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PETA Works With Scientists To Create Cuter Rat

PETA Works With Scientists To Create Cuter Rat

Last year, in an effort to drum up more compassion for fish, PETA suggested calling them “sea kittens.”  The tongue-in-cheek suggestion was meant to attract media attention and prompt people to think more about fish—and it worked.

Now, in an effort to make rats more popular, PETA has joined forces with scientists at the National Institute of Agronomic research—the same scientists that PETA once criticized for developing a glow-in-the-dark rabbit—to engineer a less scary breed of rat—one with a cute, fluffy bunny tail rather than a long pink one.  The basic reasoning is the same: people will feel more sympathy for rats with powder-puff tails, and not try to kill them with cruel glue traps or poison them with toxic chemicals.

Don’t believe it? Good for you. It was, of course, an April Fools joke.

PETA would never partner with mad scientists to genetically engineer animals. But a number of people fell for it—even though PETA has been playing April’s Fools jokes for years. PETA staffers have a healthy sense of humor—and a keen eye for opportunities to get animal issues in the news on a regular basis.

One of my favorite pranks occurred in 2000, when PETA  announced its plans to sabotage a bass tournament at Lake Palestine in Texas by releasing tranquilizers into the lake, so that the fish would be “napping, not nibbling.”  Texas officials, who must’ve thought that such a plan was actually feasible, took the bait and even assigned rangers to protect the lake.

With so much heart-breaking cruelty in the world, we need to have a good laugh every now and again—especially when it comes at the expense of animal abusers. 

Seriously though, in a way, these jokes also show how quickly ridiculous rumors can spread. To this day, people still accuse PETA of throwing paint on fur-wearers, something PETA representatives don’t actually do. Worse yet, some people actually claim that real animal rights activists put antifreeze in water bowls at dog shows—something that would be horribly cruel, illogical, and contrary to PETA’s message of compassion.  Sane and caring individuals may oppose breeders and dog shows, but no one in their right mind would harm the very animals they’re trying to help!

But I’ve found that people will believe what they want to when it comes to PETA. That’s okay—we’ll have some fun with it. In April 2006, after PETA announced (again) that we planned to sabotage fishing tournaments by releasing robotic fish that would swim near fishing boats and emit a high-frequency sound to scare away prospective catches, we received some hostile—and humorous—comments from anglers. Enjoy them. And if you have any suggestions for future April Fools jokes, let me know!


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10:30AM PDT on May 15, 2010

well i am daft and yes PETA is supporting experiments mmmm

2:10AM PDT on May 3, 2010

Noted and sign !

8:30AM PDT on Apr 26, 2010

BWHAHAHA. That is an awesome joke, really. As a person who owns three rat boys, the number one issue people have with rats are their tails. This is because they look snake-ish, although few people know that rats actually DO have hair on their tails - it's just very fine. And the tails serve many different purposes from balancing to being able to escape predators (predators grab the tails and under extreme pain the rats CAN lose their tails and escape. But their tails don't grow back).

Although a cute rat with a pom-pom tail would be adorably cute... :)

1:11AM PDT on Apr 25, 2010

I feel the same as you Jennifer S, it is a bit of a sick joke.

Please read and share, rescued horses will die without your support.

8:20PM PDT on Apr 17, 2010

Sadly, PETA and other Animal Rights organizations are not what they appear to be.

and for the record, I'm a vegetarian for 40 years, a dog rescuer, and a dog trainer. I support Animal Welfare, but I do not support Animal Rights.

5:53PM PDT on Apr 17, 2010

I love rats! They're adorable, loving and intelligent. I do think it's kind of sick for PETA to make jokes out of animal welfare/rights issues. Causing the death of thousands of animals is no joke either. All of those people who support PETA please be aware of what your donation supports! PETA: 1. Supports BSL. Breed Specific Legislation rips loving family dogs out of their homes and kills them. For no reason other than their breed. 2. Kills 95% or more of animals brought in to them. That's thousands every year. 3. Pushes for the automatic killing of dog fight bust dogs, including newborn puppies. 4. Lobbies to have all feral cats killed instead of cared for. 5. Would like to put an end to people having companion animals, including cats and dogs. If you support all of the above, by all means send your money to PETA. If you don't support all of the above there are many other organizations that truly help animals that could use your donations! And that's NO joke. Not even for more publicity to rake in more money.

3:59AM PDT on Apr 14, 2010

a brave joke!

7:32PM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

I am not fond of rats, their naked tales just get to me! It was a cute April fools day joke though.

3:43PM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

thanks! for anyone who's interested here are some other great sites to click for good causes

11:24PM PDT on Apr 10, 2010

never mind... April Fools... not very funny....

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