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Joyless Vegan comments on O’Doherty’s opinion piece on joyless vegans

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/ian-odoherty-joyless-vegan-fundamentalists-just-love-to-wag-their-fingers-37723096.html

This is an opinion piece written by Ian O’Doherty that appears in The Independent. The headline reads, “Joyless vegan fundamentalists just love to wag their fingers.”

As the Joyless Vegan, I was very curious to read about why other equally joyless vegans are wagging their fingers. I didn’t know any vegans did that, joyless or otherwise, so I thought I’d check it out.

Mr. O’Doherty starts off by indicating he doesn’t like children, so I was almost inclined to like him, but then he says, “according to some schools of thought, you have no right to call yourself an animal lover if you also like to eat meat.”

That seems okay. I mean, I am in that school of thought, so I kept reading.

“It’s part of the fatuous, binary equivalence which has become de rigueur in today’s society, which dictates that if you like one thing, you can’t like another – and is another example of the way crackpots try to dictate the behaviour of others.”

Whoa. Slow the truck down, O’Doherty. That’s a lot of crap to cram into one sentence!

First, veganism is a moral stance that rejects the exploitation of animals and is a consistent set of values that vegans live their lives by.

Sorry, let me clarify: vegans who apply the Abolitionist Approach to veganism have a consistent set of values by which they live their lives. I cannot in good conscience include welfarist vegans, because they are wildly inconsistent in their principles.

So, vegans live their lives according to a set of principles, which they adhere to consistently. How is that “fatuous, binary equivalence”?

O’Doherty seems to be upset at being told that one cannot love animals and also eat animal products.

I’m not sure why he’s upset about this, because it’s true. A person cannot claim to love animals and then turn around and cause them the most grievous harm by needlessly consuming them. Animals raised for food suffer horribly, even on the nicest, prettiest little family-run farms, because they are all exploited and they all end up slaughtered.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I love someone, I don’t do things that will cause them needless suffering just because I like the way they taste.

We don’t need to eat animals; we just really like to. So we cause them immense, unnecessary suffering because we enjoy eating them.

That…is not love. That is not even like. That is just awful, and demonstrates the confused thinking that we vegans see constantly in non-vegans.

No, O’Doherty, you cannot love animals and eat them. I am not trying to dictate your behaviour to you in saying that; it’s simply a fact. You cannot claim to love someone while causing them to needlessly suffer.

How does telling him this make vegans “crackpots”? I think he meant to say, “morally consistent”. No one is dictating his behaviour; they are simply pointing out his moral inconsistency.

O’Doherty says it’s not hypocrisy to say you love animals and love meat. He says it’s “simply recognition of the fact that we are top of the food chain, we are carnivores and meat is a fundamental part of the diet of the vast majority of people.”

There is no “food chain” and humans are certainly not “at the top” of it. There are, however, food webs in which all living things on this planet are interconnected, but there is no “bottom” and there is no “top”.

Humans are not, in fact, carnivores. Our dentition, our digestive tracts, the fact that we must cook meat in order to consume it where true carnivores do not are all powerful indicators that humans are not actually meant to eat meat. The fact that we can does not mean that we should, particularly considering the health problems the medical and scientific communities are increasingly understanding are heavily linked to our (needless) consumption of animal products. Even the American Dietetic Association acknowledges that a plant-based diet is healthy when done properly.

The fact that the vast majority of people do something doesn’t make it right. Lots of folks used to own slaves—does that make slavery okay in O’Doherty’s mind? I would not describe the feeling slave owners had for their slaves as love.

Then O’Doherty talks about Veganuary and says that even if someone stops eating meat for the month of January, “that choice isn’t enough to make our vegan friends happy.”

Well, no, O’Doherty. Would you be impressed with someone who said he decided not to beat his wife for the month of January? I mean, if you are just gonna start up again come Feb 1, then…why would that make anyone happy? So, no, as a vegan, I can say I am not “happy” with anyone who decides to try being vegan for a little while but then quits. Why on earth would O’Doherty expect that to make vegans happy?

Then he gets on to Anthony Bourdain. Christ, this guy.

