The best way to deal with trolls is often to ignore them. PETA’s been pushing veganism for 40 years, and yet only around 1% of the public identifies as vegan. But the other–and more entertaining–solution to trolls is to outwit them. And that’s just what Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt did to PETA.
PETA took out a billboard in Oklahoma City featuring a cow calling Stitt a “meathead.”
How did Stitt respond? He set up a barbeque right under the billboard. Taking a cue from the long-running joke about PETA standing for “People Eating Tasty Animals,” he served juicy burgers, steaks, and hot dogs to hungry attendees.
PETA, say hello to 2017. Last Thursday, the animal rights group was slapped with a defamation lawsuit filed by a primate facility in Missouri. That follows a belated Christmas present PETA received the previous week: A second defamation lawsuit, this one filed by a zoo in Michigan.
Both lawsuits claim to be responding to PETA harassment, and it’s certainly great to see people sticking up for themselves against animal-rights bullies. Both facilities claim that PETA has been threatening to sue them under the Endangered Species Act to try to take away their animals. The frivolous theory goes roughly like this: The ESA prohibits “taking” endangered species, meaning to “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect.” It seems clear this is meant to apply to creatures in the wild, but PETA believes that zoos are a form of slavery and imprisonment, and so it’s hoping to use the courts to do what it would never get through elected representatives.
Sound familiar? This was the same legal theory floated by the Humane Society of the United States in a lawsuit one of its entities pursued against the Ringling Bros. circus. That lawsuit fell apart spectacularly when the court found that HSUS and other groups had secretly paid their key witness almost $200,000 (see here for one check from HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle) and that this witness has lied under oath. Ringling Bros.’ owner countersued HSUS and others and got $25 million in settlement.
We can only hope similar fortunes await for the facilities suing PETA.
Meanwhile, PETA is off wasting about $22,000 running a guilt-trip campaign at a metro station in London attempting to guilt-trip people into going vegan. As we told the Southwest Londoner, “If PETA truly cared about individual animals, then what of the 35,000 animals it has killed at its US headquarters?”
Perhaps PETA should save the money for its defense counsel.
A big story this Thanksgiving is the invasion of the political into every nook and cranny of American family life. National organizations promoting healthcare reform and gun control have distributed talking points to their supporters to make the potentially enjoyable mealtime conversation more contentious and political. In turning Turkey Day into Politics Day, these groups are actually taking their tactical cues from food activists like the vegan animal liberation groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their anti-food ilk.
The distasteful and desperate move of politicizing of the holidays doesn’t mean that the anti-food crowd has given up, of course. On the contrary, new activists are joining in the dinner-spoiling “fun” and the usual suspects are up to their old tricks. Here’s a list of the food activists trying to turn Thanksgiving conversation into propaganda lessons.
PETA’s still up to its old child-propaganda tricks. As our Senior Research Analyst wrote in suburban Philadelphia’s Bucks County Courier-Times, “PETA has a bus shelter ad in Providence, RI depicting a mom cutting up a bloody, live turkey in front of her horrified children. The ad is aimed at kids — due to an optical trick, it looks like a normal turkey-carving when viewed at an adult’s eye level, but gruesome when viewed by a young child.”
PETA petitioned the White House to hold a vegan Thanksgiving. At CCF we’d say, “Let the President eat his turkey drumstick (or breast, if he likes white instead of dark meat).”
Whether the activists trying to invade your Thanksgiving dinner are national politicians or evangelical vegetarians, the holiday should be a time for reflection and thanks-giving, not political harangues. Our advice is pass the potatoes instead of the politics, whatever they happen to be.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) runs an animal shelter out of its Virginia headquarters, but the poor dogs and cats that end up there probably would rather go just about anywhere else. According to records on file with the Commonwealth of Virginia, nearly 90 percent of the pets unfortunate enough to end up there never breathe free air again, courtesy of PETA killing them.
So if PETA isn’t investing in finding adoptive homes for the unfortunate abandoned pets of its hometown, what is it doing? What it has always done: Vegan propaganda stunts for the goal of “total animal liberation,” the philosophy that (as PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk put it) “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” Over the past week or so, PETA has played its typical sexualization games in Pittsburgh, used Breast Cancer Awareness Month as an excuse to scaremonger against meat and dairy consumption, and seen a complaint by an allegedly less-than-credible source against a hog farm rejected by authorities as baseless.
A Pittsburgh suburb finds itself in PETA’s crosshairs over a series of road bollards (pillars) that look like male genitalia. PETA, never failing to capitalize on an opportunity for free, sexualized press to pimp its radical ideology, proposed putting advertisements on the bollards that proclaim veganism the solution for male bedroom performance. We’d suggest that the numerous descendants of omnivores —at least occasional eaters of animal products make up roughly 99% of the U.S. population — prove PETA’s penile press stunt puerile.
