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More Violent Street Theatre From PETA

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Because nothing says take animal rights seriously more than some guy hanging upside down covered in marinara sauce.

The stunt was carried out last November on world vegan day in London, but PETA have just released the footage in an attempt to reach more people. Judging from the images in Mirror, Marble Arch was turned into a fake blood bath when PETA decided to play hangman with a “nearly naked activist.” The whole thing looks more like a cut scene from Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. You know, what you imagine happens after they’ve all finished singing Always Look On The Bright Side Of life.

In fact, in terms of advocating veganism, this stunt is probably about as useful hosting Monty Python street viewings.

The “activist” was shackled by two “abattoir workers” and received a fake slit to the throat. The two men handling him were covered in fake blood as the shackled man thrashed and cried out. After a while he was released and left to “bleed out” on the “killing floor.”

Now, imagine that you are a non-vegan walking past this display. What is the message you receive? Well for starters, you are being told that the level of violence involved in slaughtering procedure is somehow relevant. The reality is that it doesn’t matter whether the animal is shackled and stabbed or whether the animal is lulled to sleep with a lullaby and shot in the head. No animal use is necessary – it is all morally wrong – and we need to be clear about that in our advocacy. If we aren’t, we simply fuel the widely accepted belief that there is a right way to exploit animals and a right way to kill them.

You would also be left with the impression that treatment is the sole moral concern for “animal rights activists” and not use itself. Your conventional wisdom that we can use animals so long as they are treated better would have been reaffirmed, because there is no other context for you to interpret the message. Indeed, if you were to watch the promo video you would be told that “many animals die slowly and in agony,” the implication being that a faster death is somehow better in a morally relevant way.

Aside from the fact that such street theatre is disrespectful to the humans involved and is problematic in its depiction of human violence, there is nothing there to educate the public in a meaningful way. If anything, it just confirms to people that those involved in animal ethics are crazy, violent people.

It makes our job as abolitionist educators more difficult. Because when we engage with some of these people in our advocacy they immediately associate us with some guy in a loincloth being dragged across the floor by his buddies, or naked women in cages covered in blood.

Aside from PETA’s perpetuation of the dominant welfarist paradigm, they continually allow people to dismiss an important matter of fundamental rights through their narcissistic, self-indulgent street campaigns.

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