One of the most annoying things about the outrageous and unethical tactics from the folks at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is that their chicanery, IMHO, has an adverse effect on the cause they are trying to advance. As someone who generally likes animals more than people (at least most of the people I have met), this is somewhat irritating.
Most recently, their jihad against meat has led them to illegally obtain the medical records of Dr. Robert Atkins, distort the findings therein, and claim that this was somehow evidence that the Atkins diet is bad for you. Here is some info on the front group they used to level the charges:
Physicians for Responsible Medicine, the group that released the report and promotes a vegetarian diet, acknowledged that fluid retention may have been responsible for some of Atkins’ weight gain, but probably not all of it. The group maintains that the Atkins diet poses weight and health risks to the millions who follow it.
According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants and food companies, Physicians for Responsible Medicine has taken in more than $1 million from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the animal rights movement. It said the group and PETA also share office space, board members and staff.
At any rate, I have little tolerance for this type of nonsense, and while I will not go ballistic over the government’s illegal war on drugs or the nasty antics of the folks trying to ban all guns (and don’t tell me they just want sensible laws), but they will pry my steak knife from my cold dead hands, to borrow a phrase.
At any rate, I believe the behavior of the folks aty PETA can have a polarizing effect- to make those who, like me, enjoy eating meat, become more callous and indifferent towards animals. I know at least once a week I argue with some idiot who makes the ridiculous claim that animals don’t have feelings or can not think. As someone who has worked on farms, had pets my entire life, and currently has two very personable and often times emotional cats, this is one of the more irritating things I have to argue about frequently.
That brings us to this article, which I heard about last night on the radio:
A parrot with a 950-word vocabulary, a sense of humour and alleged telepathic powers is forcing a rethink of the scope for animals and humans to communicate.
The six-year-old captive-bred African grey called N’kisi is one of the most advanced users of human language in the animal world. The bird uses words in context, with past, present and future verb tenses.
And, like small children, it resorts to creativity to describe new ideas – for instance saying “flied” for flew and inventing the phrase “pretty smell medicine” to indicate the aromatherapy oils used by his owner, a New York-based artist.
He can also associate photographs with the real person or object – when he first met primatologist Dr Jane Goodall, after seeing her in a picture with apes, his greeting was: “Got a chimp?”
He also displays dry humour. When another parrot hung upside down from its perch, he commented: “You got to put this bird on the camera.”
Dr Goodall judges N’kisi’s eagerness to learn how to converse with his owner as an “outstanding example of interspecies communication,” but new evidence suggests the parrot’s skills may not stop with the verbal.
Animals think, feel, remember, emote, and communicate. Their communication skills may be limited, the depth of their thinking is in no way comparable to most human thought, and their memory may be tied to fight or flight instincts (last night the folks on Mythbusters even demonstrated that goldfish have memory), but they possess all of those capabilities, and anyone who argues otherwise is simply a fool. It is a shame that PETA’s tactics might betray the animals they should be working to protect.