I don’t really have any single grand subject to take some philosophical stance on at the moment, though I may rant about the definition of art in an entirely close-minded fashion later this week. Because it’s apparently something I can rant about easily, and something a lot of people will probably disagree with me on, so yay for fostering discussion.
But tonight, there are three different stories that have caught my eye for various reasons, and I just want to chat about them for a little bit.
First, being that it’s the annual slaughter-of-the-turkey time of year, not that you’d notice what with all the Christmas decorations hiding the cranberry sauce and peanut oil, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has something to say about it.
Now, I’m a meat eater. Always will be. I have a friend that went vegan (or more likely just vegetarian, I forget) and thinks my reasonings for not doing the same are crap… and they probably are. I don’t like the way most animals are treated on farms and the like. Shoving a metric crapton of chickens into the same far-too-small space, for example, where they grow up harassed and harried only to be slaughtered young and rather beaten up is, in my opinion, not cool. From the standpoint of “I like meat,” it makes the product smaller and worse and customers shouldn’t be accepting such sub-par end results. From the standpoint of just ethics, I do think it’s cruel and completely not cool. Animals should be treated better, even if their ultimate destination is a plate.
That said, I still think we should be able to eat meat, and I don’t think an essential hunger strike is going to get to any solutions unless there becomes a massive, widespread hunger strike and demand for ethical treatment. There have been some changes made through the legal system and just naturally on their own through free range and maverick meats that I think would be better to work through. How unfortunate that treating animals ethically is apparently so much more expensive these days, though, otherwise the solution would be far easier for consumers.
Anyway, I digress. While I think that much of the treatment of animals for consumption is cruel and detrimental to the consumer, the individual animal and the continuation of the animal as a species, I still think PETA’s a bunch of ridiculous people that very often make no sense whatsoever. This is one of those times. They’re petitioning President Barack Obama to stop the traditional pardoning of the turkey, and their arguments are perhaps a bit… lacking.
First, they say you wouldn’t eat your puppy, so why would you eat a turkey? At which point I jokingly think that Obama was the wrong president to make that analogy to… but more seriously think those are kind of false equivalencies. Or it seems that way to me. I also don’t understand why society thinks eating dogs and cats, wild ones, is necessarily bad. I’m not going to start, but people eat bunnies and I think those are the cutest best pets ever. Maybe dog and cat just taste bad? Anyway, they also call turkeys intelligent. If I recall, turkeys are the birds that drown on accident by looking up when it rains and sometimes are too stupid to eat their own food, starving to death. Farmers have to put shiny things in the food to get them to eat it, but keep a close eye so the turkeys don’t choke on the shiny things. But maybe that’s just domesticated turkeys. Finally, PETA compares the struggles of the turkey with the struggles of minorities. That there is definitely feeling like a false equivalency to me. Unfortunately for PETA, animals aren’t protected under the U.S. Constitution, so their struggles aren’t quite like the struggles for civil rights. At all. As for the “stop calling it a pardon, they’ve done nothing wrong” thing… it was a joke referencing the fact that turkeys are often sentenced to die during Thanksgiving. So…
But I knew my opinion before I started out, so maybe I’m just intensely close minded.
Another story, the Muppeteer for Elmo, Kevin Clash, is resigning from Sesame Street amid allegations of sex scandals. Now, this story is still growing and very murky. Apparently, an anonymous accuser said Clash had homosexual sex with him when he was underage. He later recanted that statement. I’ve read some places where he LATER said he was coerced to recant, and others that said he said he wasn’t coerced. And now, there’s apparently another person mounting a lawsuit against Clash. According to TV Guide, which is where I first read about this second guy, Cecil Singleton is alleging that he and Clash first crossed paths when Singleton was 15. Back in 1993. And he’s just now realizing that what Clash did screwed him up emotionally.
Now, I’m not sure if Clash is innocent or guilty. But I know in our American justice system, someone is supposed be treated as innocent until proven guilty. I also think that Singleton’s suit sounds suspiciously like the “Ooh, I can squeeze some money out of this guy by jumping on the hate bandwagon” lawsuits that are far too common. He could be on the level, but waiting nearly 20 years to figure out the negative things done in your life, landing the suit in the middle of another contentious scandal, seems a bit too well-timed. All I know is that too many people are upset to find out Elmo’s Muppeteer is gay. I just wish people would let the whole truth come out before demonizing someone. It’d be great to avoid reactionary responses.
And, finally, Something Positive cartoonist Randal Milholland tweeted earlier today about people on Twitter saying “LOL” stands for “Lucifer Our Lord” and is therefore bad to say. Now, that could be a joke someone started, and I really hope so because completely re-appropriating an acronym and changing what it stands for is just silly. Not to mention how silly it is that people still think Lucifer is equivalent with Satan (or Ha’satan, The Accuser). But he also tweeted about an actual movement. It has a terrible looking, almost geocities-esque website and everything. Apparently, in a tiny county in Texas, Kleberg County, in the city of Kingsville, it was resolved by some to change the greeting “Hello” into the more positive, Jesus-friendly “HeavenO.”
…do I even need to talk about why that’s ridiculous? I think sticking to “Praise Jesus” as a greeting would be easier and slightly less ridiculous.