Animal advocacy groups hailed a new suit filed this week against automaker Chrysler, claiming $3.9 billion in compensation for years of unpaid royalties for the use of the names Dodge Ram, Jeep Eagle and Plymouth Roadrunner.
"We just want these animals to get what's coming to them," says Mitchell Shystlicker, the attorney who originated the legal action on behalf of the mammal and two birds. "By filing this claim, we're saying that the animal kingdom has simply had enough. They've been exploited for their pelts, their meat, and now their names. You go out and market a pick-up truck called the Schwarzenegger and you see if Arnold's lawyer doesn't come after you. We just want the same thing they'd do for him.
"Mr. Shystlicker explained that his clients' names represent an image of majesty and strength that is being risked by the automobile manufacturer. "The Ram is a noble animal, a beautiful example of strength and agility. What would happen if Chrysler came out with a truck named after it that didn't handle turns well? It would severely damage the image of my client."
Skeptics of the action wonder where the money would go if the case was successful. "What are some stupid birds and overgrown goats going to do with four billion dollars? Buy more feed?"
We referred the question to Mr. Shystlicker. "You see, by calling the noble Ram an overgrown goat it only proves their identity has already been diminished. This suit is long overdue.
"In this case, their fighting for the investments of the animals' futures. Maybe Chrysler's naming of the of cars could have brought more interest and investment to the animals themselves, but the animal rights activists didn't see it that way.
While this answer didn't satisfy the opponents, we were able to learn from legal briefs submitted to the courts that any money from the suits would be divided as follows: 40% to attorneys' fees, and the balance would go to a newly formed organization called the "Friends for a Better Horned and Winged Life Foundation." Their goal is to fund the proper caretaking of all of earth's animals in their natural habitats.
When asked what is entailed in the proper care of wildlife forms, the foundation responded: "To leave them the heck alone, that's what."We wondered how money earmarked for "leaving animals alone" would actually be spent. "By staying the heck away from them," responded attorney Shystlicker, who also heads the new foundation.
"I'm going to Bermuda, then Paris, then Rome, then Singapore–wherever I won't bother these delicate creatures."