Officials cave in to wacky animal rights activist demand

In a bizarre marriage of the animal rights movement and the “safe spaces” mentality, public officials caved in and censored a something because it was deemed “insulting” to cattle, who now have been granted a safe space, cleansed of anything that might offend them.  This was not engineered by the offended cattle themselves for undisclosed reasons, but rather by activists purportedly speaking on their behalf. They must be consulting their clients via some form of nonverbal communication not on my bandwidth.  For all I know, cattle love a ribbing. This union of outré mentalities may be a marriage from hell, but it happened in Toronto.  A Canadian Press dispatch informs us that Billy Bishop Airport:

has taken down an advertisement after animal rights activists complained it is disrespectful to cows.

The poster at Billy Bishop Airport said, "You're precious cargo, not cattle," and outlined upgrades being made to the passenger terminal.

Activist Len Goldberg says in a Facebook post that message is "insulting" to cows.

The Facebook post in question has been removed, and replaced with this:

It is odd that he removed his Facebook post, considering the fact that he won. I wonder what he was so embarrassed about having posted?

A later dispatch presents Ports Toronto’s response:

PortsToronto spokeswoman says the offending poster was immediately removed and that particular message won’t be part of the ad campaign moving forward.

Deborah Wilson says the ad had implied disrespect for animals that was not intended.

“Perspective and discourse is an interesting and important element of any public campaign,” said Wilson. “We appreciate that these concerns were brought forward so that we could better understand the issue and respond quickly to remedy the situation.”

Quite simply, it was not worth a fight. It’s only a poster. When dealing with activists, the chances of a protracted and unpleasant fight loom.  Billy Bishop Airport wants all the friends it can get. It is owned and run by Ports Toronto (formerly the Toronto Port Authority, a government agency on whose board sit equal numbers of local, provincial, and federal officials), and competes with much larger Toronto Pearson International, where the jets go. Billy Bishop is right in the city, just offshore, connected by a pedestrian tunnel. It hosts Porter Airlines, which flies a fleet of Canadian-built Bombardier Dash-8 turboprops to 20 cities in Canada and the US that are near enough so that the time penalty against jets is not substantial.

Last year, it handled 2.7 million passengers, making it the ninth busiest airport in Canada. Even though modern turboprops are not very noisy and all takeoffs and landings are over water, NIMBY concerns continually affect every urban airport in the world’s democracies, including Billy Bishop.

Given the reach of social media and the controversy-avoiding instincts of at least some officials, a small collection of extremists can amass the leverage to cow[1] public officials into cleansing public spaces of material that offends them. Even when the offense alleged is to animals, not humans. In other words, they are acting on the basis of a fantasy held by a a few extremists.

It’s a disturbing phenomenon, and probably one that we’ll see more and more of.


[1] Sorry, I just can’t help myself

In a bizarre marriage of the animal rights movement and the “safe spaces” mentality, public officials caved in and censored a something because it was deemed “insulting” to cattle, who now have been granted a safe space, cleansed of anything that might offend them.  This was not engineered by the offended cattle themselves for undisclosed reasons, but rather by activists purportedly speaking on their behalf. They must be consulting their clients via some form of nonverbal communication not on my bandwidth.  For all I know, cattle love a ribbing. This union of outré mentalities may be a marriage from hell, but it happened in Toronto.  A Canadian Press dispatch informs us that Billy Bishop Airport:

has taken down an advertisement after animal rights activists complained it is disrespectful to cows.

The poster at Billy Bishop Airport said, "You're precious cargo, not cattle," and outlined upgrades being made to the passenger terminal.

Activist Len Goldberg says in a Facebook post that message is "insulting" to cows.

The Facebook post in question has been removed, and replaced with this:

It is odd that he removed his Facebook post, considering the fact that he won. I wonder what he was so embarrassed about having posted?

A later dispatch presents Ports Toronto’s response:

PortsToronto spokeswoman says the offending poster was immediately removed and that particular message won’t be part of the ad campaign moving forward.

Deborah Wilson says the ad had implied disrespect for animals that was not intended.

“Perspective and discourse is an interesting and important element of any public campaign,” said Wilson. “We appreciate that these concerns were brought forward so that we could better understand the issue and respond quickly to remedy the situation.”

Quite simply, it was not worth a fight. It’s only a poster. When dealing with activists, the chances of a protracted and unpleasant fight loom.  Billy Bishop Airport wants all the friends it can get. It is owned and run by Ports Toronto (formerly the Toronto Port Authority, a government agency on whose board sit equal numbers of local, provincial, and federal officials), and competes with much larger Toronto Pearson International, where the jets go. Billy Bishop is right in the city, just offshore, connected by a pedestrian tunnel. It hosts Porter Airlines, which flies a fleet of Canadian-built Bombardier Dash-8 turboprops to 20 cities in Canada and the US that are near enough so that the time penalty against jets is not substantial.

Last year, it handled 2.7 million passengers, making it the ninth busiest airport in Canada. Even though modern turboprops are not very noisy and all takeoffs and landings are over water, NIMBY concerns continually affect every urban airport in the world’s democracies, including Billy Bishop.

Given the reach of social media and the controversy-avoiding instincts of at least some officials, a small collection of extremists can amass the leverage to cow[1] public officials into cleansing public spaces of material that offends them. Even when the offense alleged is to animals, not humans. In other words, they are acting on the basis of a fantasy held by a a few extremists.

It’s a disturbing phenomenon, and probably one that we’ll see more and more of.


[1] Sorry, I just can’t help myself

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