Green Room

PETA: Shame on Christie for killing that spider; Update PETA responds

posted at 8:50 am on May 4, 2013 by

Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie personally executed an offender — and what’s worse, he did it in front of a roomful of children!  Before we get too hysterical, though, this was an eight-legged offender, and the kids seem something less than traumatized (via JD Mullane):

The kids are all right, but a few of the adults have their knickers in a twist over Christie’s knuckle sandwich. PETA took the opportunity to scold Christie for not understanding the spider’s worth.

No, really:

On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie posted a video showing him smashing a spider on his desk in front of a group of visiting school children. In a statement provided to TPM, Ingrid Newkirk, president of People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, described Christie’s killing of the spider as a thoughtless act.

“He probably did it without thinking. Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth,” Newkirk said.

I think this is a demonstration of PETA’s worth, actually.

Update, 5/7 16:17 pm ET: As if this wasn’t petty enough, PETA sent me this note via e-mail just a few minutes ago, while I was on the air:

Dear Ed,

I’m writing on PETA’s behalf regarding  your coverage of Gov. Christie and the spider. While you included our statement in your article, the statement that PETA “took the opportunity to scold” the governor, as well as the title “PETA: Shame on Christie,” are false and need to be corrected.

The media called us and asked us for our take on the incident, and our statement in its entirety reads: “He probably did it without thinking. Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth.” That’s our statement, and as you can see, we’re not “scolding” or saying “shame on” anyone.

Will you please set the record straight as soon as possible so that your readers do not get an unfair impression of PETA’s position? I would be happy to answer any further questions that you might have.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Best regards,

[name withheld out of overweening pity on my part]

To be clear, I didn’t put quote marks in the headline because I wasn’t quoting PETA — I was characterizing their response as a function of writing an opinion piece about their silly, publicity-seeking complaint.  Most people who bother to read this site would understand that, and the rest would know it if they followed the link I included or read the excerpt, which had PETA’s full response in it. I apologize if PETA couldn’t grasp that.

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He was hungry.

davidk on May 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

We go back,to Hopey/Changeys Infamous Murder Spree:)

Obama and the Fly

Written by PETA
06-17-2009
ustream / CC Obama

Well, I guess it can’t be said that President Obama wouldn’t hurt a fly. The commander in chief was recently pestered by a fly during an interview. He swatted at the insect and killed the little guy instantly.

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.

In a nutshell, our position is this: He isn’t the Buddha, he’s a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act.

If all this has you wondering how you can be a bigger person (figuratively, as well as literally) in your dealings with exoskeletal beings, check out our handy-dandy bug catcher—one of which we are sending to President Obama for future insect incidents. I can tell you from personal experience that it sure came in handy the other day, when one of my cats was chasing the World’s Largest Palmetto Bug around the house.

Written by Alisa Mullins

http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2009/06/17/obama-and-the-fly.aspx

canopfor on May 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Wait a tic,

colour me crazy,but whats up with the brown shirts!!
(sarc).

canopfor on May 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

PETA? Is this the same PETA that owns an industrial size freezer and uses it to euthanize hundreds of animals every year?

Odysseus on May 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Actually, I personally would have likely saved that spider. They eat bugs (they themselves are not bugs) and I’m all for anything that eat bugs.

But PETA’s response is dumb, nor will I critize Gov. Chris Christie for killing one.

BigGator5 on May 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM

In defense of PETA, they do produce some of the finest soft-core porn I’ve seen.

eaglescout_1998 on May 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

There’s no such thing as Soylent Green, but I know who would make it if there were.

Knott Buyinit on May 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

PETA kills dogs, why are they concerned about a spider?

rbj on May 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

f* peta

dmacleo on May 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Eh. On the one hand, spiders get a bad rap, and I’d like to think I would have let the little guy live. Maybe take him outside and let him go.

On the other hand, the spider broke the social contract by being visible. Bad move.

On the other hand, if that spider had been Barack Obama, Christie would have probably blown it.

Kensington on May 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Even if animal research produced a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it.
- PETA Founder Ingrid Newkirk

If any conservative of any stripe ever said that the lives of rats are worth more than members of the gay community, he or she would probably be lynched while the media applauds.

It’s amazing that they leave PETA alone given their violent attitudes and contempt for human life.

