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  1. Cinnamon
    Cinnamon February 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm |

    I’ve seen the KKK in action. The site of the hood strikes a greater fear in me than just about anything. I can’t even imagine running into these people in real life.

    I agree that the progressive movement needs to push these people to the side. There are so many other animal rights groups who don’t rely on racism and sexism to get their free publicity.

  2. Kristen (The J one)
    Kristen (The J one) February 10, 2009 at 2:42 pm |

    Unfuckingbelievable.

  3. Rebecca
    Rebecca February 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm |

    The means DOES NOT justify the ends. This stunt has buried their message. The only way it will end is to stop funding, but the organization has enough celebrities with them that itwill continue.

    Well, now I’m going over to the site to register my deep disapprobation and disappointment with this stunt.

  4. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault February 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm |

    To be fair, would you have written about the AKC at all without this provocation?

    I’m not excusing it, in fact, I voiced my opinion against this before you and Womanist Musings: http://www.vegansoapbox.com/peta-please-no-klansmen/ But… when you don’t talk about animal issues UNLESS the issues PETA does something you dislike, YOU are part of the problem.

    How about writing about how poultry processing plants exploited mentally retarded men for over thirty years and got away with it? ( http://www.vegansoapbox.com/animal-rights-violations-beget-human-rights-violations/ )??

    How about writing about how slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants routinely use child labor and immigrant labor to perform dangerous jobs at very low pay ( http://www.charlotteobserver.com/poultry/ )??

    Until you start paying more attention to those “other, smart animal rights organizations” PETA won’t stop doing what they’re doing. (They may never stop, but you simply can’t complain until you start paying MORE attention to animal issues without needing provocation from PETA.)

    PS – where’d you learn about this PETA protest originally?

  5. Vagina Drum
    Vagina Drum February 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm |

    Is anyone surprised?

  6. MikeF
    MikeF February 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm |

    the vast majority of intelligent people who do get how horrible the KKK is will be staying as far away as possible, not taking leaflets.

    Very true but one gets the sense that their real goal is press coverage rather than handing out as many leaflets as possible.

  7. Holly
    Holly February 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm |

    PETA has been doing more to hurt the cause of animal rights and the ethical treatment of animals than anyone they’ve ever opposed.

  8. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey February 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm |

    This is not progressive. Do you hear me?

    PETA is not progressive. They are batshit insane

  9. Renee
    Renee February 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm |

    PETA is not progressive. They are batshit insane

    And yet there are ppl defending this horrible shit. You can call PETA out and still believe in animal rights. This is 100% racist and to support you have to believe that POC deserve to triggered by seeing this and that terrorist actions of the KKK are acceptable.

  10. Ouyang Dan
    Ouyang Dan February 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm |

    I am so appalled I can not see straight.

    I am trying to find contact information so that I can write to them (I am still on some of their e-mail lists) to express the outrage I feel. There is no fucking excuse for this whatsoever.

  11. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery February 10, 2009 at 3:20 pm |

    I feel this is further proof to my theory that PETA is not in fact a real animal rights organization, but rather an elaborate and well-funded piece of parody.

  12. ElleDee
    ElleDee February 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm |

    And it’s not even like their point even makes sense. I know that there are ethical questions with regards to pure bred animals, but who in the AKC is calling for the elimination of mixed breed dogs? There are plenty of terrible breeders out there that don’t care about their animals (not to mention puppy mills!), but do you think that people Westminster freaking Kennel Club show *don’t* care about the well being of dogs generally, mutts and otherwise? It’s *not* comparable to how the KKK feels about non-white people at all.

  13. ElleDee
    ElleDee February 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm |

    Also a question: is PETA against pet ownership in general? I have heard this, but I don’t know how true it is?

  14. Michael Hussey
    Michael Hussey February 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm |

    What hurts progressives is Fox News, Michelle Malkin and InstaPundit will use PETA to attack our movement. PETA damages animal rights and other progressive causes. The latter maybe overreaching. PETA certainly doesn’t help us and we should shun them.

  15. Jill
    Jill February 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm | *

    Elle, as far as I know they aren’t against having a pet, but they call them “companion animals” because “pet” implies ownership, and animals are people too.

    What confuses me is, given their views about various other things, how they can support spay and neuter programs.

  16. Rebecca
    Rebecca February 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm |

    Try this link: http://www.peta.org/about/c-email_peta.asp

    I think you all should find a form there.

  17. Rebecca
    Rebecca February 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm |

    Er, should we set up a blog so we can all call PETA out? I would love to add my letter to a blog like that. You know, like the Web site that became a place for women who were mad at McCain and Palin to post their anger and disapprobation.

  18. ElleDee
    ElleDee February 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm |

    Jill, I just did a little reading and it sounds to me like their “companion animal” idea is, well, veiled anti-pet ownership. Because it would be bad to discard the pets we have now because they cannot fend for themselves , but they all should be fixed (this includes feral populations) and no pet breeding programs of any kind means —> no pets in the future. PETA leaders have said this also, though I’m sure their membership doesn’t all agree, just like the difference between the anti-choice lay people and their organizers.

    But yeah, if we are supposed to let the animals have natural and free lives, how does having them forcibly sterilized fit in? Of course it’s responsible, but it is also inflicting surgery on your animal that will cause them pain and they have no ability to say no. You’d think PETA would not support that.

  19. Jill
    Jill February 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm | *

    To be fair, would you have written about the AKC at all without this provocation?

    But who the heck is talking about the AKC? We’re all rolling our eyes at PETA. If their goal is to make people think, “Man, I want to eat a steak just to spite those assholes,” then sure, they’re succeeding. But I’m not sure that any publicity is good publicity.

    And one of the reasons that I actually hesitate to write about animal rights is because it’s become associated with assholes, racists and sexists. I don’t want to be in that camp. I’m sure you’ll say that’s a bad reason, but at the end of the day I don’t want to link to a lot of their websites and blogs.

    They may never stop, but you simply can’t complain until you start paying MORE attention to animal issues without needing provocation from PETA

    Um, why can’t we complain again? Since when is it logical to assert that we can’t complain about a really terrible group’s actions unless we start paying more attention to better groups?

  20. Renee
    Renee February 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |

    PETA is also on twitter if you want to send them a quick message that they will receive instantly. I plan to twit them every few minutes in protest.

  21. [FAIL] « random babble…
    [FAIL] « random babble… February 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm |

    [...] has a post up at her place, and Cara has posted on this as [...]

  22. Aleisha
    Aleisha February 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |

    Is anyone surprised?

    With PETA? Never.

    Er, should we set up a blog so we can all call PETA out? I would love to add my letter to a blog like that.

    That’s a great idea, I would too.

  23. FreshPeaches
    FreshPeaches February 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |

    Holy shit!

  24. EKSwitaj
    EKSwitaj February 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm |

    You know, I’ve defended PETA on a lot of things that have been interpreted as sexist, but this? Saying a line has been crossed is to say too little. There are ways to draw comparisons between oppressions, even between oppression of animals and of people, that are respectful.

    A bunch of white kids dressing up like the KKK isn’t one of them. Did they stop to think how someone who had actually experienced racially motivated threats and violence might feel on seeing the white hoods?

