Posts Tagged ‘PETA’

Inside the Box

January 4, 2016

sad pet boxes header



Zack is walking ahead of me talking to Zozee, a hairdresser from Martinique who owns five miniature dogs. We’re in his cave-like hair salon even though it’s a sunny day outside. I don’t want to hang around too long, but I understand the importance of seeing friends’ pets. Plus, Zozee’s partner-of-9-years just dumped him, abandoning him in the Gay Village like a dog in a city park.

We go into the undecorated storage half of Zozee’s huge double-roomed basement studio and in the futhest corner from the window, he opens the wooden door of a big, clunky armoir. From the deepest recesses of the armoir, Zozee pulls out a box where five tiny dogs live out their lives in complete darkness, with the rare exception of these occasional visits and daily feedings and  grooming.

sad pet box 200


The dogs seem thrilled to see new life forms and to be able to wobble around aimlessly a bit.  I ask if they’re puppies, but no, they’re not. These adult dogs never leave the box. Their pathetic imprisonment and miserable life of darkness and isolation reminds me of my suburban childhood, and I need  to go outside and feel the sun on my skin.

Around other people.


I pull on Zack’s shirtsleeve, and when he looks at me, I sneer for a second and then look longingly at the window. Exasperated, Zack apologizes to Zozee and says that he needs to “take the boyfriend outside for a walk before he scratches me.”

For the rest of the afternoon, we argue about every aspect of this visit. It starts out being about how ownership and capitalism make us do unnatural things. Then this morphs into a debate about whether pethood is a form  of cruelty. And finally, it’s about whether a boring sex life is what causes most couples to break up.

I believe all these arguments we’ve been having lately are related in some way.

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Qaturday Empathy

July 19, 2012

Das Qaturday Empathy

First they came for the goats:
Subjective Exclusion and the search for an enemy to rob


Many cats ask me why the humans seem to be eager to go extinct – why they play Russian Roulette with technologies that they don’t really understand or control. This leads the inquisitive feline to ponder: why have humans allowed unnecessary complication to imperil the simple and natural process of surviving?

It might help us felines to comprehend these giant, resource-vacuuming, human nihilists if we interact a bit with their texts. Not too much, of course; we don’t want to be numbed and dumbed down by texts like human readers are. But let’s look at a few human texts at a safe distance to find out where these destructive beasts get their insane marching orders.

Goat Sacrifice Texts

One human text that a cat might find interesting – because it relates to other species – is the goat sacrifice text. It’s important because it’s a recurring trope in the Abrahamic texts of many power-mad human societies.

The Abrahamic texts include stories where God asks a human to kill a goat simply to make a point. For example, God (the superhuman who fabricated the universe like a craftsman) will ask a human to kill his son. And then, just before the father human’s axe hits the neck of his child, God will dramatically change his orders, and tell him to kill “this goat” instead. This eleventh-hour switch is supposed to provide some kind of relief, and this feeling of relief is supposed to convince recalcitrant human readers to obey God’s orders. After all, God isn’t such a bad guy; he rescinded his order to kill a human child, and only had a lowly goat killed instead, right?

In these stories, the goat – a species that doesn’t speak or write – is used as a prop and completely objectified. Human readers are trained not to care about the death of this animal. The same God-texts imply that all creatures were created for humanity to kill at will. Even if it’s just to make a point.

“First they came for the goats, and I wasn’t a goat, so I ate my goat burger and pretended to enjoy it.”

For this sacrifice text to work, it’s important that goats can’t speak or write – or lie. This is crucial because it allows humans to exclude the goats from their human-fabricated stories, all of which are composed of human-only words. By excluding any input from the goat community, humans are able to kill them with total impunity: “There are no goats in our church, so we make jokes about killing goats,” a human might say –  if humans were still capable of telling the truth.

Subjective Social Exclusion

This goat-killing trope sets humanity up for a social philosophy based on Subjective Social Exclusion: A group of humans form a gang, and then all agree to pretend to believe in the same lies. Humans who don’t believe the same lies are socially excluded. And these socially excluded humans are then attacked, killed, raped, and stolen from, with total impunity. Non-humans like us cats are are socially excluded as well and treated with the same brutal callousness.

(Note: The reason it’s called subjective exclusion is because the criteria for the social exclusion are purely subjective. Anything will do, really. The important thing is to recruit a powerful mix of people, and to invent some beautiful lies that are difficult to disprove.)

Now, nature being what it is, what happened to the goats (goat burgers) and to the environment (pillaged and destroyed) will soon happen to the group that started the whole Subjective Exclusion craze in the first place – the human elites. If we survive their demise, the cat world needs to beware of this kind of manufactured species-ism. And in the present day, we need to keep our claws out when in the company of humans who, as we all approach extinction, still live by their sacrifice memes and continue to practice strategic social exclusion.


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FMJ wins the Nobel Prize for Marketing

October 2, 2010

FMJ prize


Celebrity intellectual Tish Steinberg – the seductive spokesmodel of the PETA think tank – ends her three-hour presentation with this:

Tish:All of us at the Morality Institute are proud to present the results of our year-long study! Our team of world-class Fashionologists have concluded that mammal nudity leads to civilization-threatening levels of immoral and destructive behavior. We urge all responsible governments all over the free world to immediately restructure their societies by making clothing mandatory on all mammals within their borders.”

For Passover Textiles, every shekel of Morality Institute funding was well invested. In the next few days, all the newspapers the corporation owns will print the findings of this highly respected think tank, and Passover Textiles will be made the official animal-clothier of cities, towns and wildlife refuges in every city with a McDonald’s.

Back in Jerusalem, Cynthia is worried about scheduling.

Cynth: “But Jesus, how the fuck are you going to appear at a fashion runway with PETA fund-raisers in Hebron at 3 pm, and then fly off to receive your Nobel Prize for Marketing two hours later? That leaves you five fucking minutes to take off, land, and get your hair prepped for the presentation ceremony. Shouldn’t you at least warn your cousin in Norway that you might be late?”

FMJ: “A star doesn’t warn. A star sets the agenda. Those geek bitches can wait an hour or they can kiss my queer ass.”

He practices his speech.

FMJ: “Someone at the sauna suggested that animals are sinful and that their young probably get harmed morally by seeing their parents and siblings’ sex organs. Five minutes later, I had PETA on the line with a billion-shekel offer…. And now, here I am, accepting this prize for Marketing – and for marketing something as lucrative as social morality, I might add.”

Cynthia interrupts FMJ and hands him the latest edition of the Alternative Hebrew Times. Bernie Silverberg has been using his editorial space to accuse the Nobel Prize jurors of being “shallow social-climbers who are kissing a pariah’s ass to move up in the world of Academia.”

Bernie concludes: “…many of the judges are probably pining for a cushy PETA think-tank position of their own.” Recently, in a shocker story, Bernie’s news magazine reveals that the head thinkers at Free Market Jesus’s privately-owned tank make more money than the presidents of any of the nation states they monitor and influence.

FMJ: “Bernie’s just sore because I don’t advertise in his low-volume rag. I could own his fucking toupee if I wanted it. But I let him rant on and on about me because…well… his is a kind of publicity that even huge bags of sweatshop money can’t buy.

His editorial bitching just makes me look more human to my loyal followers. I just hope bitch shows up to my Nobel ceremony tomorrow so that it gets all the press coverage it deserves…uh…that I deserve.

God among men. God among men…”

And with that, FMJ flicks his pastel-lilac cape and hops into a Mazda Miata.

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