Turtles Poached, Anthropomorphized

The headline is “Turtle-napper pleads pleads guilty“, but the story indicates the animals were merely poached:

The third of three men charged in a illegal turtle-napping scheme pleaded guilty in St. Louis today to a federal felony charge.

Bobby Wayne Pyburn, 20, admitted that he and Erich Wayne Higgins, 33, had set up nets and illegally trapped dozens of turtles late last summer in Missouri’s bootheel and sold them to Kenneth Brandon Reese, 26, in Arkansas. All of the men are from Lake City, Ark., the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

What’s the difference?

-Napping tends to refer to either the illegal capture of people or, less formally, pets. However, by applying it to wild animals instead of the more precise term for the crime that already exists, the journalist and writer are elevating the wild turtles to the same legal status as humans or human possessions.

Think I’m making too much of this? Well, try this analogy on for size. Poaching:-Napping::Hunting::Murdering.

In both cases, the gerund for an act involving wildlife is replaced with a legal term dealing with crimes against men to elevate your outrage at the lesser charge by making it sound like violence against man.

Orwell would be proud.

2 thoughts on “Turtles Poached, Anthropomorphized

  1. Sounds like the Denver/Boulder area. Last night on the news, for instance, one of our network affiliates led off its broadcast with a story about a South Dakota man arrested in Denver last year, who had been accused of keeping 15 or so puppies that he intended to sell kept in cruel conditions in the back of his pickup. His sentencing was yesterday, and the coverage featured his mug shot, and a general air of serial killer menace about the guy. Overblown, to say the least. Boulder, of course, passed legislation two years back that stripped all ordinances of language describing those who live with cats, dogs, etc. as “owners”. Instead, they were treated like co-citizens, or something equally ridiculous.

    That, of course, is why we call if the People’s Republic of Boulder. Every state’s got one, I guess…

    Congrats on your impending arrival, by the way!

  2. Remember, all pets are for Obama, and I think you’ll see the reasoning.

    Unfortunately, I fear that a lot of municipalities and then states will move toward making some animals more equal than others (and almost as equal as people excluding capitalists). When they don’t work fast enough, someone will try to compel Congress to act so that all states must treat pets as people-lite.

    Isn’t that how normal busybody citizens use the republican process to continue imposing limitations on freedom?

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