  25. Frowner
    Frowner February 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |

    26: Oh, don’t you think that PETA enjoys thinking about how hurt and offended people will get? I always figure that they’re driven by this weird libidinal resentment along the lines of “other people get offended when I try to do the right thing and it’s just because they don’t appreciate how special and brave I am”. They’re also weirdly hung up about sex, right, because who else would need to be like “we’re so persecuted when we try to show all our pictures of naked women, but we’re just doing this for the cause, not because we get off on it or anything”. Just like they don’t want to admit that they get off on dressing up as the KKK–they want to enjoy their racism without being called out on it.

    How I loathe PETA. And I’m a vegan, and I’ve been protesting and leafleting all kinds of things since the late eighties. (It also really frosts me that when people hear that I’m vegan most of them think I must be a food-policing self-obsessed jerk like the PETA-ites, because that’s what they’ve encountered.)

  26. Renee
    Renee February 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |

    I am tweeting back and forth with PETA now. I want them to know directly that their behavior is racist and wrong. Feel free to tweet your frustrations at @officialpeta. The more of us speaking out the better

  27. Renee
    Renee February 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |

    @Cara you heard from me because Elaine is just like PEtA and is not interested in teh humans. Besides she has far more fun defending her white privielge so why bother to be active defending the rights of POC

  28. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp February 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |

    I doubt they did, EK. They probably think our society is post-racial, and invoking the KKK is startling but ultimately a harmless allusion to history rather than to current events. PETA is swimming in privilege.

    The whole thing is dazzling in its stupidity. If you want to compare dog breeding to eugenics … well, that’s still fucking racist, but at least I’ll be able to squint and see where you were going with it. But the KKK is not really about maintaining the white race or whatever. It’s about terrorism. Its goals are, at best, ethnic cleansing. Which is nothing like dog breeding, even if you accept that dog breeding is bad.

  29. Manju
    Manju February 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm |

    Medium rare, please.

  30. Bea
    Bea February 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |

    Oh my god.

    Damn it, PETA, get off my side. You’re making it look bad.

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of the time people who are heavily involved in animal rights activism are privileged enough to be able to largely ignore *human* rights issues. I’m sure PETA was going for ~edgy~ here, but I’m willing to bet it didn’t occur to them that people would be not just momentarily offended, but disgusted by this stupid stunt.

  31. Cecily
    Cecily February 10, 2009 at 6:02 pm |

    Arrgh. I love that they responded to Renee on twitter that they were ‘fighting racism’ by making the comparison. Umm…really?

    The only way they can really claim this thing (their use of POC and women as stand-ins for animals in various campaigns) is if the comparison of something Average Joe thinks is fine (dog breeding) to something Average Joe does not think is fine (race war) makes him reconsider whether the first thing is actually okay. That’s if it actually works at all. So where in that would racism be fought? In equating it with something the viewer doesn’t object to? In trying to make street theatre out of something so frightening most people (especially POC) are going to avoid you and never hear your explanation?

    And that’s the other thing here. Do they think a person of color is going to walk by this on the street and accept their flyer? Do they think they’re going to convert people of color with this? Or do they not even think about POC as an audience, only white people? Because that is pretty telling in and of itself.

  32. William
    William February 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm |

    PETA seems to think that theres no such thing as bad publicity. A lot of people, like Ms. Vigneault, seem to tacitly agree. You hear things like “To be fair, would you have written about the AKC at all without this provocation?” Sorry, but thats a defense. Its like when someone says “Some of my best friends are black.” You know that the next thing out of their mouth is going to be perpetuation. It’s an attempt to distance yourself from the offense while still reaping it’s benefits. That, to me, is the biggest problem with PETA. PETA exists to create offense and say extreme things so that more moderate people in the movement can take advantage of the press and play the good cop.

  33. Caroline
    Caroline February 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm |

    “To be fair, would you have written about the AKC at all without this provocation?”

    Like the others said – no one is talking about the AKC, this revolting campaign has pretty much been for nothing. I’m sure they think they’re being “provocative”, but people aren’t talking about their cause, they’re talking about how fucked up this is. This campaign is indefensible in both its intentions and its ‘achievements’.

    “you simply can’t complain until you start paying MORE attention to animal issues without needing provocation from PETA”

    I’ll be complaining my bloody arse off til the cows come home whilst groups such as PETA use dehumanising and triggering campaigns that shows no thought or care for People of Colour.

    “PS – where’d you learn about this PETA protest originally?”

    Renee. Is that ok?! I don’t write about the stuff you do, I don’t read the stuff you do. Surely you don’t have a problem with that?

  34. Bene
    Bene February 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm |

    I think, Cecily, much of PETA has this massive delusional belief that the incredulous horror the rest of us feel at their actions will help us understand the plight of animals, that the AKC really is equivalent to the KKK (which is sort of a tautology…wouldn’t the whole ‘master race’ thing be closer to Nazism? maybe it just was cheaper to get that outfit than military jackboots.) and that that we will transfer our outrage to that of animal rights.

    The rest of them probably just are, like Frowner says @27, hung-up on the I’m a progressive so I can do what I want, because I’m doing good thing.

    I’d love to see celebs book it from their support of the org, but I’m not holding my breath.

  35. The Amazing Kim
    The Amazing Kim February 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm |

    if we are supposed to let the animals have natural and free lives, how does having them forcibly sterilized fit in?

    The usual argument is that sterilised animals won’t get unintentionally pregnant, or breed with the feral population, thus diminishing the number of unwanted litters that get handed into shelters and subsequently euthenaised. No fripping idea what PETA’s rationale is. Possibly they are worried that ravenous omnivores will mistake kittens for bacon and fry them up for breakfast or something.

    (It also really frosts me that when people hear that I’m vegan most of them think I must be a food-policing self-obsessed jerk like the PETA-ites, because that’s what they’ve encountered.)

    Being a vegan would be so much easier without those nutcases. I often don’t bother telling people I’m vegan, just to avoid a 24-hour argument.

    I think a lot of the time people who are heavily involved in animal rights activism are privileged enough to be able to largely ignore *human* rights issues.

    To be fair, a lot of us work on that stuff too.

  36. The Amazing Kim
    The Amazing Kim February 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm |

    I can do what I want, because I’m doing good

    I think that’s absolutely the crux.

  37. Karen
    Karen February 10, 2009 at 7:40 pm |

    This is without a doubt the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen, and offensive on so many levels. Everyone else has made better comments than I can about the racism of this campaign.

    Further, I really don’t understand the substance of their argument. I watched the dog show last night, and I saw nothing indicating that the AKC is anything other than a perfectly benign organization. They sponsor therapy dogs, for heaven’s sake. Does PETA have a problem with pets for seriously ill children or injured veterans?

  38. Sara Pulis
    Sara Pulis February 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm |

    These PETA morons irk me to no end. Whenever someone finds out that I am vegan after the obligatory “But what do you eat?!” (*hair pull*) all they want to do is talk about PETA! I’m SO sick of it! 90% of people who claim they want to talk to me about veganism just want to puff up their own position by slamming PETA, as though all vegans are members. It drives me f’n BATTY!

  39. mk
    mk February 10, 2009 at 8:41 pm |

    Disclaimer: I do not support and have never supported the tactics of PETA. This is just another in a long line of horrendously offensive campaigns.

    That said, I just wanted to mention something about the AKC, since some commenters sound understandably confused about the criticisms.

    A lot of folks feel that single-trait purebreeding of animals leads to a whole lot of complications down the line–complications that may severely impact an animals’ quality of life–as single-trait selection can have a lot of unintended side effects. (Think collies bred to have slender faces that end up without enough skull space for their brains, labs bred to be calm running the risk of epilepsy… the list goes on. I’d highly recommend Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation, which is brilliant on a number of counts.)

