Beef Barons Fall for PETA Prank

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

We know the beef industry isn’t averse to a little sleight of hand (pink slime, anyone?). So, you would think the cowpokes could take a good-natured April Fools’ Day prank.

It All Started With a Joke …

On April Fools’ Day 2010 (yes, two whole years ago), PETA published a blog post saying that we had been funding scientists who were genetically engineering rats to have fluffy rabbit tails. The idea was that by altering rats to be more in keeping with people’s ideas of “cute and cuddly,” we could usher in a rat renaissance of sorts, encouraging people to be kinder to our besieged, bald-tailed brethren.

… Then the Beef Industry Got Wind

Recently, an intrepid food-industry writer found said April Fools joke, thought it was real, and wrote an outraged article for Drovers CattleNetwork blasting PETA, rats, rabbits, and, oh yeah, cane toads and pigs (but not cows, conveniently) for good measure.

(c) | Josiah Jost

Mr. Food Industry also waged such a scare campaign against rats that it made me wonder if he might work for d-CON. He actually cited the Black Death, a plague that is several hundred years removed from modern-day scourges like, say, E. coli and for which rats are no longer blamed.

What Does That Have to Do With Beef, Anyway?

One has to wonder how many of the beef industry’s tall tales about cow “welfare,” “healthy” beef, and the industry’s impact on the planet he has also swallowed hook, line, and fluffy tail.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind