Thursday, June 18, 2009

PETA miffed at President Obama's fly "execution"

Story here. (You can see the fly-killing on the blog here.)

POLITICO (Washington) - The president has been getting lots of kudos for a lightning-fast, Mr. Miyagi-worthy swipe he employed to slay a pesky house fly that was buzzing him in mid-interview during a taping with CNBC that aired Wednesday. . . .

But now People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling it an "execution," wants the commander-in-chief to show a little more compassion to even "the least sympathetic animals." . . .

The group has sent Obama a device that traps a fly so it can then be released outside.

"We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals," PETA spokesman Bruce Freidrich explained. . . .

I agree, but what was I supposed to do about the weevils? (I'm drowning the last of them that are flying around and landing on the TV and the monitor.) I had no remorse as I was vacuuming them up. I don't kill flies, however--I hardly have any flies here. I don't even own a fly swatter or use bug spray. (We have an exterminator service here for roaches, etc. Roaches I will kill on sight.) Anything that flies in from the terrace, however, I try to capture and release back outside so Lucky won't kill it. But generally we have no insect problems. It's true that I did let a fly into the apartment the other day to let Lucky play with. (This must be fly season.) I won't do that again, since Lucky could get sick. (The fly acted sick.)

This whole idea about right to life and right to kill is very complicated and is not a black-and-white issue. And also I do have a PETA sensibility to an extent. (But I'm omnivorous at this time, yet don't wear fur--no real need in Miami--but wear leather shoes.) I don't think human beings are more "exalted" in the Animal Kingdom and have some "God-given right" to "lord over" all of Creation. Animals like cats and dogs, for example, which are highly intelligent, emotional beings capable of love, deserve our protection in society (and are thus protected by law). I think some human beings are "lowlier" than they are. But then I think that people who intentionally inflict harm on animals (and perhaps go on to murder people) are mentally defective--they're psychopaths or sociopaths. Maybe there's a cure down the road. (Meanwhile, they have to be locked up.)

(Years ago I had a big roach in a little-used closet and left it alone. But then it multiplied and I put out Roach Motels. I had no remorse.)

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