A new website at SaveToby.Com is vying to replace BonsaiKitten.Com in the hearts and minds of the over-sensitive and humor-impaired.
The site purports to tell the tale of finding a cute rabbit during a storm. Alas, the rabbit’s newfound owner cannot afford to keep the bunny, Toby, and so offers an interesting proposition — either the site owner receives $50,000 in donations or on June 30, 2005, Toby gets killed and eaten,
Unfortunately, on June 30th, 2005, Toby will die. I am going to eat him. I am going to take Toby to a butcher to have him slaughter this cute bunny. I will then prepare Toby for a midsummer feast. I have several recipes under consideration, which can be seen, with some pretty graphic images, under the recipe section.
I donÂ’t want to eat Toby, he is my friend, and he has always been the most loving, adorable pet. However, God as my witness, I will devour this little guy unless I receive 50,000$ USD into my account from donations or purchase of merchandise. You can help this poor, helpless bunnyÂ’s cause by making donations through my verified PayPal account by clicking on any of the Donate buttons on this site, or by purchasing merchandise at the Savetoby.com online store.
The recipes section includes pictures of Toby sitting in a large pot with the caption, “Get me out of this pot!”
You’d think people would have learned from the hilarious outrage over BonsaiKitten.Com not to fall for these sorts of sites, but some folks just can’t contain themselves.
Of special note was one Marine Black who apparently works for the Washington State Department of Ecology (apparently they don’t have very high personnel qualifications at the department). Upon learning of the site, according to East Valley Tribune, Black contacted the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission in an effort to get the site shut down. Black told the Tribune,
ItÂ’s emotional extortion and itÂ’s potential animal abuse so itÂ’s emotionally pulling on people.
Wow. Lets hope Marnie doesn’t stumble across BonsaiKitten.Com — seeing it so soon after SaveToby.Com could cause permanent emotional damage.
Other outraged individuals have also contacted GoDaddy.Com, which the anonymous owner of SaveToby.Com used to register the site. But GoDaddy.Com public relations specialist puts the site in its proper perspective (emphasis added),
It is distasteful, but itÂ’s not illegal to kill a rabbit, and itÂ’s been checked out thoroughly by our own legal group, who says it doesnÂ’t violate our terms and services.
Unfortunately the web is filled with pernicious sites dedicated to the joys of animal flesh. Wait until Marnie finds out that McDonald’s, Burger King and even the Saltgrass Steak House all have somehow been allowed to open web sites. Somebody, stop this madness.
Hare-raising plot on Web. Katie McDevitt, East Valley Tribune, March 2005.