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PETA’s Latest

California Patriot reports how hilarity ensued after the latest PETA shenanigans (hat tip: Shy Guy).

Students from PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, drew an angry crowd on Sproul after displaying images that compared animal treatment to the lynching and enslavement of black Americans. About a dozen Berkeley students furiously engaged the PETA members, accusing the animal rights group of racism. The situation intensified when one member of the crowd threw ketchup and mustard on the PETA display and another tore down part of the exhibit.

One image presented by PETA featured a chained elephant foot juxtaposed with the chained foot of a slave. Another showed black individuals hanging from a tree by their necks contrasted with the image of a cow being hung by its hind legs. Several black students shouted down the PETA students and called for the display to be taken down. One student who was upset by PETA’s comparison of slavery to animal mistreatment shouted amid tears, “I’m not trying to say that people should eat meat. I understand you, but the way you’re depicting our history, the way you are depicting the things that happened to us, the thing that happened to our ancestors, it‚Äôs not ok, it’s not ok!”

Another student, identified as Autumn by her peers, tore down one of the images in a fit of rage. Dominique Nisperos, a third year Cal student, was also upset by PETA’s display and argued with one of the group‚Äôs members. When asked if tearing down the display was appropriate on a campus that touts its free speech history, Nisperos responded, “I can see why they did it.” She added that bringing up the free speech issue “isn’t getting to the root of the problem. The means at expressing [PETA’s] message was racist.” Veronica Nisperos, a Berkeley student also incensed by the exhibit, stated that the group did have a point, but the way in which they made it, “created opposition among people who should be allies.”

You would think that PETA would have learned their lesson about the offence caused by such comparisons, especially after the disturbing Holocaust on a Plate campaign. But evidently, learning from their mistakes is not on PETA’s agenda.

Sengeeta Kumar, who led the PETA group, was surprised to have encountered such a reaction at UC Berkeley. “I was really hoping that people would think critically‚Ķit became very emotional and almost dangerous in the sense that people were threatening and pulling things down and it just became unsafe,” she said. Kumar noted that her group has taken the exhibit to 13 different schools and never faced a hostile reaction.

PETA eventually gave into the pressure and dismantled their display. Kumar expressed disappointment in her organization‚Äôs inability to get their message across. “When emotions are risen, people can be closed to dialogue.” She added, “We are all part of oppression, of beings who can’t speak for themselves. Animals are enslaved in our hands. This exhibit isn’t about demeaning any people, it about uplifting humanity.”

PETA members spent the rest of the afternoon wiping off the ketchup and mustard that was sprayed on their display.

Jay-Z was not available for comment.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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