Just in time for Thanksgiving, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals produced a television commercial that draws on fear of terrorism to sell the vegetarian message.
The ad shows terrorists taking over a supermarket, with the store manager bound and gagged and shoppers cowering in fear while an unseen terrorist declares that innocent creatures will be beaten, scaled and dismembered if anyone resists.
At the end of the commercial, the terrorist is revealed to be a turkey puppet whose demand is that people stop eating meat.
Well, it is certainly consistent with PETA’s message that it is okay to use both violence and threats of violence to further the animal rights movement. After all, when serial killer Andrew Cunanan murdered fashion designer Versace, it was left to PETA’s Dan Mathews to proclaim that he admired Cunanan for finally getting Versace to stop using fur.
PETA’s Lisa Lange told The New York Times that,
A fake supermarket takeover has zip to do with the events of Sept. 11. You’d really have to be a big grump not to see the humor in all of this.
A big grump? Or perhaps someone aware of the numerous statements and actions by PETA staffers in sympathy with and support of animal rights violence.
Fortunately, only a single television station actually accepted the commercial, and PETA tried to gain a bit of additional press by announcing their “withdrawal” of the advertisement before it could be shown on that station.
‘Turkey Terror’ Ad by Animal Rights Group. The New York Times, November 28, 2002.