Wednesday, March 14, 2007

AR jackassery from north of the border

AR groups are well known for their penchant for exploiting youth and children for ideological gain. For example, PeTA uses its "TeachKind" propaganda to attempt to get a foothold into taxpayer-funded public schools to indoctrinate kids into AR-ism and veganism. So really, this story about a Vancouver, B.C.-based AR group's plans to use children in a protest against the annual Canadian seal hunt certainly comes as no surprise to those of us who have a healthy amount of cynicism about the AR movement. Even though it isn't surprising, it still causes me to bristle and makes me mad as hell that people insist on stooping to this level. I find Mr. Hearn's comments to be spot on. What Liberation B.C. is doing is indeed "sick" and "utterly despicable" to use Mr. Hearn's appropriate words. It goes beyond the actions of Liberation B.C., however. All of this really begs the bigger question: what the f*ck is wrong with the parents? I believe strongly that it is the right of parents, not zealous ideologues or government bureaucrats, to pass on their values to their children, even when said values are somewhat bizarre and out of the mainstream, such as AR. However, parents teaching their children their beliefs and values is NOT the same as knowingly and willfully allowing their children to become someone else's political or ideological pawns. One must question how serious any parent who would allow Liberation B.C., or any other group for that matter, to exploit their children in this way takes their parental responsibilities.
I would challenge anyone to defend the actions of Liberation B.C. and their moonbat-in-chief, Ms. Chang, but you're going to offer a better defense than the farce of one put up by Ms. Chang. I guess I can't really blame Ms. Chang for her inane response, however. After all, when you're trying to defend the indefensible, you're bound to come out looking silly.


padraig said...

Wanting your kids to share your views is one thing. Using them as tools to spread propaganda is despicable.

One disturbing non-scientific observation I've made is that most AR's either don't have children, and those that do have kids tend to use them to advance their philosophy to others. How many AR's have refused to let their children to be inoculated because the serum was tested or developed using animals? Putting one's children and the people around them at risk for your "principles" is the height of irresponsibility.

Joey Miles said...

My email is
I am one of the organizers of Liberation BC and would really enjoy helping you get some of your facts straight... because obviously you have quite a closed mind when it comes to reading the newspaper and not listening to both sides of the story. Thanks!

Grizzly Bear said...

Mr. Miles:

If I do not "have my facts straight" then please feel free to post the "facts" here. They will not be censured. If you feel you are up to the challenge of offering a satisfactory defense for this kind of child exploitation, again please do so; you will not be censured. Until you can offer up said facts and defense, I will assume the accuracy of the report.


TheJoey03 said...

Liberation BC DOES NOT EXPLOIT children. What happened, was one reporter tried stirring up sh*t by contacting the minister and he went to the media.

When I talk to children, and they hear about the kinds of things happening to animals, they want to do everything they can to help.

What Liberation BC does, is educate people on the types of things corporations and governments are doing to animals. Example: KFC, BEBE, or the Canadian government.

When Joanne said "it will get good media coverage if we can get the children.", she meant that the children want to help anyways, and this is the best way for them to.

To me... trying to plan a demonstration and to try making it as good as possible, and has nothing to do with child exploitation. But the children want to help. Thats obvious. So when we mention to parents and children that they will be able to help us get media... we're just letting them do what they want to do most, help the animals.

Its Loyola Hearn that should be ashamed.

-Joey Miles

Grizzly Bear said...

Sorry, Mr. Miles but that just doesn't wash. I stand by my charge. I think you know as well as I and other readers do that children are extremely emotionally vulnerable. Unlike adults, who are capable ( or at least should be capable, though I have my doubts about many of them ) of critical thinking and rational analysis of things, children naturally react to things which stir their emotions without thinking them through. When AR groups attempt to "educate" (translation: indoctrinate) them they are preying upon that emotional vulnerability.

Your attempt to clarify Ms. Chang's remark is feeble at best. Ms. Chang's comment is clearly indicative of someone who is trying to draw attention to her ideological cause and is even willing to use children to that end if doing so manages to get her a 30 second sound bite on the 5 o'clock news. Stop insulting my intelligence by offering up disingenuous explanations for a statement that is clearly exploitative in nature. If children really want to do something meaningful to help animals, I suggest that they volunteer at a local animal shelter. They get the satisfaction of working hands on with real animals they can interact with, and can actually see they are doing something to help them. Children don't have to be used as pawns in your political/ideological game in order to help animals.

TheJoey03 said...

Children may be emotionally vulnerable. True. But much of the time, they think clearer then the average adult. People do not give children enough credit.

And no matter what you say, a child can easily tell when it sees that something is wrong, or right. THAT, has nothing to do with the parents.

Example: Ashley Fruno bit into a chicken nugget at 7 years old, and was able to make the connection between it and her own body. She became a vegitarian shortly after. Her mother was an animal farmer, and her father was the President of the local rodeo. She was influenced by her parents, but although she was young, she was able to see what was wrong and what was right. To this day her parents do not agree with what she is doing. But she knows that what she is doing is right.

aloe2 said...

Children can’t give informed consent. Also, younger children may think they know about an issue, but I think they can’t hold strong enough and thought out enough beliefs about all the different issues for and against made by all sides to sometimes complex issues like seal hunting, global warming, the Iraq war, gay rights, pro life/anti abortion, pro guns, etc. I think the environment is too complex and sometimes too hostile for them to understand. Unfortunately, too, some of animal rights issues are less to do with caring for animals as it is to marginalize a group of people for media attention and public vilification. Is it to help the cause of the seals and other animals and the environment, or is it about demonizing seal hunters? So, I don’t think that parents should give consent on their child’s behalf to participate in complex and sometimes hostile social and ideological campaigns. Maybe, with discretion, parents can take their youngsters to social/political/idological rallies and events, like an anti seal hunt protest, but parents shouldn’t, imo, allow their children to be used as props in such activism for media attention to gain public attention and funding for Liberation BC.

It is much more about galvinating people’s emotions. E.g., note Rebecca Aldworth, Montreal-based Canadian spokeswoman for the HSUS who said she couldn’t comment on Liberation BC’s tactics and added that Hearn should feel shame. She also said, “I would argue that Canada’s seal hunt is the slaughter of baby seals.” Consider, too, HSUS has depicted a photograph on its website of a white-furred sealpup right next to another photo of a sealer about to drive his club/hakapik into the skull of an older seal. The Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) website, in its Myths and Realities subject section says that the killing of whitecoats and bluebacks has been banned since 1987. So, things can get very confusing for children, and adults.

By all means, Liberation BC can plan a demonstration to meet its goal of drawing public awareness, or whatever, to the cause. By all means, make the demonstration kid-friendly so that parents can take them to the protest and be involved in age-appropriate eduational material, games and skits, etc., to help them understand some of the man-animal-environment issues and help them be empathetic towards animal welfare components. Though, I think the subject matter is very complex and arouses too much emotion and hostility for younger children to comprehend properly and make informed views about. But, Liberation BC should not be urging children to skip school, or urging parents to take their children out of school, in order to have them act for the camaras to arouse public attention for another’s ideological cause (an ideological cause they, the children, don’t really understand and which is ultimately a crusade of their parents and other adults) and get the gullible (adults) to donate to Liberation BC. That’s not the way to educate children about animals and the environment/other animals they interact with and depend on, what the meaning of animal cruelty is, the place of humans in the evnvironment, and other animal welfare/rights issues, nor is it the way to help them be involved in helping animals in genuine need. Using children as political/idological props in a complex and sometimes hostile environment is a distasteful way to make a statement. It’s unethical for adults of Liberation of BC and adult parents to be recruting and/or using children as props for their parents’ and other adults’ ideological causes and to make a political/social statement. There are gentler, less exploitative ways to educate innocent, intellectually vulnerable, unconsenting children.


Grizzly Bear said...

Now you're getting desperate, Joey. Your last comment is nothing more than a strawman argument. It is does nothing to actually address the issue of whether Liberation B.C. is exploiting children for ideological purposes. These are the facts:

- Ms. Chang seems to urge people to pull their kids out of school for the purpose of attending this event.

- Ms. Chang makes a comment that explicitly states that the presence of children will help garner more media attention.

It all reeks of exploitation of children as a means to an end for Liberation B.C. to draw attention to itself. You have utterly failed to show otherwise. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, chances are pretty good it's a duck as the old saying goes. Exploiting kids, whom, as Carol rightly pointed out are not able to give INFORMED consent, for ideological gain, no matter what the cause happens to be, is morally bankrupt. Instead of offering goofy defenses for their behavior and fallacious responses to criticism, its time for your organization to take responsibility for its repugnant actions.

Jason said...

I'm curious what the difference is between allowing your child to participate in an animal rights protest and allowing your child to be in a Mcdonalds commercial?
Are the children being "exploited" by their parents and Mcdonalds as well? Or is it only because you disagree with the message of these particular children that you find it so offensive? Though I have no children, if I did I would be proud if they chose to protest against animal cruelty. That is so much better than joining the brainless masses who live their lives without any thought to the well being of others. It's sad that selfishness, cruelty and greed are considerd the "status quo".