Peta, Paris, Michael Vick and Bob Murray
I found this bit on the PETA website today, “PETA called—no, bellowed—for strong action on behalf of dogs, and we scored!
NFL quarterback Michael Vick has accepted a deal to plead guilty to federal conspiracy charges involving illegal dogfighting. This is the latest in a long line of animal abuse cases involving NFL players. While the speed and efficiency with which prosecutors handled this case is a victory for animals and a sign that the crime of dogfighting is being treated with the gravity that it deserves, the NFL needs to follow suit.
PETA is again calling on the NFL to add cruelty to animals—in all its forms—to its personal conduct policy. This case has clearly shown that NFL fans are just as outraged by cruelty to animals as they are by any of the other antisocial behaviors outlined in the policy.”
This reminded me of an email I wrote to PETA once. I write emails to places a lot. Just last week I wrote to a trucking company whose driver was rude to me when I freaked out because his truck was illegally blocking access to my studio. I was waiting for my (late) truck to come and get a lot of art to take to a museum. My (late) truck wasn’t even there yet but still, his truck was in my future way and I was feeling ANXIOUS. It was a hilarious letter. The general manager actually wrote back but did not sound amused. But I have issues so I was delighted that he replied. I have given up on hearing back from the folks at Moviegallery about the rude behavior of the employee who wears his polo shirt collars turned up.
Anyway, years ago I wrote to PETA and asked them to explain their lack of a formal stance on dogs, and all animals, on planes. When you put your pet into a carrier for transport on a plane you are sending it off on a terrifying journey into hell; hell being the non-climate controlled, unsoundproofed bowels of the plane where there is no beverage service or bathrooms. The lack of unsupervised children kicking the pet carriers likely never crossed the minds of all the pets that howled —no, bellowed—in distress. Sometimes pets have died.
I found an article by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals here, which begs passengers to avoid ever putting their pets on planes, suggesting that it is no secret that cargo holds of airplanes have widely ranging temperatures from 0 to 104 degrees fahrenheit and often inadequate oxygen for animals and which cites actual deaths.
I had a friend who often traveled back and forth from coast to coast and brought her dog. She had to sedate the dog because he became agitated before each flight, perhaps because he remembered the previous flights. My dog made associations. I could not drive past Petco without stopping to take him shopping. He was a shopaholic, like Paris Hilton, and even recognized the road it was on and would immediately launch into his happy, pleading flippy dance of joy in the backseat. Once inside he would try to kiss the the ferrets through their little screen doors, do his breakdance routine for the employees, and after sniffing the entire store, would pick out a new toy. He knew he got one toy and he would take a long time deciding on the fluffiest woodchuck or stuffed postal carrier toy.
The bicoastal dog started to show signs of emotional fallout and began acting despondent. She took him to a vet who thought he might have diabetes yet he tested negative. Another vet said no, he is depressed.
BTW-If you are one of those people who think animals don’t have feelings, read something else.
PETA’s reply to my email was basically that they don’t delve into pet comfort issues but are mainly concerned with the killing of animals. I was disappointed at their discriminatory policy. Isn’t emotional and psychological abuse of pets—in all its forms— like killing them in a way? And they *do* die sometimes.
I think PETA should address pets on planes. Although now I am making myself look as crazy as Paula Abdul when she “appeared before the California legislators to urge safer standards for manicure and pedicure equipment in nail salons.”
Maybe Michael Vick (“that place was Jonestown for dogs”) should do community service upon his release and be forced to lobby tirelessly until which time he succeeds in instituting better conditions for traveling pets. Or maybe he should share a cell with Bob Murray. Bob Murray treated humans cruelly and negligently in pursuit of money, and some of them died. It’s kinda the same thing as Michael Vick’s moonlighting for cash hobby although maybe not so premeditated.
Yeah, maybe I do have a little Paula Abdul in me.
Meanwhile Paris Hilton serves time for merely risking the lives of others by driving double the speed limit with no lights on and with a suspended license while sporting garish dressage and way too much entitlement. Maybe the dangling entitlement obstructed her view of common sense, like shiny objects hanging from rear-view mirrors or some participles I know. Think Bob Murray will go to jail for all the deaths in his mine and disregarded safety violations on his watch? No, it wasn’t his good old boy fault. It was a whole nother kind of fault; a seismic event, blame the evil tectonic plates that decided to do a little do-si-do. Just ask Bob. Better yet, ask his squirrel.