There was chaos in downtown Sydney this morning when a large group of animal activists descended on World Square, which houses the office of animal rights organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
But these were unique activists. Estimates vary but up to a million rats and mice overran the site, blocking access to shops, restaurants, offices, residential apartments and Rydges World Square Hotel and demanding rodent self-determination and an end to PETA speaking on their behalf.
Traffic came to a standstill as mice and rats scurried around and over vehicles on the site and parts of Liverpool Street. Pedestrians, office workers, shop and restaurant staff and patrons were seen running and screaming, trying to escape the teeming rodents whose chant was: “What do we want? Rights for rodents! When do we want it? Now!”
Rodents swarmed over seating and tables, across counters and all around the square. A stampede resulted, in which ten people received injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones. One person broke a leg and required stitches when a driver, momentarily distracted by mice crawling over him, ran into the fleeing mob.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one injured eyewitness, a PETA employee, who spoke only on the promise of anonymity because of her fear of rodent reprisals.
“One minute I was in line waiting for my soy caramel fairtrade macchiato and vegan bagel and the next rats and mice were everywhere. I tried to get away but tripped as I tried to avoid stepping on the cute little creatures. It was horrible. Why do they hate us? We were just trying to help.”
A spokesperson for the rodents, Mortimer Mouse (pronouns they/them) emotionally announced that they were fed up with the stereotypes assigned to them and the murderous treatment they receive from humans.
“How would you like to be called an infestation or a plague? And the collective noun for a group of mice is a mischief. We decided to really give them some mischief with this rally.
“And why does the entertainment industry, particularly Disney, portray us as either evil rat arch-villains, as in ‘The Great Mouse Detective’, or cute mice with high-pitched voices, like in ‘Cinderella’?
“We will no longer be silenced. We demand that the speciesist oppression of rodents end now.”
Mortimer saved some of his most scathing criticism for PETA, whose spokesperson Aleesha Naxakis caused controversy yesterday with statements about the rodent plague currently causing up to $100 million damage, a mental health crisis and an increase in rodent-borne diseases in eastern New South Wales.
Naxakis suggested to NCA Newswire that farmers should consider the welfare of mice and use a ‘catch and release’ approach rather than killing them with poison, saying “These bright, curious animals are just looking for food to survive. They shouldn’t be robbed of that right because of the dangerous notion of human supremacy.”
In a subsequent appearance on Channel Seven’s Sunrise Naxakis opined: “Humane controls like humane trapping and birth control should have been put in place months ago, in fact ages ago, by the government in order to keep this situation under control.”
Mortimer Mouse, in a prepared statement, said: “Activists from PETA are the ultimate speciesists. How dare they think they can speak for us? We are sick and tired of their patriarchal approach to animal rights. They do not share our lived experience and can never understand rodent genetic trauma. We will advocate on our own behalf.”
They delivered a Mouse Manifesto to PETA employees on behalf of Australian rodents and The Spectator has gained exclusive access to this document. Despite damage caused by some nibbling around the edges we can report some of their demands:
We demand an end to the mistreatment and murder of rodents.
We demand agency over own affairs and an end to rodent stereotyping.
We demand a safe environment, free from all violence, including violent language.
We will not stand for ‘humane trapping’ and ‘catch and release’ programs. We demand that humans recognise our unique and ancient connection to the lands we occupy. We want to live on, and have self-determination over, our traditional lands.
Our reproductive rights are inalienable and we utterly reject any attempt at rodent birth control by humans. Our rodent scientists are using our own unique rodent ‘ways of knowing’ to develop rodent-focused methods of birth control.
PETA employees locked themselves in their office and disconnected their phones at the first sign of the invasion. We have been unable to contact them for comment.
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