Rebecca Nicolson on The Lipster argues rather naively that the offence caused by PETA’s latest campaign is the whole point. Well, it’s true that PETA, being the Dagenham of animal “rights” organizations, attempt to cause offence and outcries with everything they do. They’re not particularly interested in anything other than their single-issue crusade, and don’t therefore consider anything indirectly influencing it, happily alienating people who might be more useful as allies. They generally ignore the more subtle aspects of the interplay of morality, society and culture; their mutual, interlocked restrictions of each other that complicate changes to any one of them in isolation. But then it’s hard to proceed carefully if all you’ve given yourself to work with are sledgehammers.
That aside, PETA have pursued an objectifyingly antifeminist (and also objectifyingly antifeminist and similarly objectifyingly antifeminist) agenda for ages. But even if you aren’t offended by their imagery and tactics, many of their campaigns, the most recent included, are fundamentally misogynist. They attack and undermine people from the very demographics without the freedom to change their behaviour, because of influences and proscriptions that are generally entirely out of their control.
Perhaps the woman from the current PETA campaign that Julie Bindel mentions is being beaten with a club by a man because she was too busy reading provocative advertisements, and forgot to buy the Sunday joint in a timely manner. Even if a sound thrashing doesn’t get her switching to soya milk, it’ll teach her a bit of old-fashioned fucking respect. Right?