    Now, I’m not personally familiar with the AKC in particular, but the whole point of certifying a purebred animal is to indicate that it’s part of a pure bloodline–preserving certain traits while theoretically weeding others out. (Personally I have more of a problem with puppy mills and “backyard breeders,” although I have my concerns about the handling of purebred animals too.)

    None of this is meant to excuse PETA’s horribly racist tactics in any way, but I hope that might at least explain the basis for their comparison.

    /derail

  40. denelian
    denelian February 10, 2009 at 8:46 pm |

    i will be completely honest:
    PETA has turned me away from animal rights activism. i used to donate money to PETA. then i started seeing… things… that they did, their “protests”, and i stopped donating. not just to PETA, but to pretty much everything except the local shelter.

    because, from the research i did at the time a couple of years ago, it looked like EVERY largish animal rights group had ties to PETA (big ties, not just exchange of notes but exchange of money) and i wanted to have NO part in PETA.

    actually, this last year, all the money i WOULD have sent to animal right’s groups got sent to the NoOnProp8 campaign, so it still did some (not enough damnit!) good.

    but, until all these groups stop inter-locking, i don’t feel comfortable. it feels too much like giving money to PETA, and thus endoursing them.

    this? how the hell did they get PERMITS for this? i get the whole “i am clueless, i am doing good, don’t question my methods i am saving lives” mentality exists, although i don’t agree with it – but i want to know who let these morons have a permit to do this?

  41. Ruchama
    Ruchama February 10, 2009 at 9:14 pm |

    Further, I really don’t understand the substance of their argument. I watched the dog show last night, and I saw nothing indicating that the AKC is anything other than a perfectly benign organization. They sponsor therapy dogs, for heaven’s sake. Does PETA have a problem with pets for seriously ill children or injured veterans?

    The argument, as I understand it, is that the emphasis by the AKC on purebreds and breed standards encourages over-breeding, which can lead to abuses by breeders (puppy mills, especially), and also, encouraging breeding of purebred dogs leads to more total dogs, and then each dog that gets bought from a breeder means a shelter dog that didn’t get adopted. The abuses at puppy mills can be really bad, and while the AKC does not condone that, it does encourage the mindset that allows them to stay in business.

    That said, this campaign is ridiculous, as have been most recent PETA campaigns I’ve seen. They’re not getting any attention to their actual point, they’re just getting attention to the “look at us!” tactics.

  42. Hugo
    Hugo February 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm |

    Responsible animal rights organizations include Farm Sanctuary Farm Sanctuary and PCRM. Both very worthy.

    I maintain a token membership in PETA to stay connected and to network, but my dollars and time go to PCRM and Farm Sanctuary.

    The great animal rights philosopher and Rutgers prof Gary Francione says on the subject of sterilization:

    I maintain that we ought to care for the domesticated nonhuman animals whose existence we humans have caused or facilitated through the existence of the institution of “pet” ownership, but I do not think that we should continue that institution. We should sterilize companion animals in the manner that is least invasive given the particular situation.
    I am often asked: “But doesn’t sterilizing an animal raise a moral problem?”

    Of course not. If we agree that the institution of “pet” ownership cannot be morally justified, how can we say that we have a moral obligation to perpetuate it? That makes no sense.

  43. Radfem
    Radfem February 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm |

    So what does fighting against “puppy mills” have with dressing up like a KKK member? But they seem more interested in getting coverage by the media and have had a history of racist and sexist campaigns so this one while among the worst isn’t that surprising.

    They obviously don’t care about how it might cause anger, fear, pain and intimidation in people just to see someone dressed like a KKK member on the street. And that’s what seeing KKK people at several demonstrations has done here.

    It could cause a lot of trauma. But no, they don’t think about doing that because their entitlement to push for their cause (whatever it is this week) at the expense of people’s feelings and feelings of safety always wins out.

  44. Miss Werewolf
    Miss Werewolf February 10, 2009 at 10:49 pm |

    I am a supporter of PETA, and honestly, I am shocked about what they are doing here. They can expect to hear from me soon. There are much better ways we could have gone about bringing attention to dog breeding…

    Forgive us, I had no idea they were going to do this. Everyone has every right to be mad about that.

  45. Kristin
    Kristin February 10, 2009 at 11:16 pm |

    “So what does fighting against “puppy mills” have with dressing up like a KKK member?”

    Radfem: Absolutely nothing. The AKC breeds pampered purebred dogs through so-called “reputable” dog breeders who are known not to over-breed dogs for puppy mills. They also do a lot of medical testing in order to avoid the kinds of health problems mentioned here. I mean… While I’m certain that they’re not completely pure of heart, I do think they’re a more ethical choice than the puppy mills… By far.

    And, well… Evol speciesist that I am, I am a little more disturbed at the resurgence of *human* eugenics ideology in the sciences at the moment than I am about this. ‘Cause, yeah, I do think people are more important. And I think the comparison of this to the Klan is disgusting. Down with PETA, damnit. They’re nothing but racist/sexist/transphobic/homophobic shock jocks who happen to have 501(c)3 status. And–ironically enough–they’re also in bed with Peter Singer, modern day eugenicist.

    Also, a number of their workers have been charged with killing stray dogs in order to save money (and avoid returning them to shelters). Why anyone who cares about animal rights would ever support them is beyond me.

  46. Kristin
    Kristin February 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm |

    “Forgive us, I had no idea they were going to do this.”

    Um. Yeah. How’d you feel about the naked pregnant woman in the cage? Or the transmisogyny in that one ad? Or… Gah… I honestly don’t understand anyone who supports them…

  47. Miss Werewolf
    Miss Werewolf February 10, 2009 at 11:39 pm |

    “How’d you feel about the naked pregnant woman in the cage?”
    If she consented to being naked and in a cage, I do not see why it is any of my business saying that she cannot be naked an in a cage to draw attention to a cause she believes in. If she was forced to do it, that is another matter.
    “Or the transmisogyny in that one ad?”
    I did not see that one. But if that is true, it is not okay.
    “I honestly don’t understand anyone who supports them…”
    I am against cruelty toward animals, and I am tired of seeing them hurt. Honestly, I really do not like people, I prefer the company of animals. This does not mean that I can be racist like the people who stupidly came up with the KKK thing, but it does mean that I can seek to defend the animals who have given me so much (companionship, food, clothing). While I disagree with PETA on many things, I like knowing that I am not the only person out there who is tired of hearing about abused animals.
    This does not excuse PETA from their stupid campaigning. Perhaps I should get more involved (I mostly just sit on the sidelines and watch right now) and come up with better ideas to draw attention to animal rights without using racism as a tactic.

  48. Bene
    Bene February 10, 2009 at 11:57 pm |

    Miss Werewolf, I think you’re missing the point about the naked pregnant woman in the cage. It has nothing to do with the model and everything to do with the imagery and the message.

  49. Kristin
    Kristin February 11, 2009 at 12:02 am |

    “I really do not like people, I prefer the company of animals.”

    Well, at least you have the integrity to admit it. Elaine on the other hand… Ugh…

    In any case… Why not support a more reputable group instead? You know? The organization that brought about the beef recall? That was huge. PETA’s just in it for the publicity stunts.

