PETA Becomes a Parody of Itself

So you're sitting down to your usual morning fare of bacon and eggs, you open the paper, and you see a full page ad that seems to be about the poor guy who had his head chopped off by a maniac on a Greyhound bus.

But you read further and you see it's not about that at all. It's about your breakfast.

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The ad was rejected by its intended paper, the Portage la Prairie Daily Graphic, but PETA's point was made, thanks to their publicity machine.

Then again, was the point really made? Or has PETA become a parody of itself?

The tactics of extreme activists like PETA, ALF, and ELF used to shock me . I would find myself getting worked up about PETA's posters and pamphlets on an almost weekly basis. Even groups like MADD or thetruth.com would infuriate me with their use of fear as a weapon to fight for their causes.

But PETA's current attempt at activism only made me shake my head in dismay.

Who are they trying to reach with this? If PETA is attempting to convert people to veganism or, at the very least, get carnivores to think twice about eating meat, they are going about it the wrong way. The problem with such activism is it preaches only to the choir. No sane person is going to be moved by an ad equating the tragic beheading of a young man with eating breakfast sausage. Not even a person teetering on the border between chicken and tofu would look at something like this and say, "Well , my mind is made up. This upstanding, honest, respectable organization has convinced me with their well thought out Mommy Murders Animals comic book!"

I have no problem with PETA's message, and I have nothing against people who want to save the environment, save the whales, feed the children, hug the trees, or make this world a better place in their own special way. It's not the message, nor even the messenger. It's the way the message is delivered. Maybe if these groups didn't use the equivalent of a letter bomb as means of delivery, more people would take them seriously.

Look at what some of these organizations stand for. Their ideals are not bad ones, and they only have your best interest at heart. They want you to eat healthy. They want the little bunnies to frolic in the woods instead of being used to research the latest mascara. They want cows to wander the fields forever, the earth to always be green, the skies to always be clean, the obliteration of nuclear weapons, world peace, and a better, cigarette-free world For The Children. Seriously, who could argue with those things? It all sounds so utopian and wonderful.

Most of us who live in reality know that some of those things are just not feasible and some of them are just not for everyone. But I'm willing to listen. I'm willing to hear their side of the story, ask questions, and find out why they think their way is best and why they work so hard to promote these ideals to the world.