On PeTA versus Friends of Animals
Caption: Bikini-clad PETA volunteer Nicole Matthews glances at Friends of Animals activist David Shishkoff outside the Douglas Street KFC on Thursday. PETA was lauding the fast food chain’s decision to include substitute chicken on its menu.
Photo: Dunc Malcolm/News staff
When Roger sent me "Fur Flies Between Animal Rights Groups" the title, with the accompanying photo, told me everything I needed to know (check out Roger’s July 27 entry: "Vegans Being Set Up for a Fall?" for some backstory and commentary about the PeTA/KFC issue).
The article doesn’t get into the language of whether PeTA is an animal rights group, but it doesn’t need to as it gets into the real meaning and impact that underlies the welfare-rights debate when Dave Shishkoff of Friends of Animals says:
"We don’t think it’s appropriate [for] PETA to be out promoting KFC, I’ve gotten two e-mails from them in the last week telling me to go eat at KFC . . . As a vegan and an animal rights activist, I think that’s an abomination … because they kill so many chickens. . . . In Victoria, we have two vegan restaurants — why aren’t they telling people to go and eat there?"
And regarding the obvious difference in beliefs about PeTA’s portrayal of women, such as in the Lettuce Lady campaign, he says that the campaign:
"is basically turning women into meat as well, which I think is really inappropriate.”
Those are the two points that most frustrate me about PeTA: their promotion of animal exploiters and their exploitation of women. (See Carol J. Adams, particularly the visually-disturbing The Pornography of Meat for more on PeTA, "meat" and women.)
So here are two people who would call themselves animal rights activists, and one is campaigning for a corporation that exploits animals, and the other is counter-campaigning (against both KFC and PeTA). What do you think of this? Would you go to KFC to buy a vegetarian sandwich? (It’s not vegan, as it has non-vegan mayo as well as a non-vegan bun. But you can ask for the vegan version, which has no mayo and a wrap rather than a bun.) Where do you stand on the Lettuce Lady? What about the side-by-side demonstration? Do you think it helps animal rights?
I’d love to hear from anyone who was there about how the public reacted.