26 February 2004

From the Mailbag


I read the article about PETA's efforts to change the town's name from Slaughterville to Veggieville. I thought it was just plain funny. Nothing more. I do work directly on behalf of animals. So do many of my friends who make good use of PETA's free activist materials and support. Some of us also donate money to PETA and encourage others to become members if for no other reason, at least to receive their complimentary copy of Singer's Animal Liberation.

I guess a lot of us women don't think PETA's campaigns are degrading and oppressive to us. Some of PETA's publicity stunts are juvenile indeed, but then a lot of their outreach efforts do target a juvenile audience . . . and with great success.

I disagree that PETA's campaigns to improve the welfare of battery chickens are detrimental to the cause of animal rights, even though you and Francione (among other thinkers I respect) make a compelling case for it. Yes, we do want empty cages not larger cages but, for the next 200 years, while we work towards our ultimate goal, shouldn't we also try to make the lives of farmed animals a touch more tolerable?

PETA's campaigns are not limited to their high profile boycotts. Their Vegan Outreach program, their Humane Education classes, their grassroots outreach efforts, to name a few, get a lot less publicity than the naked run events but they do reach a lot of people and change a lot of minds. How is that the worst thing that ever happened to the animals?

With all due respect, I think the worst thing that is happening to animals is divisiveness within the animal rights movement.


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