How is an advocacy group, explicitly set-up to advocate for a single cause, "axe grinding" when they seek publicity for the cause they were set up to advocate for? By that logic, every time the American Heart Association is quoted in a newspaper article about anti-smoking laws, they're "grinding an axe", which any person can see is quite ridiculous.
Anyway, I think you misunderstand what "axe-grinding" means, so here is a a helpful definition. Additionally, it may interest you to know that the etymology of that phrase comes from an 1815 essay in which a man convinces a boy to grind his axe for him, leaving the boy without compensation at the end.
I wish you all the best in working through your outrage.
Hey, don't confuse "defense of PETA" with "liberal." There's plenty of us liberals/progressives who think that PETA are full of shit. The part where they sent death threats to my ex's family because his dad works in a veterinary research lab kind of sealed that for me.
For that matter, I am not a liberal, nor am I defending PETA. You used "axe-grinding" as a codeword for "I disagree with this group's beliefs and I am unhappy that they are using their donations to advocate for a cause that I disagree with", and that's not what it means.
"You used 'axe-grinding' as a codeword for 'I disagree with this group's beliefs and I am unhappy that they are using their donations to advocate for a cause that I disagree with', and that's not what it means."
No I did not.
From your response you do seem to be, to me, a whiny Liberal, PETA defender.
Damn! I was hoping the Westboro loonies would get into Canada. Then when they returned to the border, we were going to turn off the lights here in the U.S. and pretend we weren't home, so they'd be locked out.
Heh. People have such an axe to grind with PETA, which is exactly the response PETA wants to elicit. Works like a charm, evidently.
I usually really, totally enjoy you and your comments, arse_hat. Nothing personal.
(Similarly, don't hate me 'cuz I don't eat animals, 'kay? I get enough of that and it's absurd.)
But I have to agree with cmonkey that PETA is not grinding an axe or venting without purpose about something that pisses them off... They're trying to call attention to (and educate about) grisly, inhumane, and de facto unsafe/unsanitary/unhealthy slaughterhouse conditions.
And while PETA's hijinks may offend you somehow, keep in mind that everytime someone here does a "This is a great recipe for carnivores" post, I'm saddened by the images that come to my mind. But I don't complain.
Let's see... There's nothing liberal-whingy about the book Fast Food Nation, the author is just a journalist (not a vegetarian or an animal rights activist), and the book confirms everything PETA is saying and much much worse.
Similarly, author Jane Plant, who survived a terminal breast cancer diagnosis by going mostly vegan, has no axe to grind, as she seemingly has little empathy for Animal Rights or animal suffering and still eats a little tiny bit of meat (though probably no dairy whatsoever.)
And there's just nothing "liberal-whingy" about vegan Mike Mahler, and if there is and you call him on it he might kick your ass. Arse, I mean.
So it's a matter of PETA's methods? Sometimes they call attention to these issues by being annoying. But, hey, it works, doesn't it?
It also provokes denial and an extreme guilt reaction in most meat-eaters, so maybe it's not the best approach. But the soft-sell is what the Humane Society is for; they're "good cop."
Maybe the saying that ex-cattle farmer Harold Brown (formerly of Farm Sanctuary) always quotes has a better idea, which is "People don't remember what you say, they remember how you make them feel."
Highjacking a completely unrelated incident to once again espouse your beliefs seems pretty ax-grindy to me. Protesting at someone's funeral because you believe his *country* is morally corrupt, and using the details of his death to shame people who eat meat, both seem to be thrusting politics into a sphere where it doesn't belong and erasing the reality of this man's death in order to further political causes
Right on, occhiblu. A complete more-than-nutcase decapitates someone on a bus, and a political group tries to take advantage of it? I think that's what arse_hat's annoyed about. C'mon folks let's not fight.
I also agree with occhiblu. These activities are really disrespectful to the dead. Looking for any opportunity, even ones that bring emotional pain to already very unlucky and suffering people, to make your point and capitalize on the sensationalism of the incident is definitely axe-grindy.
