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PETA: People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:17 pm
by AzizalSaqr
Discuss Goran's involvement with Peta, your concerns and or activism. Trade vegan recipes, share articles, campaign information, or anything else you think might be of interest to other fans.

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I'm also including a few links that you might want to visit.

PETA: The Official Website http://www.peta.org/

Fur is Dead: Er Doc goes to the Dogs
http://www.furisdead.com/feat-goran.asp


Animal Friends Croatiahttp://www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/indexen.html This site can be viewed in both English and Croatian.

Hello Magazine Article Link Screen Doctor Goran Visnjic Campaigns Against Fur

6 JANUARY 2003

The 30-year-old heart-throb, who has been playing sexy Dr Luka Kovac in ER since 1999, will be appearing on the big screen soon. His new crime thriller Doctor Sleep goes on limited release at the end of the month

ER heart-throb Goran Visnjic has joined the anti-fur campaign and is appearing on billboards along with his dog Bugsy in his native Croatia to help discourage people from wearing fur coats.

"If you wouldn't wear your dog, please don't wear any fur," says the slogan on the ads, which are part of an Eastern European campaign by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Goran, who has played sexy Dr Luka Kovac in the hugely successful hospital drama series since 1999, believes that animal protection is an issue that crosses all political and social boundaries.

"Somebody once asked me, when war was happening in my country, 'Why don't you do more for humans, against wars?'" he says. "It's our own stupidity that people are so violent to each other. What people do to animals is a one-sided war, and animals are innocent and cannot protect themselves. It's important to be a protector of this planet, not a destroyer."

http://www.hellomagazine.com/fashion/2003/01/06/goranvisnjic/

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:17 pm
by AzizalSaqr
Faustus



Joined: 31 Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Hyogo-ken, Japan
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:40 pm Post subject:

I have very mixed feelings about PETA, actually (and I hope this won't be considered "bashing," because it's intended to be thoughtful discussion on my part). While I agree with their basic message- that animals should be treated properly and with respect, I think their methods do them and their cause a real disservice at times. Their fairly well-known comparison of the eating of mass-farmed chicken, for example, to the Holocaust (including posters featuring mass graves at concentration camps) was way over the top.

I also recall their criticism of Linda and Paul McCartney when Linda was fighting cancer. I don't think anyone doubts the commitment of the McCartneys to animal rights, and yet PETA was giving Linda (someone who gave their organization huge support and publicity) a lot of flak for taking drugs to treat her cancer that had been tested on animals. I'm not a fan of animal testing at all, but I think expecting someone to sit back and let themselves die from cancer rather than taking drugs that could help them because they were tested on animals is an entirely unfair burden to place upon them and probably fairly hypocritical, as I don't think there are many people who would have done things any differently than she did.

I understand that much of PETA's more controversial actions/assertions are presented as they are in order to generate further publicity and media hype, but I think that they alienate more people than they attract with those kinds of tactics. It leaves me wondering if it's really wise/effective for celebrities to associate themselves with, say, the comparison of killing chickens to the slaughter of Jews, Gypsies, gays and other "undesirables" during the Holocaust when perhaps a less controversial/more moderate group would benefit more from the support and not use it in quite as alarmist a fashion.

All of that said, I think Goran's ad campaign was in perfectly good taste, and I definitely agree that wearing fur is largely pointless and perpetuates the needless suffering of animals. I'd love to see PETA do something concrete about the animal rights situation here in Japan, where there is no government-run animal welfare body at all (nothing like the ASPCA or RSPCA), and a lot of people treat their pets quite poorly. And, of course, there's the fact that it's still not that unusual for whale to get served in school lunches (!). Craziness.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:18 pm
by AzizalSaqr
HGG



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 51
Location: Australia
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:24 pm Post subject:

I agree with you on many points as well. Its very similar to my opinion of Greenpeace (in regards to whaling, thats been a hot topic here in Australia at the moment given the clash with Japan at the moment - has it been in your media at all?), RSPCA (they are not innocent AT ALL!) and other demonstrators/organisations.

