brni (brni) wrote,

a friend asked me if i belonged to PETA

Once upon a time I was a graduate student, studying Philosophy at Temple University. Despite the veiled rivalry between departments, there was a mingling with Penn, Drexel and Villanova students, and one fine evening I ended up at a party in West Philly consisting exclusively of philosophy grad students from the various schools.

And being a party populated entirely by philosophy grad students, it quickly devolved into people arguing heatedly about what Plato really meant by a particular statement in The Republic and other equally fascinating subjects. I fairly quickly found myself out on the balcony, chatting with a young woman who had a fondness for cigarettes.

Eventually, alcohol ran its course, and I headed inside to find the facilities. The scene was... remarkable. Everyone (some 30 people or so) had ended up sitting on the floor in a giant circle, and were engaged in a debate about the ethical question of animal rights. And by debate, I mean yelling, screaming, cursing and name-calling. It seemed possible that they might soon come to blows.

As I stepped over the first body on my quest for the facilities, someone yelled, "Wait a minute, Bernie's a vegetarian! Bernie, what are your reasons for not eating animals?"

"Because they're cute and fuzzy," I said.

There was silence. I walked across the Circle of Death and stepped over the body on the opposite side.

"But... what about fish?" someone asked.

"Fish are cute and fuzzy, too," I replied, "if you leave them in the fridge long enough."
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