Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 9.26

  • Phil Plait reviews The Mentalist – He’s convinced me that I really need to watch this show.
  • PETA: Getting crazier by the minute – PETA suggests that Ben & Jerry’s start making their ice cream with human breast milk.
  • A budget of anecdotes – Mark Crislip explains how anecdotes can be used for good and not evil.
  • Cutting edge fragrances tell stories – “A perfume at Holt Renfrew called Secretions Magnifique is billed as “an olfactory coitus” due to its notes of bodily fluids, while a scent called Soldat Inconnu aims to replicate the smell of battle that sticks to a soldier’s skin.”  Thanks DMS.

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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37 Comments

  1. From what I understand, and I could be wrong, you can’t really use human milk to make ice cream or yogurt or anything like that because the protein content or whatever is different than cow’s milk and such. I could be wrong, but, I just don’t think it’s possible. PETA is basically ridiculous.

  2. says Lindsay Meredith, professor of marketing at Simon Fraser University in B.C. “Imagine seeing your favourite actress splashing on (a fragrance) because she wants to be more seductive or attractive, and by the way, here’s a scent strip so you can experience what she actually smells like.”

    Yes, well, that’s certainly got me all a-quiver. Yup.

    /wishes there was a rollseyes smiley here

    /shakes head and sadly ponders the inanity of the world and many her sail her

  3. Yeah, PETA are complete morons. Yeah, animal abuse is bad, duh. Even factory farming. But can they seriously go to a normal agrarian situation and claim that the cows/goats are being abused simply because they are being milked?

    They could be concentrating on actual abuse, but instead come up with shit like this…

  4. I can only hope that this means that “Smellivision” is on it’s way? Will I finally be able to “enjoy” the sights, sounds, AND smells of Silvester Stallone in Judge Dread? I really hope not. And imagine being able to smell Steven Seagal. That would probably end whats left of his film career. No one wants to smell that.

  5. Jeez, this PETA thing got me so irritated that I had to post again. Why do they have to be so stupid, so extreme? Why can’t they take the freking middle way and promote places like Polyface (who cares if they like Jeebus..) farms?

    http://www.polyfacefarms.com/

    And how unnatural can you get, popping B12 pills and munching on gluten patties…show me just one society outside of a little religious cult (and I even doubt that those existed in this form over 50 years ago) that eats NO animal products. I don’t think that one has ever walked the earth.

  6. …and what the hell do they propose obligate carnivores do? Are they going to feed them soy patties with taurine or something?

    I hate PETA! They have their heads so far up their asses that …I don’t know.. *sputtering*

  7. Doesn’t the founder of PETA believe that all pets would be better off dead than with humans? I can’t use my google fu at work, but I’m pretty positive that he has expressed this insane opinion before. And I’ve heard that they like to kill off dogs and cats, instead of find them appropriate homes.

    Yeah, they are useless.

  8. Yeah, and they generally put to death over 90% of their “rescued” animals and then protest the ASPCA and Humane Society for euthanizing animals, the latter two usually only put to death somewhere between 20 and 30% I can’t recall the exact number. Most find new homes, many of the ones put down are either a menace, or too sick to be saved.

  9. PETA has tried to convince towns like Hamburg and Fishkill (both in New York) to change their “offensive” names. I didn’t even get why Hamburg was offensive until I read that they offered the town $15,000 to change the name to Veggieburg. Never mind the fact Hamburg was the town’s name before the hamburger was “invented” and that “kill” is just a Dutch word for “stream”. These guys are experts at wasting other peoples time.

  10. @marilove:
    Essentially, yes. They are despised by those in true animal welfare, because we get tarred with the radical “animal rights” brush – which is what they believe.

    PETA has been caught “rescuing” perfectly healthy dogs and cats and then euthanizing them because of their beliefs. They use threats, coercion, legislative pushes at the local level and implied violence to further their aims, meanwhile pretending to be the premier organization to care about animals. Many of their members and donors don’t see through their propaganda.

    It is also widely known in the breed rescue community that PETA has infiltrated the USHS leadership. So far, the ASPCA seems to be keeping its wits about it.

  11. Yeah, my poor, tortured cat. She just HATES having gushifud* foisted upon her each night – I’m sure those whispery high pitched mews are not of anticipation and “hey, hey, open the CAAAAN!”, but of pain.

    I’m sure she’d be much happier had I never befriended her when she was a pregnant stray , fed her, allowed her to bring her litter of six into my house, get everyone spayed and neuteredand fed and flea-medicated, and found three “loving” (I mean cruel, torturing) homes where the siblings got to stay together in pairs…yeah, she would probably have been much happier dodging cars and hunting for lizards as her kittens struggled to survive in some fucked up dusty basement, only to get eaten by coyotes.

    Look at her now, lying in agony in that sunbeam! She could die from the stress of sauntering in the yard, having access to her food and water through the open window. Oh, god, I’m filled with shame as I contemplate the sick pleasure I derive from forcing “purr” sounds of obvious torment from her as I repeatedly stroke her – HER, not MY – fur coat. She is brainwashed, selflessly donating heat to me as I greedily take it from her when she sits on my vile lap, hoping for just a morsel…I am truly a monster, and she must be saved!

