Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Odd Couple; Peta And Peter

Just after my blog post with regards to three influential animal rights philosophers, Peta also had a little animal rights piece on their website.

"Why Animal Rights" by an unknown Peta staffer

Animal rights philosophy, it must be in the air.

As usual, the world’s largest animal rights organization had an intern write the article. Okay, I am just guessing, it also could be a Peta staffer. Or Elmo from Sesame Street.

Peta, the media clowns of the ar movement, generates an enormous amount of attention, and consequently busloads of interested regular folks visit the Peta website and consequently this is their first impression of what animal rights stands for.

And what does Peta offer these shiploads of potential vegans and animal rights activists? A shallow and shabby article, Sesame Street style, slightly off base, written by the next staffer or intern, to introduce the most core important fundamental concept of the ar movement to new people.Wowy.

Wouldn’t it be better if a qualified person, let’s say an animal rights philosopher, or a person with authority on the subject, or for that matter, a real qualified writer would have written such an important article? I don’t know about your answer to this rhetorical question but I would say “Yes!”. But I guess, and probably a right guess, that Peta doesn’t want to pay a real writer or philosopher so they stick with a volunteering intern.

If Peta can attract and use real high profile celebrities for their campaigns, why Peta doesn’t equally try to attract real animal rights philosophers who really have something to say and who really can bring home the AR message to ordinary people?

What’s wrong with the Peta article?

First of all, if this was an article on a blog of an individual fellowvegan or something, I would say it was a nice article. I wouldn’t hammer it down. No point in it.

But this article is written and posted ON THE WORLD’S LARGEST animal rights organization, Peta is the face of animal rights (thanks to their constant wacky media campaigns designed for attention, not education.) where thousands and thousands of people daily visit. We should expect high and correct standards from such a website and organization that wants to educate ordinary people about veganism and animal rights. Wouldn't you agree??

The Peta article starts with introducing  the book Animal Liberation from Peter Singer. A classic and groundbreaking book.Repeat, a classic and groundbreaking book… 39 years ago.

Since then things have changed. Anyone who gets interested by the article and wants to “dig deeper” and find out more about this “Peter Singer”, which, in this internet age takes well below ten seconds, will be confronted by details such as that Peter Singer is not a vegan, a promoter of Happy Meat, defender of bestiality (“sex with your pets is okay”), and actually is not at all against using animals, as long as you treat them “humane”. Whoops, say that again!

Anyway, I am confused, and so should you. Here we have Peta, an organization who educates and promotes veganism, who writes articles against Happy Meat, who wants Empty Cages Not Larger Cages, yet still in bed with an outdated philosopher who isn’t vegan, promotes Happy Meat, and in general promotes animal welfare, and not animal rights.

Peter Singer sees Happy Meat (Or Humane Meat) as a good step in the right direction and an alternative for veganism.
Peta on the other hand explicitly argues that there is no such a thing as Happy Meat.
No Such Thing As Humane Meat
Humane Meat, Are You Buying It?
Taste The happy!

Peter Singer is not exactly the right guy to use for explain animal rights. Because if you do, and your audience gets more interested and start to read more about the present Peter Singer, they will confuse Peter’s Singer “animal welfare” with “animal rights”. E.g. they will read how Peter Singer  promotes Happy Meat, and that “veganism” isn’t necessary.

Right above the title of the Peta article “Why Animal Rights?” we can read “Uncompromising Stands on Animal Rights.” I could comment on that empty slogan but that would make this article too long,

Cheers and stay stuned,

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