WATCH: N.J. Governor Squashes a Spider in Front of School Kids—and PETA Isn’t Impressed

Chris Christie killed a spider while school children visited his office, sparking disapproval from PETA.

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Chris Christie had a tough day at the office last week when a group of school children were visiting.

The New Jersey Governor tweeted a video showing him kill a spider on his desk, Talking Points Memo reported.  “Earlier today I saved a few school children from a spider,” he wrote in his tweet late Friday afternoon. Immediately after palming the eight-legged creature, and while the group of students applauded him, Gov. Christie said, “that’s also another fun part of being Governor.  Any bugs that are on your desk, you’re allowed to kill them and not get in trouble,” the New York Daily News noted.

But it looks like he didn’t get away with it unscathed.  Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), responded to Christie’s video in a statement to Talking Points Memo, describing the Governor’s actions as thoughtless.

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“He probably did it without thinking,” Newkirk said.  “Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth.”

This isn’t the first time a high-profile politician has been caught on film killing an insect, and provoking the disapproval of PETA.  In 2009, President Barack Obama swatted a fly during a televised interview, and PETA released a statement dubbing it an “executive insect execution” that criticized peoples’ thoughtless treatment of insects, Talking Points Memo noted.  The group ended up sending Obama an insect-transporting device so that it could be released outside, Reuters reported.

There’s no sign as to whether PETA sent Gov. Christie a similar contraption, but chances are there’s one on the way, considering how quickly the group sent Obama his humane bug catcher.

MORE: PETA Wants Queen Elizabeth to Cut Ties with Pigeon Racing

55 comments
Loraa
Loraa

Ingrid's comment was not even critical of Christie. She just said that some people kill spiders and some people don't! It's too bad though that Christie did not take the opportunity to teach the kids about spiders' important role in nature.

chope5683
chope5683

are we gonna have save the deer tick rallies, even the mosquito and other insects and birds that the government REFUSES to allow the public to know they carry Lyme diseases too? I suffer and am allergic to the meds .I'm 50 imagine all the children that are antibiotic immune !! And get bit by mosquito's like a meal ! IT is east coast rampid. trust me bed ridden for over a year unable to walk as many fiends ( mainly women ) whoo seem as usual to protect the family and forget themselves in the daily life of a mom rushing to clean , do laundry and pack lunches and run in and out after dinner tolerating the bites as moms do ( tough mom syndrome :) till we get WEAK , RELENTLESSLY TIRED , IN PAIN DAILY ... PLEASE RESEARCH.... THEY CAN CALL peta ON THE FLEA AN TICK COLLAR PEOPLE AND RAID .... AND THE ONES WHO KNOW TO KILL OR THIS SPREADS AND KILLS AS IT HAS MANY , MANY PEOPLE ! 

THANKS PETA 

HMOORE123
HMOORE123 like.author.displayName 1 Like

We don't need to encourage kids to be killers--some of them are figuring that out on their own. We need to teach them to have empathy and mercy, even to beings we may not be crazy about. Let's make compassionate choices--and stop pretending we're doing good deeds by swatting spiders. It's not like they're toting guns around--they just look different. 

wiseowlet1
wiseowlet1

While PETA is being the champion of spiders, records show PETA killed nearly 90% of the adoptable pets in its care during 2012... or an average of over 30 pets per week (dogs/cats...). As for the spider, there are two types that are poisonous in NJ, PETA didn't mention the type that was killed, it was probably in such a rush to be opportunists that the facts weren't important to investigate. Perhaps it was a species that could give a kid a nasty bite - no mention of this by PETA. I'd like to ask PETA how it can justify being the champion of spiders while killing dogs and cats? How are PETA people so comfortable having things killed for them to sustain their lives (food... plants & animals) but so against others eating fish, meat, fowl. PETA and Times - hear no evil and see no evil except for that of others. What a tidy reality. 

LucyP
LucyP like.author.displayName 1 Like

@wiseowlet1The spider could have been humanely released outdoors, but the same can’t be done for the millions of suffering and homeless dogs and cats who end up in shelters (including PETA’s) every year. Most of the animals PETA takes in are suffering terribly, and euthanasia is a kindness for them. They are wracked with diseases and cancer, dangerously aggressive, elderly, and on death’s door. You can see photos of some of them here: http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2013/04/05/euthanasia-we-wont-run-from-what-needs-to-be-done.aspx.

