if the epa merges with peta

Petsicide helped me realize that I’d bought a boa constrictor just to ‘be cool’. But I’m ‘hot’ now that I got rid of that pest because my ex-boyfriend is starting to visit me again.…”


by james beach


Ever since People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals got into legal trouble by vandalizing fur coats with red paint, the activist group has tempered its agenda and thus lost funding from radicals. And recent surveys of employed women and stoned teens suggest conservative PETA advocates tend to believe affordable convenience foods and lab-rabbit-tested make-up products to be just a smidge more important than general animal welfare.

A simple solution to PETA’s myriad plights concerning foodstuffs and domesticated beasts would be to join forces with the Environmental Protection Agency. For one thing, animals coddled and “tamed” by humans (a.k.a. “pets”) are a burgeoning bane, to both the EPA and to PETA; the former instructs owners to shoo pets out of the bed and hints that people are healthier when they banish pets to the outdoors; the latter insists that rigorous feeding, spraying, snipping, clipping, collaring and whatever else is done to make these animals fit for indoor living is detrimental to the soul of the owner and counterintuitive to the animals’ wild tendencies.

By merging these two groups, the EPA would get substantial no-cost media hooplah, while PETA would get a scientific nod from the U.S. government. EPAPETA would likely go global… A strategic, logical, foolproof tagline to launch its first global health campaign: Euthanize all pets.

A public service announcement trend would likely reach its tipping point with the airing of weekend or late night infomercials created by for-profit companies intent on capitalizing on EPAPETA’s data.

A typical infomercial might go something like this:

“Is your pet a pest? Does it have a leash on your life? Its barking, hissing, squawking, gawking, whining, clawing, scratching, sniffing, licking, nibbling, chomping, shedding, slobbering, jumping, humping, biting and nuzzling — your pet is an expensive and annoying daily hassle!

“When you call Petsicide, your pest of a pet will vanish like a vaccinated case of rabies. Petsicide offers in-home removal of all types of birds, cats, dogs, spiders, insects, crustaceans, fishes, reptiles – we even remove your illegal pets.

“Trust us… we will totally erase that pest of a pet that you foolishly bought, or accidentally inherited from a relative. And if you fell for a ‘pet-adoption ploy,’ we will do our best to shut the offending agency down! Leave the chore to us.

“But what about those unsightly piles of used pet-products? The feeding bowls, the backyard chains, the days-of-the-week collars (and, if your pet-addiction is severe, the pet clothing!); how about the gnawed-on squeaky or bouncy things, the whistles and no-no sprays, the pooper-scoopers, the smelly and furry pillows, even the files of photos and scrapbook mementos? Petsicide Co will remove all your pet-clutter just as fast as we remove your pet. “What’s more, while our professional team rids you of your pet paraphernalia, you can say a private goodbye to your pet in our Visitation Van (TM); choose Muzak or dead silence, candlelight or party lights. Or, if you prefer, simply leave the farewells to us.

“Still unconvinced? Call now and Petsicide will provide you with a free GUIDE TO LIVING HUMAN, with activities to fill the pet-void, plus affirming and consoling anti-pet quotations from popular novels, psychology books, even the Holy Bible. “Yes, with Petsicide, you can finally put that pest of a pet to rest, and start to enjoy your life, pet-free.”

Just listen to these testimonials:

“I called Petsicide when a divorced buddy of mine brought his dogs on our annual fishing trip. Every conversation he had, every photo he took, he had to go and put the dogs into. Worse, our campsite got cited for “pet waste”. The weekend stunk like poo. His dogs would bark and scratch the boat and scare away the fish! I made the call to Petsicide and my buddy came over to thank me. Then he told me his ex-wife changed her mind, and he asked me, his best friend, to be his best man in the rewedding. I had to say yes.” – Rick Rangerstein (Boyd, VT)

“Petsicide helped me realize that I’d bought a boa constrictor just to ‘be cool’. But I’m ‘hot’ now that I got rid of that pest because my ex-boyfriend is starting to visit me again. He suggested that I give the money I’m saving to the homeless and I might.” – Eve Adams (Almost-eden, LA)

“I thought ‘owning’ a pet was normal. I’d grown up with pets. Then the vet bills started to interfere with my finances…. That baby grand piano I wanted was never going to happen with a ferret with bladder problems in my life. The day after I called, Petsicide stepped in. Now I’m tickling the ivories, instead of worrying about where that pest of a pet tinkled.” – Joan Elton (Madison Garden, UT)

“One day I visited my mom and she was frantic because a teeny tiny fishy in her huge tank was missing. Then it dawned on us that the little fishy had been cannibalized by another fish. She had named it Tater. She started sobbing and organizing a memorial service. I started to sob, because she had no other people to invite. It was going to be the two of us and the fish tank! That’s when we called Petsicide, together. Now my mom spends her day keeping track of her neighbors. People, rather than the fishy-food in her tank. Later, Tater.” – M. Nemo (Betaville, MD)

“The creepy hairy tarantula from when my brother went to military academy sat quietly on the shelf, by my stupid ugly hermit crab, until the shelf collapsed. My parents called Petsicide Emergency and the people showed up, at our house, within an hour, and they found the spider right away but the crab got flattened in the fall, and the people cleaned up the glass and dirt from the terrarium. Way way way awesome.” – Missy Tuffett (Curdtown, OH)

“Recently my girlfriend got mugged, and all the while her doggie was wagging its tail at the mugger! We found the number for Petsicide online and found out that her dumb pest would never learn to feed itself, or run errands, or pay for its expenses, or pick up its own poop… or protect her in a scary, threatening situation such as the mugging. Pets are pests!” – Macey H. (Walker, ID)

“After my daughter got married she and her husband ‘adopted’ a mess of rodents – I think they were shrews rescued from a lab testing cosmetics on their snouts – my daughter and her husband called these rodents their ‘kids’ – they set up a ‘playground’ in one bedroom, and a ‘maze school’ in another – Egad! (Eek?) – I told them to quit ‘playing house’ with vermin – but it took Petsicide to convince them to destroy those pests – nine months later I got the good news about her having a human grandson, with another already on the way!” – Mickey Carver (Orlando, AK)

“My young son refused to go to school three days in a row. ‘Only the fat cat understands me,’ he blubbered. I knew he was ill but who could I call? Petsicide erased the pe(s)t, and gave my son their GUIDE TO LIVING HUMAN. On his own he joined the chess club and found a real friend.” – Bobbi Tisher (Ukraine, WV)__

“The preceding testimonials are gross dramatizations.”

Originally published:
Issue Seventy-Two
April 2016


(illustrations: marc covert)

James Beach opted to overindulge in poetry and lit before discovering that bohemian professions are a bit more challenging and dangerous than they appear… But anyway. Taking risks is a risk, as anyone knows. Currently he’s working various temp jobs in the USA, looking at graduate schools, and considering the significance of mating young. Published Credits: Antique Children Journal, Blue Monday Review, Counterexample Poetics, Danse Macabre Online, The Exhibit Literary, Jivin’ Ladybug Journal, Mad Hatters’ Review, Paraphilia Magazine, Smokebox, Warhol Stars UK, Whistling Shade Journal, Wood Coin Magazine, and others. More From James Beach can be found in the Vault of Smoke.

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