Monday, July 27, 2009

Bestiality, Necrophilia Sexy?

From the files of "Who Are the Ad Wizards Who Came up With This One?" I bring you, sexy(?), dead, skinned animals.

Evidently the exploitation of women isn't enough to turn meat-eating men on anymore. Women are passe. Bring out the murdered, defeathered chicken and pose her doggy-style. Yeah, now you're talkin'.

These images are part of an ad campaign for Rachachuros Seasoning called the "Temptation of Taste." Guys, are you tempted after seeing these photos? Tempted to hurl probably.

According to AdWired, a Big Ag site, "meat is bringing sexy back." Note to those who find these images sexy, please seek professional treatment.

While Laurie Johns of the Iowa Farm Bureau declares that "our nation is in the middle of a 'meat renaissance'," I would disagree. It appears the people creating advertising campaigns for meat companies are at a loss as to how to sell the products.

Resorting to a cross between bestiality and necrophilia seems like a last-ditch effort to revive a struggling industry.

(Disturbing images courtesy of Advertolog.com.)



Friday, July 24, 2009

Cattle Rancher Has Beef with Museum Exhibit

A South Dakota cattle rancher is on a quest to change a museum exhibit that depicts beef in a negative light.

Troy Hadrick saw the traveling exhibit "Water" at The Field Museum in Chicago last week and didn't like what part of the exhibit, "BEEF: The Thirstiest Crop," said about his moneymaker.
Among the many claims were things like it takes 1800 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef, it talks about grain feeding our cows, and that industrial beef waste easily spills and pollutes ground and surface water.
After talking to someone from The Field Museum, he learned that "Water" was produced by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. So he's alerted his fellow animal "farmers" and has launched a letter-writing campaign to get the museum to alter its facts about cow flesh.

But he may want to reconsider. The statistics in "Water" appear to be on the conservative side.

A 1997 study, "Water Resources: Agriculture, the Environment and Society," published in the journal BioScience found the amount of water needed was significantly higher.
Our taste for meat is costly in terms of water, [David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences] noted. Producing a pound of animal protein requires, on average, about 100 times more water than producing a pound of vegetable protein. [...] [G]rowing the grain to feed cattle requires 12,000 gallons of water for every pound of beef[.]
Pimentel and others edited a 2001 book, "Ecological Integrity: Integrating Environment, Conservation and Health," that stated the same conclusion. At that time he had written more than 500 scientific articles and 20 books.

Of course, I'm sure the scientists who put together "Water" know what they're talking about. It's unlikely they are secretly animal-rights activists bent on spreading veganism through their exhibit.

(Photo credit: Iowa Beef Industry Council.)



Thursday, July 23, 2009

SHAC7 Member Josh Harper Now Home

Josh Harper, one of the SHAC7, was released from prison at the end of June. After a few weeks at a halfway house, Josh is now on his own.

Almost a year ago today I wrote a blog post about the SHAC 7 and, in particular, Josh Harper.

The group ran a Web site that chronicled the work being done to shut down Huntingdon Life Sciences, an animal-testing facility in New Jersey. This group didn't participate in any of the acts; it simply wrote about them after they occurred.

A few of the SHAC7, including Josh, also were alleged to have faxed black paper to HLS to keep their fax machines busy and their toner in use. Not exactly the work of terrorists, yet the U.S. government charged this group under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, now the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Josh was sentenced to three years.

Today, though, is a cause for celebration, as Josh is home.

"I'm feeling amazing," Josh told me via e-mail. "Every day outside of prison is a good one. Seeing the horizon without razor wire still makes me giddy."

Josh has three years of supervised release, one of the conditions being that his computer usage is monitored.

He's the third SHAC7 member to be released. Three remain in prison. (The "seventh" member was the organization itself.)

Correction (7/24/09): According to Josh Harper, he was not accused of "black faxing." He was accused of talking about "black faxing." I'm sorry for the error.

(Josh Harper (left) and three friends celebrate Josh's release from prison. Photo courtesy of Josh.)




Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cornyn Named to Senate Ag Committee

In what can't possibly be mere coincidence, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has been named to the Senate agriculture committee.

If his name sounds familiar, it may be because I blogged about him this morning. The Texas Republican has taken up Sen. Saxby Chambliss' former position in holding up the confirmation of President Barack Obama's nomination for regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein.

I had heard a rumor over the weekend about Cornyn jumping in after Chambliss, R-Ga., released his hold on Sunstein but didn't want to write anything without confirmation.

I don't believe that Cornyn's appointment to the ag committee is a coincidence. I'm guessing some behind-the-scenes "horse trading" -- to use a term the good ol' boys will be familiar with -- has been going on for the past week. Perhaps Chambliss was getting heat for holding up the nomination and wanted to pass the buck to someone else.

