Wednesday, October 15, 2008

PETA: "Gay School Should Marry Compassion"

"The folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) caught word that a gay-friendly high school might be making its way to the city of Chicago, and consequently came up with a unique opportunity to marry compassion for gay people with compassion for all living things. How, you ask? Well, PETA's director of media relations, Michael McGraw, has written to the likely principal of the proposed school, Chad Weiden, to encourage the inclusive institution to adopt an all-vegetarian cafeteria. Here's a portion:

"It is only because of prejudice that animals killed for food on today's factory farms suffer miserable lives and nightmarish deaths. Their feelings are entirely discounted, even though they experience fear, love, grief, joy, and pain, just as all of us do. They are torn from their families and denied every natural urge, forced to live in cramped, filthy warehouses for their entire lives. They will never feel the warmth of the sun on their backs, smell fresh air, or play. Believe it or not, in our "enlightened society," chickens and turkeys' throats are cut while they are still conscious, and they are often scalded to death in defeathering tanks. Pigs' tails and testicles are cut off without any painkillers. When fish are dragged from the ocean depths, they undergo decompression—which causes their internal organs to rupture—before they suffocate.

Leaders of social justice movements have historically recognized that the liberation of one oppressed group is linked to the liberation of other groups. Steven Simmons, a PETA staffer and gay rights activist who died of AIDS back in the mid '90s, wrote, "It's time for us to end this hierarchy of who has the right to live, who deserves not to suffer, who should be respected, [the idea] that there's a limit to the amount of compassion that we can have for our fellow creatures." As you urge your school's students to embrace each unique individual, won't you also please encourage them to have compassion for today's most vulnerable group—animals?"
For more on the article check out the PETA FILES - Freedom From Oppression for ALL at New High School!

As an advocate of queer rights and animal liberation and one who clearly sees the correlation between all our struggles for freedom, I strongly support the concept which would be doubly historic. Pride campus would bring a whole new meaning to the term safe-space.

Crossposted via our fellow queer and OUT veg friend at Good As You.


Anonymous said...

It really is important to have universal respect for all living things. It's getting easier to help others too as the future progresses. It's no longer a requirement to be in the trenches, people can make a difference in the lives of others through little ways too. I try to help every way I can. I help PETA by using the toolbar at I registered their Yahoo toolbar so that every time I search and shop they donate to PETA. It's just one example of how people can make a difference and can help other living things without even having to put forth much effort.

Anonymous said...

PETA is one of those groups who exploits women shamelessly in its advertising, uses fatphobic and fat-hating comments constantly, exploits the concept of black people as "exotic", and can be outright abusive to those that bring these issues up. While there's certainly space for veg meals, I don't think a whole-hearted endorsement of them is appropriate.

Renee said...

I tend to agree with Anonymous. PETA has a wonderful message but they are continually exploiting people to get that across. I don't believe that any movement for liberation should link to a group that clearly has not problem perpetuating hierarchies of race, ability, sexuality and gender to reach an objective.

seitzk said...

Hear hear, Renee! PETA's thrown everyone under the bus to spread their message. They are rotten through and through.

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