Columnist Elsbeth Sander has no rational reason to object to PETA’s request for people to stop using violent and offensive sayings, such as “kill two birds with one stone” and “more than one to skin a cat” (“PETA crossed another line,” published Dec. 5). It isn’t appropriate for anyone to say cruel and insensitive things about another human’s race, ability, or sexual orientation, so why should it be acceptable for anyone to use idioms that promote cruelty to animals?
Experience has taught PETA that provocative campaigns make the difference between keeping important yet depressing subjects invisible and having them widely seen. Colorful and controversial gimmicks consistently grab headlines, thereby bringing vital information to audiences around the world. When the media reports on our activities, people flock to our website to order free vegan starter kits, cruelty-free shopping guides, and more.
PETA believes that both men and women should be able to use their own bodies as political statements. Such attention-grabbing actions are sometimes necessary to make people talk about things that they would otherwise prefer not to think about. PETA’s “naked” volunteers only feel objectified, exploited, or demeaned when seemingly well-meaning people say that they should cover up, as if they aren’t capable of making their own decisions.
Of course, PETA doesn’t mind being criticized or laughed at as long as we can provoke discussion and prompt even one person to make kinder choices. If you care about the ethical treatment of animals, stay away from farms that sell so-called “humane” meat, as there is no such thing, and opt instead for tasty vegan foods.
You can also help animals by avoiding no-kill shelters, which merely warehouse animals and instead promote spaying and neutering and adopting animals from reputable open-admission shelters. To learn about other ways to make a difference — and about PETA’s many campaigns and accomplishments — see www.PETA.org.
Manager of Education Outreach, Youth Outreach & Campaigns at PETA