I actually studied environmental sciences at University and a lot of focus was on conservation of flora and fauna, especially endangered species and ecosystems. We actually found that a lot of demonstrations/ad campaigns/activists actually hindered the conservation process, and particularly, our studies/research.

I guess the only difference between us was the way in which we voiced our protest.

What I love about Goran's charity work is that it focuses on animals - which are usually forgotten when funds are raised. For example, the Tsunami - there was a lot of relief work done for the human victims but I heard nothing about the animal victims.

I did heard about a campaign for the animal victims of Katrina, however, which I thought was great.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:18 pm
by AzizalSaqr
Faustus



Joined: 31 Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Hyogo-ken, Japan
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:59 pm Post subject:

The whaling thing has come up somewhat, but the Japanese way of doing things tends to be to sweep any/all legitimate criticism under the rug and pretend that it never took place, thus saving face (out of sight, out of mind and all that). If that doesn't happen, usually someone makes a pro forma apology, then just carries on doing what they were doing from day one. It happens at all levels of society here, including the government- you can see it in the controversy with China over the Yasukuni Shrine (a shrine for Japan's war dead that also houses several convicted war criminals, which the Prime Minister continues to visit despite a lot of criticism from nations that Japan "colonised" during the war).

I completely agree about Greenpeace- they have the same modus operandi of being controversial primarily to garner publicity, and it drives me nuts. I think it really delegitimizes otherwise legitimate issues and complaints, doing more to harm things than not. Being American, I'm not as familiar with the RSPCA- in my experience, the ASPCA is generally fairly apolitical, but I'm not home and can't speak for what they've been up to lately.

We've had similar issues to the flora/fauna conservation problems you mention in our national parks. Part of park preservation is allowing the occasional forest fire to burn itself out (assuming it's not endangering people or property). It helps thin out the forest, making it less flammable and susceptible to fire in the future. Unfortunately, the general public gets upset and agitated when they hear that, say, Yosemite Park has had a big forest fire, and you get protests and bad press. The Parks Service has had to do a lot of educating of the general public to get people understanding just why forest fires aren't always a bad thing.

I agree that it's positive that someone is focusing on the animals- like I said, since coming to Japan, I've seen some really horrendous treatment of animals, and there's no real welfare organizations here to protect their interests. A neighbor's dog is almost completely neglected, and it's really heartbreaking, but where at home I could call Animal Control or the ASPCA, here there's basically nothing to be done. It's a bad situation. I think most celebrities who get involved with PETA have only the best of intentions- it's the organization that gets carried away.

I remember hearing about/seeing all of the animals people were forced to abandon during Katrina- it was really heartbreaking. There was a guy on the news who was refusing to leave his home (flooded up to the second floor) without his dog, who was likely to die anyway because of drinking the contaminated water. I'm sure similar situations arose in the wake of the tsunami.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:19 pm
by AzizalSaqr
While I accept that you can't always agree with every method employed or even every campaign employed by PETA, you have to realize that many of those who act on their behalf are doing so independantly.

As a member of PETA I have receieved their magazine and it actively encourages people to do what they feel comfortable doing to get their overall message across.

Does that mean they condone every method used? Probably not, but it does get the message out front and controversy sometimes generates far more press then passive campaigns do.

I guess in their eyes, the ends justify the means.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:19 pm
by AzizalSaqr
Faustus



Joined: 31 Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Hyogo-ken, Japan
Posted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:08 pm Post subject:

Even when campaigners choose deliberately offensive methods (i.e. the Holocaust comparison) to get the message across? I'm completely against cruelty to animals, but what about treating fellow human beings with the same respect and consideration that we would direct toward our four-legged friends? I guess that's what bothers me, really. To say that it's important to be kind to animals but show comparatively little regard for one's fellow humans (and here I'm speaking of the attitudes involved in generating some of these campaigns that are deliberately offensive and hurtful and clearly designed to be so) strikes me as somewhat hypocritical. For instance, the Holocaust campaign (which was a PETA-organized and run campaign, not something done by a few college vegans to stir up discussion on campus). I personally know people whose parents or grandparents were survivors of places like Auschwitz and saw those ads. How do you think that made them feel? Probably not terribly good, having the deaths of their family and friends compared to the slaughter of some chickens.

Which leads to the question, just what are the ends here? Are these campaigns really effective in bringing support to PETA's causes? I would posit that they're not- certainly in my own case, I was once generally supportive of PETA, but no longer hold that position- specifically due to these absurd, deliberately hurtful and controversial campaigns that they run, along with certain actions and statements made by members that, while not actively condoned, are not actively condemned, either. You say as much yourself, unless I'm misunderstanding:

Quote:
As a member of PETA I have receieved their magazine and it actively encourages people to do what they feel comfortable doing to get their overall message across.


What if someone feels comfortable telling people that the Holocaust wasn't as bad as mass chicken farming? What if someone feels comfortable acting illegally, doing something that's actually harming animals and the environment more than helping them (such as in cases of animal overpopulation)? It's PETA's prerogative to take whatever tack it deems appropriate and effective for its cause, of course, but it then becomes their responsibility to answer criticism and shoulder the consequences, which it seems like they're very reluctant to do.

A lot of times it appears that they (the higher-ups at PETA) take the, "Well, we can't be responsible for individual actions of our members!" route or, when it's something put out by PETA as a whole, "But we're against cruelty to animals! Don't you love animals?!" which amounts to a straw man- either you agree with PETA, or you hate animals and are cruel to them, which is obviously fallacious. I don't think recognizing, for instance, that a person suffering from cancer- a person who has done huge amounts of work over the years to protect and defend animal rights- should be free from being slandered and harassed for her choice to try and survive despite the animal testing of certain drugs means that I hate animals.

In any case, I don't think I'm alone in being driven away from PETA by their apparent attitude of, "Animals at the expense of decency and consideration for other human beings," which is something PETA might want to consider. Controversy gets press, yes, but it also polarizes debate in a way that makes it very difficult to actually get any cooperation going or anything of significance accomplished.

You said that you don't think PETA condones every method used, but to my mind, if they're encouraging their members to do whatever moves them and failing to condemn clearly hurtful/illegal/out of order actions by those members (as they have in the past), then they are condoning those methods. They're just not coming out and saying so, probably for press and legal reasons- but they set the example with their behavior. When it's okay to use the Holocaust as a cheap publicity tool, when it's okay to blast a poor woman trying to survive cancer (a woman who has herself aided and donated millions to your organization), where does one draw the line?

Don't get me wrong- I find animal cruelty abhorrent, and I have no problems with people who argue that animals deserve to be treated humanely and have some kind of advocates to speak out on their behalf when they're not. It's the machinations of the larger PETA organization that I take issue with, as I think that trying humans properly is just as important as correct treatment of animals (and the environment, for that matter). It doesn't have to be either-or, and it shouldn't be either-or, IMHO, but polarizing things and going for controversy at the expense of dialogue sometimes make it seem that that's exactly what it is: either you care about humans or animals, but you have to pick one or the other to care about more. I don't believe that's the case, which seems to contradict a lot of what PETA would have me believe.

Phew! Sorry this is so long- interesting discussion, though.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:20 pm
by AzizalSaqr
None of us can understand the inner workings of PETA unless we have sat on their board and been part of the discussions that lead to the decision to actively promote a particular campaign.

Was the Holocaust campaign in bad taste, absolutely, but I can't say that it alone would be enough to turn me away from PETA. When you look at the tremendous amount of positive campaigns that PETA has put forth it tells me that not everyone exists in the same mindset over how to do what they do.

I think part of the issue with PETA is that there are definite extremes with the kind of people who belong to the organization. I for example am a meat eater, and wear leather, but that doesn't make me any less a supporter of animal rights and anti-fur.

