General Discussion

PETA blasts Nintendo and Mario for Mario 3D Land.
NickyP at 12:14AM, Nov. 15, 2011
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http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/11/peta-super-mario-sends-the-message-that-its-okay-to-wear-fur/
 
 
According to PETA, Mario wearing a racoon costume = communicating a message that it's okay to kill racoons and wear their fur.
 
I just… ugh. What do you think? I already gave my opinion in today's comic: http://www.drunkduck.com/La_Vie_a_la_Mode/5366430/
last edited on Nov. 15, 2011 12:18AM
ozoneocean at 1:59AM, Nov. 15, 2011
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Did you read what the Kokatu guy said?
 
“In no shape or form do I condone wearing fur”
 
What a dick. I love wearing fur! I have many fur hats and stuff with fur trim- I even stitched some myself. I'm wearing uggboots right now, made from sheep skin ^_^
 
Not all fur is made from tortured dogs that were killed by anal electrocution or whatever. Quite a bit is a side thing from the meat industry, Or even from sustainable hunting. And if you have some antique fur stuff like I do then fur production methods were very different back then and it a lot of ways more humane since it was not such a massive volume, low profit industry then.
Not all fur is equal.
 
Anyway, I doubt PETA cares much for the game, like everything all they do is use it for publicity and an excuse to make their own cheap little publicity game knockoff to get attention.
Maybe we could make something in the debate and discussion area?
 
last edited on Nov. 15, 2011 9:45PM
NickyP at 11:14AM, Nov. 15, 2011
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The only fur I don't condone wearing is chinchilla…. but that's strictly because I love chinchillas. They are SO cute, and I sincerely plan on owning one some day.
 
One major criticism of this I have that I seem to have forgotten to put in the comic; what is PETA condoning? Think about their logic… in “protest,” PETA created a game where you play as a skinned racoon and kill Mario to get your “fur” back. Well let's consider the original claim here.. PETA's line of thinking is:
 
Nintendo makes game.
+
Player in game wears “fur”
=
Nintendo communicates a message that it's okay to wear “fur.”
 
Well, let's apply the same line of logic to PETA's “protest”…
 
PETA makes game.
+
Player in game kills human for wearing fur
=
PETA communicates a message that it's okay to kill people who condone wearing fur.
 
Yeah, sounds about right. Also, if you want to move this to the debate forum you can. I put it in general discussion because I saw it as more of a discussion of current events etc.
Product Placement at 1:14PM, Nov. 15, 2011
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Don't know if it would be much of a debate around here. Most people already agree that PETA is a bunch of passive aggressive hypocrites. I don't mind animal rights so much but we're seriously talking about a group of people who wants to ban pet ownership, because it apparently borders slavery. A good pointer for those who are pet owners and donate money to this group.
Those were my two cents.
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Genejoke at 2:22PM, Nov. 15, 2011
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I have no problem with people wearing fur, it's the natural wrappers food comes from, big deal.  mnext they will moan about leather jackets… well probably not as cows aren't cute like the things they make fur coats from.
Hawk at 4:59PM, Nov. 15, 2011
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Every time PETA does something stupid, I have meat for dinner.  Yesterday when I heard about this, I had hamburgers.
 
And I agree, Ozone.  Plenty of fur comes from things that didn't die for their fur… for instance, years ago my dad hunted a bear for its meat, but there was no reason he shouldn't turn its fur into a rug… it was dead already.  It looked great in our house.
Chernobog at 5:20PM, Nov. 15, 2011
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It's PETA. Maybe aside from the celebrities they continually cart out, I don't know why they're even mentioned anymore. It's the same ‘feel shame and disgust’ kook sound bites from them as usual. Honestly, I hold them in terms of credibility roughly the same category as the Westboro Baptist Church.
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
bravo1102 at 12:14AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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Every year one talk show host has a PETA representative on for Thanksgiving to go over the whole turkey eating thing. 
 
PETA would only be satisfied if we lived in an animal free enviornment.  No leather, no meat, no fur, no animal products at all, not even pets as PP points out. 
 
Once upon a time there was a vegan species of hominid.  It went extinct because unlike the other species its brain shrunk.  That's what PETA would like to bring us back to.  Naked on the savannah hunting down wild vegetables as our brain and height shrinks to hobbit sized from a lack of animal protein and suffering form exposure because we can't use animal products to stay warm.
 
If there were PETA peeps back in the day, there never would have been tool making (first tools? scrapers for cleaning skins)  No clothing (animal skins, sewn with string made from sinew with a needle made from animal bone) No food or cities (animal protein made up most of the diet this is why pastoralists and hunter-gatherers are taller and stronger than  argriculturalists. Then they go in and beat up agriculturalists making them band together and build walled cities)  And some PETA member idolize the Native Americans who were so efficent at living with nature and killed animals all the time to eat and make stuff.
ozoneocean at 2:11AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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With all the different Eskimo peoples in the Arctic circle - Everything they had was made from animals. …and of course they wore fur permanently.
 
