PETA follow-up

This made my morning. In response to all the hate mail they’ve received, PETA puts out a half-assed explanation (not apology) for their ad.

Here’s how I read it:

PETA: “Yes, of course we were horrified (who wouldn’t be?) when we heard the details of this barbaric, incomprehensible killing. And obviously, everyone’s good thoughts go out to anyone affected by this violent act. That’s all a no-brainer.”
Me: “No-brainer.” Interesting word choice. For such seemingly level-headed people, they somehow managed miss one hugely obvious detail. Everyone else reading this already knows what that is, but for PETA, we’ll spell it out: taking. advantage. of. someone’s. death. for. personal. gain. is. unethical.

PETA: “Now, remember, PETA is known for being provocative—that’s our job.”
Me: Ah yes, it’s coming back to me now. Although, I don’t think the word you’re looking for is ‘provocative;’ I would have gone with something like ‘brazen’.

PETA: “So our thought is always: How can we get people to see that despite their feelings about this kind of violence, they are often paying someone to do exactly what was done to the man on the bus, and worse, just so that they can eat a sandwich?”
Me: Guh. My favourite is when they say, “despite their feelings” as if those feelings are insignificant—obstacles in the way of vegetarianism. At this point, there is no ‘despite their feelings.’ People are deeply and legitimately grieving and no one’s impressed by PETA’s clever parallel.

PETA: “We understand that such comparisons may be uncomfortable for many people, but they’re not inaccurate.”
Me: Uncomfortable? Try repugnant, offensive, tactless, ugly, and inhumane. And it doesn’t matter if it’s not inaccurate; that’s not the point. Why is this person still talking?

PETA: “…just being angry solves nothing, does it? Real change comes about when we channel anger or sadness into action.”
Me: You’re right. Anger is futile. Maybe we should come over there and actually demonstrate how sick you make us. I’ll bring the meat helmets, Diddy’s got the fur breastplates, and I’ll call someone about the Jello bullets.

PETA: “By juxtaposing the shocking details of the murder with the fate of animals whose bodies are casually hacked apart to end up between two slices of bread, some good will come. Already, thousands of people have visited our site…”
Me: God does have a way of making good out of evil, doesn’t He? When I hear that your website traffic has increased, my faith strengthens. Now I know why Tim McLean died.

PETA: “If someone doesn’t like it, maybe it is because it makes them feel guilty for just saying, “Oh, how terrible,” about the bus violence but not wanting to face the fact that they contribute to violence as well. To think otherwise is simply supremacist.”
Me: You think I don’t like your ad because I feel guilty? There are no words. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.


You know, I used to think that PETA was kinda clever for their “I’d rather be naked than wear furs ads,” but this whole Greyhound ad and no apology thing has put a real damper on our relationship. And I think this blogger made it worse. It was basically a “we know it was tragic but <RE-INSERT INITIAL POINT>”. No lessons learned here.  I like animals, but these people are out of their trees. I resolve not to write about them again.

Happy Tuesday:)


6 thoughts on “PETA follow-up

  1. Jen,

    I like your new blog. On the PETA issue, I think it’s also good to note that the ad is NOT accurate. The suffering of a human being should never be equated with the suffering of an animal; the two are not morally equivalent. That’s what I take issue with most and I think it’s what disturbs most people at the end of the day.

    Also, please write more about your funny roomate from last year.

  2. I agree with you, Yoni. But I think that’s their whole argument: that all living creatures are equal. And I would say their biggest struggle is getting people to agree with that premise. Unfortunately for them, the ad didn’t really help.

    (p.s. I included my room mate stuff in the “Other writings” page 🙂 )

  3. That PETA thing was awful.  I’m a big fan of some of the things they try to accomplish – like the dogfighting stuff- but they go way over the line with their cruelty definition.saying people should all be vegetarian is just not going to happen…

    You’re right Yoni – Animals are cool and all – but they are in no way equal to humans.


  4. PETA’s greatest victory is likely the fact that there are people in existence who *don’t* see them as an absolutely bugfuck-insane fringe organization. There are lots of animal rights groups, so if you’re PETA, how do you distinguish yourself from the rest? You go one step further and seek not just animal rights, but animal *equality* — they really believe that human beings and animals are on level ground. Anyone who isn’t entirely monstrous believes in some level of animal rights, but equality is another matter entirely.

    Also, I am opposed to people getting their heads cut off on Greyhound buses.

  5. Does PETA really see animals as being equal with humans? Or do they merely believe that animals with the capacity to suffer in a meaningful way should be protected from abuse?

    BTW, I am in no way a supporter of PETA or their greyhound bus ad. However, I do agree strongly with Peter Singer, whose philosophical thinkings are pretty much responsible for groups like PETA.

    “PETA has been viewed as part of the modern humane movement, which formed in the mid-1970s following the views of philosophers like Peter Singer” – wikipedia

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