Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Taking a Bigger Bite of a PETA then you can chew

Every group has a purpose. Every person has a goal. And everything action has a reaction. All of these are limited, and all are specific. NRA wants guns for all (no gun control), MADD wants better drinking laws, and the ACLU wants the Constitution to be followed. All of these groups will do things, usually lawsuits and lobbying, to get this accomplished. PETA, on the other hand, has many many goals, all tied together under one umbrella. Go on, read more...

Now, this is not an attack on PETA, even though I always like to insult them, but this is more a quandary about their goals. Unlike most of these other groups, PETA targets 1983983294349234834 (note, number is made up, please don't sue me) issues instead of just one. For example:
-Stop all animal testing
-Stop all medical research on animals
-End certain types of zoos
-A Whole Pet issue
-No more meat
-No more leather etc.
-Oh yeah, and ethical treatment of all animals (animal abuse)

Okay, so, as you can see, PETA has several end goals that they are working on. These goals are vast and diverse, which greatly harms their ability to implement them all. Instead of focusing on one area and using all resources to enact it, PETA is spread out. We all know what happens when things spread out.

Well, on the off chance that you don't know what happen, here is a quick over view:
-You pick your targets
-Get donations
-Spend 100,000$ on each
-Get nothing done

Now, what other people do is spend the money on one target, so like 8,000,000$ on gun rights, and they get stuff done. Why? Because money=power, and the more you spend the more you are able to invest. The more you invest, the more likely you are able to accomplish your goal. Simply for the monetary reason, PETA should focus more.

Even more, however, is the fact that to join PETA you more or less need to agree with all of the goals. Special interest groups wrok because they are focused, not because they want to accomplish a ton. People join ACLU to protect civil rights, they join AARP for benefits, and they join MADD to get tougher drinking laws. People join PETA because they support all of PETA, but that means that others can't join.

If PETA wants to increase membership, maybe they should start to focus on select and specific areas. Almost everybody is against animal abuse and unneeded cruelty (NOTE, I am not interested in arguing this point at this time), but they are against the other things that PETA supports. Thus, instead of getting these voters (and their money), PETA is screwed because they are too wide. PETA should focus in this regard.

Finally, there is one other primary and good reason to specialize. This reason is the best – it limits the freaks you get. As Whalertly pointed out a week or so ago, PETA has connections to terrorists (who are not endorsed) and this harms them. If PETA was focused, they wouldn't be connected to people on the FBI Most Wanted and ELF. Clearly PETA needs to move away from these people, and the best way is to focus. Unless PETA limits their scope, these people will squeeze in, and they will fault the entire system.

My main point is that PETA has great ideas and potential, but because they are so wide focusing and encompass every animal group in the world, they actually are only harming themselves. I believe that PETA needs to close their focus and pick things they can get more supporters for. Always remember, people and their money=power.


Libertarias said...

I must say, I believe there's some cynicism in you5r statement about money=power. Usually that's true, but I would love to see how much the Euthanasia special interest group could do with 8 million. The point is, your ideas must be sound, and that is why I believe PETA is ineffective, because the majority of people know that PETA has unsound ideas. Have some faith in people and common sense!

Barga said...

hey bud
you should check out some of my other posts as well, just always make sure to check out who the author is

Money is power when talking about lobbying and special interests, that is how they work.
PETA has some sound ideas (less factory farms, better treatment, etc,.) but they are so intermixed with insane ideas that they are diluted

Alex said...

What are these "insane" or "unsound" ideas you two?

Barga said...

the fights against zoos (note, i said zoos, not seaworld/circuses), the move to get people off of meat, stopping of racing, etc.

though i agree with the last one, these are things that scare away other people who would help end animal abuse and factory farms. One step at a time, gradual progress is good

Alex said...

Okay, but you haven't explained why these ideas are "insane" Barga. You've simply said that these ideas may frighten people, irrationally so given your obvious lack of an ethical counter argument Barga, away from the "animal rights" movement more generally.

Yours is a pragmatic critique; although it's useless given that you don't agree (without sound reason of course) with the principle engendering the cause in the first place.

Your "insane" comment, however, is an evaluative statement, appealing to the underlying premise of the AR movement. So, I ask again: What are these "insane" ideas?

Barga said...

let me rephrase:
We know (i assume you agree) that limiting the scope not only brings in more people, but allows for a more effective system

Thus, any attempt to broaden or add to the scope is illogical, and i consider most illogical things insane. The ideas themselves are not what i was passing judgement on (though i do in some cases think some are insane, another time), but the actual fact that they are including everything

Alex said...

I must add, by definition, any harm suffered during the process whereby a nonhuman animal is turned into “food” is unecessary in Western societies given the abundance of alternative resources.

Therefore, there is an inherent contradiction in your argument (as usual): “Almost everybody is against animal abuse and unneeded cruelty…”; it follows, therefore, that “…but they are against the other things that PETA supports” isn’t rational – rather juvenile indeed – because all the suffering experienced is “unneeded” or gratuitious.


You have failed to prove your point given that your entire argument is contradicted by the veiled, although apparent, self-interest motivating your own illogical position. Save your pragmatic arguments, then, for movements in which your own credibility isn’t belied from the outset.

Alex said...


You can't defend your parenthetical statement "another time." You've tried, and as we both know, you failed.

They "include everything" because it follows from the principle motivating the cause. Therefore, your dispute is with their ethical consistency. That's strange.

You would have a point if, and only if, PETA pursued the singular end of abolition. Anything else, they rejected. But given that they don't, they pursue incremental steps, your argument doesn't follow.

