“Finally, after 50 oppressive years in television that insufferable, anti-animal rights activist and quintessential blowhard, Bob Barker, finally retired from that ancient, lame ass television show, ‘The Price is Right’. No other TV or movie personality has done so much damage to the rights of animals as that ignorant, self-important womanizer, who ended each show for over 20 years with that despicable phrase ‘Help control the pet population; have your pet spayed or neutered’. To intentionally inflict pain and suffering on defenseless animals via unnecessary surgery and deny them their fundamental rights to reproduce and pass on their genes is bad enough, but to actively PROMOTE such heinous acts is unconscionable and evil. Good riddance to you Bob Barker and we hope that no other organization ever again provides you with a platform from which to spew your ignorant, hate-filled bile.”
Now, the above paragraph is what I would have EXPECTED to see on the PETA website a year ago when Bob Barker retired from the venerable TV celebration of capitalism, “The Price is Right”. Instead, I find this drivel:
“From all of us at PETA, cheers to you Bob Barker. Thank you for everything you’ve done throughout your career to help animals, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.”
What, who, huh? I have to admit, I was dumbfounded by PETA’s stance on Bob Barker. I mean, this WAS the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals website, right? I was not at some spoof site, right? I must have sextuple checked the domain. Nope, it was the official website of PETA. Un…be…lievable. I HAD to be in the twilight zone, I mean, this is America, the country where a woman’s reproductive right is prized so highly that feticide is legal and vigorously defended. And this is PETA, the people who are so fanatical about animal rights they eschew the human suffering in the world and tacitly endorse the destruction of private property in support of animal rights. And sterilization, the ol’ tally whacker, I mean, that is some permanent, hard core mutilation of the genitalia. It also ends any chance for that poor animal to ever pass its genes on to the next generation. That’s personal extinction. How horrific!
To the logical, objective mind, PETA’s stance on animal sterilization does not make any sense at all. If there is one intrinsic right that all living beings should have, it is the right of self-propagation. Beings should never willfully be forced into not passing on their genes. It is a basic right even plants are afforded. You do not see people going around advocating the mass sterilization of grass, trees or begonias for cryin’ out loud. And you also do not see people running around advocating mass human sterilization without those people being branded a “monster” or “tyrant” or “inhuman”. How then can an organization that is supposedly DEDICATED to animal rights somehow also be an advocate for mass sterilization of animals?
I can see three possible explanations for this apparent paradox. One possible explanation is that there is some rationale or justification at work here that somehow resolves this illogical state of affairs to where it is in the best interests of animals to be mass sterilized. The second possible explanation is that the organization is not REALLY about projecting the human concept of intrinsic rights onto animals but is instead a clever ruse to disguise its true intent, destroying all animals through mass sterilization until they are extinct. The third possible explanation is that PETA’s view of mass sterilization is really a reflection of their view of human rights and thus they advocate the mass sterilization of humans as well as animals.
As stated, the first possible explanation is that there is some sort of rationale or logic that resolves the apparent paradox where an organization that claims to treasure animal rights can at the same time advocate the mass sterilization of those very same animals. For a little perspective, this would be like charities that help starving Ethiopians advocating mass sterilization as the ultimate solution to the problem. A little research turns up a link on PETA’s website regarding why people should spay or neuter their pets. This link ends up pointing to helpinganimals.com. The basic reasoning seems to be that if left to breed as nature intended that the animals would supposedly quickly become strays and feral (wild) and would, as a result, suffer, starve and freeze to death. Thus, it appears that an attempt is being made to make a utilitarian argument where greater suffering is purportedly avoided by inflicting lesser suffering.
Odd that the PETA.org website links off to a .com address, which typically signifies a for profit enterprise. Could it be that a fourth possibility exists in that PETA.org is simply a genius capitalistic marketing tool for cornering the market on the for profit sterilization of animals? Sounds a little conspiracy theory for my tastes, but you never know. Would be amazingly brilliant, I must admit.
Conspiracy theories aside, can this view be rationalized with PETA’s other stances on animal rights that do not involve intentionally inflicting pain and suffering on animals? Looking at their FAQ page and ignoring the excessively long diatribe in response to being compared with Hitler. Can you spell i n s e c u r e? Seriously, it is the longest response to any of the FAQ’s, even longer than justifying criminal actions in support of animal rights or how they can justify spending time helping animals when human suffering is completely ignored. It is even longer than explaining the preponderously tedious difference between “animal welfare” advocates and “animal rights” activists. Snore.
In any event, under the topic of “factory farms” it states that animals on factory farms are much worse off than in the wild because “…the wild isn’t ‘wild’ to the animals that live there – it’s their home. There they have their freedom and can engage in their natural activities. The fact that they might suffer in the wild is no reason to ensure that they suffer in captivity”. So, one can conclude that by advocating mass sterilization it appears that PETA is not only inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering on animals and denying their intrinsic rights to reproduction but are ALSO denying the freedom to live in the wild to thousands, if not millions, of animals. In addition, it is also illogical that the “wild” could at the same time be an intensely bad thing and an intensely good thing and thus this entire notion of mass sterilization can only be viewed as utterly nonsensical.
This conclusion seems to be reinforced by PETA’s rejection of utilitarianism arguments regarding the benefits humans, who are also animals, get from using animals as food and clothing. In PETA’s own words, “…animals, like humans, have interests that cannot be sacrificed or traded away to benefit others.” Thus, it does not logically follow that an animal’s interest in gene propagation can be traded away for the benefit of their progeny not living in the wild, which PETA says is a good thing anyway.
Obviously then, we are left with the explanations that PETA is either a clever façade for an organization dedicated to the destruction of animals or that it is an organization that believes in human sterilization. The simpler explanation, and therefore the probable correct answer, is the latter. But, in either case, PETA is obviously not a good organization because I happen to like cats and dogs and I also happen to really, really like sex; but…you know…with humans…because…you know…sex with cats and dogs would be, well, gross.
Hey, you don’t think that PETA is advocating mass sterilization because they are into bestiality and want to try to prevent some kind of weird cat/dog-human hybrid do you? Man, those are some sick, twisted individuals.
Originally published March 2008