  50. easyVegan.info » Blog Archive » PETA, the KKK and the AKC

    [...] KKK; attention is drawn not towards the AKC and their reprehensible practices, but to PETA. And, as Cara at Feministe noted, who’s gonna accept a flyer from a (seeming) KKK member, [...]

  51. Steampunked
    Steampunked February 11, 2009 at 12:17 am |

    In some ways probably not massively relevant, but a friend of mine pointed out that while PETA are busy minimising the horrors of the KKK(1) and generally being asses, where I live people are making massive donations of aid, assistance, food, and blankets for animals here who have suffered terribly from the bushfires.

    I’ve been helping coordinate a large donation from vegans, vegetarians, meat eaters and general animal friends. Yet a brief google of PETA and bushfires shows nothing from them.

    They are here as an organisation, in Victoria, Australia. So where are they? Aside from a post on one international forum, where are they when our animals need assistance? I checked their website. Under their News Releases:

    ‘Nude PETA beauties…’
    ‘PETA’s sexy bunnies…’

    Mmm. Thanks. But my help is going to the RSPCA who actually give a damn and who don’t find the KKK a cool way to make a point.

    (1) About a week ago I ripped off an advertisement for the KKK at my train station. In Ferntree Gully. Australia. WHAT THE HELL?!

  52. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla February 11, 2009 at 12:29 am |

    This (and the connection to eugenicists that Kristin noted) convinces me that PETA is a white supremacist hate group. I just don’t know how else to characterize them. They do not belong in civil society.

    People who “care” about animals while turning a blind eye to people who are grinding under oppression, can only be coming from a position of tremendous privilege.

  53. Kai
    Kai February 11, 2009 at 1:44 am |

    Has PETA done ad campaigns on the number of dogs and cats and house pets and farm animals and wild animals that were killed during the bombing, invasion, and occupation of Iraq? Or Afghanistan? I’m certain that the numbers are staggering. Yet I get the impression that only certain types of class-conscious animal cruelty really register with PETA types.

    Frankly, I don’t believe that PETA loves animals, with all the complexity and interdependence that love entails. I believe that they only love preaching and grandstanding on the subject, in a very specific human-egoic way.

    Regarding the KKK get-ups, all I can say is that if I run into someone in the street dressed like that, one of us is going to get hurt. It could be me, but we’re not both going to walk away from that situation as though it’s all cool. History forces our hand.

    Peace. To all sentient beings.

  54. Irish Red
    Irish Red February 11, 2009 at 2:35 am |

    I’ve been a vegetarian since the age of five, I announced this decision to my mother on the way home from dance practice 18 years ago and never looked back. My first year of college I was at a concert in Austin and PETA had a booth set up, I went over to talk about the possibility of volunteering and was instead bombarded with questions. I was actually chewed out for not being “true to the cause”, because I eat egg whites! I bet that I’ve done so much more for “the cause” then they have in the few years they’ve been on the bandwagon!
    In regards to this article, I think they are attention whores! It’s bizarre to me that few people know PETA was one of the groups who encouraged the Mike Vick dogs be put down! All but three or four are now in foster homes or permanently adopted. How about being the voice for those who need it? I also know from experience (I come from a meat and potatoes family) intimidation, fear and shock value is not the way to get your point across. PETA needs to realize this is a lifestyle for many Americans and the best chance of being heard means not acting like a bunch of extreme radicals!!!

  55. EKSwitaj
    EKSwitaj February 11, 2009 at 3:01 am |

    mk’s mention of Temple Grandin jarred loose something in my memory, and it occurred to me that there’s a huge irony in PETA’s claims connecting AKC to eugenics.

    Does everyone remember their “Got autism?” ad from a while back? True, contributing to negative stereotypes of the disabled is a few steps away from eugenics, but it’s a lot closer to it than the aims of selective breeding (problematic as that can be) are.

    So, to rephrase: an organization that has promoted negative attitudes toward a group that has historically been the victim of eugenics is now using the claim of fighting eugenics to support visibly racist behavior. Hmm.

  56. piny
    piny February 11, 2009 at 3:04 am |

    (They may never stop, but you simply can’t complain until you start paying MORE attention to animal issues without needing provocation from PETA.)

    (I had to visit this thread three times before I even got the dog aspect. I got stuck on the white hoods. For what that’s worth.)

    A PETA flash mob should dress up in hunter’s orange and shoot somebody in the face. That would bring a lot of attention to PETA, and it might make people reflect on the dire consequences of failing to pay enough attention to PETA.

    I think trying to have a conversation with you is about as useful as burning a cross in front of PETCO, Elaine, but I gotta say. PETA doesn’t have to be vicious and offensive because people just don’t pay attention when you refrain from insulting their murdered relatives. PETA’s deliberate, cynical atrocity-baiting is not the fault of people who feel it as cruelty. This is not a lesson for us all. This is white privilege, and it’s unbelievably stupid.

    Are PETA a bunch of sadistic assholes who believe that lynching is nothing but ad fodder? If publicity truly is what they’re after, the proper response is to make sure that PETA has no public reputation for anything but hate speech in the service of exhibitionism and no platform for animal rights whatsoever.

    So, no, not cooperating. I will cheerfully strangle a rescue puppy before I give this behavior an iota of approval. Do you think if I did strangle a rescue puppy, PETA would stop using Klan imagery? They’d probably think about it, anyway. Right? Nothing else seems to be working.

  57. mk
    mk February 11, 2009 at 6:45 am |

    EKSwitaj- thanks for that link. Gross. I’d never seen that little gem.

  58. sanabituranima
    sanabituranima February 11, 2009 at 8:23 am |

    EKSwitaj – I was just about to mention that. PETA really seem to think they have a right to hurt as many humans as they like.

    Frankly, I don’t believe that PETA loves animals, with all the complexity and interdependence that love entails. I believe that they only love preaching and grandstanding on the subject, in a very specific human-egoic way.

    Word.

  59. sanabituranima
    sanabituranima February 11, 2009 at 9:03 am |

    http://blog.peta.org/archives/2007/04/fur_is_a_drag.php – here’s the ad I think she means.

    Also, they’ve shown bigoted attitudes to homeless people.

    PETA believes that both trans people and homeless people are disgusting and that if people see crossdressers or homeless people wearing fur then they’ll think fur is disgusting by association.

    Via The Vegan Ideal. http://theveganideal.blogspot.com/2008/10/transphobia-peta.html

  60. SarahMC
    SarahMC February 11, 2009 at 9:21 am |

    I always feel so strange whenever feminist blogs call attention to the latest horrible, bigoted PETA stunt. The threads are overrun with people declaring that PETA has caused them to abandon animal-welfare entirely, as though it’s the animals’ fault PETA is so ridiculous and offensive. Yeah, eating that steak will really show PETA; what a clever response.

  61. Nicholas
    Nicholas February 11, 2009 at 9:56 am |

    This is not progressive. Do you hear me? This is not progressive.

    I’m afraid it is progressive. It’s full of terrible comparisons and inapt parallels, and certainly does not help the greater cause from the perspective of strategy, but it comes from the progressive side of the ideological spectrum nonetheless.

    It’s progressive in the same sense that overt racism or sexism is often part of the conservative side, which is to say, they don’t help that cause too much with convincing the broader citizenry that your particular ideology is for them, but that doesn’t make them aligned to most of your beliefs most of the time.