Are you suggesting that man killed people because he ate meat? That's the only way I can see the gun-related thing as related.
No, not all, it was just the first example of a group using someone's death as a way to advocate for a political cause that came to mind. I guess I just see all sorts of advocacy groups using whatever tragedies and horrors occur to advance their political and/or fundraising goals without outrage so it makes me wonder when people get upset over other groups doing it.
I guess I just see all sorts of advocacy groups using whatever tragedies and horrors occur to advance their political and/or fundraising goals without outrage so it makes me wonder when people get upset over other groups doing it.
Surely there's a difference between tying your issue in with a tragedy in a superficial way (the PETA and Westboro things) and having a tragedy naturally illustrate your issue. If, for example, it turns out the guy who committed this crime is mentally ill (which doesn't sound unlikely), it might be a good example of why we need to focus more on mental health issues.
What TPS said. Imagine that it was your loved one who was brutally murdered and you called up a friend to tell them and they responded (as PETA did), "Pfft! That happens to chickens EVERY DAY!!! I hope you are haunted by his memory every time you eat a McNugget!" It's irrelevant and insensitive and just generally wrong. It's not the same thing as an advocacy group saying, "Let's do what we can to ensure this doesn't happen again."
You're being myopic here, shane. The point people are trying to (respectfully) make is that the organization acted in a pretty disrespectful manner in this case. That's different from saying that they suck.
It's not a secret that animal rights is an issue close to your heart, but you need to take a step back on this one. People are making good points about that pointless ad.
Out of curiousity, do you get as offended when anti-gun groups use a gun-related murder as a springboard for pushing for more handgun regulation?
If they do so in a way that minimizes, belittles, or ignores the person's death, and encourages others to ignore this death in favor of a different cause, then yes.
I was trying to come up with an equivalent version with a cause I support, and I guess it'd be something like a domestic violence advocacy group reacting to the bus decapitation by saying, "Women are murdered and beaten every day! You should turn your attention to them, because it's a bigger issue!" And while I might agree that domestic violence is a large and unaddressed problem, I would still find that highjacking of someone's death completely inappropriate.
Yup, hijacking is pretty much what it is. The desire to get their respective messages out outweighed decency/tact.
There was a shooting at a cegep (akin to a community college in the US, with two-year pre-university programs) here a couple years ago. A few days afterwards, Jehovah Witnesses showed up on my doorstep for the first time in years. Their opener was "Why do you think god would let this happen?" No consideration for the possibility that a friend or family member could have been among the injured.
After looking them up and down for a while, I countered "Why did he allow you to be such a crass opportunist?"
I understand everyone's points, but I think the real questions here are: "Is it time for a ("MetaFilterian") list (in the MeCha wiki) of 'Subjects that MeCha does not do well' ", and "What does this mean for MeCha?", and, maybe just for me, "How does this place feel as compared to how it felt two years ago." Or maybe not. Only if subtext counts, I suppose.
Subtext is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes the beholder needs to work really, really hard to recognize that.
Ironically enough, there's subtext in that comment suggesting that the beholder is often seeing subtext that is not there. LOL.
It's not so much subtext as it is, ya know, that sometimes, somewheres, ya feel comfortable, and sometimes, somewheres, ya just eventually feel uncomfortable. That's enough for me.
Regarding PETA, the whole thing that amazes me is that smart people recognize that PETA works hard to CREATE CONTROVERSY, yet smart people still let PETA yank their chains and push their buttons instead of doing the smart thing and just walking away, thus denying PETA the gratification of a plan well-made.
PETA pisses you off on purpose, folks. It's what they want. It creates controversy and gets press for their issues. Publicity 101.
Then again, getting ticked off does allow for an opportunity for one to grind one's axe against PETA, should one be so predisposed. No big deal, but it gets pretty old after a while.