Barga said...

i dont want to discuss things like that but merely look at the big picture
we know the following:
1)Most people believe that meat is not cruelty to animals
2) PETA supports no meat
3) Peta supports no cruelty to animals
4) people like 3 but not 2
5) people dont join

my entire point is FOCUS on point 3 until you change society (myself included), then move on

Alex said...

And my point Barga is that people such as yourself are immune to critical reflection. "Meat is cruelty" by definition unless you can defend the counter claim. You haven't; evidence abounds for this point Barga, you know. Therefore, you are not our target.

For all our "rational" abilities, those better virtues like "reason" that we appeal to in defense of our supremacy, all the evidence here belies that point.

This is a debate about simple logic Barga, and you loose it. Therefore, if simple logic escapes you (and intellectual honesty), why should we consider your pragmatic critique of any worth at all? We should ignore it and move on, watching the number of vegetarians steadily increase worldwide, while measures promoting the decrease in torture-for-meat increase.

Emily said...

What about the ACLU then? They take on one of the broadest spectrums of cases and issues in the United States in the ultimate goal of promoting human rights. Certainly you wouldn't question their success rate and standing as one of the most prominent legal organizations in the United States, would you?

Just as PETA deals with issues that are all encompassing of animal rights for the end goal of said achieved rights.

Emily said...

You even yourself site the ACLU as a successful organization, but they have just as many goals and projects as PETA does, if not more.

-the ACLU was originally created to protect illegal aliens from deportation (they still work on this today)
-they fight cases of work place discrimination for a number of reasons
-take on issues of racism
-take on issues of sexism
-take on issues of censorship
-take on issues of classism
-and general issues of political civili liberties... JUST TO NAME A FEW

So if by having a wide scope of focus means less success, how then is the ACLU so successful?

Alex said...

Furthermore, PETA does not "have connections to terrorism." That is a positive assertion, which necessarily depends on evidence. Until Whalertly or Barga can present evidence, DHS or FBI investigative documentation perhaps, this positive assertion is simple a fallacy of assertion, and therefore, quite lame.

PETA is still a tax-exempt organization. Surely if this organization had "connections to terrorism" that was evenly remotely verifiable, beyond "It has to be true!!! It just has to be!!!", this status would be revoked and Ms. Newkirk, for example, would be charged accordingly.

Barga said...


1) the thing is you can not prove nor disprove that meat is cruelty, as we have no study on the actual mental process of an animal
2) there is nothing else

Barga said...


1) I never claimed they did, Whalertly did. That said, however, connections do not mean that the government will stop funding them. Stop using that as an argument, it is flawed

Barga said...


can you come up with a general mission statement that everybody agrees on that covers PETA?

Barga said...


reread their mission statement, it is one sentence
compare that to the list on PETAs site

Emily said...

Yes, I can come up with a general mission statement that people can all agree on: to promote animal rights and animal welfare.

"We cannot prove or disprove that meat is cruelty"?!?! Are you serious?
Way to make false assertions to comfort and facilitate your rampant denial.

Barga said...

Emily, unless you show me an MRI where we have both an outside stimuli indicating pain and knowledge of where pain in most animals brains is recieved i continue to claim there is no proof

proof being the opperative word

I disagree with that statement, as it is my right (animal) to eat as i please

Alex said...


So, on you own line of reasoning, I can assume that you do not suffer? The assumption that nonhuman animals do not suffer is just as strong as the assumption that you do not as well Barga.

Show me proof? This is like dealing with a child.

Nonhuman animals have a central nervous system; they have nociorecepters for pain stimuli; they evolved to have a mechanism to flee sources of painful stimuli; they produce endorphins, which are the bodies "natural pain relief;" they produce audible noises when encountered with painful stimuli; etc.

Therefore, let's apply your reasoning consistently. On this criterion, we have come to assume that human animals suffer. However, the evidence doesn't suffice for you. Therefore, it follows, unless you can show me "proof" in the way you demand -- which isn't possible given that suffering is, by definition, subjective -- can I vivisect you?

Finally, if an organization has "links to terrorists," and you still believe that that same organization is "funded by the government," the same government that the organization is terrorizing; I have a bridge to sell you.

My argument isn't flawed given your absolute lack of a counter argument.

Given your cognitive capacities here Barga, and in other places, I must ask: Are you really in school? Because you reason like someone utterly incapable of critical thinking, which higher education is supposed to cultivate in us.

Alex said...

Oh yes, where do you get this “right” Barga? That’s a conclusion that requires reasoning to defend it. I could produce evidence displaying your utter lack of reasoning to this effect, embarrassingly so indeed. So, are you just declaring it by fiat, like a rapist does, for example…no defense required on this blog?

Where do you get this "right"?

So, why don't you answer that, then we can discuss your very important pragmatic critique of the AR movement. Emily, with her example of the ACLU, pretty much obliterated your own argument there.

Emily said...

Alex pretty much said it all there regarding proof of animals feeling pain, and scientific proof that they do as well.
But I'll provide you with more proof that appeals to logic, which I hope you follow.

Peter Singer (and numerous others) makes the argument that a creature's ability to feel pain enhances their chances for survival since those species will then seek to avoid sources of pain. Would it not follow then that if animals could not feel pain, they would not seek to flee predators and instead be ambivalent to their presence? Such can be evidenced through watching any animal in a fight or flight response mode.

Now on to the science of it. Animals respond in a physiological manner much like we do when experiencing pain. We know this through animal testing, which you're a proponent of. Animals experience a rise in blood pressure, pupil dilation, and an increased pulse. These pain stimuli are received in the diencephalon of the brain and we know from mumerous disections and experiments that animals have a developed and prominent diencephalon.

Furthermore, if animals were incapable of feeling pain we would not conduct research on them to study the effects of pain medication. Such research would be then a moot point.

So, there's your proof, Barga.

Barga said...

I will be responding to therse on the new site


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