PETA refers healthy, friendly, adoptable animals to high-traffic, open-door shelters for a chance at finding loving homes. PETA has also managed to find wonderful homes for some lucky animals (http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2013/04/08/peta-rescues-finally-home-for-good.aspx). As long as people keep breeding and buying animals, and failing to spay and neuter, euthanasia will remain a tragic necessity for shelters everywhere. PETA works every day to change this by spaying and neutering 90,000 cats and dogs since 2001 at little to no cost to their guardians (http://www.peta.org/features/fixing-animal-homelessness.aspx).

PhilipTripp
PhilipTripp like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

We have one of those bug catchers, and it's so simple just to scoop them and put them outside.  It's the quick decision to kill that always astonishes me ... otherwise kind people, people who share their lives with a dog or a cat perhaps, who give a death sentence to an insect simply for being in the wrong place.  Isn't it just as easy to let them live as it is to squash them?

BrittanyPeet
BrittanyPeet like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Wait. I read Ms. Newkirk's statement, but I'm not sure Time did. Seriously? This is the story? The media are playing this as if PETA condemned Governor Christie, but that's not what I read. PETA's statement is a measured, appropriate, and thoughtful response from an animal rights organization. We could all use a friendly reminder to consider the least among us from time to time, and that's all Ms. Newkirk asked. Seems like the media was desperate to polarize this, so they completely mischaracterized the statement.  

HeidiParker
HeidiParker like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

What I really love is the amount of attention PETA is getting out of this despite its totally innocuous and, dare I say reasonable, reaction. All of this oral frothing from PETA-haters is giving more attention than ever to animal rights, and that = a win for PETA.

rstarr
rstarr like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

I agree with PETA... I do my best to relocate bees, spiders, and other insects from my apartment when I find them. Compassion should extend to even the smallest creatures.

BonnieThompsonJensen
BonnieThompsonJensen

Ingrid Newkirk..You want to make sure Chilren don't step on a caterpillar, and yet Peta kills dogs and cats, if it comes down to the spider or me, especially a poisonous spider, you can damn bet the spider will not win!!

newmac
newmac

Just don't tell PETA about the billions of microscopic bugs we step on and crush every day while walking. I'll be considerate to higher mammals; but spiders and flies are a wee bit lower on the chain of courtesy. I'd ask the fly to kindly leave; but he doesn't understand English....

IngridNewkirk
IngridNewkirk like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 5 Like

When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed a spider in his office in front of a group of schoolchildren, he missed an important opportunity to educate them about the worth of all forms of life. As the founder of the MSPCA said more than 100 years ago, teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. In a world full of thoughtless violence and disrespect, teaching kids to care about the smallest and most helpless beings can help them learn to be more considerate of other humans, too. 

Ingrid E. Newkirk
President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

WarrenMilner
WarrenMilner

looks like even the right to swat a bug is about to be taken. The only bad part is he didn't wash his hands afterward. I was given dominion over  things that creep on the earth. I have also heard on nature shows that there are more insects in a square mile than there are people on the earth. So we're not gonna run out of bugs.

ShayrgoBarazi
ShayrgoBarazi

I wonder how many insects your run over when you drive everyday. ; )

BilboBaggins1979
BilboBaggins1979

I ALWAYS try to tune in on any publicity efforts that PETA wages -- they are ALWAYS good for a chuckle -- they rank right up there with The Three Stooges and Heckle and Jeckle -- simple buffoonery!!!

katie_f
katie_f like.author.displayName 1 Like

well, PETA acheived their goal--they got your attention. 