There was no vegetable matter for them to do much with, often they were 100% carnivore. No plant fibre of any kind in their clothing… Bone standing in for metal and wood in every form of manufacture. Because there wasn't anything else.
 

 
It's true. PETA really ultimately stands for a zero animal, totally human-centric world, simply because if we don't live with animals as an essential part of our civilisation as pet companions, beasts of burden, farmed for food and clothing production, preserved in zoos, water parks and safari parks etc, then we have no use for them at all.
 
What we don't need or live with, what is outside of us is held in contempt and deemed superfluous.
 
Without a need for animals or a regular face to face experience of them, humanity will have less qualms in eating up more of their habitats and further reducing the ratio of them to us.
 
Humans are animals just like any other, and no animal species believes in peaceful coexistence. All species are about self preservation and propagation. We SHOULD treat non-human animals more ethically, just as we should with our fellow humans, but there's no need to take it to extremes based on an adolescent fantasy of animal equality, because equality doesn't exist in this context.
 
Even recreational hunting and fishing serves as rationalisations for preservation of animal communities and habitats.
 
Abt_Nihil at 5:26AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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Oz: I think you've got a faulty premise in there - the naturalistic fallacy ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalistic_fallacy ).

That is, our norms (and thus, our ethics) are not determined by some natural order. Even if living is (or were) about self-preservation, that doesn't by itself make self-preservation into a norm. Ethics are intrinsically normative, that is: If you have the chance to be a good person, you should be one. And thus, if we have the chance to spare animals suffering, then we should. Most historic examples are referring to situations in which it was simply not possible to, say, synthesize clothing, or satisfy one's need for protein without killing animals. Today, the situation is clearly different. Animals are processed industrially, and it's far from pretty. In fact, actually seeing this process is extremely disgusting and disturbing.

I am far from taking a radical position here. I believe PETA's propaganda and actions are absurd. But that doesn't change anything about the fact that if we can, we are morally obliged to do something about the way animals are treated as industrial products.

On that note, I have an excellent comic to recommend: www.amazon.com/Elmer-Gerry-Alanguilan/dp/159362204X/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321449959&sr=1-4
last edited on Nov. 16, 2011 5:29AM
ozoneocean at 6:28AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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I think you misunderstand me Abt- I'm not talking about self preservation on an individual scale, I'm applying that generally to our entire species. What I mean is that ultimately, when it comes down to us and other animals, no matter what we think as individuals, it will be humanity that trumps them every single time:
 
Forests WILL make way for more housing, for crops, for mining, for dams, oil drilling in the oceans…
 
The less we have to do with animals in general, the further they are removed from our sphere of awareness, the less they matter to us. It doesn't mater if we only come into contact with them as pets, on the dinner plate, in a zoo, worn on our feet etc. it's the fact that this contact puts them into our awareness that matters and that we have some reason to rely on them that we start down the intellectual road to caring about them and wishing for their preservation. It's a dichotomy I know, but then most things in reality are.
 
I love nature documentaries and I loved seeing images of exotic birds and frogs in the National Geographic magazine when I was growing up, but I've no personal connection with those creatures. They're just abstract mental constructs to me… But the sheep fur boots on my feet, the meat in my pie, the cat outside my door- these are things I can experience up front, these are real connections to the animal world.
-My predilection for eating meat has driven me to learn more bout the animals that I eat. The leather, featers and fur I wear has influenced me to learn  about the creatures they come from. Cats bring me into direct personal connection with a sentient non-human species, and this is multiplied by the live birds, lizards and rats I've been brought by them over the years…
 
 
It's PETA's mission to remove all personal experience of animal kind from humanity and restrict it to hands-off mediated encounters at a distance.
It's my contention that this will achieve exactly the opposite of their stated intentions.
An analogy:
Lawrence wanted to protect the consistency of the design aesthetic on comic template pages as well as “protect” us from viruses being uploaded to the site and limit and control what artists could do with their comic templates. All to improve the user experience of the site for creators and viewers
This has actually resulted in people being less satisfied with the site, turning people away and reducing the loyalty of creators because too much control was taken away from them as individuals. No longer are they able to achieve as much personal experience of how their work is displayed and presented, so they care less for the site in general and drift away to where their needs CAN be met.
 
Those of use who have a strong connection to this site and are still here do this because of our connection to the community and the place we've built for ourselves here etc. but it was all those interactive controls and things that started (many of) us down that road and helped cement the foundation of our connection to this place.
-
Take away or restrict humanity's connection to the animal world and in a few generations we will be dissociated from it enough not to care.
 