Bourdain was known for hating vegans and spouting weird, violent fantasies about what he’d do to them, apparently. And apparently, the spirit of this mindset was awakened in O’Doherty when a newspaper ran an interview with a “leading Irish vegan” who said “it’s not enough to simply stop eating meat or using any animal products” and that adopting a plant-based diet for health reasons is not veganism. The activist said that “veganism is a moral issue.”

She is correct. Veganism is, indeed, a moral issue.

What the hell does O’Doherty think it is? Obviously he didn’t do his research before writing his opinion, because if he did, he would know this.

He calls this stance “absolutism”, with “no room for compromise, nuance or subtlety of thought.”

FFS. This guy is killing me.

Would he say the same about anyone who is against sexism? So, being against sexism is an “absolutist” stance that doesn’t allow room for compromise. Why would we compromise? Is it okay if a guy beats his wife a little, as long as he doesn’t break her bones? Is that the kind of “compromise” O’Doherty is looking for?

How do we “compromise” on things like racism, sexism or speciesism? What are the “nuances” of slaughtering over 56 billion animals every year so we can eat them when we have no need whatsoever to do so? Please, O’Doherty, explain to me the “nuances” and “subtlety” of that! Take your best shot!

He then goes on to call veganism “dietary choices”.

No, O’Doherty. What shirt you want to wear today is a choice. What kind of car you drive or home you live in is a choice. Taking the life of another sentient being for no reason at all other than you like how they taste is not a “choice”, because there’s a victim, someone who is harmed in your making of that “choice”.

It’s not a man’s personal choice to rape a woman or a child. Okay, O’Doherty? Because the “choice” the man makes results in someone being victimized.

Why do I even have to explain this?

Then O’Doherty blathers on about identity politics, and by this time I am getting a bit bored of his mindless prattle. Veganism is not about “posturing” and “one-upmanship”. It’s about understanding that animals are sentient beings who think and feel, and that we cause them pain and suffering for no justifiable reason, and that is wrong.

Then he likens vegan food to wood chips because clearly he’s never bothered to try vegan food, and prattles on again about how people have the right to make choices.

Yes, O’Doherty, they do. So long as those choices do not victimize others, which eating animals most certainly does.

Then he gets into some of these “animal rights” activists who storm into shops and yell at people, and here I have to agree with him. Those tactics are absurd and serve no purpose at all other than to give ammunition to people like O’Doherty to ridicule and mock vegans and veganism.

So thanks for that, I guess, those of you who practice street theatre. You aren’t really helping anything.

Then O’Doherty mercifully begins to wind down his long monologue of nonsense. He says the “question of how we treat our livestock isn’t so much an issue of animal rights as it is human responsibility”.

What O’Doherty fails to understand is that the problem is not how we treat animals; it’s that we use them at all.  Had he bothered to research veganism rather than just spouting off about things he knows nothing about, he may have learned that.

Then he says, “after all, a chicken has no right against being eaten by a fox.”

There are not enough facepalms in the world for that statement.

Clearly O’Doherty does not have the foggiest idea what a right is. Yes, foxes eat chickens. How, exactly, does that justify the unnecessary consumption of billions of sentient beings by humans every single year? How, O’Doherty? I need you to explain that connection.

I am surprised he didn’t trot out desert islands or houses on fire to try to bolster his argument.

To finish, O’Doherty predictably says that he will continue eating meat and we’ll have to pry it from his “cold, sauce-covered hands.”

No one is prying anything from your hands, O’Doherty. But if you really loved animals, as you say you do, you would voluntarily lay down that rack of ribs because you’d understand you had no right to kill a living being for no reason other than your own  palate pleasure.

What for you is a momentary pleasure is for the one you’ve victimized a life of unbearable suffering and a brutal, needless death.

 

 

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Vegan “purity” rears its ugly head again

This is from about a year ago so it could be old news for some people, but I didn’t see it when it first came out. It’s an opinion piece by Tobias Leenaert for Plant Based News, posted on August 10, 2018 (https://www.plantbasednews.org/opinion/opinion-vegans-we-gotta-break-through-this-100-perfect-sh-t).

It’s really unfortunate that this appears on a website that seems to be trying to be about veganism. In summary, it says people don’t have to be “100 percent vegan” and that we should “fight the stereotype that you have to follow all these rules in order to call yourself a vegan.” It goes on to say we need to “stop infighting and judging other vegans on whether they’re not vegan, or not vegan enough” and “we want to present veganism as something doable, and not as something very very difficult.”

