July 11, 2004


The UK Daily Telegraph reports:

Under new Government proposals, creatures such as insects, worms and slugs will be protected from mistreatment if it can be proved that they suffer pain and distress ... A spokesman for Peta, the animal welfare group, has welcomed the proposals, saying: "Compassion must be extended to all living beings. Stamping on a slug sets an example to children that 'might makes right'."

And before you know it, they’ll be dragging harmless woodland creatures from their cosy spider-holes. Ban stamping!

Posted by Tim Blair at July 11, 2004 07:08 PM

the question is do invertebrates or spineless creatures feel pain ?
I suggest you ask a frenchman.

Posted by: davo at July 11, 2004 at 09:28 PM

Those idiots at PETA are going to end up destroying all animal cruelty laws with this stupidity.

Posted by: drscroogemcduck at July 11, 2004 at 10:07 PM

On the other hand, dismembering a 4 pound partly delivered live baby is a right according to Sentator Kerry.
We in the US are SOOO advanced in these things...

Posted by: Nancy Reyes at July 11, 2004 at 11:10 PM

wait, if it doesn't have a spine, wouldn't that mean it doesn't have a nervous system? which would mean it CAN'T feel pain? shoulda paid more attention back in biology class..anyway, who would step on a slug? yuck..

Posted by: samkit at July 11, 2004 at 11:13 PM

Step on a slug and break your mother's mug.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at July 11, 2004 at 11:47 PM

You don't step on slugs, you pour salt on them so that they shrivel up and die. I guess soon PETA will propose outlawing salt, as well as the common garden practice of lining your garden with a line of ground-up sharp bits of shells to keep slugs and snails out so they won't eat your plants to bits. And next they'll ban scarecrows on the grounds that frightening birds is bad. Then they'll start on a campaign to protect the locust hordes. Then most of the human race will starve to death.

You know, I think I've figured it out: PETA are actually aliens on a subtle campaign to take over the earth. The Truth is Out There!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 12, 2004 at 12:02 AM

To advocate for animal rights, it is first necessary to convince yourself that homo sapiens are not animals. Otherwise, homo sapiens would have rights too. Then there is no way to justify that given a clash of homo sapiens versus any other species, homo sapiens always loses.

Posted by: Dean Douthat at July 12, 2004 at 12:26 AM

I used to have so much fun with the magnifying glass...summer will never be the same.

Posted by: werner at July 12, 2004 at 01:01 AM

Ode to a slug found in my worm farm:

You sit there like a lump of snot,
But I will foil your cunning plot.

Come onto my plastic spoon,
You will go skin-diving soon.

Horrid creature! Bird of woe!
To Toiletland's dark deeps you go.

One flush, and you are out the door.
Gone away to never more

Pollute my worm-farm's pastoral scenes,
You swim with the brown submarines.

Posted by: Sue at July 12, 2004 at 01:51 AM

If PETA and the more extreme Animal Rights Groups have their way, humans will be relegated to second class status, behind the animals, on planet earth.

I wonder how it will be determined if slugs can feel pain? An interview, perhaps? What about plants? Can plants feel pain and should there be a comparable group for the plants? Perhaps when we have salads we've tortured a bunch of very sensitive plants, along with any insects we clean off before eating?

I'm certainly glad that even though people are suffering around the world that we have groups like PETA to totally ignore the humans and focus on slugs and how they may feel.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at July 12, 2004 at 03:08 AM

Yesterday I was happy to dig up and feed earthworms to a couple of baby birds fallen out of their nest. Thanks to Tim, today I know I am a wanton killer.

The logical end to universal tolerance and accomodation of all living things is non-existence, as there isn't a footprint small enough not to tread on the sensibilities of something else. And so, to afford any tolerance and accomodation in the world, don't we need self-interest and brutishness to keep the world alive?

Posted by: worm brutalizer at July 12, 2004 at 04:29 AM

wait, if it doesn't have a spine, wouldn't that mean it doesn't have a nervous system?

No, most invertebrates have nervous systems, and certainly have neurons. Whether they "feel pain" as we perceive it is another question.

Posted by: Otter at July 12, 2004 at 04:35 AM

I killed a spider that landed on my shoulder today (after much flailing of arms, and jumping around, and yelping, of course). If PETA has its way, can people like me be prosecuted for arachnocide?

Posted by: Rebecca at July 12, 2004 at 05:43 AM

It's all about pain and pleasure, folks! Maximize the pleasure, minimize the pain! Make love to the animals and put retarded babies out of our misery. THANK YOU PETER SINGER

Posted by: Sortelli at July 12, 2004 at 05:51 AM

Chris J.,
have you never heard a plant scream as it was
being pruned? That used to happen, until the
researcher who discovered it lost his grant, (or tenure, or whatever)
about 20 years ago. Then everything got quiet.
I haven't heard a tree whimper since.

Posted by: Mike H. at July 12, 2004 at 08:02 AM

Ayn Rand best described these people in her term "man haters".
Just as we can pay half of our earnings to others that did not earn in involuntary servitude, soon the use of head lice treatments and removal of ticks and leeches will become a crime. We must never think of ourselves and must give of ourselves as much as others wish to take.
The next time you see your dog scratch for that annoying flea punish him for being such an immoral creature. He only exists for the life the parasite.

Posted by: Intellectual Gladiator at July 12, 2004 at 11:19 AM

Peta = F*ckwits. End of story.

