Infamous animal rights activist organization PETA (That’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, not People Eating Tasty Animals as you’ve probably heard your drunk uncle bray while plunging bacon into his dude-pipe) made headlines everywhere this week with another effortless and unpersuasive campaign to get people to change the idioms they use about animals:
We can probably agree that PETA is hurting more than it’s helping at this point. I was a card-carrying PETA member in the early-to-mid 00’s. I was drawn in by their upbeat and positive veganism campaigns which, at the time, seemed reasonable. They were selling proven health and environmental benefits and, of course, the all-important boon to animal welfare.
Apparently facts were not persuasive enough, because PETA soon after started making spurious claims like “milk causes autism” and the not-entirely-false-but-not-entirely-genuine claim that “eating meat causes erectile dysfunction“.
Even then, PETA had long-championed the shock campaigns associated with the fur trade. Finding their videos and images upsetting and difficult to watch, I thought “This isn’t going to convince anyone who doesn’t care, and people who do care surely don’t need this to be convinced.” I overlooked the cringey, embarrassing, and poorly-thought-out messaging in favor of the dwindling campaigns that appealed to me. To be fair this has been true of every organization I’ve ever been involved with.
If PETA ever knew their way, it’s safe to say they’ve lost it. They’ve undermined not only their own legacy, but have associated vegans (and feminists!) with intellectually lazy, often-patently-false, and easily mocked stupidity. If PETA wanted to help animals at this point, they would dissolve the organization.
Every time PETA does something stupid, it gets widely circulated by both virtue-signaling lefties and hard-right baconblarps (the LOLBACON!!!!! crowd).
Which brings me to the question: Whom does it serve when you share PETA’s stupidity? It’s very popular for my progressive friends to dogpile PETA (and to bring it up for the sole purpose of dogpiling) as though to say “I’m not THAT kind of vegan/animal rights activist!”
I’ve seen well meaning, compassionate people begin screeds against PETA by saying, “I’m all about taking care of animals, but…”
Who does that really help, though? Are you convincing your fellow leftists that you’re not ideologically delusional? Is that something you needed to say? Does that balance providing stroke material for baconblarps who willfully take PETA’s claims at face value and as a monolithic representation of vegan/animal rights ideals?
If PETA won’t disband, the best thing we can do is ignore it. Exile it to the outermost fringes of leftist and vegan ideology. As an organization, they have sinned against truth, we all know it, and we have to banish them for it.
Because the fact is, the meat industry is obliterating the environment at a completely untenable rate, and one way or another, if our species is going to survive, we have to get these baconblarps off their bullshit.
We don’t have time for this, and PETA isn’t helping.