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Oh PETA, oh PETA, with your naked protests and fake blood and…sea kittens. You mean well, but you come across as so…strange. There are better ways to draw attention to the plight of animals, and to encourage vegetarianism.
Most of your protests seem to be something more along the lines of trench warfare, getting down and dirty in crafting your next move. You tend to go for the shock value, trying to get at people’s guts rather than their hearts, with some success. I can’t deny, many a vegetarian has been created after visiting your website or watching your protests. Nothing wrong with creating vegetarians, most became vegetarian after learning about the violent nature of the meat and poultry industry, and depriving the industry of that insatiable demand for meat (and I suppose fur and other animal-derived products) is the best way to reduce these practices. Yet you haven’t shied away from using violent (throwing fake blood at people wearing furs) and underhanded methods in expressing your discontent with the industry as a whole, which seems to defeat the purpose of PETA. People are, after all, animals too.
I think what set me off is this article from Newsday, about a PETA protest at an elementary school in Hempstead, a town on Long Island. It’s one thing to target adults, who are at a point in their lives where they have the ability to grapple with the (often horrifying) details of animal mistreatment. It’s another thing to target young children, who are still vulnerable and cannot necessarily handle all those realities. What a way to target them too! Protesters dressed up as circus animals and handed out coloring books entitled “Circuses are not fun for animals.” Seriously PETA? Do you know what the ramifications are of that? These kids are young, they can’t logically say “oh I won’t go to the circus because they mistreat animals” and not run through the other, dizzying possibilities that exist, real or imagined. Let kids have their childhood, leave it to the adults to initiate change…since they are in a better position to do that than the kids are. I’m surprised PETA hasn’t gone around to school cafeterias dressed up as farm animals with propaganda to inform kids that their hamburgers and hot dogs didn’t come from a quaint, little farm.
There are better ways to inform our children that what they think they know about animals in their day to day lives may not be what it seems. Why scare them, especially at such a young age? That is incredibly irresponsible. Please, if you’re not going to tone down the nature of your protests, at least keep them away from children. Leave it to their parents and teachers to choose whether to tell them or not, and how to tell them.