Oh boy.

facepalm

Oh dear god

There’s a lot to unpack in this piece, and frankly I am getting rather tired of vegans moaning about perfectionism. Veganism is not about “perfectionism”; rather, it’s about not exploiting animals by eating or wearing them or using them for entertainment purposes. It is not “very very difficult” to be vegan.

It seems as though people want to call themselves vegan without actually doing the things that constitute being vegan, and then whine about how veganism is some sort of exclusive club whose membership requirements are just too hard to achieve.

Veganism isn’t about you, and it certainly isn’t about being afraid that non-vegans will “accuse us of being hypocrites” or that “they will be confused”, as the writer states. Being consistently vegan has nothing to do with caring about what non-vegans think or say. It’s about acknowledging that there is no justification for exploiting non-human animals or having “one piece of pie with egg in it once a year”. You know, Tobias, one could simply skip the pie or bring their own vegan pie. Seriously, there’s no shortage of vegan pie recipes or vegan pies available for purchase.

pumpkin pie

from thevietvegan.com

There is no such thing as a “98 percent vegan”, as the piece proposes. A “98 percent vegan” is a non-vegan. One is either vegan or not; percentages don’t factor into it. This is not “unfortunate black and white thinking that does not help animals.” Quite the contrary—clarity and consistency in thought and action most certainly help animals.

What does not help animals is refusing to fully commit to not exploiting them. The writer acknowledges that even that one piece of non-vegan pie causes harm to animals, but then goes on to excuse that by saying it’s just so hard to be vegan and that no one can ever truly be 100 percent vegan.

Oh, that old chestnut.

chestnut

There is a very clear difference between eating fruits and vegetables that “bees have pollinated” and deliberately bringing billions of animals into existence every single year for the sole purpose of killing and eating them.

That is a very big, very obvious difference, so it’s absurd that this piece in Plant Based News is even trying to suggest that those two things are somehow equivalent.

It’s an unfortunately common argument that vegan “purity” is impossible because there are animal products in the rubber in the tires on my car, so why bother even trying to be vegan?

Being vegan isn’t about being somehow able to not ever use anything again that has some kind of animal product in it. In our world, that is currently impossible. However, we practice veganism to the greatest extent possible. It may not be possible for me to buy vegan tires, but I can very easily stop eating and wearing animals! I can also refuse to go to circuses, zoos and rodeos. That is a really easy thing to do.

The writer asserts that products can be called vegan but people cannot, which I find very odd. “When exactly is a person vegan?” the writer asks.

A person is vegan when they consistently apply the principles of veganism in their life to the greatest extent possible. It’s that simple. Eating non-vegan food when out with friends because it’s convenient is not being vegan to the greatest extent possible. It’s just being plain lazy.

Then the piece ends by encouraging us to increase demand for vegan products and telling us to appreciate “every step people take”, which sounds alarmingly like an endorsement for the baby-steps brand of apologist welfarism.

cantbevegan

Look, if you honestly believe that it’s wrong to cause unnecessary pain and suffering to animals, you stop being part of the system that does exactly that. You stop eating them, wearing them and otherwise using them. And you don’t do it 25 percent, or 47 percent or 98 percent. You do it full-stop, 100 percent.

You don’t eat non-vegan pie because it’s convenient, and you don’t drink non-vegan wine because you cannot be bothered to pull up the Barnivore app. You don’t take baby steps.

You just go vegan, now.

I mean, apply the writer’s logic to human rights:

I’m only racist 2 percent of the time, when I’m out with my friends!

I only tell a couple of sexist jokes a week. It’s so hard to not be sexist! I’m only sexist
2 percent of the time!

Do you see how ridiculous that is? But when the victims are non-human animals, suddenly 98 percent is somehow good enough.

I don’t understand the constant refrain that going vegan is difficult and we will scare people off by expecting them to be 100 percent vegan. Going vegan is not difficult. It may be inconvenient at times, but animals should not suffer for your convenience.

We won’t scare people off by putting forward a clear, consistent message: if you care about animals, you go vegan now. You don’t do Meatless Mondays, eat vegan food only at home where it’s more convenient or do “98 percent” veganism.