    *wet food. Thanks, lolwiki!

  12. If you guys haven;t seen the Penn & Teller episode on peta you should check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ijLulwUTY

    They are just like any other group who imagines themselves with some sort of moral high ground. They that because everyone who disagrees with them is evil and wrong, that anything and everything they do is justified. Including completely hypocritical acts like animal euthanization and fire-bombing medical research labs.

  13. @Detroitus: I need to watch that video when I get home. PETA does more damage to non-profit rescues than I can explain in a short post.

    @marilove: Don’t confuse local Humane Societies with the USHS. There are a lot of independent ones that are just fine. I’m just getting a new herding dog rescue started up in my area (as a Director, no less).

    Three of my current four Shelties are rescues – and I swear that they know how good they have it!

  14. Regarding the P & T Bullshit episode on Peta, here is a quick review of it that I wrote a couple of years ago on a vegan mailing list:

    I’ve been a fan of Penn and Teller for years. Decades, actually (jeez,
    I’m getting old). I like Bullsh**, I saw the first and second seasons
    on DVD, and I found it really entertaining. But with the exception of
    the episodes on really slam-dunk crackpot stuff like creationism, UFO
    abductions and Feng Shui, I’ve found myself rolling my eyes at the poor
    quality of their research, and the way they use ad-hominem, appeals to
    emotion, and obviously disingenuous editing in almost every episode. It
    is not a good source for factual information, and it’s kind of
    disturbing that they present it as such, and people accept it as such.

    […]

    I was astounded at how terrible the PETA episode was. I’m not
    exagerating when I say that I had problems with almost every sentence
    that Penn and the “experts” uttered. After a while, my head was
    swimming from the constant “yeah, but” dialog that kept rolling through
    my mind as I watched it.

    There’s not much love lost between me and PETA, and if they limited the
    discussion only to PETA and ALF’s problems, I would not have had a
    problem with the show. If they disclaimed that PETA is not
    representative of vegans or AR proponents, I would have been okay with
    it, but they did just the opposite, they made it seem that PETA and
    vegans, and PETA and AR proponents, are synonymous.

    My biggest disappointment was that I was hoping to be challenged. I was
    ready to listen to some good, logically sound arguments that would shake
    my worldview a bit, that would make me think and work to resolve them.
    Something to enlighten me to the weak points in my own views on animals.
    I was hoping that they would ask the really interesting questions, like
    whether or not animals can really suffer, like whether or not being
    vegan really makes a difference to alleviate that suffering.

    Instead they trotted out the usual misconceptions of the AR movement, a
    handful of appeals to emotion and ad-hominem character assassinations, a
    little handwaving, and a lot of information that was just plain wrong.
    I actually agreed with a couple of their points, like about animal
    testing in the medical industry, but then I was disappointed that they
    drew wrong conclusions like asserting that vegans who use insulin are
    hypocrites.

    I was also frustrated at the thought that to the uninitiated, P&T and
    their guests probably sounded valid. The public will go away from the
    episode more certain than ever that “those AR nuts” are crazy. Their
    influence is far-reaching (something of which I’m usually glad), and
    this show will reach many people with this bullsh**.

  15. @QuestionAuthority: Thanks for the tip. I’m sure they’ll have info on their site(s) stating if they are locally owned or not, so I’ll take that into consideration. I heart pets, I so do!

    Rescue dogs are just the best. My (married) best friends rescued a German Sheppard/Black Lab mix, named Zues. He was WAY too much dog for his previous owner, but he is sooo happy and content in his new home. They actually make his food from scratch, the dirty hippies, lmao (and once we made the “dog loaf” into human loaf, adding spices, because we were drunk and curious, and it was actually quite good! So I have eaten dog food before hahahaha!).

    Fuck, PETA. Zues would NOT rather be dead. He would much rather be chasing after his red ball, playing tug-o-war, and running through the sprinklers.

  16. @flib:

    If they disclaimed that PETA is not
    representative of vegans or AR proponents, I would have been okay with
    it, but they did just the opposite, they made it seem that PETA and
    vegans, and PETA and AR proponents, are synonymous.

    Although I didn’t get this impression from this particular episode, I can see how one could. I know from more sources than P & T that PETA is fucking nuts, I just think that P & T did a pretty good job showing that nuttiness. I would personally never use PETA as the face of animal rights or veganism, just crazy, extremist asshats.

  17. @flib: vegans who use insulin are
    hypocrites.

    Didn’t they say that people who oppose animal testing (not limited to vegans) and using insulin were hypocrites?
    That, I agree with.

    Let’s see now:
    They use insulin.
    Insulin is a result of medical animal testing.
    Hmm… Can you define the word hypocrite for me please?

    @Detroitus:
    Nor did I get the impression that PETA was representative of vegans; the episode covered both views.

