Image by graymalkn via Flickr
The woman currently known as Octomom has agreed to place a PETA sign on her lawn urging passersby to spay or neuter their pets to ensure they don't become octomoms themselves. That's right, she's agreed to advertise the fact that even animals that have evolved to have multiple births (OK, owners of said animals) should get themselves sterilized so they don't end up like her. And PETA is once again pushing the boundaries of good taste to further - or it could be argued, cloud - the worthy cause of animal rights.
Let's see if we can figure out which partner in this campaign is more messed up, shall we?
First, we will consider Octomom. (Quick update for those of you who haven't been paying attention: this woman had octuplets a while ago through in vitro fertilization, to bring the number of children she has birthed to a hefty 14. The doctor who administered the procedure has since lost his license. She has also had surgery to try to look more like Angelina Jolie and is in danger of losing her house.) What she's getting out of the deal is a $5000 cheque, a month's supply of veggie burgers and dogs, and just a wee bit more notoriety. Not a bad deal really. She's even maybe taking a good natured jab at herself. "Gosh, I know, isn't having 14 kids just outrageous in this day and age?"
Tipster Jane asks, "Perhaps the cause of human over population didn't occur to her?" Jane, thanks for the tip, but, I can't imagine that Octo has even once in her life considered the dire consequences of overpopulation. But, maybe she is thinking that less stray animals roaming around will leave more resources available for her brood? In some twisted way perhaps she thinks that if she does her part to keep down the pet population that her gross irresponsibility bringing so many kids into the world in what looks like a grab for celebrity will be forgiven.
Now PETA. Oh PETA, I shake my head at you once more. On the one hand, at least this is a mildly clever campaign, and sterilizing pets is always a good idea. But, the fact that you're actually launching the campaign on the lawn of the person you're scolding and using her d-list celebrity to garner attention is just, well, icky. Now, if you want to give me $5000 to put that sign on my lawn I'll take you up on it. (I'll skip the veggie burgers and dogs though, I somehow imagine that they're laden with industrial, maybe even GMO, soy products that could turn my two boys into hermaphrodites, or at least do some heavy duty endocrine disrupting.)
And then there's fellow TreeHugger Blythe's concern that PETA is obviously preying on Octo's desperation for money.
If they really want to get this message out, why would they go to this woman who is not even remotely involved in animal rights, and isn't a well-respected authority on, well, pretty much anything. Her influence is kind of non-existent, isn't it? PETA's just getting its name in the paper and spending this money that would probably be better spent elsewhere.
And after all that, I must also consider myself. Here I am giving these folks more column inches and bandwidth. Bandwidth that could have remained unused or more responsibly used. So what do you think? Who ends up with the (certified organic) egg on their face here? Octomom? PETA? Me?