PETA is an organization that above all things loves to capture media attention. They often do this at the cost of alienating nearly everyone, even those who might share similar opinions on animal rights. If they’re not comparing the Jewish Holocaust to poultry farms, or using the murder of an abortion doctor to promote their specific brand of foolishness, they can be found financially supporting domestic terrorist groups like the Animal Liberation Front.
But that’s old news. The PETA Blog, tastefully titled the PETA files, recently posted a comment about Obama swatting a fly (PETA blog here, actual video of Obama and fly here). The author of the post, Alisa Mullins, wrote the following:
Believe it or not, we've actually been contacted by multiple media outlets wanting to know PETA's official response to the executive insect execution.
Hmmm, okay I chose not, but that’s beside the point. Mullins then goes on to recommend the PETA brand Katcha Bug™ Humane Bug Catcher as the proper alternative to swatting flies, er excuse me insect execution. Seriously, a humane bug catcher?
The first known flying insects appears in the fossil record approximately 300 million years ago. Other evidence suggests that they had inhabited the Earth even earlier than that. In all likelihood insects will be here long after the human race has disappeared.
What PETA is demonstrating is a complete lack of understanding of nature. They have mistakenly placed human beings at the top of some imaginary hierarchical system where we must act as protectors for all forms of life. I do believe it important to look out for animals in danger of extinction, but grouping all non-human animals into a single category characterized by defenceless is wrong. In doing so PETA actually devalues the lives of insects.
Insects are not defenceless. We need to recognize that some animals are our enemies, and this includes many species from the insect world. Mosquitoes carry malaria and yellow fever, ticks carry Lyme disease. There are countless other fleas, bugs and lice which sole purpose in life is to parasitically infect and execute human beings. Malaria annually kills more Africans than AIDS.
Sometimes nature is mean. Sometimes animals aren’t our friends. Sometimes we must work to act against those forces in nature which seek to destroy us. Obama’s fly swatting hardly counts as a strike against Dengue Fever. Given the voluminous nature of the common house fly it doesn’t count for anything.