Posted by: JakeD at July 12, 2004 at 11:44 AM

So what do I stick on the end of my fish-hook, Mr Humane Bureaucrat? A piece of spaghetti?

Posted by: ilibcc at July 12, 2004 at 12:11 PM

Hmm, protection for those who feel pain? Nah, that means you just give them pain killers first right?

Fetus pain relief bill unlikely to get far

Posted by: Tristan at July 12, 2004 at 12:36 PM

Perhaps we could offer some snails and slugs to Adele Horin's sophisticated Europeans friends - provided they eat them humanely.

Posted by: Freddyboy at July 12, 2004 at 01:56 PM

Ban escargot. PLEASE!

Posted by: snail lover at July 12, 2004 at 02:01 PM

I wonder if the PETA folks will start going after aboriginals (aborigines? Native Australians?) for eating witchetty grubs. I can't wait -- I'll just sit back and watch all the ironies collide.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 12, 2004 at 03:12 PM

I feel your pain!

Seriously, this is when I started having doubts...
A rally with pretty good music but banners with stylized cockroaches on them and the text "EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL SPECIES"
Yeah, right...

Posted by: Timothy Lang at July 12, 2004 at 03:46 PM

"I wonder if the PETA folks will start going after aboriginals (aborigines? Native Australians?) for eating witchetty grubs. I can't wait -- I'll just sit back and watch all the ironies collide."

They won't miss a beat. Aborigines (and other noble savages) can do no wrong. The loony left has already embraced Islamic supremacism without gagging. Any further leftist doublethink beyond this is a mere formality.

Posted by: Clem Snide at July 12, 2004 at 04:13 PM

People, PLEASE think about these PETA points and our abject disregard for other life:

Roach "hotels"? Disgusting conflation of hospitality with the death of innocent insects.

"Raid"? Cruel chemical warfare with a militaristic appeal for the jackbooted inclined.

Fly swatters? What sick irony in smashing winged insects to death with something that sounds like it just taps the behind.

Cocoons in glass jars? Teaching young children to incarcerate living things for their amusement. Toy ant farms, ditto.

Stepping on bugs while strolling outside? Senseless and preventable carnage. People need only watch where they step and leap alot.

Posted by: card-carrying member at July 12, 2004 at 04:40 PM

Can the Bacteria Liberation Front be far off?


Posted by: mojo at July 12, 2004 at 05:21 PM

Clem- I find that PETA-class loons are consistent in their beliefs across the board. Respect for other cultures doesn't mean jack because they hate humanity as a whole and see us all as a burden upon the fair earth. Their hate tends to be localized and pitted against industrial society, though. One of their big arguments is that if we weren't livestock exploiting capitalists, we could grow enough hay to feed to all the poor peoples of the earth.

Posted by: Sortelli at July 12, 2004 at 05:43 PM

I read recently that after a $20 bet someone contracted menengitis thru eating ,uncooked ,one of these vermin.As far as I'm concerned they fired the first slug.Newk em all.

Posted by: gubbaboy at July 12, 2004 at 06:51 PM

'The Australian' newspaper today had an article on how oysters feel pain. that's weird cos i always feel relief when i cough them up..

Posted by: roscoe.p.coltrane at July 12, 2004 at 07:32 PM

"Can plants feel pain and should there be a comparable group for the plants?"

Man, what do you think all those "don't walk on the grass" signs have been there for these last 100 years, Chris? To the grasses, it's like 500 people being stepped on by every footstep - it really smarts.

About the slugs, I always go with a plate of beer on the ground to draw them in, then dehydrate them (no joke, this works great). Everyone's happy too, including PETA, as the slugs are feeling no pain when the shrivel up and die ...

"wasting away again in Margeritaville, searching for my lost shaker of salt, some slugs thing that it's a woman to blame, but I know (steel drums), it's my own damn fault ..."

Posted by: Jimmy Antley at July 13, 2004 at 01:20 AM

If PETA hates humanity so much, they should demonstrate the next step in their skewed logic by wrapping their lips around the muzzle of a loaded pistol and pulling the trigger.

This would be a fine example of "leadership by example". At least for members of PETA. For me, this would be a fine example of irony at work.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at July 13, 2004 at 10:50 AM

Do slugs have repressed memories, too? We need to redress the wrongs of the past.

Posted by: ras at July 13, 2004 at 05:47 PM

Wow. Chesterton's prediction was right in 1904 when he wrote The Napoleon of Notting Hill:

'There was Mr Edward Carpenter, who thought we should in a very short time return to Nature, and live simply and slowly as the animals do. And Edward Carpenter was followed by James Pickie, D.D. (of Pocahontas College), who said that men were immensely improved by grazing, or taking their food slowly and continuously, after the manner of cows. And he said that he had, with the most encouraging results, turned city men out on all fours in a field covered with veal cutlets. Then Tolstoy and the Humanitarians said that the world was growing more merciful, and therefore no one would ever desire to kill. And Mr Mick not only became a vegetarian, but at length declared vegetarianism doomed ("shedding," he called it finely, "the green blood of the silent animals"), and predicted that men in a better age would live on nothing but salt. And then came the pamphlet from Oregon (where the thing was tried), the pamphlet called "Why should Salt suffer?", and there was more trouble.'

Posted by: Mark from Monroe at July 13, 2004 at 11:58 PM

Could this be a ploy by PETA to protect all those spineless bastards on the left?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at July 14, 2004 at 01:58 AM