I know many wonderful people – including my mother – who adore PETA generally and Ingrid Newkirk specifically.
Sorry Mom (in truth, my mom is working with Ingrid Newkirk on a play about her life – and has been since way before I Am An Animal came out.), but I think it’s gotten to the point where all caring vegetarians really need to publicly declare our non-alliance with PETA’s tactics while supporting, of course, their goals.
Might I suggest that all animal rightsey people preface anything about a/r with a disclaimer about PETA like: “Hmm, yes, thanks for pointing out to me that if everyone became a vegetarian the world would be overrun with cows. Very interesting. I’d like to point out, however – and let me first say that while I do believe that animals exist for themselves and not merely for our torturing pleasure and so yes, I do believe in animal rights, I do not agree with the tactics (though I do agree with the beliefs) of mainstream animal rights organizations like PETA, just to be clear…”
(If you talk as fast as I do, this shouldn’t be too hard to worm into conversations.)
It’s worth it, because the anti-PETA-tactics point really needs to be made.
Maybe their terrible tactics create vegetarians, but at what cost?
I know I’ve written about this on lagusta.com (click that link to be subjected to my horrific 2001 writing style! And please note that I wrote this post without rereading that essay, and am proud that I am so on-message that seven years later I make the exact same points. How depressing, though, that things have only gotten worse.), but PETA’s recent partnership with Suicide Girls means that I need to bring it up again – the means are the ends.
The grisly details:
Feministing talks about PETA + Suicide Girls – with some really insightful, thoughtful comments.
I’d rather go naked than wear fur – just a sample of PETA’s patented combo one-two punch of woman-hatred for the sake of animal rights.
Update: kind reader Dustin sent along these fascinating articles:
Excellent analysis of PETA’s tactics by Lee Hall from Friends of Animals
Another great Lee Hall piece – a review of I Am An Animal that expresses my feelings for Newkirk exactly! A must read! Thanks, Dustin.
I just don’t want to live in a world in which misogyny is used to sell animal rights.