PETA is hardly the most widely respected organisation and is known for courting controversy with its animal rights campaigns. The group’s recent intrusion into public dialogue over the naming of Eggs and Bacon Bay was hardly their most extreme or offensive effort.
But their recent actions were offensive to common sense and crossed a line that provoked pretty savage backlash. Perhaps this is intentional- a shock tactic to get some attention, but it was irresponsible and stupid either way.
Blatant overreach that fails the common sense test always generates pushback- both to those responsible and more broadly. These kinds of trivial complaints will be used as examples by those who seek to weaken the Racial Discrimination Act. I can just imagine Leyjonhelm disingenuously asking how long until his choice to eat a steak offends a vegan and he is found to be violating laws.
Now I know that such a question would be highly erroneous but do you think that would stop Leyjonhelm? Or that nutcase, Malcolm Roberts? Their arguments don’t need to correct to have impact. They just have to make Trump-like statements that capture people's outrage.
While public apathy towards important issues frustrates me, I don’t give PETA any extra latitude for the fact they are acting for a cause they feel passionately about. This just isn’t any kind of mitigating factor. ACL, Reclaim Australia and ISIS are all doing the same and we don't make that excuse for them.
Even other vegans are angry about PETA’s actions. And rightly so, as they have more reason than most. The derision and pushback will not be limited to PETA. Anyone trying to make even a reasonable contribution to public debate, from a vegan or ethical treatment of animals perspective will be undermined for some time to come by memories of ‘Apple and Cherry Bay.’
Please PETA, stop ‘helping’ because it’s not.