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The Animal Person Minute: Clorox and Other Odd Developments

The now-infamous Clorox commercial has been changed. Not re-shot, just re-dubbed. Now the kids whisper:

"I wipe my nose on my shirt."
"I play sneeze tag."
"Germs can’t hurt me."

And guess who’s still there? The baby pig.

Clearly, Clorox has listened to its customers. I had dozens of hits to my blog from people who googled: "I play with my poops in the toilet." I kid you not. Also, there’s some kind of Clorox forum that dozens came from to Animal Person. The pig part evidently wasn’t as big a deal as what the kids said, which wasn’t fabulous but I don’t know if it warranted a re-haul. I guess enough people heard "poop" and that was the issue.

Naturally, I’m sending another message, noting the revision but that it doesn’t address the real issue of pigs equal filth and germs.

The next odd development is the sporadic arrival of hateful, mean-spirited, and often creepy people to Animal Person. It’s actually largely my fault, as it has most-often happened when I direct you to a blog or article where someone has written something that is dubious or untrue, or to someplace where there’s an opportunity to explain what animal rights really means. I have had to alter comments to officially moderated (i.e., they don’t show up until I approve them) and also several IP addresses can no longer send comments. Easy enough.

For anyone who wants to claim "free speech hindrance!" I say, this is a private space and has nothing to do with anyone’s constitutional right to free speech. I want to have a space for civil discourse–it’s that simple. And some people simply have no interest in or are incapable of that. So be it.

I thought of getting rid of comments all together, but I have such wonderful, bright, articulate readers (for the most part) and I enjoy your compassion, enthusiasm and support. However, I completely understand why some people don’t have comments, as they can poison the eyes and the mind and the energy, if only for a moment.

On one site where commenters are calling me crazy, someone raised a nearly-legitimate point. I say "nearly" because when you think about it for a moment, you realize it’s bunkum. I won’t direct you there because the site’s not important and I wouldn’t want any one of you to waste a moment of your precious time re-visiting. This person claims I don’t know anything about language (or something like that. I don’t care to get the exact verbiage.) This person says I don’t want animals to be property yet I use terms like "my dog" and "my kitty." And I do. I also say:

  • my neighbor
  • my neighbor’s car
  • my neighbor’s employees
  • my mother
  • my father
  • my husband
  • my airport
  • my cousin’s dog
  • my sister’s fiancee’s mother

I ask you: Does the word "my" in any of those instances connote ownership? No. "My" is a modifier before a noun that can in fact mean there is ownership. But it can also denote relationship. Connection.

I realized yesterday that the answer to most nuisances on Animal Person was to go back to what I did when I started this blog and was called The Daily Kos of animal rights: Deconstruct what was happening in the mainstream media and maybe sometimes on major "animal rights" sites. This is not meant to be an insult to any bloggers; just a strategy to keep bringing mainstream people here to learn about animal rights, and make it less interesting to fringe-types who, from what I hear and what I’ve experienced, sit at a computer all day trolling around for people to abuse. Anonymously, of course.

I too usually sit at a computer all day. But for most of the time I’m working, pro bono or for a fee I’m grateful for and try not to take for granted. My intention is never to hurt anyone–only to educate according to my beliefs. Of course, "educate" has recently been turned into a four-letter word. So be it.

If you know anything about karma and about energy, you know that the way you behave in each interaction has energy to it, and that energy affects you and others. A therapist friend of mine who was directed to an anti-animal rights site (she was a meat-eater until very recently) said to me today: "You’re not equipped to deal with these people. It’s not your thing to behave badly or deal with people who have such bad energy. It’s toxic and you need to stay away." And I agree. I’m happy to converse with well-meaning, kind people, but frankly, I’m not interested in toxic people. We can disagree all day long, but poison is something I won’t tolerate. Some people thrive on it, but it’s not healthy and those people can go elsewhere.

To make my day just perfect, I received a phone call from PETA, as apparently someone left $1,000,000 in their will to PETA and they’re using it as an opportunity for a matching campaign, which is a great idea, and PETA, which I supported since 1985, by the way, and stopped only last year, wanted a donation. I took the opportunity, not that it matters, to tell my caller that though I had contributed thousands of dollars to PETA in the past, they were no longer on my list of approved charities because of the way they are basically promoting animal exploiters and slaughterers with their "victories" regarding cage-free eggs and the like. The caller had no idea what I was talking about. I explained further, and even sent him to a couple of web pages, and he said not to listen to the group (he was probably referring to the Center for Consumer Freedom) that was bad-mouthing them publicly and was made of alcohol, tobacco, and rancher lobbyists. He honestly didn’t see that PETA was saying one thing and doing another. So be it.

Animal Person will not be adding a forum anytime soon, despite requests, as I simply don’t have the time with all of my work, plus my household, creature and husband duties (my? Do I own those duties? See how ridiculous that is?). But I’ll still be posting every day and I welcome you all to comment–if you’re kind and civil.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary – you are eternally wise. We very much love you for your beautiful 'Animal Person' mind and for you being on the front lines fighting for animals. This is (to me) the most influential and best AR discussion site on the net.

    October 30, 2007
  2. Hi, I thought I would post a comment seeing as how my story might be relevant to your good karma. I had been posting quite a few comments on AnimalBlawg over the past month trying to explain the abolitionist approach to AR and how it differs from the welfare, and new welfare approaches (I also know the headache of using these terms, but I find they describe perfectly what I feel they describe, which is wonderfully circular and neither here nor there). I was feeling very discouraged by the entire encounter and one of the authors of that blog had posted an utterly unbelievable essay on fences –of all things– that I couldn't even bring myself to post a comment on, and in fact I felt as if I could no longer participate in the discourse on the blog.

    It was then that I happened upon your blog by chance and reading your posts and thoughts made me feel so much better! It's nice to know that some people in the world agree with you, and on that day knowing that you saw things the same way as me made a difference, and now I have great blog to pick through and keep up with 🙂 Thanks for all your effort.

    October 30, 2007
  3. Wednesday night, Michael and I hosted a table at a Mental Health America dinner (it's "the season" here, too) and pre-ordered—with a week's notice— vegan meals for the entire table of ten without telling our guests ahead of time. All guests enjoyed the food, and were actually pleasantly surprized when we casually told them they were eating vegan. The only grumpiness was from our server, as pre-set salads with cheese had to be sent back during a pre-dinner preview, and chicken was refused when offered as an entree. But it worked out, and eight people who wouldn't have ordered a vegan meal had a very good dinner. (The chef could maybe have tried a little harder, as the red pepper stuffed with more red pepper in a nice sauce might have been accompanied by a little couscous or something…) I applaud your emphasis on "easy-entry" for those who simply haven't thought about what they eat, and especially your call for diplomacy and kindness.

    November 1, 2007

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