In my opinion I think that people these days pick and choose what they take from any given organization they belong to. The things that don't quite follow your mindset are overlooked and you focus on those things that do. Every organization has extremists and I can see where groups want to cater to those mentalities. I personally don't think that a member of PETA would do anything to harm animals in their mission to end cruelty to them, but of course there could always be a first to prove me wrong.

The thing is it all comes back to personal choice and your own conscience, do what you need to do to live with yourself. If that means stepping away from your support of PETA because you don't like some of their campaigns then that's what you have to do. For me though, I choose instead to accept that even though I can't agree 100% with all of their methods and campaigns, I can choose to offer my support for those methods and campaigns I do accept

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:20 pm
by AzizalSaqr
Faustus



Joined: 31 Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Location: Hyogo-ken, Japan
Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:07 am Post subject:

That, I think, we can both agree on. I don't necessarily fault people who choose to support PETA- I think most have their hearts in the right place, and as I said, it's not the anti-animal cruelty message with which I take issue, anyway. I think it's laudable to advocate on behalf of animals that can't help themselves. I think that can be taken to unnecessary extremes, but on an individual scale, I think that tends to be a factor of personality as opposed to cause of choice. I'm inclined to believe that for those people, if it weren't PETA, it would be something else- maybe religion, maybe politics, whatever.

I should clarify that it was not the Holocaust campaign alone that led me to be, for lack of a better description, generally anti-PETA (in terms of the organizations methods, not it's overall message of doing away with cruelty to animals, obviously). A number of other incidents and factors played a role- the comparison of killing chickens to the gassing, torture, shooting, hanging and cremation of people in Auschwitz and other such camps was just the straw that broke this particular camel's back. I guess I found that particular campaign so reprehensible, indicative of such willingness to peddle the tragedy of millions of people for the sake of some cheap (largely negative) publicity, particularly in a comparison that was just so ridiculous that I could no longer view PETA's other campaigns without feeling completely cynical towards their motives.

I think the behavior involved in that campaign demonstrated a great deal of cynicism, actually- yes, it's an absurd comparison, yes, it will be poorly-received, yes, it's completely offensive on a number of levels, but it'll get us a few minutes of media coverage, so let's go ahead and do it anyway. I can't help but feel that when the crux of your organization's argument is one of morality (i.e. that being a moral person entails treating animals well), that leaves the organization with a certain responsibility to behave morally and in good faith. Based on what I've seen of PETA's organizational decisions and advertising choices, I don't feel that they're doing that. But that's very much a subjective call, and I certainly don't expect everyone to feel similarly.

Personally, my ideal would be an animal rights organization that takes the higher road in situations like this and, rather than encouraging members to just do whatever moves them, no matter how offensive, hostile or just out of line, encourages them to hew to certain standards of behavior- both in actions toward animals and in encounters with their fellow man. No organization can control the actions of its members in all places at all times (nor should they), but I don't think an attitude of, "Hey, whatever works to spread the word- if you have to be hurtful, controversial, over the top and outright offensive, so be it," sets a great tone- and that goes for any organization, not just PETA. I'm just not willing to give my time or my money to a group that (evidently) holds those kinds of values. But hey, we all takes our chances and makes our choice. I do think it's a shame that some of the good work PETA does, for many people, is clouded out by the extremist silliness that gets press.

Oh, and with regard to the harming of animals, I'm sure people wouldn't do that knowingly. But like the forest fire example I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of people out there, including animal rights activists (that I've met, actually) that, IMHO, let their love for the individual animal cloud their understanding of the broader picture. Not seeing the forest for the trees, and all. It's how you get protests about, say, deer hunting. I don't personally like hunting at all, but in a lot of places, deer are in a major overpopulation crisis. Herds need to be culled in order for there to be sufficient resources for them to continue, and hunting (legal hunting that adheres to proper regulations) assists that. I'd rather there were a better/more efficient way (maybe selective herd sterilization of some kind, but I don't know how that would work), but hunting can and does serve a purpose that assists animals in the long run when it's applied correctly. There are other examples, but this post is already a thesis, so I won't get into it here.