I Am An Animal

For the last week or so HBO has been airing I Am An Animal: Ingrid Newkirk which is about the co-founder and president of PETA. I hate to sound harsh, but lady speak for yourself. I believe that all lies, religions and ideologies have roots in Truth, and that often explains their appeal to the masses and to otherwise intelligent people. You mix in just enough truth and people will buy just about anything including the underlying lies and delusions beneath it all.

In this case Ms. Newkirk and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sell themselves as a ‘we love animals’ organization with the mission to expose and kindle awareness about animal cruelty. What a great ploy. Who doesn’t like animals? But at the same time they are aggressively making the case that animals and humans are equivalent in all respects. It brings a whole new twist to the slogan “Hamsters have rights too” but, all joking aside, their twisted view of ‘animal rights’ is a dangerously seductive philosophy that equates even the lowest of disease spreading vermin with the sanctity and value of human life. And, in many ways, would elevate animal’s rights above the rights of humans.

It must be exhausting, and nutritionally challenging, to be a PETA follower. No eggs, no milk, no meat, living on collard greens and cucumbers, no pets, no leather, no fur, no Thanksgiving turkey and just another burden of guilt for Western man to carry around with him on a daily basis.

I always look for the sociological and psychological reasons why people turn out the way they do. One’s childhood shapes some people so completely that nearly all that they have become can be traced back, with virtually no ambiguity, to the events, traumas and people that shaped them during their formative years. Obviously, that affects us all, but some people embrace what they should reject while some reject what they embrace. And hopefully a well balanced person can retain the good that shaped their lives and overcome the bad while recognizing the impulses and compulsions one has and where it originated from. That is what separates us from the animals to begin with. We have the ability to use our intellect, common sense and will power to shape our lives instead of merely being driven by impulses, wants and desires that may or may not be wise and healthy for us.

According to Ingrid Newkirk herself, her childhood was far from ideal. She had a hot tempered, absent father and a distant, unaffectionate mother. With no siblings her sole companion and friend was her dog. She had herself sterilized at the young age of 22, was temporarily married but “didn’t have time for it”, thinks it is selfish and wrong to have the urge to have children of your own (one should adopt), owns no pets and thinks that is wrong (but how does that reconcile with her childhood experiences with her dog?), and is an avowed atheist. Just that little bit of background was enough for me to smile and think to myself ‘so that’s what’s wrong with her’ and helps explain much of her apparent estrangement from the human species and her lifelong identification with, and championing of, animals. I saw no apparent strong bonds with other humans through family, marriage, friends, or children.

Humans are a social ‘animal’ and when that is absent it can cause severe damage to a personality. I’m afraid that may have happened in Ingrid’s case. Sociology and psychology are not exact sciences but this one is a classic study in many ways, especially in its outcome. Estrangement from one’s own species and intense identification with others seems to have been the result.

The best part of the show, and my wife’s favorite by far, was when a PETA infiltrator at a Butterball slaughterhouse was able to ‘liberate’ a domesticated turkey that had escaped in the parking lot. The undercover PETA operative excitedly radioed his ‘find’ ahead to headquarters and when the turkey arrived he was packed off to a special, straw lined room to rest. Ingrid turned on some soft music for the bird and quietly closed the door while whispering “rest sweetie” to the bewildered bird. He was eventually crated off to some PETA rescue farm to live out his life far from the threat of the Thanksgiving table.

We were cracking up for nearly ten minutes over that one. It was something you really had to see. If you get a chance to watch this documentary I would encourage you to do so. I am a firm believer in understanding the “how’s and why’s” of ideologies and theologies and this was a great look into the mindset of the animal liberation movement. It is also a great example of how the West has become so spoiled, wealthy and secure in its luxury that people have the time, money, energy, and distracted idleness to participate in such causes. Only the most leisurely and well fed societies produce the pseudo philosophers who ponder the ethics of wearing leather belts or fur coats and it takes a full belly and a lot of consistent calories to contemplate the horrendous nature of serving burgers at an eating establishment. Try to feed that spoonful of crap to those who know the pangs of true hunger in the belly and what it is like to survive outside the modern, successful, and productive First World.

In some ways it is a form of selfishness and elitism to describe the eating of meat as cruel, the keeping of animals as slavery or the use of stock to pull a plow as bondage. Only the most spoiled and privileged can wring their hands over such trivialities and with sweeping gestures condemn the necessities that have allowed humans to rise to the position we now enjoy as civilized human beings. Human’s were designed to be omnivores, not vegetarians and the use of animals as both food and laborer allowed humans to rise above merely being scavenging cave dwellers.

Miss Newkirk probably wouldn’t think to much of me. I raise and breed Shelties (I own two), have dared to reproduce (I have three daughters), and own a number of animals including a turtle, snake, african millipede, toads, scorpions, tarantulas, and a variety of exotic insects that I breed for profit (exploitation and confinement of other sentient species). The chasm between us is probably too large to be bridged.

Unfortunately, Ingrid Newkirk seems to be a driven, but disturbed individual who is glorified and idolized by many while receiving far more publicity than she and PETA deserve. The ‘animal rights’ agenda is one of the most distorted and manipulating of the various fringe movements that abound on the far Left. Shamelessly playing upon the public’s love of animals and our civilization’s natural inclination as a caring and humane people, they weave an elaborate web of fact and fantasy that seeks to radically alter the face of Western Civilization and man’s role in regards to nature.

