Over the last couple of weeks I have seen two television commercials which startled me with their inhumanity. The first was from Quizno’s Subs, and featured their chef who was so focused on his job that he was shown walking by the cage of his pet bird, and the bird was apparently dead on the floor of the cage. The message I got from this commercial is that he was so dedicated to his job that he ignored and neglected his pet to the point that it starved, dehydrated, and died while trapped in its cage.
The second commercial was for Altoids, the Curiously Inhumane Peppermint ©, which depicted a young student in science class feeding one of the new, strong Altoid products to the class guinea pig. The mint is so strong that the guinea pig literally explodes on the screen. I almost couldn’t believe what I saw.
I have been a consumer of both Altoids and Quiznos for a long time, and have enjoyed products from both. Also, I’m no PETA-belonging animal rights activist. But the above commercials were such incontrovertible depictions of animal cruelty that I have sworn off products from both companies. I have contacted both companies with my concerns and have received canned platitudes in response.
Now, I eat meat and wear leather, and I am comfortable with the food chain. However I don’t think it hypocritical also to be against unnecessary and/or gratuitous animal cruelty. Although I hunted and fished as a boy, as I got older I lost my taste for it, finding it cruel and barbarous, since it was not a matter of survival for me, only sport.
There is also a strong correlation between cruelty to animals and psychopathic behavior. Notorious serial killers Ted Bundy, Albert DiSalvo, and Jeffrey Dahmer (among many others) all got their start by torturing and killing animals. Unless Quiznos is starting to open up snack bars in prisons and mental wards, and they sell Altoids at the counter, I think both companies should rethink this particularly distasteful marketing strategy.