    It’s also extremely selfish and another example of how groups on all sides of the ideological divide lose overall credibility for their beliefs when they focus on “preaching to the choir,” as it were (see: MoveOn’s “General Betray-us” ad; see also: the current Republican fascination with sticking it to the person who won the presidency to win cable news talking points while unemployment skyrockets).

  62. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 11, 2009 at 9:59 am |

    A suggestion:

    Write a letter to a celebrity POC who has publicly supported PETA to tell them how hurt you are that they support such actions.

    Here’s a short list:

    – Masta Killa of Wu-Tang Clan
    – John Salley
    – Forest Whitaker
    – Kevin Eubanks

  63. Rob
    Rob February 11, 2009 at 10:35 am |

    Frankly, I don’t believe that PETA loves animals, with all the complexity and interdependence that love entails. I believe that they only love preaching and grandstanding on the subject, in a very specific human-egoic way.

    Yup. It seems to me that PETA is just “Westboro Baptist Church” with better funding.

  64. eager
    eager February 11, 2009 at 10:39 am |

    The fact that the actions came from self-identified “progressives” does not make the actions themselves progressive.

    I’m not sure any individaul can make the call of saying ‘you’re not progressive’ in any meaningful sense. It opens up a dangerous precedent which seems to be at odds with what progressive thought is supposed to be.

    Animal cruelty is an entrenched phenomena in human culture, and I guess the PETA people are doing what they feel is necessary, even if some people feel it’s offensive and wrong.

  65. chava
    chava February 11, 2009 at 10:43 am |

    Let’s see…they’ve done the Holocaust, the KKK, and brutalized naked women. What’s left….what’s left….I know! They should totally do a campaign with (white) actors in blackface and chains, singing “I will overcome” while carrying photos of abused dogs. Cause that would be so progressive.

  66. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 11, 2009 at 10:48 am |

    Yeah, eating that steak will really show PETA; what a clever response.

    I would think that if PETA were truly committed to animal rights, they would be horrified that people would do such things just to spite them and would re-think their tactics. It’s like PETA’s never stopped to consider whether or not they’re achieving (what I assume to be) their goal: improving animal welfare.

  67. SarahMC
    SarahMC February 11, 2009 at 11:03 am |

    I am not defending PETA, FashionablyEvil. I am defending animals from those who conflate PETA with animals.

  68. eager
    eager February 11, 2009 at 11:09 am |

    Eager, I never said that we should call any one person “not progressive.” Ever. I talked about actions, not people. Reread the comment.

    That seems like splitting hairs.

    I’m not sure any individaul can make the call of saying ‘you’re not acting like a progressive’ in any meaningful sense.(Feel free to construct whatever variation on this idea that you like.)

    Animal cruelty is an entrenched phenomena in human culture, and I guess the PETA people are doing what they feel is necessary, even if some people feel it’s offensive and wrong.

    And if you’re one of those people who doesn’t think that this demonstration is offensive and wrong, which your comment suggest to me, I have nothing else to say to you. I really, really don’t. Or to anyone else who feels that way, for that matter.

    You suspect I disagree with you, so you really, really have no desire to discuss the issue. Because you’re too progressive to discuss things with people you suspect disagree with you…

  69. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |

    No, I didn’t mean to suggest that you were. I was pointing out the logical inconsistency–if you want to improve animal welfare and get people to stop eating meat, undertaking actions that lead people TO eat meat is counterproductive.

  70. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |

    You suspect I disagree with you, so you really, really have no desire to discuss the issue. Because you’re too progressive to discuss things with people you suspect disagree with you…

    So you do think this demonstration was offensive and wrong?

    Also, really, what point is there “discussing”?
    “I think this wrong and offensive because of the history of the KKK and their actions towards POC and other minorities.”
    “I don’t think it’s wrong because animals are oppressed.”

    Oooh, scintillating.

  71. Holly
    Holly February 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |

    Animal cruelty is an entrenched phenomena in human culture, and I guess the PETA people are doing what they feel is necessary, even if some people feel it’s offensive and wrong.

    This is blindingly obvious. That’s why we’re all saying “this is offensive and wrong, so wrong that I refuse to ever support PETA.” I know a few people who were still giving PETA a pass on a lot of messed up stuff until this, but even they are washing their hands now. People’s feelings are quite critical in actually getting support for your message, educating the public, and making a difference. Gee whiz. That’s why I noted that PETA is doing more to set back the cause of animal rights than anyone they’ve opposed. This kind of stunt isn’t just shooting yourself in the foot by accident, it’s deliberately sticking a gun in your armpit and blowing your shoulder off, and then crying for help.

  72. eager
    eager February 11, 2009 at 11:26 am |

    Also, really, what point is there “discussing”?

    You do realise you’re on a blog, right? Discussing is all we can do here! Unless you feel what you’re doing here goes beyond discussion, somehow.

  73. Kristen (The J one)
    Kristen (The J one) February 11, 2009 at 11:29 am |

    “PETA doesn’t have to be vicious and offensive because people just don’t pay attention when you refrain from insulting their murdered relatives. ”

    Damn skippy. Plus there are better ways to engage the issue. I mean the ASPCA showed me ONE commercial (I have TIVO…I skip commercials) with cute furry animals and a sappy song and I felt like saying…HERE TAKE MY BANK ACCOUNT.

    As for the AKC derail…I despise the AKC. The advocate mutilating dogs through cropping and docking to preserve “breed identity”. Puppy mills are horrible, but that’s not the complaint against the AKC. Docking and cropping takes away an animal’s ability to communicate with other members of hir species, but its become so wide spread (mainly due to the AKC) that most people don’t even know how harmful it can be. /derail

  74. William
    William February 11, 2009 at 11:34 am |

    I am defending animals from those who conflate PETA with animals.

    I think thats a gross oversimplification of whats going on. I doubt many people on this thread went out and tortured a small animal to spite PETA. What does happen is that people who would otherwise be sympathetic or neutral to the cause turn their backs because they’re disgusted by PETA’s tactics. People are rarely unambiguous. I eat a lot of meat, I’ve hunted waterfowl, and I’m unlikely to change those behaviors any time in the near future. On the other hand every pet I’ve ever owned has been a rescue animal, I’ve donated my time and money to shelters, I’ve been actively engaged in animal rescue, and I’d like to do something to put a stop to factory farming in this country. The problem is that I only have so many hours in a day and so much energy to expend. I have to make choices about which fights I pursue, and I’m not going to throw my time into a cause that shows me the back of it’s hand in the name of ideological purity or that goes out of the way to offend me.

    Moreover, I’m going to be less inclined to listen to people talking about animal welfare (unless they’re from an organization I know) because of the actions of a big player like PETA. I don’t have a passion for the cause, I have little or no incentive to wade through the bullshit or forgive offense. PETA’s very presence in the movement creates a negative incentive for me. It isn’t so much that I actively work against the cause but that I simply stop paying attention. It is indifference, not antagonism.

  75. ipens
    ipens February 11, 2009 at 11:40 am |

    I kind of have to agree with eager. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve seen a lot of it on here lately, but it seems like some of the bloggers shut down discussions of things they don’t agree with with a really very dismissive “I have nothing further to say” and/or some variation thereof. I like the site, I like the thought-provoking material which is brought to light, but summarily dismissing people with whom you don’t agree has, to me, quite the chilling effect. I don’t understand why there’s a need to cut off discussion in that way – state your case, refute someone else’s argument in a respectful way, and allow readers to reason through it. There’s a difference between people who incite just for the hell of it and people who want to present slightly different points of view for futher discussion.