It's only because we DO have this exploitative experience with animals (as food, clothing, pets, entertainment, transport etc), that we've developed the ability to care and feel for them as individual creatures. It's a glorious contradiction that we tend to feel the way we do. Personally I find that life is all about shifting balancing points  between competing ideologies and coming to terms with personal hypocrisies.
 
last edited on Nov. 16, 2011 7:09AM
Abt_Nihil at 7:15AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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I replied to a different point of yours - your saying that “Humans are animals just like any other, and no animal species believes in peaceful coexistence. All species are about self preservation and propagation.” And by doing that, I also meant to counter bravo's example of the vegan hominid. Today, we are freer than the vegan hominid, and we can choose to which degree we want to rely on animal products, and also the degree to which the animals who died for these products have suffered. I meant to counter the idea that there is only an absolute choice between abusing animals and living without animals entirely. Morally, we are obliged to reduce animal suffering. But of course that will have to be balanced with our needs as a species - there are no absolutes here.

As for the other point you made (and the one you just defended in your reply), I do agree to some extent. That is, I think the way we treat animals depends on the degree to which they become objects of our empathy. And you're pointing out one way to elicit our empathy: making them part of our life.

But I'd also make a stronger argument: Most higher animals elicit our empathy naturally. We don't have to personally know any animal to feel for them. Of course, I have stronger feelings for my pet than for, say, an endangered species of rhinos. But that doesn't change the fact that most humans, given their life hasn't completely obliterated any natural ability to feel or show empathy, will show an empathic response with an animal when presented with one (and given they aren't threatened by it, etc.). In most cases, we don't have to choose between an animal's life and a significant comfort for us. It is mostly complacency and negligence through which animals suffer. A huge amount of animal suffering is completely pointless and in no way does our well-being depend significantly on it.

In that sense, your claiming that “no animal species believes in peaceful coexistence” is false. It is a matter of scarcity of resources. Hostilities between species are associated with evolutionary cost. If there is no need for hostilities, then there are none. It is only when resources get scarce, and two different species depend on it. There is no all-out war in the animal kingdom. Many species quite simply don't mind each other, because they occupy completely distinct ecological niches.
last edited on Nov. 16, 2011 9:53AM
Ally Haert at 8:41AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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People would probably stop killing animals if they weren't made of fur, leather, and delicious steaks.
“No one can go back to start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending,” Maria Ross.
El Cid at 9:04AM, Nov. 16, 2011
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I think it's also worth keeping in mind that many domesticated animals have been bred to a point where they could not survive in nature. So, oddly enough, on a farm is their natural habitat, and releasing them into the wild would only lead to their extinction in some cases.
bravo1102 at 2:20AM, Nov. 17, 2011
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And coming up next on the PETA discussion meme show:
 

Creating enviornments by breeding
Tool-making as a definition of humanity
Is killing an animal to make tools better or worse than creating synthetic material that destroy enviornments

And more…
 
Tune in won't you as the discussion goes around and touches on all the same points it has every other time it's ever been done…
 
I just realized I'm recycling not only paper and plastics but arguments and points from posts past.  Deja vu all over again.
 
Remember the debate over transubstantiation never put a new roof on a cathedral.
Amelius at 4:17PM, Nov. 17, 2011
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Ooooh my… I wonder if PETA even realizes that a Tanuki isn't a literally a raccoon, and in fact the Tanooki suit in Mario is that of the mytholgical variety, not the real-life/non- shapeshifting/non-floating kind?
That's like throwing a fit that Kitsunes are being skinned alive,  anime girls with fox ears and tails are condoning the death of millions of innocent magical fox demons!
Either way, I don't see that skinned Tanuki tripping over a pair of massive stones while he runs, so I'm going to cry foul on misrepresenting Tanuki! (unless Mario neutered him too and stealing his fur was insult to injury…)
PETA is a pack of hyporcites that does more damage to animal welfare than any farm or pet owner has.
I completely agree with Chernobog, PETA  is the WBC of “animal rights” and they should probably be ignored out of existence.
last edited on Nov. 17, 2011 4:19PM
Dark Pascual at 10:58PM, Nov. 17, 2011
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I know that most of this is attention whoring, but sometimes I wonder if those PETA assholes know that they've become a selfparody…
I'm all for the animal wellfare, and I understand being vegan due ethical reasons… but for Crom sake, stop being a sanctimonous douchebag about it.
Honestly, every time I hear these moron's propaganda, I want to beat a panda to death with a crowbar and eat the carcass raw just for sake of antagonizing…
Maybe not that extreme, but thoe jerks are infurating.
bravo1102 at 12:55AM, Nov. 18, 2011
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As I intimated with my mention of the annual Thanksgiving radio interviews, PETA is seasonal.  This is the beginning of fur season and coming up on the great animal product consumption period in the USA so ‘tis the season for PETA.
 
After spring, outside of my mail box, I won’t hear of them again until next October.  I'm on the mailing list (along with World Wildlife Fund, and every other animal charity) but for me PETA stands for People Eating Tasty Animals.
 
Animals compete with and use other animals for survival.  It's how the enviornment has evolved.  Niches exist and they are filled, often overlap and are hotly contested.  Species also have a talent for creating new niches. As said before, humans are part of that system in how humans use tools and manipulate their enviornment.  Like so many others, humans exploit other species for their survival. 

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