I finally saw the TV commercial for Carl’s Jr. that has provoked the ire of all the PETA people. For those of you who don’t live in the western part of the country, Carl’s Jr. is a big fast food restaurant chain out here that serves mainly big burgers, and recently got a fair amount of national exposure for their less than tasteful ads showing a writhing, practically nude, Paris Hilton eating one of their burgers.
The ad that has the PETAphiles up in arms shows a live chicken standing and clucking while a voice off camera asks the bird to perform various feats. A foam ball comes winging in (I thinkâ€”I only saw the ad once, so what you’re getting is the gist of my memory of it) from off camera and the voice asks the chicken to catch it, juggling clubs come flying in and the chicken is asked to juggle them. Finally a huge sheaf of papers drops from above and the voice asks the chicken to collate them. During this entire process, the chicken basically just stands there looking like, well, a chicken. It appears to show no comprehension for the role it is playing in the commercial. After the chicken’s failure to perform any of the tasks put to it, the voice-over says, “There’s only one thing chickens are good for: eating.” Then the screen cuts to a picture of a Carl’s Jr. chicken sandwich.
The ad is a little misleading because there are really two things chickens are good for: the second one being eggs.
While roaming through the net looking for PETA’s response to this ad I found a website called PETA-sucks that someone put up who obviously doesn’t care a whole lot for the folks at PETA. One of the pages of the website is a hilarious compilation of supposedly actual commentary picked up from PETA chat rooms, bulletin boards, etc. If they are truly windows into the minds of a varied group of PETA supporters, I can only echo the warning of the guy who put up the website:
Before you read these quotes, I must warn you that your I.Q. could drop anywhere from 10-30 points..yes, these people are that stupid.
Who cares about child labor? The real question is, “Do those child laborors [sic] eat meat?” If so, boycott converse!
Meat eatters[sic] are mislead [sic] and brainwashed and will always be wrong and misinformed in everything they say and do.
Disclaimer: I have done no investigation of the PETA-sucks site. I have no affiliation with it financial or otherwise. I don’t have any idea whether or not the claims made on the site are true. I have only posted the PETA quotes on this post for their entertainment value, which, in my view, is considerable. Given the PETA people I’ve actually had dealings with, however, these qoutes certainly do ring true.
Having said all that, I confess that I do believe that PETA sucks. I can understand having a vegetarian viewpoint, but I can’t really understand being militant about it to the degree that these people are.
Over the years MD and I have had many, many vegetarian patients whom we have counseled for weight loss. When patients tell us that they are vegetarian we always try to find out why. If they are vegetarians for religious reasons or if they are vegetarians because they simply don’t like the taste of meat, we work with them to fit their food proscriptions into a workable low-carb plan. If they are vegetarians because they don’t like the idea of animals dying so that they can eat, we take a little different approach. We talk to them about the evolutionary development of domestic animals and where they fit into the world with humans. The progenitors of domestic animals made a pact with early humans eons ago that went something like this: you allow us to survive, we’ll provide food for you. That’s a simplistic way of putting it because, obviously, a conversation like that never took place. But it may as well have. Animals that were big, slow, and tasty were hunted to extinction by early humansâ€”except those who, by their more docile natures, allowed themselves to be domesticated. That’s why we still have cows, and pigs, and sheep, and why we don’t have mastodons, and mammoths, and giant sloths.
Let’s take the chicken, for example, who was the star of the aforementioned commercial. If this chicken and all her brethren were returned to the wild, she and they would endure much more brutal, painful deaths than what will be their ultimate destiny in a chicken processing plant. Why? Because chickens are not equipped to survive in the wild. They can’t really fly, they can’t run very fast, and they are extremely tasty to foxes, coyotes, and all kinds of predators. And these predators are not particularly gentle when they kill. If we freed all the chickensâ€”as PETA seems to demandâ€”they would soon become extinct. Their very survival as a speciesâ€”as with cows, and sheep, and other domestic animalsâ€”depends upon the you-protect-me-I’ll-feed-you pact they’ve made with humans.
A writer and small farmer named Stephen Budiansky wrote a wonderful book on this subject called Covenant of the Wild that I would encourage you to give anyone who has a vegetarian bent because they feel guilty about eating animals. The book is published by the Yale University Press, and is a real eye-opener.