  76. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |

    Also, really, what point is there “discussing”?

    You do realise you’re on a blog, right? Discussing is all we can do here! Unless you feel what you’re doing here goes beyond discussion, somehow.

    There’s nothing to discuss when one party feels that promoting animal rights entitles them to terrorize POC and others.

  77. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |

    Summarily dismissing people with whom you don’t agree has, to me, quite the chilling effect. I don’t understand why there’s a need to cut off discussion

    You might want to read the comments policy.

    We will do what is possible to prevent publishing comments that are racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, or transphobic. Controversy is not scary to us, but we do aim to create a space that is safe for the expression of pro-feminist ideas….

    We value diversity of opinions and we welcome dissent, but our primary goal is to foster a dynamic feminist community. In that spirit, we ask that all commenters post in good faith, and that conservative or non-feminist commenters keep in mind that they are in our house and should behave accordingly. We will use our discretion in determining which comments are posted.

  78. Kristen (The J one)
    Kristen (The J one) February 11, 2009 at 11:55 am |

    ipens,

    “There’s a difference between people who incite just for the hell of it and people who want to present slightly different points of view for futher discussion.”

    PETA used what many people consider to be hate speech. Justifying the use of hate speech in any context* is a non-starter for me. You don’t get to terrorize people to make your point. Period. End of discussion.

    *Other than perhaps an anti-racism activism protest…but even then it would make me uncomfortable because it might trigger someone.

  79. eager
    eager February 11, 2009 at 11:56 am |

    You might want to read the comments policy.

    That’ll teach you, ipens.

  80. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil February 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm |

    That’ll teach you, ipens.

    Seriously? I was pointing out that there may be good and stated reasons for cutting off certain lines of conversation. Whether or not that’s applicable to what ipens was referring to is debatable, since there were no links or examples provided, just a vague generalization.

  81. Radfem
    Radfem February 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm |

    Damn skippy. Plus there are better ways to engage the issue. I mean the ASPCA showed me ONE commercial (I have TIVO…I skip commercials) with cute furry animals and a sappy song and I felt like saying…HERE TAKE MY BANK ACCOUNT

    I know, especially the “Arms of an angel” advertisement. As for the AKC, my dad and step-mom used to breed and show Great Pyrenees and even if a dog was very successful at show if it produced progeny with congenital defects, it was a pet not a breeding dog as happened with one of the more successful female show dogs who passed shallow hips to offspring. Care was taken when breeding her equally successful male litter mate but his offspring just inherited his flashy tail.

    But I’m still just at a loss to figure out how you can connect the AKC to eugenics to White men and women dressing up in Klan outfits handing out leaflets, not carrying the effect that their presence has on people. The Klan is a terrorist organization that killed people and murdered children where they should have felt safest. One of my city’s councilman lost his brother who was the first Black deputy to work in a parish in Louisana in the mid-1960s and was shot and killed (his partner wounded) by an offshoot of the Klan. They knew who his killers were but of course nothing happened even when the feds reopened the investigation as they did others several years ago.

    Do these people not have a clue? Do they feel entitled to not have a clue? Do they feel entitled to have some clue and embrace an image that led to fear and terror for over 100 years and to co-opt the violence and killing that the Klan did to use to promote their own cause? I suspect it’s the latter because they must have some clue to look at the Klan and say, it’s horrible, it’s terrible, let’s use it to compare the treatment of dogs to African-Americans. Because I think on some level, that PETA is a predominantly White organization and if it’s not intending to be White Supremacist then it needs to seriously reexamine its mission statement at the very least.

    As for those defending PETA after all they’ve done (and when you put it all together, this is much less shocking), it makes my head and my heart hurt. I love animals but when I see PETA, I just don’t equate it with animal rights b/c they seem more intent on getting themselves media coverage for being oh so shocking (even if it’s at other people’s expense but since they’re not White, who cares?) than in doing some of the very hard work (advocating for animals and helping during the Australia fires for example) that people are doing.

  82. ipens
    ipens February 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |

    My point was that I believe that some posters, in this case eager will serve as a good example, are posting in good faith. Pointing out the logic that might be used by the offending agency to justify what they’ve done so that the logic can then be deconstructed is, to me, an important step in this whole process – being an informed consumer of information.

    To 84: I wasn’t defending PETA. I was trying to say that people often take different paths in examining and critiquing an issue and that I sometimes find the ways these discussions appear to be rather summarily dismissed chilling (i.e., the create a sense that dissent and/or alternate arguments won’t be tolerated). I’d much prefer to see a logical refutation than a “buh-bye”. The inevitable protest is that you can’t rationalize with some people, but I’m not talking about the fundies who occasionally drop by.

  83. Sailorman
    Sailorman February 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |

    PETA folks are crazy. Have been for a while.

    This one is worst than most.

    If the goal is to stop PETA from doing shit like this–a worthy goal–perhaps a relevant discussion to have is whether publicizing this in order to decry it is better or worse for PETA than ignoring it entirely. That is not to say that it should be ignored because it’s meaningless or inoffensive, but rather simply to ask “what is the best anti-PETA strategy?”

  84. piny
    piny February 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm |

    You do realise you’re on a blog, right? Discussing is all we can do here! Unless you feel what you’re doing here goes beyond discussion, somehow.

    Huh. Maybe this has to do with living in a city, taking the bus, and having breasts, but I have to unilaterally agree to disagree pretty frequently. The last one was, “Ted Kaczynski was a misunderstood genius.”

    Where would you draw the line? Not at people who think it’s a good idea to dress up like homegrown einsatzgruppen in order to make a point about dog breeders? This feminist discussion group also gets invited to discuss the merits of assertions like, “Amy Richards is a serial killer,” “Gwen Araujo deserved to be tortured to death,” “You are all bitches who need some deep nonconsensual dicking,” and, “You feminazi bitches are too cowardly to publish my rape apology comments on your blog.”

    I don’t think I see this as much more respectful to people of color. The Klan is a terrorist organization, one which operated with a great deal of cooperation from the authorities. They murdered many people, and tormented many more. That hood in its original context was not just a badge of white supremacist allegiance but a credible death threat. Some people see this and think about the unfortunate past down south. Some people see it and think about their families and homes.

    Whether or not PETA really understood what it was invoking, their use of those sheets to score any point is unconscionable. And profoundly foolish. I don’t know why it would make much sense to attempt a reasoned debate with people who feel otherwise, and I don’t think it’s silly for Cara to excuse herself from that discussion.

  85. ipens
    ipens February 11, 2009 at 1:12 pm |

    If you suspected that I’d be quelled by a thoughtful presentation of your point of view, then you were mostly right. Your interpretation of good faith and my interpretation of good faith may differ a bit, so we can agree to disagree on the occasional cut-off. One of the things that I appreciate most about this blog is that I’m introduced to a number of view-points and arguments that I hadn’t before considered – and I’m one of those people who likes to have lots of facts before reaching my own conclusion – so I had seen this as the beginning of what might be an alarming trend. That’s all I had wanted to point out.

  86. mk
    mk February 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm |

    I heart piny.

    I also just want to say that I really appreciate the Feministe comment policy in general, and its application in practice. Y’all are considerably more patient than I would be if some of these comments showed up on one of my blogs.

    As for the conversation at hand, I think there’s a clear difference between “Here is one explanation for why PETA did what they did–but it’s still racist and indefensible” and “Here’s one explanation for why PETA did what they did, and I guess some people think they were being racist.”