Veganism is about the billions of sentient beings who die each year because people like to eat them. What is for you the momentary pleasure of a tasty meal is for them a life spent suffering.

Think about that, about what your convenience or “guilty pleasures” cost other living beings.

We won’t create a better world with “good intentions”. We’ll do it with a total commitment to justice for other sentient beings, which is what veganism is. And vegans aren’t “judging” those who think a little veganism is better than none; rather, we are encouraging them to do better because we know they can.

It’s not vegans who are confusing people about what veganism is; it’s writers like Tobias Leenaert who tell people they can exploit animals and still be vegan. That’s simply not true.

 

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How news media treats vegans

So, in my home province, an animal rights activist was hit by a semi truck while she was legally crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.  The semi was turning right, and as mentioned in the article, it could have been deliberate:

https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/animal-rights-activist-seeking-legal-action-after-being-hit-by-semi-1.4583836

An earlier version of this article was posted on CTV’s Facebook page, and the comments section was, as always, utterly appalling.  Most commenters were saying that the truck should have hit her harder and finished her off, and many felt the woman deserved to be hit for “playing in the middle of the street”, even though she was crossing legally.

The headlines for both the linked article and the earlier version of the article posted on Facebook made sure to note that the woman who was hit is an animal rights activist. You can bet that if she had not been, if she had been literally anyone but an animal rights activist, the commenters would have been much more upset on her behalf.

But because she advocates for animals, she apparently deserved to be hit by a semi.

I am not sure what the significance is of the woman being an animal rights advocate. I have read other stories about pedestrians being hit in Edmonton, because drivers in that city apparently are supremely shitty, and none of them talk about why the person was in the crosswalk or where they were going or what their personal values and principles are, because it’s utterly irrelevant. What difference does it make that this woman was an activist attending a vigil? Mentioning it only served to spur on a bunch of commenters to say horrible things about a fellow human being they don’t even know.

I think this is irresponsible on the part of the media.

Another media story that has been making its rounds on Facebook is the one about a woman in Australia who is suing her neighbours for a bunch of things they do that seem to annoy her, like cooking meat, their kids playing basketball, and their dogs barking during the day:

https://globalnews.ca/news/5853199/vegan-sues-bbq-neighbours/

They make sure we understand that she’s vegan, because clearly that’s the problem. Not that she seems to have, I dunno, some kind of mental health issues. Nope, it’s all because she’s one of those nutty vegans.

It’s like those stories that go around of “vegan” parents feeding their babies weird shit and then the baby dies, and it’s all because the parents are vegan.

No, it’s not. It’s because the parents were idiots feeding their kid weird shit.

No headlines ever scream, “Non-Vegan Parents Hurt or Kill Kid By Feeding It Weird Shit”. Like that one recently where a teenager went blind after eating only junk food. The kid didn’t go blind because he and his parents were non-vegan; he went blind because he ate only junk food.

Do we give the same consideration to vegan parents?  Nope. We believe that the problem is that they are vegan, not that they simply, like some non-vegan parents, had no idea how to feed a kid.

The media really needs to stop doing this. I get that for some reason, the words “vegan” or “animal rights activist” act as click-bait, drawing in all those people who just want to leave comments expressing their utter hatred for vegans or activists, but it’s just really shitty reporting. It’s irresponsible. And frankly, it’s harmful.

Come on, media. You can do better.

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Abusive comments

We live in a world in which people who cannot successfully argue against what another person is saying resort to this kind of abusive rhetoric:

