But it turns out they are also opportunistic, fundamentalist, heartless... blahs! I have no words.
PETA's latest ad campaign in Wichita seeks to capitalize on the shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller in order to promote animal rights.
The bully brains of PETA's Wichita chapter are seeking to display billboards that urge both pro-choice and pro-life proponents to, simply, go vegetarian.
Here are the two ads:
Lindsay Rajt, the campaign manager for PETA, openly admits these ads were inspired by Tiller's death.
Rajt says, "While our hearts go out to the family and friends of George Tiller, we are hoping that these billboards will make those who are rightly shocked by his murder sit up and realize that behind closed doors, millions of animals are suffering every day, and that we as individuals can help to reduce the amount of violence and suffering in the world."
This group will do anything for attention.
We've all seen the ads of pretty celebrities posing nude for a cause, but other acts of ridiculousness PETA has stooped to included campaigning the town of Hamburg, New York to change its name to Veggieburg, and creating a 'Got Beer?' ad that encouraged college students to replace their milk mustaches with foam ones.
These campaigns are fluffy. They convey the idea that going vegetarian (or vegan, preferably) is a lifestyle choice. It is fun, and sometimes funny, and will make you feel good.
Yet, PETA have also constantly produced shock-material; the kind of ads that punch you in the face and scream, 'Murderer!'
In 2003, PETA held an exhibition 'Holocaust on a Plate' that juxtaposed images of people in concentration camps with pictures of animals on farms. In 2005, the 'Are Animals the New Slaves?' campaign compared images of slaves with chained animals.
How can an organization reconcile the meanings behind such overarching eclectic imagery? It's a mess. A moral mess of a message that comes out loud, shrill and stupefying:
- Take your clothes off if you're sexy, don't wear fur and be sexy.
- Fight for the rights of those who have been oppressed - the victims of war, slavery, labor abuse, discrimination - as embodied today by the little chickies.
- Your fisherman Daddy is a murderer.
- Your nostalgia for visiting the circus as a child is cruel.
- Your abuse of alcohol is fine, just don't drink milk.
- Your decision to have an abortion has nothing to do with the ethical treatment of animals. However, if you're feeling unsure you can ease your heart a little by choosing to be vegetarian.
Shut-up and listen to me... I will neither 'choose' nor 'go' vegetarian. I have thought about it in the past (on grounds of the environmental damage caused by those farting cows) but now I won't. You've bullied me into stubborn irrationality.
PETA, you've yelled at people for too long. You've pranced around naked, making meat-eaters feel ugly and overweight. You hate us, yet you are obsessed with us. And now, you are daring to pull the memory of George Tillers into your self-righteous world.
GO AWAY PETA! Go and play with your baby kittens and your plastic sandals. Don't you dare turn the issue of abortion into a 'facade' for shock-tactic techniques that service your own agenda.
That's really... ah! Again, I have no words.