I had a rather interesting Twitter exchange with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) this afternoon. It started after I read this blog post from PETA about Gail Shea, Canada’s minister of fisheries and oceans, who supports baby seal hunting. Shea was pied in the face by a rather extremist supporter of PETA.
So, anyway – PETA tweets:
I obviously don’t like the idea of baby seals being clubbed to death; however, I’m not going to pie someone who supports the industry. I tweet:
(Just so everyone knows, I think it’s technically battery. The point is, you don’t have to use a weapon for it to be a crime.)
And I responded once more before withdrawing for fear that PETA is going to come to Orlando and pie me.
I thought this was a rather interesting exchange. It quickly became very obvious to me that it was a “winless” argument with the PETA Tweet-er. PETA believes their tactics are correct, and there’s no convincing them otherwise. A few other bloggers joined the Tweet-troversy and got similar responses.
It’s ironic because PETA is actually one of the reasons I went vegetarian. They have a lot of information about animals raised for food on their website, and their videos are horrifying and difficult to ignore.
Also, I admire some of PETA’s efforts, especially their undercover investigations. Remember how they took down fast-food giant KFC a few years ago? Many of their investigations have exposed animal mistreatment and resulted in criminal charges, which is awesome for the animals involved. They also help fight product testing on animals and are anti-fur. And they do a lot of good for animals in shelters, etc.
However, in general, I think PETA is WAY too extreme. Mostly, I feel like PETA teaches people that vegetarianism/veganism is this “crazy,” extremist thing. PETA makes all vegetarians sound like radicals. It turns people off to the idea of vegetarianism.
In general, I hate PETA’s advertising techniques.
Basically, I feel like PETA’s tactics give vegetarians/vegans a bad reputation. Also, I feel like PETA would probably like to burn me at the stake (or pie me with a tofu-cream pie) for being a lowly vegetarian and not a vegan. I always feel like I’m not “good enough” when I’m on the PETA website. I don’t judge anyone for eating meat, not eating meat, or eating dairy. It makes me nervous when I feel so intensely judged.
So, regardless of whether you’re a meat eater, vegetarian, or vegan, what do you think of PETA? Love it or hate it? Admire it or fear it? Or do you just think PETA is an incredibly talented PR machine…. after all, I’m talking about it on the blog, aren’t I?