You’re not vegan. You’re an extremist

Ok so you’re not vegan you’re a fucking crazy extremist. I was gonna give a well thought out normal reply but you just respond to those swearing and ranting like a fucking three year old. Seriously grow the fuck up. Animals, wild or not, will always be desired. Whether by crazy rich people or “exotic” animal breeders they’ll always be desired. Ever seen wild animals teeth? Sharp right? Just like ours you ignorant fuck. We are designed to eat meat and plants as we have canines. Animals that only eat veg don’t have canines and ones that eat meat do. We survive by eating meat too. Veganism is unhealthy and is the equivalent of doing something because you can. We can survive of veg but meat is also important for a healthy diet. You can, stab someone but it’s fucking insane to do so (yes it’s an extreme analogy but fuck off). This is irrelevant to the topic but because you’re a little bitch you closed comments on your other posts because you’re a pussy. You’re entire blog is just “We shouldn’t eat meat, have pets or even touch animals. Yeah you know what don’t touch animals or look at them you disgusting fucks argh I hate you bla bla bla bla.” and if someone respects your opinion but disagrees (like me) you just respond with “Fuck you”, “condescending”, “animal rights”, “You troll”, etc. That makes people like me think, “wow, what a cunt.” I would happily have a normal debate with you but you can’t handle that other people have opinions and you act like a Karen in a restaurant who wants to see the manager. If you want people to stop being “trolls” stop being such an ignorant cunt. So to close my argument pets are needed, meat isn’t bad, just because some pet owners are bad doesn’t mean they all are and finally, I hope you choke on your fucking cabbage you retarded fucking imbecilic ignorant cunt. Go get a job and do something with your life before you die. And I’m expecting a reply of “troll, fuck you muh muh muh veganism, get off my blog”. So go cry to mummy you stupid cunt. Fuck you.

 

This is the kind of garbage that is spewed at me because I dare to write my thoughts on a blog.  There is nothing intelligent about this comment; it’s just angry troll ranting (with a rather limited vocabulary).  This person is clearly an idiot who has nothing better to do with his time than write stuff like this to women on the internet.

I still approved his vile comment and responded to it, relatively politely I think.

I want anyone reading this blog to see the sort of comments directed at me.  Do I get impatient with the comments left here sometimes?  Yes, I sure do, because it seems few people can actually be bothered to read what I am saying before engaging with me, and when they do engage, it’s often in a manner similar to the above.  If you engage with me like this, I may choose to respond by mocking and ridiculing, and *gasp* perhaps even swearing.  So don’t engage like this.  Try being a decent human being (I know, for some people that’s a real challenge) and I will respond in kind.

But if you come here and are thinking about spewing the same kind of garbage shown above, I would suggest you spend less time worrying about what I am saying and a little more time worrying about why you are so angry and why you feel it’s okay to say this kind of thing to other people.

I closed the comments on some of my posts because of some particularly abusive comments like the one above.  Readers are NOT invited to leave comments on unrelated posts, so please do not do that.  This troll left his comment on my post about Berkeley the bear, so if you want to see it and my reply, head on over there.

Thanks.

 

 

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In follow up to those defending tiger owner Michael Jamison in my last post…

HERE is why people should not keep tigers as pets.  HERE is what doing that supports:

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/federal-agents-peered-into-a-duffel-bag-on-the-mexico-border-they-found-a-tiger-cub/ar-AAwCGBl?li=AAggFp5&ocid=mailsignout

FYI, it’s a link to an article about a tiger cub found stuffed in a duffel bag.  Someone was trying to smuggle him over the Mexican border, and now he’s living in captivity in a zoo, which is not a much better fate.

People who keep tigers as pets FUEL DEMAND for tiger cubs.  This results in either A) facilities where tigers are kept and forcibly bred, which is awful, or B) people taking tiger cubs away from their mothers in their natural habitats, which is awful.

Why do any of you who defended the guy in my last post think this shit is okay?  Why?  Give me ONE SINGLE GOOD REASON why the guy in my last post is okay being part of this system in which tigers become mere possessions of humans and victims of trafficking?

Do you clowns understand now?  Is this what you think this cub deserved?  To be stuffed into a bag and smuggled across the border to be some asshole human’s PET?

If that is what you think, you are awful.  Just awful.

If you actually CARE about animals and think this sort of thing is wrong, there is one option.  GO VEGAN.

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Berkeley, the “domesticated” grizzly bear

Wow, I’ve been able to mine a lot of information off the internet about people harming animals. First, I was horrified to see two people in South Africa keeping a tiger (named Enzo) as a “pet”, and now I am equally horrified to see that some people much closer to home are keeping a grizzly bear (named Berkeley) as a “pet”.

I don’t even know where to start with how utterly inane this is. I guess I’ll start by giving the link to the story so you can see what I am talking about: https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/province-investigates-after-grizzly-bear-fed-ice-cream-at-innisfail-fast-food-restaurant-1.3766618.

