The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are so very cross with Google for strapping one of their 360° back-packable camera rigs to the back of a camel to get Streetview imagery of Abu Dahbi's Liwa Desert. They think they should have used jeeps or dune buggies. Oh, PETA.
Here's what Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, had to say about it:
These days, jeeps are in common use in the desert, as are light planes and even dune buggies, and satellite images could also easily have been taken instead... Google has no business using camels to 'cutesy up' its data-collection imagery. Anyone who has read about or visited that area knows that camels have a hard lot in life.
Now, she's not really wrong about any point in particular — sure, Google may have been able to use a dune buggy or something, and sure, lots of camels have it pretty shitty out there. But I'm not so sure this camel had it so bad.
Raffi, the 10-year old camel, was walked around the desert on a day with good weather wearing a rig that regular people can wear just fine. There's no evidence to suggest this camel was abused in any way. Plus, the camel is working for Google! Do you know how hard it is to get a job at Google? Especially for a camel, who very likely has, at best, a rudimentary knowledge of search engines, or even the internet in general outside of some of those seedy camel live-cam sites like Humpwatch.org and Drome-do-me.net.
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Perhaps most damning was her statement that
(Google) should leave camels out of its activites altogether.
So, PETA wants Google to have an anti-camel hiring and employment policy? Who's being cruel now, PETA?