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The Earth is Flat Award
A celebration of the inane, insipid and asinine...
web posted March 3, 2003
In principle there is nothing wrong with taking a zealous approach to the causes you believe in. The danger, however, lies in the way you are zealous. If you take the wrong way, you and your movement come across as a group of people lacking dignity and common sense. You hurt your cause more than you can ever help it.
Or, if you really want to bungle things up, you can do what the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has done.
In their drive to convince all of us that meat is murder, PETA has launched a new and truly tasteless campaign (http://www.masskilling.com/). They have decided to equate the killing and eating of chickens and other animals to the murders of millions of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, political prisoners and the other enemies of Adolph Hitler's Third Reich. Invoking the words of the late writer and Jew Isaac Bashevis Singer (presumably to give them some cover when the controversy broke, the organization says killing animals for food isn't far off from killing humans.
"[A]s long as human beings will go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace. There is only one little step from killing animals to creating gas chambers à la Hitler and concentration camps à la Stalin. There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is." they quote Singer as saying.
Doubtless PETA knew ahead of time that this would create a buzz and that's why they did it. As one blogger pointed out, if they withdraw it, it will be on their own terms. Their message got out and the portion of the population who are morons enough to believe it can point to the fact that PETA withdrew it out of "sensitivity." That said, the evil morality that would equate an animal's life with a human being's life is little different from the same morality that was responsible for the Holocaust.
As we stated in the pages of this magazine back in May 2000 on a related subject:
"Nature -- whether the Earth itself or all animals (with the exception of human beings) -- have an intrinsic value [to people like PETA]. These things should be valued for their own sakes irrespective of any criteria. Any use of animal or mineral outside of worshipping it is morally wrong and even inherently evil, depending on the level of supposed transgression.
Man becomes a target of environmentalists because it is a creature that must adapt its environment and use nature for its own ends: survival. That means that man is evil and an aberration in the scheme of things. Their philosophy holds that the more successful that man is, the more evil he is.
The theory of intrinsic value relies on removing the concept of a moral value from purpose or good from its beneficiaries. [Man's] inclination towards good means that he must adapt nature to create value, something that is evil to the environmentalists. For an intrinsicist, man is evil because he seeks his good, a clanging contradiction if there ever was one."
Sounds like PETA to
There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.
current Viinegar in Freedom Award.
Have someone you want considered for the Earth is Flat Award or the Vinegar in Freedom Award? E-mail ESR with your candidates!
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