    The wording in the latter is vague enough that anyone reading it might understandably assume that the author doesn’t think PETA’s action was racist. Simple clarification, instead of dancing around the question and then being snarky about progressive cred and comment policies, could have kept this discussion moving forward a lot more smoothly.

  87. Sailorman
    Sailorman February 11, 2009 at 1:30 pm |

    I disagree with cara with reasonable frequency. In fact, it’s probably quite safe to say that she dislikes me. Yet nonetheless she generally lets my comments through and we (and/or others) sometimes have very productive arguments as a result. Although I do not always agree with her, I greatly respect her willingness to engage and publish, and it would be highly inappropriate to accuse her of censorship.

  88. DaisyDeadhead
    DaisyDeadhead February 11, 2009 at 1:40 pm |

    Going on record as another dumbfounded vegetarian. They did WHAT?

    I wrote about their newest local stunt–another mostly-naked woman freezing outside in near-zero temperatures to protest the circus.

    Get naked for PETA! Be a klansman for PETA! (Have they lost their sense? Did they ever have it?)

  89. exholt
    exholt February 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm |

    Someone who has observed PETA for the last 2+ decades may understandably come to the conclusion that they’re either flaky overprivileged White kids from the Upper-East Side set that were similar to the ilk I encountered at my undergrad…..or a group created with the specific intention to bring mockery, ridicule, and antipathy on the Animal Rights movement.

    From my encounters with them in high school and college, they sure are doing a great job of the latter…..and to the point that nearly all my vegan, vegetarian, and animal-rights activist friends hate them for it.

  90. Linkage « Via
    Linkage « Via February 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm |

    [...] PETA dresses as KKK members in a protest outside the AKC.  If they would have thought this out, they would have gone as Nazis.  Just [...]

  91. The AKC Is Just As Evil As The KKK
    The AKC Is Just As Evil As The KKK February 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |

    PETA’s Point: “the AKC is trying to create a ‘master race,’”

    Supporting arguments:
    1) The AKC supports puppymills, which are terribly cruel and produce genetically defective dogs.
    2) The AKC supports dog shows, which promote and allow cruel mutilation.
    3) The AKC supports breeders who “cull” puppies for genetic problems of undesirable characteristics.
    4) The AKC discourages spaying and neutering, which results in more dead dogs at shelters.
    5) The AKC opposes animal cruelty laws.
    6) The AKC supports forced impregnation through artificial insemination or through “rape stands”
    7) The AKC does not condemn inbreeding.

  92. Daughter of the Ring of Fire » Blog Archive » PETA, Racism, and Eugenics

    [...] Daughter of the Ring of Fire Elizabeth Kate Switaj blogs on poetry and other literature, life and all the et ceteras. Home Page  Admin  RSS Feed PETA, Racism, and Eugenics Posted on 14:13, February 11th, 2009 by EKSwitaj If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed or visit my home page to learn more about my writing.Add me to the list of vegans officially disgusted with PETA. In the past, I’ve defended some of the ads and stunts involving naked women; while I still don’t believe I was incorrect in those defenses, I can no longer support in any way an organization that believes it is appropriate to have a bunch of white kids dress up like klansmen… [...]

  93. Kristen (The J one)
    Kristen (The J one) February 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |

    The AKC etc.

    Riiiggghhht…(setting aside the veracity of those charges for the moment) and that’s comparable to the murder, torture and terrorism perpetrated by the KKK how exactly?

  94. William
    William February 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |

    #98:

    First and foremost, that place where it says “Name” is for your name, not the heading of your post. Putting something like “The AKC Is Just As Evil As The KKK” makes it both difficult to respond to you and is generally obnoxious.

    Ok, now that we have that settled, even if you ignore all the problems with white people putting on the robe to imply that animals are the equal of people of color, PETA still fails at their argument. The KKK wasn’t a group organized around a master race, that was the Nazis. The KKK was a group that was specifically formed not to enforce racial purity standards and exterminate those deemed unfit but to enforce racial segregation. The KKK didn’t want people of color to be exterminated, they wanted them to be a docile slave class. More importantly, the tactics which the KKK used to further their goals had nothing to do with eugenics and everything to do with old fashioned terrorism. The AKC doesn’t ride through towns burning giant dog collars in front of the local no-kill shelter or stringing up people who own mutts. Here PETA failed not only at basic human decency, but also at history and analogy.

    But even that isn’t really the point here. The point isn’t the relative evil of the AKC, how PETA feels it’s actions are justified, or what hyperbolic paralels are likely to get you on the evening news. The point here is that PETA dressed up like members of the KKK to protest the treatment of animals. If you unpack that just a little bit you might see that what PETA is saying there is that the actions of the AKC are of equal weight as the actions of the KKK, the implication there being that black people are equal to dogs. People of color have been compared to animals, called animals, and have had their rights trampled because of a perception that they are animals by white people (often in white robes) for hundreds of years. The implication that a dog with cropped ears and a black man lynched being morally equivalent is downright terrifying to a lot of us. You might not find that insulting, PETA might not find that insulting, but feigning offense when someone else does is either the height of privilege or outright dishonesty.

  95. William
    William February 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |

    Riiiggghhht…(setting aside the veracity of those charges for the moment) and that’s comparable to the murder, torture and terrorism perpetrated by the KKK how exactly?

    Animals are people to, we didn’t mean for it to be offensive, the AKC is so terrible, factory farming, it really is the same you just can’t see it because you don’t love animals, what are you doing for the movement, what could you be doing for sea kittens instead of bitching about this non-issue, some of my best friends are black, etc.

  96. Kristen (The J one)
    Kristen (The J one) February 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |

    “The implication that a dog with cropped ears and a black man lynched being morally equivalent is downright terrifying to a lot of us.”

    Yes….damn it…this!

    Plus, now it is impossible to have a conversation about cropping and docking because PETA went and exploded the issue. So the hell with actually trying to do some good, let’s just make headlines so that we feel all powerful and shit. Oh and now that I think about it…fuck the idea that PETA actually cares about animals…as I recall they wanted all of the Mike Vick dog’s euthanized, including the bait dogs.

  97. Miniminx
    Miniminx February 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |

    Eager: What are you a lawyer? Is this thread devil’s advocate practice for you or something?

  98. Kristin
    Kristin February 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm |

    Speaking of terrorism… *wonders if the Klan is on the official US list of terrorist organizations. Sadly suspects that it isn’t* Does anyone know how to find out?

    Anyway, William:

    “I don’t have a passion for the cause, I have little or no incentive to wade through the bullshit or forgive offense. PETA’s very presence in the movement creates a negative incentive for me. It isn’t so much that I actively work against the cause but that I simply stop paying attention. It is indifference, not antagonism.”

    Yeah, that’s pretty much where I come down on it. It’s PR wing seems to be dominated by this kind of bullshit, and that makes me cautious of the movement overall. It would go a long way for other animal rights groups to take a strong stance against PETA, I think. They alienate nearly everyone.

  99. Westerly
    Westerly February 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm |

    William, there was certainly eugenicist streak in the KKK even if they didn’t call for the wholesale elimination of African-Americans – hence their terror of ‘miscegenation’ etc. So yeah – a blend of supremacy (blacks knowing their rightful place) with shades of eugenics.

