Friday, August 31, 2007

PeTA attacks Gore on meat; then called out by astute blogger for their half-truths

First, let me apologize to readers for the lack of posts in the past couple of weeks. Sometimes the demands of everyday life, such as a more intense than usual work schedule, can leave you a little ragged. Hopefully, I'll have a little more time on my hands here real soon.

According to this report in The New York Times, PeTA is now attacking former Vice-President and global warming crusader Al Gore for being a meat eater. PeTA claims that Gore's carnivorous habits cost him credibility on environmental issues. I thought the fact that Gore travels the globe in private jets and owns a home that uses more electricity in a month that many average Americans use in a year, had already sufficiently discredited him, but I digress. In their criticism of Gore, PeTA cites a U.N. report that claims that the livestock industry produces more "greenhouse gas" emissions than all forms of transportation combined. PeTA uses this report as ammunition for its argument that Gore, as well as the rest of us, ought to become vegan so that we can, to use a vapid cliche, "save the planet". Well, it turns out that PeTA either is intentionally not telling the whole story about the U.N. report they cite, or they cannot read ( I leave it to you to decide which is more likely ). An astute blogger has pointed out on his blog that PeTA isn't telling the full story about the U.N. report. It turns out that what PeTA isn't telling the public is that the report makes no recommendation that people "go vegan" or cut animal products from their diet. What it does do is make suggestions to the livestock industry on how to cut and better manage its emissions. What PeTA has done here is only tell half the truth, and as the old saying goes, the best lies are always half true. Kudos to Eric at The Observation Deck and to the Center for Consumer Freedom for pointing this out.

Wayne Pacelle continues to be in damage control mode; interviewed by "friend" reporter

I posted a while back about questions that have arisen concerning HSUS's fund raising activities in regards to the Michael Vick dogfighting case. I even suspect that it was one of Pacelle's paid, sycophantic hacks at HSUS who left comments on this blog in regards to that post ( read the comments to see what I'm talking about ). Well, it turns out that HSUS president Wayne Pacelle is still in damage control mode amidst criticisms of HSUS. Check out this article, in which Pacelle is interviewed by a reporter who is a friend of his. As to be expected, Wayne's buddy and interviewer only throws him softball questions ( go figure! ). That's pretty lame Wayne, that's pretty lame. This is what's supposed to pass for journalism here in the brave new 21st century? Thanks to Americans for Medical Progress for bringing this rather "so-pathetic-it's-funny" "interview" to my attention.

British ARAs claim contamination of children's first aid product

A British extremist AR group calling itself the "Animal Rights Militia" is claiming that it contaminated containers of a first aid cream primarily used for children because they believe the manufacturer to have ties to Huntington Life Sciences ( HLS ) according to this report. It appears that no actual contamination probably took place, but claiming so is itself a criminal act. I guess it isn't enough for AR extremists to resort to things like beatings, arsons, and grave robbery. They now have to engage in scare tactics involving products used primarily by children. How sick is that? And ARAs wonder why people consider them to be crazy or mentally ill. I would welcome them to prove me wrong, but rest assured that you will here nothing but deafening silence about this on the pro-AR blogs.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Is animal rights a religion?

That is a question I've asked myself and thought a lot about. AR and fundamentalist religions certainly share a lot of attributes. They both proselytize, often obnoxiously. They often both view the "unbeliever", the "heathen", or the "pagan" as some how morally and ethically inferior to themselves. They both involve adhering to some sort of self-denying dogma. For the fundamentalist Christian, this dogma may involve abstinence from things such as alcohol, dancing, or sex. For the ARA, this dogma manifests itself as veganism. Like the "religious right", they often seek to make their own personal beliefs a matter of public policy enforced by the power of the state. And most frightening, like militant, fundamentalist Islam, AR has its extremist zealots that are all too willing to engage in violence and terror tactics in order to get others to bow to their beliefs.

With there being so many similarities between AR and religion, I began to wonder if anyone had actually studied this in an academic or professional way. Sure enough, that is indeed the case. In 2000, a paper entitled Every Sparrow That Falls: Animal Rights Activism as Functional Religion was published by Wesley V. Jamison, Caspar Wenk, and James V. Parker in the journal Society and Animals. In this study, the authors found that AR activism functioned as a form of religious belief in the lives of activists. The authors used Yinger's typology of functional religion as a standard and analyzed how well AR beliefs met the criteria for functional religion of that typology. The criteria for functional religion in Yinger's typology are as follows:

- Conversion experience

- Community

- Creed

- Code

- Cult ( collective meanings expressed as symbols and rituals )

The study found that AR meets all five of these defining criteria. Interviewees that participated in the study recalled having "formative events" in their lives that lead to their conversion to AR ideology. Converts, in turn, form communities as they seek out the company of those who share a similar set of beliefs. The authors also found common beliefs among ARAs that add up to a functional creed, or system of beliefs. Among these beliefs are the following:

- Assertion of the moral righteousness of the movement

- True belief necessitates proselytizing/evangelism

- Human use of animals is wrong and is not necessary

- A belief in the moral "goodness", as opposed to the moral neutrality, of

- The belief that suffering is always "evil" and the alleviation of suffering
is always "good".