“As someone said to me the other day—they had seen the HBO special—and they said, ‘Are you really a sad obsessed person?’ And I thought, ‘No, I’m not really a sad person, except when I lie awake at night in winter thinking about all the animals out without shelter, and then I’m sad!’ Who wouldn’t be? Wouldn’t anybody be sad if they have a heart? It’s just that I’ve seen so much.” - Ingrid Newkirk

Posted by David M. Huntwork at November 29, 2007 12:39 AM
Comments
Comment #239579
living on collard greens and cucumbers

Plants are people too. Well, they live and breath and feel pain, how can we eat them so callously?

And all of the microbes we kill every day by breathing, etc…

Reminds me of one of my favorite comic strips of all time, Bloom County, when they decide to not harm another living thing. They end up holding their breath and trying to hover in mid air so they don’t step on any grass…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 29, 2007 1:06 AM
Comment #239580

You would think that with two hundred plus channels there might actually be something worth watching. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. But at least it gave a bit of fodder for Watchblog, and that’s got to be worth something.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at November 29, 2007 1:24 AM
Comment #239583

You responded to it, but what happened to my original post?

Posted by: Jane Doe at November 29, 2007 3:07 AM
Comment #239584

David,

I haven’t watched any of the series, but has anyone asked her any question about animals eating other animals?

I once worked as a technician at a PETA event in Hollywood, and while I do respect the fact most of the vegans I have met are very consistent with their lifestyle, why do they make and eat food that tastes like meat?
There was pork ribs flavored “tofu” on the menu that night.

Oh, and 90% of the crew eschewed the free vegan food provided for lunch (that in itself is unheard of), and went to Astro Burger accross the street.

Posted by: Rocky at November 29, 2007 5:45 AM
Comment #239591

David,

You are an animal. That’s not an insult, it’s a biological fact. You belong to kingdom Animalia.

Where are the “lies” you are talking about? You and PETA simply have an honest disagreement.

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 29, 2007 8:50 AM
Comment #239596

Newkirk pretty much says PETA would be nothing if not for Hollywood and its money, during their big gala that aired in the documentary. This money, star power and kids wanting to meet those stars are what keep PETA and their unlawful actions going.

The smarter groups, like the Humane society, have more affect and do twice as much good. They do not agree with Newkirks methods and, believe it or not, were given the chance to counter in this documentary.

PETA is a black eye to the humane treatment of animals groups. If you really want care about this issue, check out the other groups and support them.

Posted by: kctim at November 29, 2007 9:48 AM
Comment #239609

mmm… astroburger…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at November 29, 2007 1:01 PM
Comment #239626

Responding to people’s various arguments here: No, it’s not difficult to support animal rights. And it’s very easy and yummy to eat a vegan diet.

As a supporter of animal rights, I have a dog. Many supporters of animal rights have pets. Obviously it’s best to adopt them from shelters and rescue organizations.

Plants do not feel pain. But let’s just assume, for the sake of a poster’s argument, that they do. It takes more plants to feed animals who will then be killed for food than it does to feed people directly.

Animal rights isn’t about being perfect. Obviously we’re going to kill — however accidentally — some living beings (ie. step on an ant). Animal rights is about doing the best not to contribute to cruelty (ie. not eating meat).

Yes, some animals eat other animals. Some animals (most actually) also defecate outside. Humans, however, are more civilized. We don’t need to eat animals to be healthy. In fact, we can be healthier by not eating them.

Most vegans didn’t become vegan because we disliked the taste of meat. We became vegan because we didn’t want to contribute to the cruelty of the meat and dairy industries.

Please visit ChooseVeg.com if you want to learn more about how you can stop contributing to animal cruelty.

Tracy

Posted by: Tracy at November 29, 2007 4:11 PM
Comment #239631

Tracy,
As I said in my post I do respect PETA/vegans for being consistent, I just don’t agree totally with their point of view.

No one is “for” cruelty to animals. I personally think that feed lots are the height of human cruelty.

Do you feed your dog a totally vegan diet as well?
Do your vegan brethren?
If there is animal protein in your animal’s diet where does it come from?

Posted by: Rocky at November 29, 2007 4:59 PM
Comment #239643

DH
As an upstanding member of the far left I deny and resent to placeing of this group with us.NO THANK YOU.

FYI Vivisection was against the law in Nazi Germany. Hitler was an animal lover and vegitarian.Sorry,if you do not want them do not give them to us.

Posted by: BillS at November 29, 2007 8:37 PM
Comment #239696


Yes, we are animals and I sometimes wonder if we were to quit eating animal protein we might evolve into civilized beings but, the odds that greed and other aflictions of man being a byproduct of animal protein is mighty slim.

Textured and flavored yeast is the wave of the future.

Posted by: jlw at November 30, 2007 2:06 PM
Comment #239765

I’m an animal lover. As I type this my Lab/Chow mix is waiting paitently by my side for a belly rub. He, like his father and grandfather are and were an important part of our family.

Having said that, the ONLY rights my dogs have are the ones I give to them. My dogs are PRIVATE PROPERTY.

Posted by: tomd at December 1, 2007 6:01 AM
Comment #240561

BillS,

That is an urban myth. Hitler was not a vegetarian, nor were Nazis animal rights proponents. The only vegetarian organizations in Germany at the time were banned.

Posted by: mark at December 11, 2007 9:36 PM
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