Jewish World Review Jan. 22, 2004 / 28 Teves, 5764

Ian Shoales

Ian Shoales
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Consumer Reports

Shoales to PETA: Please SHUT UP!


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The fine folks at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, seem to be losing their grip.


Over the years, they have displayed a positive genius for public relations. They have urged Hamburg, New York to change its name to Veggieburg. They also suggested that Rodeo, in California, change its name to something lest redolent of bucking broncos and hogtied calves. They proposed that KFC stand for Kentucky Fried Cruelty, because of its alleged unkind attitude to chickens. None of these suggestions were taken, by the way.


More recently, however, their stunts seem a little hysterical. When Playboy Hugh Hefner was taped for MTV with his pet monkey Pinky, a PETA spokesman put out the word that pet monkeys can "grow up neurotic and lonely." Well, gee, welcome to the club, pet monkeys. At least he's fed three squares by a millionaire, and gets TV time on MTV. I could go for that. I'd even wear diapers and learn how to chatter.


Remember the "German cannibal," who ate a man he met over the Internet? PETA sent him a vegetarian cookbook, and veggieburgers, in the hope of making him see the error of his meat eating ways. A spokesman explained, "What this man did to a German computer expert is done to other creatures everyday." So eating a chicken and eating a human are the same thing.


The recent mad cow flap has sent PETA into gleeful overdrive. Unlike the rest of the world, which views mad cows as something that might pose a health threat, PETA views it as a golden opportunity to go vegan. Their web site urges, "Click here for a free vegetarian starter kit!" You get the feeling that if entire communities died horribly from an invasion of zombie cannibals, they'd send survivors fruit baskets with a chirpy little note.


Finally there was their stunt over Christmas, when PETA activists, many of them dressed like fuzzy animals, showed up at performances of THE NUTCRACKER all around the US, with a leaflet called "Your Mommy Kills Animals!"

The leaflet read, in part, "Lots of wonderful foxes, raccoons, and other animals are kept by mean farmers who squish them into cages so small that they can hardly move. They never get to play or swim or have fun."


Say, that's good politics! Some little girl hand, her damp hand held by her fox stole-wearing-mother is off to see the magical mice defeated by a household appliance, and here comes some zealot dressed like a squirrel to tell her that mother is the equivalent of a German cannibal.


If that's consciousness raising, give me a burger. Or at least a German computer expert, hold the mayo.

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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.

Up

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© 2003, Ian Shoales