More recently other animals have been used in other cruel marketing stunts.
A tour operator in Russia is being investigated for animal cruelty after he forced a donkey to parasail to attract attention for a private beach.
The donkey was then towed by a boat for half an hour, initially flailing its legs and then hanging forlornly under a multi-coloured parachute at least 30 metres above the surf.The operator's marketing ploy backfired, as vacationers were dismayed by the antic.
The donkey screamed as he sailed through the air, and children on the ground cried when they saw him.
"This is a little town and we all know that donkey well," one local woman told reporters. "He worked for several years on the beach, being photographed with tourists. As soon as his ordeal was over, a lot of the people on the beach ran forward to soothe him."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has brought attention to a so-called game found at some bars and restaurants, including The Beach Club in Long Beach, Calif.
People "playing" the Lobster Zone maneuver a mechanical arm to pick up a lobster. It's like those money-draining games you see at children's venues, where the metal claw only rarely is able to pluck a toy from the machine. Only this game is even less fun, especially for the lobster, who, after being caught, is "dropped down a chute, boiled or cut up while still alive, and then eaten."
Jerome Lapin, president of American Coin Merchandising, has come out against this machine.
"As the world's largest operator of skill crane machines, we are totally opposed to this inappropriate use of this type of equipment. ... We can only hope that the people playing these skill cranes come to realize this is a sadistic misuse of machines designed to dispense toys and teddy bears."If you'd like to ask The Beach Club owner Steve Hoy to stop using this cruel device and to stop torturing lobsters, you can do so here.
99 Bottles of What on the Wall?
When I stop to think about the people who were charged with coming up with these outrageous and incredibly inhumane gimmicks, it's disconcerting.
We all have devious, perhaps occasionally evil, thoughts, but we know enough not to act on them. What kind of person mulls over a campaign and thinks, "I know! Let's bottle beer in the bodies of dead animals. That'll get us customers."
But some idiot did act on that idea.
BrewDog, a brewer in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has bottled beer in the taxidermied bodies of stoats (also known as shorttail weasels), squirrels and hares.
A Doncaster-based taxidermist worked on the animals and has insisted that the animals were not killed for bottling, with some having been killed on roads.But he doesn't say how the others were acquired or where their supply would come from if the demand is high. Hopefully that won't happen, though. Each bottle sells for 500 pounds.
"This is the beer to end all beers. It's an audacious blend of eccentricity, artistry and rebellion; changing the general perception of beer, one stuffed animal at a time."When I think of a stuffed animal, the image of my childhood bedroom comes to mind, with assorted stuffed animals gathered on my bed. They were toys that had never been alive. Why not use those?
Of course, Watt has an answer.
He also added that it is better for the animals to be: "celebrated and valued than left to rot."Perhaps it's time to dig up Grandma and "celebrate" her.
I realize that simply by blogging about these stunts, I'm providing advertising for these cruel ventures. However, I'm convinced that most people will be repulsed by this animal cruelty and won't frequent these businesses.
(First photo courtesy of Time; second photo courtesy of TheDrum.co.uk; third photo features a living stoat.)