In addition to not being a friend of the animals, Cornyn has already come out with an anti-environmental stance.
"It is clear that cap-and-trade would be devastating to Texas energy producers, and as more details are revealed, our farmers and ranchers are growing concerned that they will be significantly impacted by higher energy and farm input costs," he said in a statement. "I will work to ensure that this dangerous cap-and-trade bill is not passed by the Senate."
(Photo of Sen. John Cornyn courtesy of the Associated Press.)



Partnership Can Help Rainforests, Orangutans

At the Animal Rights Conference last year environmentalist Debra Erenberg advised activists to network with people from other movements.

At this year's conference (which I didn't attend) her group, Rainforest Action Network, illustrated how such a partnership can work and why it's beneficial.

At the organization's table RAN educated people about the downside of palm oil and alerted them to a popular vegan product that contains it.

The production of palm oil destroys rainforests, in particular the habitat of orangutans. It's found in countless products -- candy bars, peanut butter, soap. And it's also found in Earth Balance, a vegan butter.

Animal-rights advocates posed with dialogue bubbles that read, "No palm oil in my Earth Balance," "The Earth needs rainforests," "I (heart) orangutans" and "Earth Balance: Save rainforests."
More than 300 activists signed a petition urging Ventura Foods [the makers of Earth Balance] to stop purchasing palm oil from Cargill until that company makes a commitment to end rainforest destruction for palm oil plantations.
(Photo courtesy of Understory.)



Second GOP Senator Blocks 'Regulatory Czar's' Confirmation

After months of holding up the confirmation of President Barack Obama's nomination for "regulatory czar," Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., last week released his grip.

Now, though, another Republican senator is blocking the process.

Cass Sunstein, Obama's choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (hence the shorter "regulatory czar" moniker), had to all but sacrifice a dog at the altar of animal agribusiness recently to convince them he wasn't going to push for animal rights in his new position.

Since Sunstein's nomination in January, the deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom has tried to derail his confirmation by labeling him a "radical animal rights activist." Ironically animal rights activists consider him more animal welfare.

In a 2002 paper Sunstein called for "extensive regulation of the use of animals in entertainment, scientific experiments, and agriculture."

Sunstein has had to meet with agriculture groups and senators from Big Ag states to ease their concerns over government interference in their exploitation.
Steve Kopperud, who represents two of the groups in the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition, said that at a meeting with those groups, "Dr. Sunstein addressed all of our concerns to our satisfaction, and we asked that he convey those assurances to Chambliss in writing, which he has done."
Chambliss lifted his hold, but now Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a hunting advocate, has stepped into Sunstein's path. Despite the nominee's written correspondence to Chambliss, Cornyn is still concerned and wants to speak to Sunstein.
"Sen. Cornyn finds numerous aspects of Mr. Sunstein's record troubling, specifically the fact that he wants to establish legal 'rights' for livestock, wildlife and pets, which would enable animals to file lawsuits in American courts," the Republican's spokesman, Kevin McLaughlin, said in a statement to FOXNews.com.
However, Sunstein had alleviated Chambliss' concerns on that front.
Chambliss said he was dropping his hold because Sunstein had convinced him that he "would not take any steps to promote litigation on behalf of animals," and that he believes the "Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess guns for purposes of both hunting and self defense."
(Photo of Cass Sunstein courtesy of aejmc.org.)



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Animal Exploitation on Coney Island

I thought insensitive, exploitative "freak" shows were a thing of the past, one of many human creations that died when people realized how cruel they were.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

While people with birth defects or genetic anomalies are (I hope) no longer put on display, sadly the same can't be said for odd-looking animals.

John Strong, who runs a show on Coney Island that features deformed animals, was willing to pay $3,000 for a puppy born with five legs. A woman read about his offer and paid Lilly's owner $4,000 for her to save her from the show.
Strong scoffs at the notion that his show constitutes animal abuse, and said he would have given Lilly a good life. And although Strong is disappointed that he didn't get the dog, he said he's counting his blessings. "Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals,' and move on."
I can't imagine the life that these poor animals lead, nor do I want to imagine what type of person considers it entertainment to view these imprisoned creatures.

Another exploitative show

It seems fitting that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has made Coney Island its home for the summer, thanks to a land donation from a company called Taconic Investment Partners.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed suit against Feld Entertainment -- the company that runs Ringling Bros. -- in 2000, accusing it of abusing the elephants. The case dragged on for years, with closing arguments this past March. But it appears that the judge hasn't ruled yet.

Incidentally if one searches lobbyist records for issues related to animals, Feld Entertainment appears far more than any other company or organization.

(Photo courtesy of CharlotteObserver.com.)



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guest Post at Change.org

Stephanie Ernst has published a guest post, "'Human Exceptionalism' Exceptionally Arrogant," I wrote for her blog, "Animal Rights," at Change.org. Please read it and the other insightful posts she has there. Thanks!



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dim-Bulb Palin Criticizes Energy Bill

Just when we hoped we were rid of her -- at least until the 2012 presidential campaign begins -- soon-to-be former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has, to paraphrase her comment about Vladimir Putin during her run for vice president, reared her head.

In an opinion piece in The Washington Post today Palin criticizes the cap-and-trade energy plan currently before Congress.

While I have issues with the proposal -- although they aren't the same as those Palin has -- if she's against it, then it can't be all bad.

Even before I could vote, I hated politicians ignoring environmental issues in favor of economic ones. It appeared short-sighted.

Palin continues this myopic, selfish view.
I am deeply concerned about President Obama's cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.
The damage can't be any more permanent than climate change.

Palin also cites that expert on all things: God.
We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil.
How is mining for coal and drilling for oil, as she suggests we do, moving "in a new direction"? If we want to use the resources "God" or whomever or whatever created, why not harness wind and solar energy?

Given the interviews Palin gave on the campaign trail, and even her recent resignation speech, I have to wonder who wrote this piece for her. Peppered in the prose is her usual folksy, sarcastic self, but I'm sure she didn't write the column herself.

Besides hardcore evangelicals and perhaps a few hockey moms, I can't imagine many people putting credence into anything Palin has to say.

(Photo courtesy of The Inquisitr.)



Hardee's Unveils Latest Sexist Ad

This week's "Let's use sex to sell animal flesh" marketing campaign is sponsored by Hardee's.

The fast-food chain is using four women dressed in French maid costumes to tout its new French Dip Thickburger. Even when I ate meat, the thought of eating a Black Angus burger topped with roast beef and Swiss cheese would have turned my stomach. (Is it any wonder obesity is rampant in this country?)

The women, wearing "cleavage-enhancing uniforms with short skirts and fishnet stockings," will make appearances at restaurants throughout the South and Midwest.

Not only are these women using their bodies to promote the slaughtering of innocent animals, but they are also demeaning people -- mostly women -- who make their livelihoods from domestic work.
"What do maids, toast, kisses and burgers all have in common? They're all better when they're French," said Brad Haley, Hardee's executive vice president of marketing.
(Photo courtesy of Meatingplace.com -- registration required.)



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ads Featuring Animal Products Demean Women

A poster for the soon-to-be released movie "Julie & Julia" is the latest advertisement of which I've become aware that features animal parts or secretions in a sexual, sexist nature.

Four others are ads for fast-food chains.

At the movie theater today I noticed the poster for "Julie & Julia," a movie starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, set to open next month. Streep plays Julia Child; Adams plays a woman who blogs about cooking Child's recipes for a year.

It's always nice to see a movie centered on women, as male actors still get better roles. But, for me, the movie poster had "testosterone" written all over it.

As you can see, two eggs are under the line "Do you have what it takes?" But the eggs look like testicles. I thought perhaps I was being too critical and sensitive, but a quick Google search for the poster tonight confirmed my thoughts. Adam Reed at the site "Gordon and the Whale" wrote about the poster in April, with this headline: "Julie & Julia poster has balls... I mean eggs."

Our similar thoughts ended there, though. While he found the poster clever, I found it offensive to women. As I'm assuming the movie will show, one needn't possess testicles or large amounts of testosterone to be successful, so why imply the opposite in advertisements?

Four fast-food restaurants are also using advertisements of a sexual nature to lure customers.

Carl's Jr., no stranger to using sex to sell its wares, once featured Paris Hilton clad in heels and a swimsuit while washing a car and eating a burger. This time, though, the company has launched a Web site called "Hot Chicks Eating Burgers." Need I say more?

Burger King has also recently launched an ad campaign for its BK Super Seven Incher. The ad features a woman, mouth open, ready to give the sandwich a blow job. The tagline? "IT'LL BLOW your mind away."

Erik Marcus at Vegan.com has written about two other other fast-food ads in his post "Hardee's and Quizno's Try to Out-Sleaze Burger King."

The former once showed Jessica Simpson grinding on a car in one of its television ads. Now, though, they are using online video to advertise their new biscuit holes. A "market researcher" asks people for better names for the product. Some of the responses include hole munchers, iced b-holes and fisticules.

Quizno's "Toasty Torpedo" video features an oven urging a Quizno's employee to "Put it in me, Scott. It's over a foot of Quizno's flavor ..."

Now I'm not a prude, and several years ago I actually prided myself on my ability to turn anything into a sexual reference. But there's a difference between adult humor and sexism. In my opinion, the first three advertisements in this post are offensive to women.

Seems like a good time to add another book to my to-read list: Carol J. Adams' "The Sexual Politics of Meat."

("Julie and Julia" poster courtesy of "Gordon and the Whale." Burger King image courtesy of "copyranter.")