Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What the fuck, PETA

I have a lot of problems with PETA. When I was a kid, I really liked PETA. I wanted to be a member. Who wouldn't want animals to be treated ethically? Who doesn't love animals? What are you, some kind of puppy-eating cyclops monster? DO YOU EAT PUPPIES??!!

But I digress. Now, as a bacon-loving adult, PETA just pisses me off most of the time. My cousin posted a link to this story, about PETA imploring Ben and Jerry's to use human breast milk instead of cow's milk in their ice cream (because some guy in Switzerland does it!). Let's go over the letter that Tracy Reiman sent off to my favorite ice cream fellas:

"Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer."
Oh really? Because my understanding of these links have to do with feeding children milk before age 1. At least for the allergies and juvenile diabetes part. And for the rest of those claims, let's go over Stats 101: CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. I'm sorry, PETA, does that confuse you? It means that although it is possible that cow's milk contributes to those problems, it is also possible that cow's milk is a very minor contributor to those problems, which involve many other risk factors. It is also possible that *gasp* cow's milk has NOTHING TO DO with those problems and just happens to be a characteristic of another variable that is actually linked to those problems (for instance, that people with a genetic predisposition to ovarian cancer also have a predisposition to enjoy sweet, fatty foods like dairy, but the dairy itself does not cause the cancer). For further reference, please note the relationship between pirates and global warming.

"The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children"
When Spock made this recommendation in his last book before he died, it raised a lot of concern in the medical community. Spock advocated a very strict vegetarian/vegan diet for children that many pediatricians saw as almost impossible for average parents to accomplish---that it would require a mountain of careful planning. Other pediatricians spoke outright against it. This is a good article noting the medical community's response to Spock's sudden and extreme change of heart.

"Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months"
Wow, did you know that human women's breasts operate in much the same way! That they don't produce nearly as much milk as a cow? That it would be almost completely infeasible for Ben and Jerry's to meet their demand? Unless, of course, they hired desperate women and impregnated them instead, over and over again. Is that what you want, PETA? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?

"The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk"
Yes, the breast is best for HUMAN INFANTS. As far as I could find, there was little to no research on the effects of human breast milk on adults (although it would make a great study). Some people claim that it has the ability to send cancer into remission, and that may very well be true, but until I actually see a scientific, peer-reviewed study conducted by an independent institution, I'm gonna go ahead and say that there isn't enough evidence to support the claim that our health would be "boosted" by using human milk in ice cream. Also, let me repeat that last part: IN ICE CREAM. It's not that healthy to begin with, people. I bet the incredible sugar content is really what you should be going after, not the milk, if you want to make a health-based argument.

I know, PETA: Animals are treated like, well, animals. It's sad sad sad. We're all such monsters. So the solution is clearly to throw the human females in front of that bullet to save those sweet, doe-eyed cows. Why not fight for stricter enforcement of regulations? Why not put together a research team to find alternative ways of milking?

On a final note, I really find PETA to be every bit as bad as the pro-life demonstrators. PETA was frequently on my college campus showing "shock" videos of animals being beaten to death and posters of slaughtered and malnourished animals to naive freshmen. Nevermind that the source of the photos was probably a factory being inspected for severe violations that was probably shut down anyway. Nevermind that what you're doing is based on emotional manipulation, rather than verifiable fact (read: propaganda). Nevermind that to a lot of us, you look the same as those assholes holding up pictures of aborted fetuses. Also, one time you called my cousin a whore for eating a fast food burger, and that is REALLY NOT COOL.

The bottom line: If you don't want to eat meat or dairy, PETA, that's totally cool. But you really have to stop crusading for the rest of us to join you. You're like the Jehovah's Witnesses of vegetarianism. The rest of us don't bug you to eat meat (well, maybe some jerks do, but they're jerks and the rest of us don't approve), so stop ringing the national doorbell and attempting to minister your way of life to us.

1 comment:

rj said...

That was excellent. And I love the comparison to the pro-lifers. Ahhh, what would this world be if I didn't want you to be just like me, while I hold a gun to your head?

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