Wednesday, December 10, 2008


My readers interested in veganism and animal rights will no doubt notice that I did not mention my feelings about animal slavery in the previous post including the cartoon about zoos. I think the cartoon says enough so I didn't expound. For those of you who don't know my opinions on this and are interested, I find all forms of animal exploitation – for entertainment, medical experiments, food and clothing (in countries where alternatives are available) – ethically indefesible.

And now, for the holiday season, I present to you what I consider to be a clever and humorous short essay about the "turducken" from a brilliant writer, Francesco Marciuliano. He is not vegetarian, or at least he wasn't last time we had a meal together, but he is sympathetic to my views on the subject. I haven't asked him, but I'd like to think I may have influenced this essay. Both his writing and his cartoons are among the few things I read daily.

Here also is a cartoon I did last year on the same subject.

(Click the image to see biggerized)


Steve said...

Actually, it's a chicken stuffed into a duck, etc. (not a duck stuffed into a chicken).
Also, in the cartoon, it still looks like a turkey. Shouldn't it look like a human carcass?

Jezzka said...


doug nicodemus said...


Jeremy said...

Is this turducken thing for real? I thought that was a joke. How gross. Even if I put my meat-eating glasses back on (I kept them for nostalgic purposes) it sounds gross. And expensive. I could make a tofu turkey for around $5. Tofu is super cheap, especially at the Asian store down the street from me. I can usually get it for $1.20 for 18 oz.

Josh said...

I'm sorry man, but how the hell can you call zoos "animal slavery"? There are still PEOPLE throughout the world who are enslaved. The suffering they are going through is not comparable to elephants in cages.

Cat Mom said...

Various comments:
(1) LOVED this comic! So glad you recycled it for us.

(2) It does, too, look like a human carcass, with its feet, hands, and head cut off, just like we do to fowl.

(3) The comment about elephants not suffering the way caged humans are is absurd. Until you're an elephant, you don't get to make that call. The behavior of zoo animals is often neurotic from the effects of captivity; they're being driven insane.

People have Amnesty, Int'l. Yet somehow, because they don't speak our language, we still consider it okay to imprison animals for our amusement.

Dumbo said...

If I was an elephant, I doubt I could type on a computer or use the internet. Equally absurd.

You should not speak for me, especially since we don't speak the same language. Absurb human.

RaleighRob said...

Not all zoos are about "slavery" or "exploiting animals for entertainment"...although there obviously a good number that are. Many zoos today are about preservation (such as breeding endangered species), conservation, and environmental education.

The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC, is a very good example. It has hardly any cages anymore. (And the few they have are for tiny animals like small snakes, salamanders and such.) Instead you mostly see large wide open spaces where animals roam and congregate to their hearts' content. Each exhibit has extensive information to educate the public, particularly to children. They've done an admirable job recreating the natural habitats...the critters seem pretty happy every time I've been. And they've been instrumental in breeding NC's endangered Red Wolf...and releasing them into the wild to repopulate the species. Also, a few years ago they saved a couple of abused, elderly polar bears from a foreign circus and gave them a comfortable setting to live out the rest of their old days (they most likely wouldn't have survived in the wild).

Just thought that as a vegetarian and avid animal-lover, I should put that out there. Not all zoos are bad.

Mesiu said...

I don't see why we should put elephants into cages at any time. There actually is still human slavery, which we should try hard not to participate in, but it is no justification for confining non-humans in the meantime for education or any other reason.

Or maybe it just takes caged elephants everywhere to fight the slaveholders, but I don't know.

jack brown said...

Hey Cat Mom - until you are Josh, you aren't allowed to disagree with him because you don't know where he is coming from. Your reasoning is truly clueless.

Josh said...

Let me clarify. I think it's a shame that there is animal cruelty in the world. But when people make statements that compare it to horrible things experienced by humans, it trivializes human suffering.

Recall a few years ago when PETA came out with that ad comparing the preparation of chickens for consumption to the Holocaust? Wasn't that demeaning and insulting to all the victims of that genocide?

PIRARO said...

I don't think comparing the suffering of non-human animals to that of humans is demeaning to humans any more than the comparing the suffering of dogs to the suffering of cats is demeaning to cats. Suffering is suffering.

I think the comparison to human slavery in pre-Civil War U.S. and the attitudes toward/excuses for it are identical to the attitudes toward/excuses for animal exploitation today. I see our callousness toward our treatment of chickens in factory farms as identical to the Nazi's callousness toward their treatment of Jews during WWII. In doing so, I am not demeaning the status of human suffering, I am elevating the importance of non-human suffering.

Josh said...

Thank you for your response, Dan. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with your perspective. If you have the time and inclination, perhaps you could watch the Penn & Teller "Bullshit" episode on PETA.

Also, I apologize if I came off as hostile during my initial posts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Dan, you ARE demeaning the status of human suffering, whether you say you are or not.

PIRARO said...

While I agree that different species may suffer differently, I don't believe their suffering is any less important than ours.

No offense taken, I like the free exchange of opinions that these comments represent and always encourage it.

Though I've not seen that episode of P&T's show, I'm aware of their problems with PETA. I agree PETA isn't perfect but in the big picture, they've had a very positive effect on enlightening the public about various forms of animal abuse. Pubic opinion usually side with the animals and against PETA, so they've done their job.

Penny said...

Yes, all zoos are bad. "No cage" still equals confinement. Efforts can and are being made to preserve species all around the world without confinement.

They're all bad, and they all make me cry. Just my opinion, of course.

Becci said...


I don't see what your point is. There is human slavery, and it's horrible. There is animal slavery, and it's horrible too. I don't see how the existence of one affects the existence of the other.

For the record, I am Jewish and not offended by the Holocaust comparison that PETA did. I think it was tactless because they should have realized that people would be upset by it, but I think it is a decent comparison. Some of the biggest proponents of the Holocaust comparison have been Jewish, including Charles Patterson, author of Eternal Treblinka (I'll assume you know what that refers to).

Oh, and just so you know, PETA is not the only animal group out there. They're just the loudest and most obnoxious. If you're getting all your information on the animal rights movement from one episode of a TV show, you're missing out.

Keep up the good work, Dan.

Anonymous said...

The level of argument here is laughable.

Tracy H. said...

Dan, a post at said the chairs in this drawing are funny/clever, but I'm not seeing it. Can you explain?