The study also found that AR, like religion, involves a code, or a set of appropriate and inappropriate behaviors that are to be followed by the believer. In other words, legalism or dogma. As I hinted at before, in AR, that code is veganism. Finally, we come to cult, or the use of rituals and symbols. Participants in the study reported that how at AR meetings, participants would talk about themselves and their failures to keep the code ( like a confession of "sin" ) in a ritualistic manner. Much like a profession of faith in religion, participants also noticed the importance of personal profession of beliefs in AR. The study also found that many ARAs also used symbols such as pictures of animals being used in research, much like religions use symbols. An ARA may identify to such a picture as a symbol of "unnecessary" animal suffering in much the same way that a Christian identifies with the cross as symbol of Christ's suffering.

I found this study to be quite fascinating. It confirms much of what I have long thought: although the AR quasi-religion lacks the spiritual deity of traditional religions, it has almost all the other hallmarks, from evangelism to militant fanaticism. To read this study, go here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Going to be away for a couple of days

Just a little note to let you know that we will be gone camping for the next couple of days, so I won't be able to publish or respond to any comments until probably Monday.


Even after threats to kill, teen ARA avoids jail time

A 17 year-old ARA in the U.K. has managed to weasel out of jail time despite issuing threats to kill researchers and police officers, according to this report. The teen was given a 12 month "referral order" ( I'm assuming this is something similar to what we in the States would call "probation" ) instead of jail time, because he suffers from "a depressive mental illness". Well, cry me a freakin' river. As if that should somehow be an excuse to not be held responsible for his actions in any kind of meaningful way. Hopefully, just hopefully, this young person will get the right kind of help, and a change of direction in life, before it's too late. If not, another young life will be wasted, and another "useful idiot" for the AR cause will be born.

This columnist gets it about animal rights

Here is a fantastic op-ed piece that really is a must-read, especially for those who maybe still do not understand the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. The author, Colleen Carroll Campbell, cuts rights to the chase about what is probably the core belief of AR-ism: that humans and animals have equal moral value. I particularly like this statement: "More soothing rhetoric and sentimental appeals often disguise the misanthropic message of the animal rights movement: that the human person is just another animal with no greater dignity or claim to life, liberty and happiness than any other.". That just about fits the AR moral mindset to a tee. That's the warped, misanthropic mentality that allows Jerry Vlasak to spew the kind of murderous rhetoric that he does. After all, if humans and animals are morally indistinguishable, then it is logical after all to kill X number of scientists in order to save X+1 number of lab rats is it not? It's the same warped, misanthropic mentality that allows PeTA to imply that slaughtering chickens for food is morally equivalent to the murder of Jews in the Holocaust. It's the same warped, misanthropic mentality that allows Ingrid Newkirk to claim that if animal research found a cure for AIDS, she would be against it. Kudos to Ms. Campbell for being a straight shooter and telling it like it is.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poll added

They have a new feature here at Blogger that I though I'd try out that allows you to post a poll of visitors to your blog. It certainly isn't scientific, but I thought I'd try it just for fun. I'm curious to find out if readers think if those threatened by AR extremists should, or should not, posses a firearm for personal protection. There is no right or wrong answer, and although I support the notion, I think both positions have valid points. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

Monday, August 13, 2007

PeTA employee in alleged "dognapping" facing arraignment tomorrow

I commented about a while ago about two PeTA employees who had been accused of allegedly stealing a hunting dog belonging to an animal control officer in rural Virginia. Apparently, the charges against one of the employees, Carrie Beth Edwards, have been dropped. However, the other employee, Andrea Benoit has been indicted on the charge of grand larceny of the dog, a class 5 felony, and she is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow, August 14. The court document concerning the indictment and arraignment can be viewed here ( pdf file ). I'll continue to keep an eye on this as it progresses.

