in trouble, as usual

PeTA is getting yelled at again. their latest campaign draws a comparison between animal slavery and human slavery, and they are being called out as racist for that. i have had this article open on my desktop for more than eight hours now, because i am reacting very strongly to it but i have been struggling mightily with how to articulate my point. what follows is kind of a mess. my apologies for that, but if i don’t just write something down and get it off my chest i’ll keep stewing, and i need to feel like my brain can move forward. maybe i’ll have more to say later.

i feel like when people raise a huge stink about a campaign like this, it just proves PeTA’s point that we tend to view animals as worthless. that we think it’s okay to harm animals, to brutalize and torture them, to be well and truly awful to them, because "they’re just animals."

when they start a campaign like this one, the point is that we have used this same sense of "otherness" in the past. against people. and that was wrong. terrible, horrible, and repulsive, in fact.

with this campaign, PeTA is not saying, "african americans are worthless, just like animals," as some people are implying. they are saying, "remember how horrifying this was? isn’t it disgusting?" (yes. appalling.) "well look, we do this to animals all the time, and it hurts and it’s unnecessary and it isn’t fair." they are saying: animals can feel. animals have emotions. animals have a vested interest in BEING ALIVE and they are NOT HERE TO SERVE US.

that is what they are saying. i really wish people would stop trying to twist the message, because it seriously pisses me off.

edited later to add: if anyone is interested, the display can be viewed here.

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4 comments

  1. There are two competing problems here:
    First, both PeTA and the NAACP are primarily businesses looking for publicity to increase their donations. As a result, they’re both prone to hyperbole.
    Second, you’re absolutely right that all of this proves PeTA’s point. One need only read “The Dreaded Comparison” to get a sense of how these various forms of slavery are related. This isn’t equating animals and african americans; it is equating the forms of exploitation that have been applied to each (and they are eerily similar). The same comparisons have been made with great eloquence by Patterson, Adams, and others in their books.
    The message is twisted, if for no other reason than the fact that we live in a speciesist culture. sick.
    hey, i think i may blog about this later….food for thought!

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