Alberta_Patriot on May 4, 2013 at 2:52 PM

For once, I agree with PETA. Why kill the poor creature? Just put it outside and teach the kids a lesson in compassion and not being afraid of something because it looks a little scary to them. And, I have no problem criticizing Christie for anything anymore. I used to like him, until he showed his true colors.

blackgriffin on May 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I made the mistake of telling a spider-killing story in front of a liberal once. He (he!) lectured me on how it was cruel, how no one should have had to die, and how I should have caught it and released it. He backed off a bit when I told him I was pretty sure it was a brown recluse that I discovered running toward my bed in the middle of the night when I happened to flip on the light to check on something.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that killing a spider saves the lives of all the lesser creatures the spider would have otherwise feasted on…or that if I didn’t kill it, it was just a matter of time before some bird or larger creature made a meal of it. The circle of life is a harsh, harsh thing to those who “refuse to eat anything that has a face” yet delight in cluelessly defending animals who happily eat the faces of their fellow beings.

And chivalry is dead. Who the heck takes the spider’s side in a dramatic girl v. spider battle?!

butterflies and puppies on May 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM

For once, I agree with PETA. Why kill the poor creature? Just put it outside and teach the kids a lesson in compassion and not being afraid of something because it looks a little scary to them.

blackgriffin on May 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I’m with you. I have a “Bug Vacuum” from Brookstone, which allows me to capture bugs (or arachnids) without harming them, and then taking them outside (where, of course, they’re on their on, but at least they have a chance). More effective is trapping them against the wall with a paper cup and then carefully sliding a piece of paper, and then transporting them.

Of course, I’m consistent, because I have the same compassion for unborn human animals as I have for born non-human animals.

bmmg39 on May 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM

I’d like to introduce those PETA fools to some of the spiders here in Texas.

trigon on May 4, 2013 at 6:42 PM

But PETA’s response is dumb, nor will I critize Gov. Chris Christie for killing one.

BigGator5 on May 4, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Christie killed someone from PETA? Probably deserved it.

HiJack on May 4, 2013 at 8:25 PM

If Christie had been a doctor who snips off the heads of babies carried to term, PETA would have gone totally silent, but smash a creature that sucks the blood out of its victims and we get a lecture on the same level of the muslim-in-chief braying about how not to jump to conclusions after a terrorist attack.

HiJack on May 4, 2013 at 8:29 PM

See? PETA is raining all over him.

Blaise on May 4, 2013 at 9:39 PM

PETA: “Focus on the fat guy killing the bug. Ignore the dead dogs behind the curtain.”

BigAlSouth on May 5, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Has PETA tried to turn spiders into vegetarians yet?

SagebrushPuppet on May 5, 2013 at 8:41 AM

PETA? Is this the same PETA that owns an industrial size freezer and uses it to euthanize hundredsthousands of animals every year?

Odysseus on May 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

PETA kills dogs, why are they concerned about a spider?

rbj on May 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM

…they’re pi$$ed they didn’t get a donation…and weren’t able to euthanize the spider!

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Guess we know who the real children are.

ZK on May 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Spiders kill flies, so really he was saving more lives than he was killing.

(Friday my girlfriend asked me to kill a spider, but instead I did indeed put it outside. I’d rather have a few spiders and no flies and no spiders and lots of flies.)

Anyway, by now we should all know that PETA values publicity over measured rationality, so if you don’t like it (a) don’t be surprised and (b) don’t promote it by writing it up. Why give someone you despise exactly what they want?

calbear on May 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Sorry (not really) but I kill spiders. I hate them, the more dead the better.

Jackalope on May 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Sorry (not really) but I kill spiders. I hate them, the more dead the better.

Jackalope on May 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM

The only good spider is a dead spider! :P

Seriously, I hate them too. I will leave the ones alone outside, but if they invade my territory, they shall face the consequences.

Othniel on May 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

PETA refuses to take an “official position” on abortion.

http://www.peta.org/about/faq/What-is-PETAs-stance-on-abortion.aspx

I can not take seriously any organization which believes the moral issues involved in killing a spider are more profound than aborting a human.

Better yet…how many PETA members drive cars? Ask them to look on the front of their cars and count the flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects that they have murdered.

CalFed on May 6, 2013 at 2:24 AM

Of course, I’m consistent, because I have the same compassion for unborn human animals as I have for born non-human animals.

bmmg39 on May 4, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Really? the same?? I find that very sad. You may be consistent but I question your moral compass.

Dollayo on May 6, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Are these people capable of feeding themselves?

Pest on May 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I guess killing flies on TV sets is good, but killing spiders are bad. Will the flies demand restitution? Can they find a lawyer to take up their case pro bono? Can’t we all just get along?

djaymick on May 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM

This leaves me in a quandary.

I can’t stand PETA.

I have no use for Chris Christie.

I really hate spiders.

CurtZHP on May 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM