Archive for Friday, January 16, 2009

Cruel choice

January 16, 2009


To the editor:

Thank you for printing a recent letter outlining PETA’s plan to offer discarded fur coats and hot cocoa at Washington, D.C., homeless shelters during the inauguration celebration. Apparently the coats will be marked to discourage resale, and the cups will bear a PETA slogan.

The letter’s author strongly expressed his disapproval that PETA would “take advantage of other human beings” in this way to publicize their desire to end needless suffering.

I agree that it is not entirely magnanimous of PETA to offer individuals in need of a coat the cruel practical choice between no coat and one that a compassionate person would not wish to wear. At least in marking the furs, PETA is also offering each of them the opportunity to identify themselves as someone who can’t afford to choose, rather than as someone who could and did.

But in fact, PETA has unwanted coats, and there are people who need coats. In a more ideal world, they would give them quietly, without fanfare. In a truly ideal world, neither PETA nor fur coats would exist, because everyone’s heart would already be open, not only to “other human beings” but to life in all its forms.

Meanwhile, my hope is that as individuals, a community, and a nation we can all find inspiration in this inauguration and in the future to focus less on our differences and more on our similarities, and to give generously of what we have to those who may have need of it.

N. Dangerfield,


Flap Doodle 9 years, 4 months ago

I saw the headline & thought this was a story about Joe Biden. Never mind.

appleaday 9 years, 4 months ago

I think it is shameful the amount of money spent on, say, Super Bowl advertising. Is that really necessary? There is a lot of money spent lavishly that is all wasted and excessive when you think of ways it could be better used.

jonas_opines 9 years, 4 months ago

appleaday: Careful, for the next 4 years at least, Super Bowl Adverstising will also be the fault of Barack Obama, just like everything else, except of course for anything that actually works out, which is because of Bush.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

How did Peta come by all those fur coats? According to the paper there are around 6,000 homeless in Washington D.C. Do the math. Let's see now, they don't wear fur, they don't know the kind of people who wear fur, yet they managed to get their hands on a truckload of fur coats. I want to know how they pulled that off when professional organizations that help the homeless can't provide them with wool coats.

Tom Miller 9 years, 4 months ago

PETA is a vastly hypocritical organization. The duality of their positions, and their presentations thereof, make me sorta crazy, sometimes.and btw, howdy all...been "elsewhere" for a while, livin' in a place called "Cognito", and as always, it's good to see, read, agree with, and enjoy Marions' and Blue73s' perspectives. In my absence, I KNOW ya'll have it under some bit of control!!!

Richard Heckler 9 years, 4 months ago

Corporate welfare to corporate america = socialism extreme =not productive use of tax dollars.Fur coats = warmth in washington d.c. Perhaps the coats were marked to prevent selling in order that the homeless would keep on wearing them instead of selling them for alcoholic beverages or other drugs.

Luxor 9 years, 4 months ago

How much did Laura Bush spend on the White House china?

appleaday 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm saying that all extravagant spending could be thought of as wasteful when there are so many people who need basics. I'm not taking any sides.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with the author on one account - In a truly ideal world, PETA would not exist.

meggers 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree, Informed. Just like donors to the inaugural festivities are free to spend their money as they wish. If XD40 wants to send his money to Africa or elsewhere instead of donating to the inauguration, that's his business, too.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 4 months ago

And they've scrambled to think up new ways to deal with the insatiable appetite of wealthy supporters not just to attend but to buy themselves VIP status.just think.... a little paint would change everything

jonas_opines 9 years, 4 months ago

informed: Then, out of curiosity, do you have any idea how much tax-money is going to the inauguration? I've heard that it's being funded entirely by donations, but I can't say that as absolute truth.

kmat 9 years, 4 months ago

Ok you righties that are looking for anything to slam Obama on.The inauguration celebrations are paid in full by donors. Unlike his predecessors, Obama is not keeping them private. Anyone contributing over $200 to his inauguration will be in a report to be released. This is the first time ever that the donors are being released to the public. See, Obama said he would bring change and openess and oh my god he's doing it.So, why wouldn't Bush release who funded his parties???"In keeping with President-elect Obama’s commitment to changing the way business is done in Washington, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is taking unprecedented steps to insure transparency in the public reporting of donors to a Presidential Inaugural Committee. This chart will allow you to view, sort, and search virtually real-time information on all donors contributing over $200 to the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee.Unlike previous inaugural committees, the 2009 PIC does not accept contributions from corporations, political action committees, labor unions, current federally-registered lobbyists, non-U.S. citizens and registered foreign agents and does not accept individual contributions in excess of $50,000."

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

Okay, people, you just totaly ignored my question about where PETA managed to come up with their coats. So I had to look it up myself. Are you happy now.Well, those who can afford to buy fur coats and who have had a conscious attack have donated their coats to PETA who has been collecting them for just such a moment as the inaguation.From The Swamp: Tribune'sWashington Bureau plans to give away fur coats to the homeless while offering hot soy milk cocoa in cups that read: "Thank You for Not Wearing Fur!" "We expect that the only fur on the streets on Jan. 20 will be on homeless people," said Bruce Friedrich, PETA vice president.So what do you think? Is this the best way for PETA to help the homeless?Of course a fur coat is plenty warm, but if you ask me, living on the street is bad enough without having to look like a pimp.

kmat 9 years, 4 months ago

Cleopatra - if someone is homeless and has no coat, do you think their main concern is looking like a pimp? I am a huge animal rights person, but 99% of the time disagree with PETA. This is one thing they do I can support. The people that donated these coats weren't going to wear them. Homeless people need coats. I hate fur, but it is warm. So, someone that needs a coat is getting a warm coat and it is helping to spread the word that fur coats are bad.So, you're concern is that they now look like pimps???

jonas_opines 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, informed, then I think you might have missed the point. The poster, as near as I can tell, brought up Super Bowl advertising spending as a direct comparison precisely because of what you said, that it's their money to do with as they wish. If the Inauguration Ball is paid for with donations from private donors, who also had the choice to do with their money what they wish, and they gave it to Obama for his campaign or his inauguration, then it's a double-standard to claim that somehow he is in the wrong for spending the money he was voluntarily given. So, if you want to prove that he is spending a large amound of our tax dollars for this, then you'd have a point. To blindly say that he's in the wrong, as some here are wont to do, frequently, with no supporting thought or evidence, that's something else entirely, wouldn't you say?And yes, I'm afraid that your repeated posting of votenovoteearlyvoteoften on any subject related to taxes had already clued me in to your political leanings, so consider me, well, informed on the subject.

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

kmat I just forgot to put the end quotes on. The pimp remark is from The Swamp, not me. I thought it was funny so I put it in with the other material.My bad!I will imagine you giving me a slap on the hand with a ruler.:-)

jonas_opines 9 years, 4 months ago

informed: Chill, man, please. Apparently my post sounded more curt than intended, and I wasn't particularly referencing you in that last cut against above posters, or I would have said so. My last post was intended to supply context in regards to the poster that you were criticizing, not necessarily to criticize your stance on spending. I'll, however, save the jabs at your reading comprehension, at least for the time being. I do, however, suggest you consider this post and perhaps read the previous one in the new context that I've hopefully provided for you.

denak 9 years, 4 months ago

PETA isn't doing anything that a hundred other companies and lobbies are going to be doing in the next week. There isn't one organization/company that isn't going to be giving out freebies and promotional items.At least, PETA is doing something that will directly benefit another human being. If I were homeless, I'd take a coat and a free cup of hot choclate over a baseball cap or a pen anyday.Dena

Leslie Swearingen 9 years, 4 months ago

Someone mentioned black exploitation movies from the seventies. The remark in The Swamp about pimps was in reference to that. We of different generations have different experiences. You would have to see one of the movies to understand. At the time they thought they looked so cool. But, then so did I in my wide, wide, bell bottoms that I was so proud of.

Mixolydian 9 years, 4 months ago

Obama can learn a thing or two from the last truly great democrat president. In 1944, due to the ongoing war and economic situation of the nation, FDR canceled any parades and had a small ceremony at the White House, giving the shortest inaugural speech in history. He later served cold chicken sald sandwiches and pound cake to the media. That was it.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

word is that PETA is organizing to oppose the training and work of dog guides for the blind! this, at least, in California. insanity!***well, Jonas and Informed have burried the hatchet. glad that could be settled peacefully.

jonas_opines 9 years, 4 months ago

gnome: Easy to bury a fictitious hatchet. I was only holding a catfish. informed: I prefer the dove. You can chuck it at people from greater range.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

LOLgnome: Easy to bury a fictitious hatchet. I was only holding a catfish."I gotta see a man about a fish ..."sorry, couldn't resist that one. you know, how do the PETA people feel about all the slain electrons involved in posting this thread? what about the agony they suffered? then, the slain electrons in internetting and reading them? oh, the humanity!

Joe Hyde 9 years, 4 months ago

Question about fur coats:Is a standard fur used in their construction? Or maybe I should ask, is there a particular type of animal pelt that is favored by the garment industry for making most of the fur coats? (Examples: mink, raccoon, chinchilla, fox, etc.)

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