeed them!

    • Thanks. Yes, it’s stupid all the way down….

    • Luke G

      It’s not only (PETA) unethical to feed wild animals in general, you should legitimately NEVER feed birds bread products as it is very unhealthy. Look up “Angel Wing Ducks” for an example.”

      And wait- scone recipes all appear to contain milk and butter, which are NOT vegan! And most of them have eggs! EGGS! PETA endorses the abusive and cannibalistic feeding of birds!

  8. Jack, I would assume that you’d support, to one degree or another, the Humane Society of America, but that you oppose PETA because it is radically over-the-top?

    You certainly must (?) support ethical treatment of animals and pets, but your issue is with excessive fanaticism?

    • I DO support the Humane Society. You really feel I need to answer this question? I’ve run non-profits. I teach non-profit ethics. What in “even if your organization is fanatic, fun of wackos, and without any sense of proportion or common sense, it it accepts contributions, you have an ethical obligation a) not to be flagrantly incompetent, and b) not to make donor feel like they need to wear bags over their heads, or wish they had just chucked their money into a swamp.” is unclear?

      • I was only asking for clarification of what I assumed would be the case.

        Additionally, at other times and places on your blog you have not seemed to understand that mass animal farming can have astounding ecological impact (if I read the statements correctly, and I have no idea now where they are) and, it seems to me, that ecology would also have to be a branch of ethics.

        Most ‘consumers’, it seems to me, do not ever confront the issue of either ethics or ecology and are for that reason ignorant. At times I think they are ‘kept ignorant’ so as not to disturb business.

        Have you seen the documentary King Corn?

      • Beckie

        I also support the Humane Society but will never support PETA. The Humane Society, at least in my area, I can’t speak for all of them, has no kill shelters and only euthanize the ones absolutely beyond any hope of recovery. PETA can’t say the same. PETA does put some sad, bad case photos on their blog under their “why we euthanize” section but it’s only a mask. I personally don’t think even all of those were lost causes.

      • Arthur in Maine

        One must be careful here. The Humane Society of the US (HSUS) is actually an activist organization, and a very wealthy one, too. In many regards, it is PETA without the sense of humor (more on that in a moment). There are many smaller organizations using the name “Humane Society” at the state and local levels, but HSUS isn’t one of them (see: https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/136-humane-society-of-the-united-states/ ).

        As regards PETA: yes, it’s an obnoxious organization, and a radical one, but even though they’re largely fraudulent I do have a grudging respect for them. Some of their campaign tactics are actually quite funny, in a dark, cynical and twisted way. They’re clever, and highly creative; their tactics can be so completely over the top and outrageous that even though I find them repellent I have to acknowledge their creativity. Beats the snot out of ginning up a bunch of morons to carry signs and chant “Hey hey – ho ho – eating meat has got to go,” dontcha think?

          • Arthur in Maine

            Disagree. I simply said that they were more clever than the usual leftie cant. That’s neither an endorsement of the organization, or a justification for it.

            • But that is #22: at least they are clever, unlike the others.
              Of course, I don’t even think they are clever.

              • Arthur in Maine

                Seems to me #22 – as with ALL rationalizations – implies some measure of support for the cause or issue being advanced. Rest assured that I think PETA is a deeply unethical organization. Their better campaigns typically fit within your own “Funny – But Wrong” category.

                And I agree, not all of them are funny. But some are.

        • Beckie

          I suppose I should clarify that I support them through my local shelters, which mostly bear the name “Humane Society”. Most all our shelters are always full and in need of food, toys, blankets, whatnot, and is often how I support them. Last I checked the fees for adoption were $150 for dogs and $85 for cats, which include being spayed or neutered, all vaccinations, microchip, worming and whatever treatment needed like worming. Those fees definitely don’t cover the costs of having those things done or keeping a full shelter fed, especially with big dogs. But here we can also foster pets until they find a permanent home or even just support one that’s in the shelter.

      • Kyjo

        “Fun of whackos” might be a little unclear. Otherwise, though, the gist is obvious.

  9. Pat Rogers

    “Locking the barn door after the horse has gone” Locking the cupboard after someone has stolen the peanut butter* (*using only free range peanuts, diseased peanuts escaped from their rotting shells naturally, harvested without machinery so that no healthy peanuts were injured or offended in the peanut butter making process).

  10. They got nothing for, “You can’t swing a dead cat in here without hitting…”?

  11. VPJ

    How about “Don’t PETA down my back and tell me it’s raining”?

  12. PennAgain

    Nobody needs bagels.

    Nobody? needs bagels

    Nobody needs?? bagels

    Nobody needs bagels???

    Oh, yeah? Whaddya putcha bacon on then, hey!

    • Beckie

      Add an egg and maybe some cheese too! I’d say substitute a biscuit or croissant, but it’s just not the same.

      • PennAgain

        Nah, that’s breakfast stuff. You gotta pile on the crispy bacon embedded in a thick spread of crunchy peanut butter. … If not on a (sufficiently) plain bagel, then one with poppy-seed topping (if you’re not getting a urine drug test in the next 48 hours).

  13. Michael R.

    What about non-animal sayings? We can learn a lot from PETA.
    “Better Dead than Red” – evil conservative saying

    “Better Dead than Adopted” – hip PETA protocol. This one actually works well, since PETA is mostly left-wing, they probably apply this to people, too.

  14. P.M.Lawrence

    “Beat a dead horse” means to futilely waste effort trying to accomplish something that cannot be accomplished, to no effect.

    No, it doesn’t. It means to waste effort futilely trying to accomplish something that cannot achieve its deeper purposes. But it, the futile action itself, can certainly be accomplished.

    • Depends on what “beat” means. You can strike a dead horse, but beating it means to try to punish or injure it. The horse is dead; the point of the beating is impossible.

      • Except that that’s not the original saying, it’s a corruption of it. The original saying is “flog a dead horse”, so the wider sense of “beat” that you clearly have* isn’t what it was getting at, but rather it’s about getting the horse to do its work for the driver/rider.

        * Here, you are already working with a saying that has been distorted into missing the point, which I see now that I have your own understanding of it as well as your own reworking of it. Either you are estopped from arguing the theme of this post, or its ship has sailed anyway.

        • Either you are estopped from arguing the theme of this post, or its ship has sailed anyway.

          Dammmnnnnn… I thought I could be obtuse!

          I gonna go with ‘ship has sailed’ here.

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