Get Started

Learning Mandarin Made Easy!

This video exmplains the Chinese characters at 0:25

On Twisted Value Systems

'Huawei': A foreshadowing name?

Chinesepod's Carlie discusses the meaning of the name 'Huawei' in light of the recent national security concerns of the Whitehouse


I love puppies. Let me just make that clear right out of the gate, here. I'll take any puppy over almost any human I know, any day. I would use a puppy as a pillow if I could solve the logistics of how to keep the pillowcase dry. In short; I love me some puppies. I believe the hardest thing about living in New York is not being able to have a puppy of any description. Unless you don't work or can bring the little fella with you to the office, it's just cruel. The typical New Yorker is away from home for anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day. You don't even want to know how long that is in dog years.

Well-meaning friends have suggested I get a cat. Now, I've got nothing against cats, philosophically, but if I wanted someone who didn't realize I was gone until they couldn't find the remote, I'd have stayed with one of my exes. A cat is not so much a companion as a roommate who doesn't pay rent.Also, I have a deep fear of becoming that guy with an apartment full of cats, who dies and no one notices for a month.

But I'm getting off on a tangent, here. What I really want to slather my ire on at the moment is PETA. I believe there is a special place in hell for the people who guide this organization. They're like modern-day alchemists. They could turn a prize-winning rose into a steamy pile of poo. It should be illegal to use the word "ethical" to describe yourself if you don't know what it means. I mean, what kind of skewed value system do you have to have to protest the use of donkeys to carry bombs in the West Bank? I know this is old news, but it's my favorite illustration of how PETA thinks. They wrote a letter to Yasser Arafat complaining about the heinous loss of domesticated asses (assi?) in the Holy Land. When asked about her views on strapping dynamite to people and blowing up a busload of civilians, Ingrid Newkirk, PETA president, said, "It's not my business to inject myself into human wars."

This statement alone brings a wealth of questions to my mind. Mainly, are there any non-human wars? I've noticed that animals tend to solve their problems on a one-on-one basis without recourse to politics or WMDs. Oh, I was in the army with a few guys whose drinking, partying and personal hygiene habits were somewhat animalistic, but that's probably not what she had in mind. So, by her own words, it's not her business.

The most recent focal point of my disdain for PETA concerns an adorable little bunny known as Toby. If you haven't heard about Toby, he is going to die. I don't mean in the sense that we're all gonna go someday, or the "incurable disease" sense. I mean in the "If you don't give me cash, I will eat Toby" sense. Take a look... www.savetoby.com. I don't think I have to tell you what PETA is saying.

These guys may be bluffing. They may not. In any case, we're not talking about cannibalism here. This is not the Donner Party. Personally, I'd like to see the little guy live... not enough to pay for it, but enough to hope it's a bluff. I don't think I could eat Toby, myself. Not because I think Toby has an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but just because he's too cute to eat. I mean, I was bummed for weeks when my goldfish died. As hard as I tried, I couldn't bring myself to eat him. Flushed the scrappy little fella instead. Put up a little plaque above the toilet that says, "Here lies Sam-I-Am. S.I.P."

The latest celebrity argument against fur is pretty much typical of PETA. Pamela Anderson is quoted as saying, "People who wear fur smell like a wet dog and they look fat and gross. They look really immature and unenlightened."

I don't even know where to start. If there has ever been a more shallow and sophomoric statement regarding the wearing of fur, I haven't heard it. First of all, look at the source. She had 40 DD sized saline bags surgically implanted in her body and she feels like she's the person to go to for maturity and enlightenment? Second, I've been quite near people with fur coats on, and not once did I catch a whiff of Eau de Sheepdog. Of course, in all fairness, if the only contact she's had with fur has been while throwing various liquids on it, it's possible that animal hair might have a bit of a pong. I wouldn't know. I tend to respect people's right to not have things thrown at them when they go out for a walk. As for fat and gross, well, by the time you can afford a fur you may not be at the top of your game, looks-wise, but it's a little rude to point it out.

The bottom line here is that, as much as PETA would like it to be otherwise, animals are not people. Thus the name: animals. I would never in a million years mistreat an animal, and I'd be first to line up to sock someone in the eye who did, but if the cutest puppy on God's Green Earth were drowning right next to, say, Barbra Streisand and Rush Limbaugh, both going down for the third time, I'd save them before I tried to save the puppy. Because, some of the things they've both said notwithstanding, they're, (nominally), human and the puppy, cute as it is, is an animal.

Okay, actually, there is one case in which I'd save the puppy and take my sweet time getting around to the human, (again, nominally). So Ingrid Newkirk better hope the situation never arises.