But I never wanted to be a PETA person. They were abrasive, holier-than-thou, nose in the air, shriek voiced, neck bearded socialists. They had soft cotton hearts and brains to match. They made me want to eat meat so as to disassociate myself from them. Whenever I was forced into telling people I didn't eat meat, I would follow up with "But I'm not one of those PETA vegetarians."
As a matter of fact, when Marilyn Manson dealt with their protests about his use of animals in his circus clown act by saying: "Listen each time I see your name in print with mine, I'll actually hurt one of these animals," I actually felt what might have been something other than disdain for the man who would soon become a laughable historical footnote. "You go, girl!" I said.
Even though it was PETA's "Meet Your Meat" video that cemented my antipathy to the mass production of edible flesh, any association with them remained distasteful--and not just because activists and ideologues are on my short list of people for whom I'd cross to the other side of the street.
But then something changed. First they came up with the brilliant "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" protest/campaign. Then they made headlines (and put an ingenious twist, so speak, on the milk argument) when they coyly suggested that Ben and Jerry's make their ice cream from human breast milk. When they were able to pull the old double switcheroo by making a Superbowl advertisement, which they probably couldn't afford, but which was sure to be rejected because it posited that vegetarians have better sex and featured hot women licking fruit, thereby getting into the issue (and the commercial) into the national consciousness for free, the 180 was complete. Somebody savvy is running that organization, and I am on their side.
My official word to PETA: I can't go as far as giving you money, or attending some horrible protest. And I certainly can't endorse a lot of the science or philosophy behind some of your arguments (for instance, my own research in the field study of my marriage proves conclusively that vegetarians to NOT have better sex). But I will no longer speak ill of you. And I will certainly not go out of my way to distance myself from you.