Monday, September 6, 2010
Why Pamela Anderson is one of my favorite people.
In this episode:
- Why Pamela Anderson is one of my favorite people.
- Going green segment: Green automobile showcase: the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf.
Transcript of this week's episode of The Web-DVM:
Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another edition of The Web-DVM. I am your host, veterinarian, Dr. Roger Welton. My going green segment later in the show but first, I want to tell all of you why Pamela Anderson is one of my favorite people and no, it has nothing to do with Baywatch. While I certainly was not complaining about my nightly dose of Pamela’s Baywatch character CJ Parker as a pubescent teen, it is her dedication to animal welfare that impresses me most about Ms. Anderson, and she has made headlines recently once again in the name of animal welfare. But before we get to that, I want to first highlight Ms. Anderson’s past work with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals aka, PETA.
Many people have strong feelings about PETA one way or another and I have publicly made statements about my own mixed feelings about the organization, processing for me what is a contrast between excellent work and expose that leads to positive change, with extreme elements within the organization that do animal welfare cause far more harm than good. In the case of their campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken, one spearheaded by none other than Pamela Anderson, PETA was not only just in their case against the chicken fast food giant, they were also effective in creating change for the better, in large part, due to the efforts of the leader in this charge, Pamela Anderson.
Specifically, PETA obtained undercover video evidence of cruel practices of poultry suppliers of KFC, namely beak cutting, slaughter by electric stunning and scalding during the rearing process because chickens were not fully dead. Their graphic video footage also found evidence of poultry supplier workers sadistically abusing the chickens, engaging in despicable acts, such as throwing the chickens against walls, and punting them like footballs. Ms. Anderson created awareness of these acts of cruelty through the dissemination of a DVD the cover of which had a photo of her scantily clad, a means to get attention for her cause that drew criticism from some, but for which she made no apologies for. Specifically, Ms. Anderson and PETA called on a boycott of KFC until they made a pledge to use suppliers whose policies were consistent with more humane methods, while more closely scrutinizing poultry suppliers to minimize cruel acts by their workers. At the time of this campaign, 2006, I gladly participated in this boycott and still do (I'll explain why in a moment).
You see, Ms. Anderson and PETA were highly successful in KFC Canada and the UK, as those KFC divisions took action to remedy their besmirched reputations by working with PETA to see to it that they avoided poultry suppliers that did not adhere to acceptable humane guidelines, while purchasing exclusively from suppliers that did. Specifically, acceptable poultry suppliers did not engage in beak cutting, used the more humane controlled atmosphere killing by inert gas, took measures to prevent death by scalding, and had a strict zero tolerance policy against workers who were caught abusing the animals. Not surprising given our relatively piss poor animal cruelty stance in comparison with other developed nations, Ms. Anderson and PETA were not as successful here in the United States. Not only was the boycott not quite as effective here with Americans more interested in feeding their fat asses with fried chicken than having any concern for the animals, but the Human Methods of Slaughter act that protects farm animals against inhumane treatment, for some reason does not extend its protection to chickens. Therefore, in honor of Ms. Anderson and her tireless efforts to stop cruelty to chickens perpetrated by poultry suppliers that KFC turns a blind eye to, I call on all my viewers to join in the KFC boycott. Even if we are not successful in forcing KFC US to enact real reform, your bodies will thank you.
In her latest high profile act of animal kindness, Pamela Anderson has brought awareness to the plight of gulf coast dogs and cats, many of which have been given up to shelters as the BP Gulf Oil Spill has taken its economic toll on the region. No longer able to afford food and health care for the animals, people have turned in dogs and cats, leading to more overcrowding in already overcrowded shelters. Many of these animals enjoyed loving homes and human companionship, whose reality suddenly became a cage in an overcrowded shelter with imminent euthanasia within 30 days should they not get adopted.
Pamela Anderson held a press conference to create awareness about the plight of these animals, as she herself adopted two dogs that she was planning to take back to LA to share the home of her and her family. In this cause, ladies and gentlemen, I call on all of my viewers to find a place in your hearts and your homes for one of these animals in need. In that spirit, I will be posting links on my blog to Gulf area shelters where you can do your part by rescuing an abandoned dog or cat. The web address of my blog is webdvm.blogspot.com.
On to our going green segment, today’s green energy showcase includes two green automobiles that are very exciting. First, since it is an American car, made on American soil, by American workers, I will start with the 2011 Chevy Volt. The volt runs on electricity primarily and plugs into a regular household AC outlet. Each full charge provides 40 miles of driving. With the average American driving less than 32 miles per day, electric power alone will fulfill the driving needs of most drivers on a daily basis. However, should the need arise to drive beyond the mileage provided by the volt’s battery, the car will seamlessly kick into a gas mode where a gas powered generator sends power to the motor that increases its range by several hundred miles, at a fuel efficiency of 55 miles per gallon. The car is priced around $33,000, but with up to $7500 in federal tax rebates for having a green vehicle, the net cost is far less. Factor in the gas savings over the life of the car and one can go so far as to say that the car nearly pays for itself. The Chevy Volt will be available for sale as early as October 2010.
Our second green vehicle is the Nissan Leaf, unique from the Volt in that it has no tailpipe, since it never burns any gasoline at any time. This car runs on 100% electric power, plugs into a standard household AC outlet, and offers 100 miles per charge. This car will sell for $32,000, but like the volt, with $7500 federal tax rebates and no fuel expenses for the life of the car, this car also seems that it will pay for itself.
Now of course there will be skeptics watching that will maintain that these cars do run on electricity, and energy source which costs money on our electric bill, as well as provides carbon footprint of its own. This is true. However, the money you spend on electricity to power one of these cars is on average 1/6 of the money spent on gas to power comparably sized gas powered cars, causing ¼ of the carbon footprint. Of course, there is the added benefit of sticking it to the oil companies and their republican lapdog politicians, thumbing our noses at Middle East countries that hate us yet profit hugely on our insatiable appetite for their oil. And for those of you that are as disappointed as I am in our nation’s current unemployment rate, the batteries to power the Chevy Volt are manufactured in 16 plants that were just built in Michigan which will provide 68,000 American jobs. If I had not just purchased my Ford Fusion hybrid, I would be on the waiting list as we speak for one of these cars. And once my Fusion is paid off, mark my words, I will be in one of these cars immediately! I hope to see a lot of these on the road in the coming year.
That is our show for this September 4, 2010. You can also catch me live later this week on my call-in radio show at webdvm.blogspot.com where the players, as well as this broadcast are always embedded. Please join me next week when I will be discussing pet insurance: has the time come that pet owners should start taking a serious look at it?
Don't forget to catch my live call-in radio show Wednesdays 9PM EST. Listen via podcast live or archived here:
Blog Talk Radio
Gulf Coast animal shelter links: rescue a pet in need today!
St. Bernard Parish Animal Services
Dr. Roger Welton is the President and chief veterinarian at Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne Florida, as well as CEO of the veterinary advice and health management website Web-DVM.net.