Animal rights violence and the right of self-defense

Yesterday, I commented on a couple of articles about two researchers who have been victims of AR criminal activity once already, and have had threats of further violence directed at them. I got to thinking about the kind of psychological trauma that these people and their families are being subjected to by the extremist AR criminal element. How does one in this situation get a little more sense of personal security and peace of mind while under ongoing threats from such criminals? Sure, they can have security stepped up at their home and place of work, as well as increased law enforcement presence as well. But even the best security measures are not always perfect, and often law enforcement can only show up AFTER one has been victimized by criminals. Enter the Second Amendment to the Constitution of The United States, a fundamental part of The Bill of Rights. In my view, anyone who is being harassed or threatened by AR criminals, or any criminal for that matter, ought to lawfully exercise their right "to keep and bear arms". I think a law-abiding citizen in such an unfortunate position needs to purchase a firearm and get good training in how to use it properly. If legal in their area, they should also seek a concealed carry permit. Self-defense of one's person and one's family is a fundamental legal and moral right. One of the articles I commented on yesterday said that "a possibly messy and tragic showdown is brewing". I hope that is not the case. Being pro-active about one's own self-defense, in my view, can be crucial in preventing one from becoming a tragic victim of society's thugs. It is time to use that right.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tensions over AR extremism heating up in L.A., Oregon

Animal rights thugs have stepped up their sick little jihad against scientists in both Los Angeles and Oregon recently. I have commented before about the ALF's attempted firebombing of UCLA researcher and pediatric ophthalmologist ( That's right, they're harassing someone who helps kids see better. How freakin' sick is that? ) Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum's car. Here is an excellent article that appeared last week in L.A. Weekly last week that details ALF's terrorizing of Dr. Rosenbaum. The article does of fine job of exposing the role of the inflammatory rhetoric of AR whackjob-in-chief and Hippocratic oath ignorer, trauma surgeon Dr. Jerry Vlasak, in the increasingly tense climate of fear, violence, and intimidation. The last sentence of the article is nothing short of chilling: "A possibly messy and tragic showdown is brewing.". Let us hope not. Let us hope that the terrorists are found, arrested, tried, convicted, and severely punished before that happens. If this unfortunately does end in tragedy, one thing is for sure: Dr. Vlasak, like the coward that he is, certainly will not accept responsibility for the role of his vile rhetoric in it. He will simply let his sycophantic "useful idiots" take the fall.

In a similar story, another researcher in Oregon is being terrorized by AR criminals. The garage door of researcher Dr. Eliot Spindel was spray painted by ALF and a caustic chemical thrown on his daughter's car. A release on the North American ALF website then further threatened Dr. Spindel with more vandalism and violence including broken windows and firebombs. Jim Newman, communications coordinator for Oregon Science & Health University, where Dr. Spindel works, has a great quote here. According to Mr. Newman: “Americans have the right to protest against things they feel strongly about,” Newman said. “But the harassment and frightening small children at researchers’ home and property damage goes clearly beyond the boundaries of what free speech is all about.” Exactly. But ALF terrorists, like their Islamo-fascist brethren, recognize no such boundaries. Like all terrorists, they have no respect for the rule of law or the rights of others, and they have a smug sense of "moral rightness" about their own beliefs that they think somehow gives them license to terrorize those with whom they disagree in order to advance their own agenda.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tips for "eating wild"

I'm going off of the AR topic for a post here to something a little bit lighter that I've been wanting to do. Do any of you fellow hunters out there feel that your game cookery isn't quite all you'd like it to be? Perhaps you are new to hunting and you're not quite sure how to go about preparing your quarry. My wife and I both grew up in avid hunting families and grew up eating a lot of game, so I speak from experience. Obviously, game is not like domesticated meat and requires some special attention and preparation that store-bought regular meat wouldn't. When properly prepared, game should be nutritious, delicious, and satisfying. If you find you have to use a lot of sauces or heavy spices to cover up undesirable flavors, something isn't right, usually in either how the game is dressed/cleaned/cared for or in how it's prepared/cooked. Here's a few tips:

- Gut/field dress ALL game, not just big game, immediately. You'll find that small game, upland birds, and especially waterfowl, will all taste better if you take a few minutes to do this simple step ( do remember to leave evidence of sex intact until final cleaning as required by law ). Always clean all game very thoroughly.

- Learn the proper cooking times for different cuts. Some cuts of big game, such as backstraps and steaks, are best served grilled rare ( this is how I like it ) to no more than medium. Roasts, on the other hand, are best if they cook slowly at low temperature all day. A good game cookbook will give you ideal cooking temperatures and times for all kinds of meats.

- Some people find waterfowl difficult to prepare. I think duck is best smoked, but if you are going to roast it, use a light glaze and baste frequently to keep it from drying out. Also remember that duck is actually best just slightly undercooked. Overcooking will dry it out and ruin the delicious flavor of waterfowl.

- Big game like venison, elk, moose, and antelope should be allowed sufficient aging time, just like beef. If you don't know how to properly cut and butcher big game meat, or like me don't really have the time to do it right, have a professional meat cutter do it for you. It will cost you a little, but it can save you a lot of headaches. Deer/elk/moose goes in, burgers, steaks, sausages, and roasts come out.

There are a few things every "wild gourmet" should invest in if you haven't already:

- A smoker. Almost all game is great smoked. Smoking imparts pleasant flavors, some stronger and some subtle, and can cover any strong "gaminess" without the need for excessive sauces. Using the right wood is important. I like to use stronger flavored woods like hickory or mesquite for big game, and lighter or fruit woods like cherry, apple, peach, alder, or pecan for birds, as well as fish. You can also order specialty woods that impart unique flavors, such as wood chips from Jack Daniels ( made from used whiskey barrels ) and Tabasco ( made from used pepper paste barrels). I have some of both of these, and like them a lot.

- A vacuum packer. Vacuum packing your meat in airtight bags and containers can greatly extend its usable freezer life. Don't skimp on this important piece of equipment. Cheap packers usually don't make as airtight a seal as better models, and you'll be happier in the long run if you get a good one.

- Some good game cookbooks. I've collected my share over the years and now have a small library of them. Most of them give good, clear directions on how to properly field dress, clean, and prepare game meat. Many will have you trying flavors you've not experienced before. You can find them at Barnes & Noble or Borders, or at outdoor retailers like Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop.

Remember that "eating wild" isn't just a hobby or a pastime, it's a way of life! I'll post some favorite family recipes during the upcoming hunting season. I'm considering at some point perhaps writing a game cookery book myself ( if I can ever find any time for such a thing ) and would like to get some feedback on recipes from others who try them.

WILD GAME: Because regular meat is boring, and tofu sucks!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I, "meddlesome" anti-animal rights blogger

One thing I'm finding out that is kinda cool, in its own way, about blogging on a controversial subject is looking at the amount of juvenile, idiotic hate that gets thrown your way. A reader, someone calling himself "johnny" recently left some comments for me that I thought I would share. In my experience, anger, vitriol, belligerence, and intolerance for others' ideas are often hallmarks of many ARAs, and Johnny is a textbook example. Let's have a look at a little of Johnny's idiocy.

"Hopefully Grizzly will suffer the same fate as that "Grizzly Man" ( see the movie ) and we can all breath a little easier."

" Yes I too call on someone ( or some animal ) out there please will you not rid us of this meddlesome Grizzly"?

I've actually got to thank Johnny for dubbing me with the term "meddlesome". I like it. Johnny's comments are indicative of a person who feels threatened by someone else's ideas, and by the fact that those ideas are being shared. When somebody calls you a term like "meddlesome", you know you are doing something to get under their skin. You know your ideas are really bothering someone when you get termed "meddlesome" and get a death wish in the same sentence! I thought animal rights was all about compassion, peace, love, and all that other feel-good hippie type stuff. Can't you just feel the love and compassion coming from Johnny? And such tolerance for free speech and the open exchange of ideas! Johnny, please feel free to take a break from PeTA2 anytime and come by and throw more hate speech at me. I will gladly post it for all to see.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

HSUS: Simple duplicity or fraudulent fund-raising in Vick case?

The Humane Society of The United States ( HSUS ) seems to have some explaining to do in regards to the Michael Vick alleged dogfighting case. The Center for Consumer Freedom, an effective animal rights watchdog, has uncovered some serious inconsistencies in HSUS's attempt to raise funds in the wake of the Vick allegations. After the Vick story broke, HSUS made the claim in a fund raising pitch on their website that they had been given charge of caring for the dogs confiscated in the Vick case, and they were soliciting funds from the public to facilitate that care. A screen capture of that web page, dated July 18, and which is no longer available available from HSUS, can be viewed here. Their current pitch, which now says nothing about caring for these particular dogs, can be viewed here. However, an article in The New York Times that ran August 1, shows that claim to be false. In that article, HSUS president Wayne Pacelle claims that in fact, the dogs should be euthanized, and that HSUS recommends that fighting dogs should be put down shortly after being seized! Pacelle also also made this statement: "We don't know how well they are being kept.". He doesn't know how well they are being kept? But just two weeks ago, HSUS told us they were "overseeing the care" ( direct quote from HSUS ) of these dogs and they were soliciting funds from the public to do so. Which of your two conflicting stories is true Mr. Pacelle? You can't have it both ways. You are either being duplicitous and intellectually inconsistent or intentionally misleading. If HSUS is not caring for these dogs as advertised, then they are lying and engaging in dishonest, fraudulent fund raising, and they ought to be investigated criminally ( and if found guilty, be fined and lose their tax-exempt charity status, IMHO ), issue a public apology, and should have to return the contributions gained by their false claims. I think CCF's analysis of this is spot on: this is a dishonest attempt by HSUS to exploit Americans' love of dogs to raise funds for radical goals that many of these contributors would not normally support such as their strict anti-meat, anti-research, and anti-hunting agendas. It will be interesting to see what happens here. It would be nice to to see the government hold HSUS's feet to the fire on this, but I'm not holding my breath. Kudos to Center for Consumer Freedom for astutely calling out HSUS on this.