Thursday, June 09, 2005

This question was going to come up sooner or later

Behind the scenes at a PETA campaign. I've always found it fascinating how people keep saying that PETA should be more subtle. I've never understood this demand. I mean, how subtle can it be to clobber an animal to death, or to skin it while it's fully conscious? When our society is killing animals for food every day, it's a bit lame to ask those who protest against such killings to be subtle.

I've said this before, and I believe it fully: every strategy counts.
“One of the things you’ll see about PETA activists who’ve been at it for a while,” Lange said, “is that they have no fear.” Thus, Lange has been arrested while dressed as a chimpanzee and as Mother Goose and has marched through Paris with her hair shellacked into a 2-foot spire. Reiman has sledge hammered a sedan while wearing a rabbit costume. Mathews has been hauled to jail while marching naked in Paris, nearly so in Hong Kong and wearing only SpongeBob SquarePants boxers in Harvard Square.

All got results, at least in terms of press coverage. “We’ve learned,” Mathews said, “that two people in their underwear and a banner gets a lot more conversation going about an issue than a thousand people and a march.”

Not surprisingly, such stunts also ignite debate about PETA’s ultimate effectiveness; what grabs headlines, as often as not, are the group’s methods rather than its message. How much “conversation about an issue” actually results is debatable.
'Results' again: always the pressure to deliver 'results'! You know, if I was a fox, I'd be happy if even one person stopped wearing fur as a result of a PETA campaign. J-Lo might not, but other people present at the incident were certainly affected by PETA's screening of the videos:
A couple of guys in Yankees caps stopped. “What they doing to that dog?” one asked. His eyes bugged. “Oh, my God.”

“That can’t be real,” a woman said.

“It is,” an activist replied.

“No,” the woman said. She covered her eyes with her hands.


Blogger Avian said...

Personally, I think that PETA just needs to die; even if they're just fine in their ethics towards animals, the same can not be said of their ethics towards women. PETA is sexist and sizeist, using women's bodies like -- well, meat -- in order to "sell" animal rights.

The oppression of one people cannot be traded for another.

That's why I see PETA as bullshit -- not because they're in-your-face about it, but because they clearly don't believe in equality and freedom for all people.

3:13 PM  

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