I've said that to people. Some had already come to that conclusion on their own. A lot of other people need to be reminded they are animals. They think they're something special because they made a God in their image, or have a written language, or have learned how to destroy the world.
But in this case, "I Am an Animal" is the title of a documentary about Ingrid Newkirk and PeTA (and what is with that small e, anyway?) which is now on DVD. It begins with her reading some of the obscene hate mail she receives, then moves on to some infuriating talking heads such as Barbara Walters saying something along the line of how she likes to be kind, but life would be so difficult if you lived according to what PeTA wants. Poor Baba Wawa. Most of the rest of the film covers Newkirk's life and opinions, a Butterball undercover operation, and other animal rights groups opinions of PeTA. There were a few horrifying images, nice moments, and teary eyes along the way.
Despite agreeing with almost everything Newkirk says in the film and not being at all offended by their controversial tactics, I'm not a PeTA member. I once bought some t-shirts from their website and returned them when they arrived with big PeTA logos on them which weren't shown in the photos. I'm more interested in ideas and values than in endorsing any group.
But when people from other animal rights groups condemn PeTA's tactics in the film, I think they're either kidding themselves or just want a bigger share of the money pool. It doesn't matter if people are offended by PeTA's actions and uncomfortable truths. Wearing a fancy suit in a boardroom and being oh so kiss-assy doesn't matter either. The world hadn't become animal-friendly in the centuries before PeTA began, it's not animal-friendly now, and it wouldn't be animal-friendly even if PeTA had never existed. It's the idea that animals matter which infuriates people.
It boils down to whether you think change comes voluntarily from within the system or because the system is being pushed and pulled by those on the extremes. I think history shows that hard changes require hard actions, usually with violence and blood and death. Those in power don't give it up willingly. The actions of PeTA or even more extreme animal and environmental groups have been very peaceful from that historical hard truth. I don't have the personality to do the confrontational and attention-getting things PeTA activists do, or the strength to go undercover in a slaughterhouse for months to film abuse, but I applaud those who do.
October Light Shining Through...
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