BilboBaggins1979
BilboBaggins1979

@katie_f -- actually, it's quite easy to get my attention -- dangle a juicy cheeseburger in front of me (or for that matter, any number of animal parts well cooked), and I will probably follow you anywhere (including off a cliff) -- hahahahaha!!!   :)

kolemup
kolemup

PETA launches campaign against cruelty to insects; starts dousing fake blood on people wearing silk

PissedOffAmerican
PissedOffAmerican

Are you kidding me? Seriously, these idiots need to get a life. They should change their name to "PITA", for Pain In The Butt (Radio Edit). Anything for a little exposure, huh PITA? I can see why they have Pamela Anderson as their spokesperson. They're all ditzy airheads. What if the spider had bit one of the children? Headline News: Governor Christie unleashes mutant killer spiders on NJ children! Well I guess since I pretty much kill at least one bug every day, I'm a mass murderer in PITA's eyes. From now on, every spider I kill will be in honor of Governor Christie! Maybe I can start a local Spider Squashing Squad!

NancyGriffiths
NancyGriffiths

ngriffiths22

Why didn't PETA go after Obama when he killed the fly?  or eat dogs?


midmodmabel
midmodmabel

Did you read the whole article, Nancy? After President Obama swatted the fly during a televised interview, PETA sent him a humane bug-catcher. I think PETA has a good point: Gov. Christie (and President Obama) missed an opportunity to teach kindness and compassion for even the smallest beings.

yukon456
yukon456

I'm surprised he didn't eat the spider.

SarahConfran
SarahConfran

If it has more than four legs I have no problem with someone killing it. 

championjack13
championjack13 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Last one. Work for PETA, only MORONS need apply.

BeeksieCrackhat
BeeksieCrackhat

@championjack13- Gotta admit, I'm NOT a fan of PETA, but I agree w/them on this one. There was no reason to kill the spider, considering he had time to just sorta stare it and point it out to them. And the way he did it, he made a joke of it, teaching the kids it's AOK to kill a living creature. Sure, it wasn't, like, a gopher or something, but it really was inappropriate. And I can't believe I agree w/PETA.

GeoffreyButler
GeoffreyButler

@BeeksieCrackhat@championjack13Unless you're a Jain or an absolute pacifist, it is AOK. Goes with the terrain of elected office in our great bloody nation. "If men were angels" and all that.

You're right, there was no reason to kill the spider, but there's also no reason not to, as long as he does it quickly and painlessly. Now if he'd started torturing it, that would be a different story, but that would be a problem with his own character, not with the spider per se. I like Kant's analysis of the situation:

"Cruelty to animals is contrary to man's duty to himself, because it deadens in him the feeling of sympathy for their sufferings, and thus a natural tendency that is very useful to morality in relation to other human beings is weakened."

Says nothing about killing them, nor does it make ridiculous PETA style claims about the "rights" of a bug without the slightest trace of sentience. Cruelty toward animals is wrong because cruelty is wrong. Not because animals have "rights." And painless death is anything but cruel.

championjack13
championjack13

Apparently PETA is in the Adopt a Spider Business. So where can we all get some Black Widows. 

championjack13
championjack13

I called Terminix pest control, Cooks Pest control, Pest Removal Zone Control, Orkin, Pest Bomb, and several others. The claim they have killed in the billions of spiders and other insects. Where the hell is PETA. 


championjack13
championjack13

So would PETA like for us to send live spiders to Them? OK,  what is their address?

Char612
Char612

PETA is obviously ignorant. A spider is not an animal, it is an arachnid. Sure it's fine to let a spider live unharmed in the great outdoors. I advocate this practice. However, once they cross the threshold of my home they are now a home invader and must be destroyed. It sounds really sweet to catch it and release back into nature to eat some nasty insects that will surely invade my space eventually. Has anyone from PETA ever tried to catch a spider? It's just crazy to try unless you have nothing else to do all day. PETA doesn't even treat animals ethically that are in their care, and they expect us to believe they would take the time to catch and release a spider. What a joke! Way to go Gov. Christie, you did the right thing:)

BeeksieCrackhat
BeeksieCrackhat

@Char612 - Yeah, catch a spider is REALLLY hard. Lessee, you slip a piece of paper under it and dump the sheet of paper out the window. Exhausting. As I say above, I dislike PETA and a lot of their tactics -- their misogynistic approach to just about everything being only one example -- but I shockingly agree w/them on this. Only b/c of the context as seen in the video.

JimmyWhistles
JimmyWhistles

Most of the spiders you find in your home are adapted to live in an indoor environment and you're basically sending them to their death by shoving them outside.  Way to go PETA, you're exiling spiders from their home to a probably violent death.

