Wednesday, 1 July 2009

The Karma of Hubert? On PETA, Suicide Food, the Cathars and Road Rash

In the turbulent wake of 'Flygate', Obama's doubtless illegal act of war against the species Musca domestica, I was following links from the always mind-boggling PETA site when I came across a blog called "Suicide Food" which I read for a while with some enjoyment.

The blog's premiss is a good one and it mines its niche with a single-minded diligence that lazy bloggers such as myself can only admire. It's an attack on one single strand of anthropomorphised advertising: the representation of animals as desiring their own consumption.

I find the blog thought-provoking, amusing and just-plain-wrong in about equal measure. The post about the high-kicking barbeque pig is a good example. It is a dumb and tasteless ad - fair enough - but the discussion at once introduces what seems to be the central motif of a school of ethical thought that's all over the animal rights scene like a rash: 'how can you not feel tainted just by witnessing this?' Ethics understood as the maintenance, at all costs, of the image of oneself as an ethically pure agent - untainted by the sinfulness at large in the soiled world beyond the realm of the pure.

I do find this point of view tremendously interesting and so I at once lurched off, after reading the blog, into writing a near dissertation-length post about 'Quasi-Buddhist Pelagian Dualism and the rise of the New Perfecti'

Realising, after about two thousand words, that I didn't have a clue what I was going on about, I hit, 'Save as Draft' instead of 'Post'. (A score of academics will, I'm sure, construct distinguished careers around the imagined contents of the 'Lost Post of Hubert on the Digital Cathars'. Oh well, what can you do? Those guys have got to make a living too, I suppose...).

Anthropomorphising animals is a thoroughly bad thing? Yeah, well, probably it is.

I was riding home last night after a warm summer rain and, coming to the the bottom of a fast downhill bend, I saw approaching, fallen from a much-perched upon tree above, a wide carpet of slimy bird poo across the smooth tarmac path. That looks a bit slippy, I though, as I sped towards it, a less-skilled cyclist might well take a tumble on such a treacherous surface - and then, of course, promptly went arse over tit and converted much of myself into pizza.

I suppose I could write a post now called, The Karma of Hubert: Small Animals Fight Back! - and that might be funny.

Would it be tasteless anthropomorphism, though? Well, yes, maybe it would be. Can I get worked up about it? No, I don't really think I can right now.

Right now, anyway, I have to go and change these damn band-aids...


  1. Douglas Adams was a prophet, not least in his book 'The Restaurant at the end of the universe', where an animal bred to be eaten recommended the loin and then announced that he was off 'to shoot myself humanely'.

    With so much that is awful in the world PETA do seem to be a redundant organisation. How many members does PETEO (People for the Ethical Treatment of Each Other) have?


    PS The birds are trying to tell us something. I got shat on myself yesterday. While i was fixing the hottest au-pair at the school gates' bicycle. No good deed goes unpunished. HoHum.

  2. Hitchcock was onto something!

  3. NorCal Cazadora.com1 July 2009 at 23:38

    Curse you, Hubert Hubert. I'm about to head out with my kayak to my favorite lake, where I'll undoubtedly take a swing past the blue heron nesting grounds, which are really just a launch point for enormous white liquid turds aimed at kayakers. If I come back with poo on my head, I'll now know for sure it will be payment for the sins of the flesh-eating.

    Ignorance was bliss, man.

  4. Tasteless pictures

  5. Interesting Pelagian point - doubtless some of that in the ethical mix, but lets not forget Donatism & Manichaneeism (sp?). The point being that these people people see themselves as the pure elect + hate the material realm. Pernicicious.

  6. Interesting post,

    I have to say that I visisted Suicide food, and thouroughly enjoyed it. I found thier posts interesting - however I think its important for one to understand some basic Animal Abolition/Liberation Theory before viewing it, or else it would seem somewhat stark and would not prompt the desired knee jerk reaction.

    And I'm not talking about PETA theory either. I would recomend Dr.Gary Franciones work at, and I also have some stuff on clear animal abolitionist stuff on my blogs.

    Anyway, interesting blog - even If i don't agree with your message it was still interesting to hear your view.