Thursday, October 27, 2005

Daddy Kills Animals

My friend Russ (a local attorney, falconer and father of two) sent this interesting image from PETA, Inc. ...For the sake of this post, I'll give PETA credit for the art but admit I didn't check for independent verification.

In its continuing battle for the next generation of paid subscribers, this well-recognized (but poorly known) corporation adds a new anti-family twist to its list of pet peeves. You see, your daddy kills animals, and "your doggies and kitties...could be next!" (direct quote from reverse side)

As a daddy who both kills animals and loves his children, I am fascinated by this approach. Let's assume for a minute that this PETA campaign is not a form of hate speech that with slight change of illustration could rival any propaganda distributed by the Ku Klux Klan. Let's say this is a legitimate message suitable for children and supported in part by your tax dollars (the latter is true!).

Do I, as the bogeyman in this message, feel threatened by it?

A little bit, yes. I would feel equally (which is to say, rather vaguely) threatened to see an analogous image demonizing my Jewish wife or my Christian parents. It is disturbing to see one's self so grossly and meanly misrepresented.

But do I believe that this or similar messages could turn my twin daughters away from me in fear and disgust (as PETA seems to wish)? No. They both know very well that Daddy kills and butchers animals (they've helped, and then eaten them!) . More to the point, even my pair of sheltered, suburbanite girls (just under five years of age) would be able to see the ridiculous misrepresentation in every element of this image.

If that is so, then what sort of kid would swallow this crap? Perhaps one who doesn't know (or doesn't particularly like) his father. Or one who has never seen a carcass she recognized as an animal.

Question Two: If it's legitimate to thrust a wedge between father and child, could the mother/child bond be far from the sights of PETA cartoonists? After all, it is she who usually buys (and cooks! and SERVES!) the cruel products of the chicken farmers and the cattle growers.

Once the children are amply estranged from their parents, who shall be left to guide them?

Oh wait: I think I know the answer to that one.


prairie mary said...

I was an animal control officer in the Seventies and did come across a few men who killed their children's pets to punish the children. They were very twisted men and soon separated from their children and wives by a court of law. They were NOTHING like ordinary peaceful hunters, fishermen or animal husbandrymen. I am very curious about the psychology of PETA members who persist in seeing the world so demonized. Did they have twisted parents? Are they twisted themselves some way? It's as though they were under some kind of spell.

Matt Mullenix said...

I can't imagine killing pets as punishment---though as a teen working in a local veterinary clinic, I killed plenty for other reasons (sometimes for the convenience of their owners). It's true that some parents kill their kids as punishment, but we don't demonize the institution of parenthood for that!

Looking at this weird cartoon a while I finally figured out who it's drawn for---not for kids or for hunters or for the general public: It's an image to bolster the false view of hunters PETA's own members must maintain. It's designed for internal consumption.

I think you're on the right track to wonder about the private lives of these people.

Voracious Reader said...

Who shall be left to guide them? Those who hold themselves up as this century's Platonic "Guardians". Or, as Jack would refer to them, the people who want to reach into your shower and adjust the temperature for you.

Anonymous said...

... and, of course, everybody puts on a suit and tie, like the fellow on the poster, to gut fish!

A minor point, but symptomatic of the gaping void between these people and reality.

Bodie Littlejohn said...

Haha.....I've found new insparation to hekkel PETA people. For every animal you dont eat, I'm going to eat 2. Sure, It's rough on the colon but I never aspired to senior citizendome. Last time I researched, humans were designed as predatory animals..slow and clumsy predators...but a killer of creatures all the same. Thus the lazy invention of the projectile weapon. Some of us are so lazy in our predatory nature that we sucker other animals into doing the work for us ( Hawks and Hounds). We do this not only for the love of sport, but also to fulfill the basic need of sustaining our lives by eating. I suppose it is morally unobjectionable to eat living things that have no plants and the occasonal liberal, but the basic need to eat still remains. Most of us recognize the absurd agenda of groups like PETA but I cant help being slightly ammused by the fisherman displayed in his sunday best gutting his catch in a Tinker Bell frenzy. PETA has once again exceeded my expectations of propaganda...well done Peta!...I'll make sure to send a comic book style post card of the next animal I shoot and eat.

Laura said...

Other non-humanely animals should have the right to live, not just the right to be humanley treated until theyre killed. The point PETA is making here is simple; it is WRONG to kill another animal, one that feels pain and lonliness just as you do. This ad is only a reminder of the ironicly inhumane world we live in.