    Other than that – I’m with you. Peta *has* to be so far up their own ass that they honestly don’t care who they offend. Surely they weren’t expecting any black people to approach them with goodwill. Somewhat echoing what Kai said, I think they’re damn lucky that passerbys didn’t mistake them for a Klan rally, and deal to them. No thought of the fear and the anger that they might possibly instill in others. Talk about closing down dialogue.

    Fools.

    And it’s incredibly telling that the only people who seem to know what the ‘message’ behind their incredibly racist stunt are those who are ALREADY well versed on animal rights and have prior knowledge of the AKC. The average Jill, such as myself was simply bewildered by it all and learnt *nothing* from it all except that – well, PETA are smug, entitled racist assholes.

  100. Kristin
    Kristin February 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm |

    “The KKK was a group that was specifically formed not to enforce racial purity standards and exterminate those deemed unfit but to enforce racial segregation. The KKK didn’t want people of color to be exterminated, they wanted them to be a docile slave class.”

    William: This is a bit of an overly simplistic version of Klan history. The Klan *was*–and *is still*–supportive of eugenics theories. Many of the early “feminists” who joined the KKK (and, oh yes, many self-identified as such) were well-known proponents of eugenics–hence, their alliances with the Klan.

  101. Kristin
    Kristin February 11, 2009 at 10:55 pm |

    “The implication that a dog with cropped ears and a black man lynched being morally equivalent is downright terrifying to a lot of us.”

    Yeah, seriously. It’s a tactic similar to that used by the anti-choice group, Genocide Awareness Project (They’re like the Fred Phelps of the anti-choice movement.). They display pictures of aborted fetuses next to pictures of lynchings and mass graves. It is equally offensive, but a little more expected from the Religious Right.

  102. William
    William February 12, 2009 at 1:59 am |

    Yeah, seriously. It’s a tactic similar to that used by the anti-choice group, Genocide Awareness Project (They’re like the Fred Phelps of the anti-choice movement.). They display pictures of aborted fetuses next to pictures of lynchings and mass graves. It is equally offensive, but a little more expected from the Religious Right.

    I don’t know, I’ve always seen a lot of similarity between PETA and radical anti-abortion groups. They both like to shock, they’re both militant, they both have no interest in discussion or compromise, they both assume that anyone who disagrees with any point is essentially evil, they’re both openly deceitful incrementalists, they both believe that their cause is so important that any wrong they might commit is justified because the alternative is worse, they both confuse volume with substance, they both serve their movements as bad guys to show how “moderate” other groups are while at the same time setting an extreme tone to discussions, they’re both fundamentally interested in restricting the behaviors of others in the name of their cause….

  103. Natalia
    Natalia February 12, 2009 at 3:07 am |

    Fuck PETA.

  104. In One Ear…
    In One Ear… February 12, 2009 at 7:13 am |

    [...] Huh.  Maybe next members of Peta could dress up like Bin Ladin, holding toy planes and little replicas of the Twin Towers while protesting KFC mutant chicken farms.  I mean, just think of the possibilities of people you could offend with that one, Peta!!!  People from the middle east, the families of victims of 9/11, Muslims, 9/11 Truthers…the list goes on. [...]

  105. DJ Black Adam
    DJ Black Adam February 12, 2009 at 8:51 am |

    Utterly amazing. IHav no respect for PETA

  106. Kristin
    Kristin February 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |

    William @ 109: wrt PETA and parallels to the Religious Right. Good point.

  107. The AKC Is Evil
    The AKC Is Evil February 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm |

    William, not supporting PETA, just taking the opportunity to point out that the AKC is evil. Go ahead, think that PETA is evil, too, I don’t care. Just don’t for a minute think that you’re doing anything good for people or dogs by bitching. Bitching is just bitching and it’s not helping anyone.

    Hate PETA? Fine, hate them. Send them letters, protest their protests, don’t donate.
    But don’t hate dogs just because you hate PETA. Don’t act like the AKC isn’t evil. The AKC IS EVIL.

  108. William
    William February 12, 2009 at 5:58 pm |

    Well, Cpt. Long Name, I’m about as big of a fan of the idea of objective evil as I am of using declarative statements as a substitute for argument. What you, and so many others in your movement, seem to forget is that my primary concerns are not your primary concerns. I don’t like the AKC, I don’t see the point of pure bred animals, and I would rather adopt a pet then purchase one. Now maybe I’m not doing much to help dogs by calling PETA out for being worse than the organization they’re protesting, but thats neither my overwhelming passion nor my responsibility. My job as a human being isn’t to fight the fights you would like me to. I do however think that it helps people by calling out racism when I see it. I do think that telling white people it simply isn’t OK to put on the robes, no matter what point you’re trying to make, benefits society as a whole. I do think that having a meaningful discussion about privilege spawned blindness is worth having. I do think that “bitching” about an overwhelmingly white group comparing people of color to animals is worth my time.

    The beautiful thing about an open society is that we can, as individuals, choose to care about whatever we please. But don’t be so fucking arrogant as to tell me what I may or may not believe, what I may or may not think, or what views I must adopt as to the moral value of anything. If you want to discuss, convince, or argue, thats great, but the moment you tell me what I have to do is the moment you can pucker up and kiss my surprisingly firm ass.

  109. One Rotten Veggie « shouting for animal, social, political, educational, environmental, economic, and sexual in/justices

    [...] My Reply: OK, I have never heard of that in my entire life. They are fighting against global warming, trying vigorously to protect endangered species around the globe, and many, many other charitable work that needs to be gratified. I also love peta2 but there are some things that I wish they would stop doing. Like this: peta2 and RACISM? [...]

  110. Rodge
    Rodge February 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm |

    Oh for the love of God.

    Hey, what the hell is the AKC and why is it evil? I am not American and I have nothing to do with dogs. All I can see is that PETA seems to think black people are 1) dogs, and 2) not needed in the slightest in their campaigns.

  111. Devoy
    Devoy March 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm |

    What the… PETA needs to be cut off right now. Shit like this is ridiculous. The AKC? Seriously? There aren’t better, more… you know… actual threats to animal welfare out there? What a bunch of wackos! I used to belong and volunteer my time but PETA hasn’t been right in the head for about 15 years now. Shut em down.

  112. Liz
    Liz March 29, 2009 at 10:43 am |

    For the record, I dislike PETA and abhor animal cruelty, but my comment is about the comments. LMAO that nobody caught the pun (and under-the-radar sexism) in the statement that somebody is bitching about the treatment of people and dogs.

  113. Jennifer
    Jennifer May 28, 2009 at 11:37 am |

    I can honestly say I agree with what PETA does. They may be extreme, but they are fighting, as hard as they can for those who cannot fight for themselves. You can say you want equal rights for all, but do you really? Do YOU fight to save the lives of the innocent? Factory farming, and slaughterhouses are, in my opinion comparable to the killing and torture that occurred during the holocaust.

    Suffering is suffering. and PETA is trying to save many innocent lives. As hard, or wrong as it may seem, they’re doing the right thing.

  114. chava
    chava May 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm |

    I suppose if you extend human subjecthood to animals, your argument makes a certain amount of sense. You see the lynching of a black man, or a Jewish woman gassed alive and then burned, as equivalent to factory farming because animals=people for you. However, if I were trying to advocate for, say, victims in the Sudan, I would not think it was reasonable to tactlessly dramatize the horrible suffering of other groups in order to further my cause–which is what PETA does.

    But at a more basic level, I think most of us simply refuse to accept your basic argument about where to place the limits of the human.

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