4 Dec 2009
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK is proving to be a real Pain In The Ass (PITA). In fact, I think I'm going to have to take action.
Don't get me wrong, I love animals. We have a dog and five cats (down from a peak of eight - meet some of our cats here). In the past, we've owned rabbits and a goat. Trish is talking about getting chickens, though I personally regard chicken as a form of vegetable and therefore beyond PETA's remit. Our upstairs hallway has two holes in the wall where I've rescued trapped starlings. I've also rescued two owls and a kestrel from our chimney. And I get a warm, fuzzy feeling every time I see deer in our garden.
So I don't have a problem with animals. In fact, I prefer them to people, and want them to have happy and fulfilled lives. It's PETA as an organisation that is pissing me off.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from them, saying that I'd somehow "joined thousands of other compassionate people who want to do more to improve animals' lives by joining PETA Europe's online community". I've no idea how this could have happened. But I can't seem to stop these emails from coming.
The problem is that, while PETA has a laudable fondness for our feathered and furry friends, and rightly thinks we should give them proper respect, it goes further than I think is reasonable. This is the trouble with organisations, and why I don't belong to a political party. There are alway parts of their manifestos with which I disagree. And so I don't join because I don't want to support, however tacitly, all of those policies. It's the same with PETA.
PETA is against eating meat. But I love meat. I eat it every day. Eating meat is what made us human (during our evolution, the protein-rich diet allowed for brain development including those areas of the brain that gave rise to consciousness, language, co-operative behaviour, society, technology, the Internet and, finally, annoying fucking emails from PETA).
PETA is also against wearing animal skins. But if you want to take away my Schott bomber jacket you'll have to prise it from my cold, dead fingers.
PETA is against any laboratory use of animals. But, personally, I'm happy to sacrifice a few bunnies and whatnot if we get a cure for cancer, AIDS and malaria. I mean, get your priorities right, okay?
The fact that PETA assumed I might agree with its more extreme beliefs, by sending that first email, only mildly irritated me. Having determined that it wasn't from a spammer or phisher, I searched for an 'unsubscribe' link and, lo, there was one. I clicked it, travelled to the PETA website and was told I'd been removed from the organisation's lists.
It was a lie.
A week later, another email. I unsubscribed again.
And this morning ... you guessed it.
This has to be in contravention of something or other. But it seems I can't rely on PETA's competence or honesty to deal with this issue. So here's my solution.
This offer is subject to certain conditions:
* I'm kidding. Possibly.