Not content to take just one bit of medical information out of context, PETA used its most recent McClatchy-Tribune column to claim that women can beat breast cancer by going vegan. There isn’t much evidence to back that claim up, and if PETA really does care about breast cancer treatment, it would be a shift. PETA has taken bold stands on behalf of lab rats used in medical research, including research on potential treatments and cures for breast cancer, and has even encouraged people to not support medical charities that might find cures using animal research.
And PETA saw its hopes of shuttering an Iowa pig farm essentially dashed by local humane investigators who found none of the allegations supported. A group truly interested in animal welfare rather than press stunts for animal liberation might have been more skeptical of the source of the allegations: The Quad City Times reported that the source was a former employee who had been denied unemployment insurance upon firing because an administrative law judge found he had been involved in “incidents involving alcohol, failing to perform work duties, mistreating a mentally disabled co-worker and harassing a Hispanic co-worker.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) — last seen killing nearly 90 percent of the dogs and cats in its care last year — likes to trot out celebrities who have supposedly given up meat, dairy, and eggs and “gone veg” to make the inaccurate claim that all the “cool kids” are PETA types. But one of PETA’s latest attempts to prove the impossible has put soy-egg substitute on the notorious organization’s face: PETA named Dax Shepard its “Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity,” but he’s a meat-eater.
We recently tasked Opinion Research Corporation (CNN’s pollster) to find out. The company surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans to determine how many tried and failed to follow the PETA diet. Only six percent bothered to try veganism. An additional 18 percent gave up meat while holding onto dairy and eggs.
So, are these folks all still faithful to the PETA ethic? The sizable majority isn’t. Our findings discovered that 82 percent of those who tried to give up meat (both vegetarians and vegans) eventually gave in to its flavorful temptations. Perhaps bacon, the “gateway meat,” played a role.
Indeed, a majority of trialists didn’t make it a year, with 36 percent caving within one month. Of our sample, only 3½ percent were still vegetarian or vegan. (This is in line with polling conducted by vegetarianism advocacy groups, which has shown vegetarians to comprise less than 5 percent of the U.S. population.)
But the animal liberationists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shouldn’t put down the puppy-killing needles to celebrate the “vegan nation” yet. Economic stresses, namely the ongoing long stagnation and the drought that killed much of the nation’s feed-stock, are responsible for much of the decline in meat consumption. If those pressures lift, expect Americans to resume normal, meaty dinner service.
Of course not. Parents, not animal rights activists proud to call themselves “complete press sluts,” should educate their kids on diet and long-held traditions. And while PETA has free speech, so do you: Those looking to register their displeasure and stand up for the homeless dogs or cats in PETA’s death-row “care” can sign our petition to revoke PETA’s animal shelter license.
PETA appealed to Germany’s highest court, losing there in 2009. Not content to let German law and respect for the victims take precedence over its disgusting campaign, PETA appealed again to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Deustche Welle reports that an ECHR panel has now ruled against PETA. Score one for human dignity, and none for the self-described “press sluts.”
Or at least, score none for PETA itself, because one of the campaign directors managed to “fail upwards” in the perverse world of the animal rights movement. Matt Prescott, then a “youth outreach coordinator” for PETA, directed the campaign when it debuted in the United States nine years ago.
Prescott’s campaign earned him wide-ranging rebukes. A United States Holocaust Memorial Museum spokesman said that “Prescott was not honest with us about how he would be using the images. He did not say that it had anything to do with animals […] we would not have given permission for that.” The Boston Globe called PETA’s display “a disgrace.”
That’s right: Despite all HSUS’s “moderate” positioning, it hired a man who said to a newspaper that “Anybody who eats meat is guilty of holding the same mindset that allowed the Holocaust to happen.” He’s not alone among HSUS types in making the demeaning connection of the ultimate human suffering with food production: Holly Cheever, part of HSUS’s veterinary arm and a longtime animal rights activist, reportedly said that “slaughterhouses are a kind of Auschwitz” at an animal rights conference. “Moderates” these radicals are not.
In a U.S. District Court in Kansas, a judge found that PETA cannot force Kansas State Fair organizers to let the group publicly display a profane and graphic anti-meat propaganda video. PETA won’t be denied a booth, but people who want to see the video will have to seek it out. Even so, an anti-agriculture group will still have more access to an agriculture fair than any pro-agriculture group would probably have at an animal rights event.
PETA’s “press sluts” tactics might get it in the news, but thus far the group has little to show for it. And now courts are joining pop idols like Lady Gaga in telling PETA to get lost.