Lilasiris
Lilasiris

Peta people often pretend to be saints. Just let a spider bite you, Peta. Better yet, get a broom and sweep everything out of your path before you start walking. 

robinf44
robinf44 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I'm not impressed either, though I like Gov. Christie in general.  I realize that  most people see a spider as nothing more than a nuisance and kill it without thinking.  But children need to learn that just because another living being is annoying, that doesn't mean it's okay to harm or kill it. In the world today there is too little respect for life and for those who are somehow different. If he had told the child to simply take the spider outside it would have solved the problem and taught the child to respect life. It is easy to remove a spider. Most are not dangerous. If they thought it was, then have an adult just put a cup over it, slide a piece of cardboard under the cup, and take it outside and release it. If Christie had done that, what an important lesson in the value of all life he would have taught those children!

championjack13
championjack13

@robinf44 I just rid my barn of recluse spiders and one bit my son. So what the hell would you have me do. Put it in jail. Would you like me to send them to you? Too late BUG BOMB killed them and I have not heard from PETA on that one. Have you? Education, if you see more than one spider in your home a day you have a problem. People with children in cribs need to worry the most. Last year 22,000 children were bit by spiders. Tell you what sport you come to my barn and bring your stupid cup.

jamhansen31
jamhansen31 like.author.displayName 1 Like

So i guess we should do that with roaches as well!!!!  What a bunch of idiots - get a freaking life!

BeeksieCrackhat
BeeksieCrackhat

@jamhansen31 - reading comprehension is your friend. Read Robin's comment in full, take a moment to try and understand (that's another word for "comprehend") what he/she is saying, and then write a reply. What you've written here shows you have no understanding of Robin's point.

Eosapien
Eosapien like.author.displayName 1 Like

@jamhansen31 

Which is why you should keep your house clean in the first place. No senseless killing required.

AsetDauletbaev
AsetDauletbaev like.author.displayName 1 Like

Let Mr. Christie do the right thing at least once in a lifetime

JustInn014
JustInn014

I'd love to see these PETA wimps reacts to a swarm of Japanese monster hornets swarming their own convention someday.

http://media.ebaumsworld.com/picture/skatesnow67/japanesegianthornet.png

BeeksieCrackhat
BeeksieCrackhat like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JustInn014 - Which has NOTHING to do with the article above or their point about Chris Christie. Christie COULD have taught those children that every life is important and that spider's are useful in nature. Instead, he made a joke of killing it...and then he'll wonder why these kids don't value lives of other creatures. Stretching things a bit? With kids that young, no.

altabadger
altabadger

PETA supposedly stands for "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals". Ethical can be defined as "Acting in ways consistent with what society typically think are good values." I haven't taken a poll or anything, but from what I've experienced in life, the killing of spiders on an individual basis as they make themselves visible on my desk or wall or ceiling or wherever, to me that falls in line with what society typically think are good values. A nice quick clean kill of a bug or spider is therefore ethical.

GregPatnude
GregPatnude

I'm surprised that the "it takes a village" types haven't accused Governor Christie of traumatizing the children and reported him to social services ... What a shame ... makes you wonder how many of those poor traumatized helpless little school children will grow up to be sociopaths based on this traumatic experience...  

dougk1929
dougk1929

Go gettem Christie,,,, the corpulent spider killer/.... and while we are doing in spiders, how about some freedoms for your gay jersey citizens instead of kowtoing to you catholic principles and representing everyone in the state, not the pedophile priestly church you belong to.

JayHsu
JayHsu like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

God why is PETA the most annoying, ineffective, naive, holier-than thou, preachy organization ever to exist, only hipster vegans join their cause so they can guilt trip normal people into eating tofu.

jim1
jim1

Ingrid should move to india

maxinerwb
maxinerwb like.author.displayName 1 Like

PETA is a sham.  The only reason it exists is because it is some rich person's child who created this as a tax exempt organization, because they couldn't find a real job.

PETA IS A BUNCH OF LOONIES AND THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO COMMON SENSE.

amazed108
amazed108

A spider is a predator that kills many flies and other bugs.  PETA should be happy that the Governor saved all of those helpless innocent bugs from an untimely death