Yesterday, we mentioned an advertisement that we wanted to run in a Canadian newspaper in the wake of a shocking stabbing murder and possible cannibalism in Manitoba. Countless people have contacted us with their concerns, so we’d like to explain why we wanted to run the ad that no newspaper will touch with a 10′ pole.
Yes, of course we were horrified (who wouldn’t be?) when we heard the details of this barbaric, incomprehensible killing. And obviously, everyone’s good thoughts go out to anyone affected by this violent act. That’s all a no-brainer. Now, remember, PETA is known for being provocative—that’s our job. The animals don’t benefit from our silence. So our thought is always: How can we get people to see that despite their feelings about this kind of violence, they are often paying someone to do exactly what was done to the man on the bus, and worse, just so that they can eat a sandwich? Voila, the ad!
We see parallels between acts of violence against humans and cruelty to animals, since both spring from a common root. We understand that such comparisons may be uncomfortable for many people, but they’re not inaccurate.
Responding to violence with anger is also natural, but just being angry solves nothing, does it? Real change comes about when we channel anger or sadness into action. By juxtaposing the shocking details of the murder with the fate of animals whose bodies are casually hacked apart to end up between two slices of bread, some good will come. Already, thousands of people have visited our site not just to scream at us but also to read about slaughterhouses, and many have watched “Meat Your Meat.” If you can sit through that and not see the truth in what we are saying, what can we say?
Like humans, animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone. Animals in slaughterhouses experience terror in the face of death. They fight for their lives and struggle to avoid pain. Birds love and grieve. In light of animals’ suffering, we are urging people to embrace nonviolence in the face of senseless violence—against all beings—by going vegetarian. If someone doesn’t like it, maybe it is because it makes them feel guilty for just saying, “Oh, how terrible,” about the bus violence but not wanting to face the fact that they contribute to violence as well. To think otherwise is simply supremacist.