‘Let mosquitoes take blood donation’: Animal rights activist raises eyebrows with bizarre plea
French TV presenter Aymeric Caron was answering questions for the animal rights channel Komoto.tv when he was asked: “What do we do if we are anti-special and we are attacked by mosquitoes?” Anti-specists are people who believe that all species should be treated equally.
In an explanation that has attracted enormous criticism, Caron explained that mosquitoes who bite people are simply hunting “for protein to feed their developing eggs, and therefore their babies.” The activist said the realization is “embarrassing for an anti-specist” because they are actually being bitten by a mother-to-be who has no choice but to risk her life for her future children.
“There is good reason to have a bad conscience if you kill a mosquito,” he said in the online video. “One can consider that a blood donation from time to time, to an insect who is only trying to nourish her children, is not a drama.”
Caron went on to claim that animal lovers should allow themselves to be bitten by mosquitoes, with the exception of people in Africa because of the risk of contracting malaria. He also suggested that people who don’t wish to be bitten should use natural repellents like citronella, lavender oil or garlic, and avoid wearing perfume.
Unsurprisingly, the suggestion was extremely poorly received and Caron was quickly branded a “fool”and“dangerously irresponsible.” He was also the subject of a satirical article which claimed that he died of malaria and dengue fever after refusing to use mosquito repellent in an infested area.
Other animal rights activists also rounded on the anti-specist. Toni Vernelli of Animal Equality said she would draw the line at “parasites that carry malaria and kill millions of people a year.”
“For most people, this is a step too far and a distraction. It’s unhelpful in trying to educate people about the suffering of animals in factory farms, and is unrelated to animal welfare campaigns,” she said.
Following the backlash, Caron defended the comments to L’Express, saying the footage was only intended for an audience with an interest in anti-specism.
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