    Not that I necessarily agree with vegans. Living “naturally”? Then where, pray tell, do they get the Vit B12 they need to survive?
    Nutrition supplement bushes in their back yard? I think not… *echoes wish for rolling eyes emoticon* ;)

  18. @Solitas:

    Didn’t they say that people who oppose animal testing (not limited to vegans) and using insulin were hypocrites?
    That, I agree with.

    An individual who is against animal testing would be a hypocrite if they chose animal tested insulin over non-animal tested insulin. Since non-animal tested insulin does not exist, and they need insulin to survive, they’re not necessarily showing hypocrisy by consuming it, and protesting the lack of an alternative.

    They would be hypocritical if they preached that people should die rather than consume animal-tested medicine, then consume animal-tested medicine themself. But nobody except the most extreme of the extreme preaches that.

    As a concrete example: I’m not generally against medical animal testing, but I am against animal testing in the cosmetics and toiletry industry, because viable alternative processes have been around for a couple of decades. I go out of my way to boycott corporations that use animals to test toiletries, and I’ve managed to find alternatives for all of the toiletries that I consume. But if I happened to be allergic to all animal-friendly deodorants on the market, I would reluctantly buy a non-animal friendly deodorant, rather than stink up my workplace. And I don’t think any reasonable person could accuse me of hypocrisy for doing so.

    Nor did I get the impression that PETA was representative of vegans; the episode covered both views.

    Bullshit. In no way were ethically concerned vegans in general portrayed in a more positive light than the portrayal of PETA, and they did not feature vegans who were anti-PETA (and there are a lot of us).

    Not that I necessarily agree with vegans. Living “naturally”? Then where, pray tell, do they get the Vit B12 they need to survive?

    Thats a strawman. There’s nothing about ethical veganism that favors “living naturally”.

  19. @flib: I agree with everything you just said except this:

    An individual who is against animal testing would be a hypocrite if they chose animal tested insulin over non-animal tested insulin. Since non-animal tested insulin does not exist, and they need insulin to survive, they’re not necessarily showing hypocrisy by consuming it, and protesting the lack of an alternative.

    The hypocrisy is till there. Remember that these are people who claim that all animal testing must stop. Making this claim while consistently using the direct product of animal testing (whether out of necessity or not) is hypocritical. It’s not the use of the insulin that shows their hypocrisy, but rather the the views they hold which are naturally contrary to how they live.

  20. One more point…. There is a difference between finding something objectionable and being uncompromisingly opposed to it. In the deoderant example, if you just found cosmetic animal testing somewhat objectionable then it wouldn’t be such a big deal to use the bad product. However, if you are vehemently against cosmetic testing and consistently lobby for its immediate and complete end, then you would be a hypocrite for using the product that you are against.

  21. The hypocrisy is till there. Remember that these are people who claim that all animal testing must stop. Making this claim while consistently using the direct product of animal testing (whether out of necessity or not) is hypocritical. It’s not the use of the insulin that shows their hypocrisy, but rather the the views they hold which are naturally contrary to how they live.

    So it’s impossible for a diabetic to call for the end of animal testing without either a) martyring themself, or b) being a hypocrite? Is it hypocritical for a Libertarian to drive on a non-toll collecting public road in order to get to their job? Is it hypocritical for an American who is against the war in Iraq to pay their taxes, which pay for the war?

  22. @flib: The difference here is that if Libertarians succeed or anti-war activists are successful in changing the government to match their own views, they will no longer need to do these things they are against. A diabetic essentially owes their life to animal testing and would continue to use the products of these tests even if testing itself is deemed completely immoral and outlawed.

    The distinction I see is that people who oppose medical testing are essentially saying that the lives of the animals are more important than the thousands of human lives that are and potentially will be saved by the results of those tests. If they are willing to sacrifice all of those people for the sake of the animals, then why should they have special consideration if they happen to be one of them?

  23. @Detroitus:

    The distinction I see is that people who oppose medical testing are essentially saying that the lives of the animals are more important than the thousands of human lives that are and potentially will be saved by the results of those tests. If they are willing to sacrifice all of those people for the sake of the animals, then why should they have special consideration if they happen to be one of them?

    OK, I can see your distinction, that makes sense. But I think that a large majority of those who are against medical animal testing are under the impression that viable alternatives to animal testing exist, as they do in the cosmetics industry – they think it’s unnecessary. They are not in favor of stopping progress in the pharmaceutical industry, they’re in favor of making the pharmaceutical industry switch to the other testing methods which they (probably mistakenly) believe to be as effective as animal testing.

    A small handful of radical extremists would disagree, saying that humans should die rather than use drugs that are tested on animals. And if some of those radical extremists are insulin using diabetics, they would certainly be hypocrites. But they don’t represent the majority, and Penn and Teller have ham-handedly painted them all with the same brush.

  24. @flib: Then we agree. Obviously if someone is the victim of misinformation I would be hesitant to call them a hypocrite. But then, I generally expect people to research any positions that they stick to so passionately. Very few animal testing abolitionists that I’ve known ever really bother to learn the reasons why animals are used in medical research and how in most cases (not all) there is no feasible alternative.

    And you’re probably right about P & T overgeneralizing. But it’s also unfortunate that the crazy extremists are always the ones who get the most press coverage.

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