On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie posted a video showing him smashing a spider on his desk in front of a group of visiting school children. In a statement provided to TPM, Ingrid Newkirk, president of People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, described Christie’s killing of the spider as a thoughtless act.
“He probably did it without thinking. Some people put the spider outside, but spiders are often scary to people, and that can prevent them from pondering their worth,” Newkirk said.
This isn’t the first instance of a high-profile politician killing an insect on film. In 2009, President Barack Obama swatted a fly during a televised interview. President Obama’s fly-killing provoked a similar response from PETA, which released a statement dubbing it an “executive insect execution” that criticized peoples’ thoughtless treatment of insects.