Friday, 8 August 2008

Let's have a chat about PETA

I’m going to talk about the PETA McLean thing. I’m not the first. I’m not going to add anything new to the discussion or the debate. My criticism won’t be astounding. I probably won’t win any converts.

I’m just going to be me for a second. One voice. If people hear my one voice and they hear others maybe they will realise that this isn’t okay, or that there is compassion left in the world.

I have occasionally been happy with PETA. There list of companies that doesn’t test on animals has led to many a happy shopping trip, there ‘I am not a nugget’ t-shirt is beyond cute. I have, on even more occasions, hated them.

On a local level I have seen small shops graffiti with PETA stencils (which I find abhorrent both from the standpoint of protest and street art) okay, that shop sell meat, it’s a small working class deli, but the also tagged streetlights.

On a larger level I’m still wondering what gratuitous shots of scantily clad celebrities have to do with animal rights. Basically hot people do this so should you advertising is illogical and slightly pathetic.

Yeah, factory farming is bad. I know this. It is my belief that factory farming is bad that lead me to become a vegetarian in the first place. I didn’t want to cause that harm. At the same time I don’t want to cause harm to people either.

When my aunt died of a smoking related cancer it was far less sudden and less shocking. Yet if someone had used her without our permission as a political message, saying that you shouldn’t smoke perhaps, I would have been devastated. Personal grief is hard enough to cope with. Making it public, debatable like this is terrible. Not to mention the complete lack of taste involved in recounting a death scene like this.

‘PETA is running the ad to make people rethink the proposition that it is, rightly so, a criminal act to kill and eat our own kind but that it's "OK" to kill every other species but our own and eat them.’

That point is going to be lost. For many the equation doesn’t balance. People who don’t see it like that - vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous alike – are going to be turned off. Turned off PETA, we can only pray not turned off the idea of causing less suffering to all living things.

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