They are feeding the bear ice cream at a Dairy Queen. I…just…wow. The bear’s “keeper” insists that the video of the bear being fed ice cream is “a little bit of out-of-the-box, uniqueness” to “get people’s attention”. She goes on to say that Berkeley is “domesticated”.

Ho. Lee. Shitballs.

No. NO. A bear is NOT “domesticated”. No, words mean things. Domestication is a process that involves years of breeding generations of animals. Berkeley is a first-generation slave, so the word “domestication” does not apply.

Don’t get me wrong: domestication is a form of slavery and is NOT okay. But in this case, this animal is being called “domesticated” to make people feel okay about a non-domesticated animal being forced to live this way.

So Berkeley is most certainly not domesticated, as the article states she is “a year old and was taken in as a rescue by the wildlife facility in Innisfail”.

Look, I get that it may be difficult to rehab bear cubs to be reintegrated into their natural habitats, but if that is the case, at least let them live as naturally as possible in a sanctuary habitat. This does not include driving them around in cars and feeding them ice cream. There is also video footage of Berkeley eating cake for her birthday. Cake. Wow, these people!

Bears don’t eat ice cream and cake!

Berkeley lives at Discovery Wildlife Park, which claims to provide permanent homes for “unfortunate” wildlife such as orphaned animals who can’t be released, exotic pets kept illegally, and unwanted pets.

But it’s a zoo. It even calls itself a zoo. They say they don’t breed animals, but it’s still a place where animals are exploited to entertain visitors. And Berkeley the bear is being exploited too. They say they educate about “conservation”, but they are charging people money to come pet tigers and bears and other animals, so it’s basically a petting zoo. And I guarantee you there is no mention of veganism! If you want to talk about conservation, the FIRST thing you should talk to people about is how their consumer choices are destroying habitat for animals all over the globe. But nope, nothing.

And they “train” these captive, enslaved animals so they can star in movies and TV shows. They claim the “training” is enrichment for the animals, which is not really true. You can enrich life for these animals without exploiting them for personal gain.

Sometimes, people just really disgust me.

 

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Horrible People Keeping Tiger as Pet

I came across this gem this morning:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159103/Meet-couple-share-South-African-home-27-stone-Bengal-tiger.html

These horrible people, Michael Jamison and Jackie Smit, are keeping a Bengal tiger as a pet. The tiger’s name is Enzo.

The headline for the article reads, “He’s just a big pussycat”.

No, he’s a fucking tiger, and how is anyone even allowed to have a tiger as a pet? This is just…repulsive, on so many levels.

The article doesn’t say how they got the tiger, other than to say “they bought him as a nine-week-old cub”. Jesus, can tiger cubs even be away from their mothers at that age? And where the hell does one just buy a tiger?

Enzo’s “owners” also have 14 dogs and god only knows how many cats, and they posted a video on YouTube of Michael introducing kittens to Enzo! Like, who the hell puts baby kittens anywhere near a fucking tiger!?

Don’t get me wrong–I adore tigers and think they are enchanting. I also think they should not be forced to share a home with humans, particularly two humans as ridiculous as these two seem to be, because I just cannot see this ending well for anyone involved.

It seems to me that this tiger is a status symbol. And I am wondering how the hell they are going to live with him and not get injured. Did they have his claws removed?  Because no claws are visible in any of the pictures.

The best part is when they talk about how Enzo no longer fits into their yellow Lamborghini.

Jesus.

These people seem really full of self-importance and are obviously really, really wealthy. I would have been more impressed if these lunatics had donated their money generously to a big cat rescue/sanctuary if they care so much about tigers.

Obviously, they don’t care about tigers. Or anything but themselves.

Gross. And really disturbing, because this kind of crap just fuels the “exotic pet” trade, which is disgusting and reprehensible.

Thanks for ruining my day, Michael and Jackie. You are awful.

Also, if you are concerned about Enzo’s plight, living with these two dummies, please consider going vegan. All animals matter, including those you eat, wear, and use for entertainment. www.abolitionistapproach.com, www.howdoigovegan.com

ETA:  Michael Jamison purchased Enzo because he had always dreamed of owning a tiger and after his home was broken into twice, he wanted a tiger to deter burglars. If you are going to leave a comment defending this guy, please do not bother.  Nothing can defend someone buying a tiger to keep in their home as a burglar deterrent.  Nothing.