I've been a vegetarian since I was about 13. That's over 10 years and it continues to be a learning experience. So consequently, PETA's international spys somehow found me on the "National Vegetarians List" or something (That's not real, okay. I made it up), and has started mailing me magazines and literature.
I like the idea of PETA. It's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for those of you who don't know. I like their name and I like the idea of a large group of people organizing to make themselves heard. But I definitely don't like the scare tactics... the gory photos... the horror shows they display on a regular basis. That's what they've become known for too. Showing people things they don't want to see. Trying to shock people into caring about animals. It doesn't work... it just makes people think PETA is insane and fanatic and outrageous and extreme and it causes people to discredit the things they have to say and label them as propaganda. (Which they might very well be just mere propaganda, though I personally don't believe that.)
Well, I don't want to see these images and stories either. Hello, the whole reason I became a vegetarian was because I wanted to avoid thinking about how animals die. The best way to avoid this guilt is to stop eating them. And yes, eventually I'll become a full-on vegan, but until I make that choice I'd like it if they would stop trying to make me cry.
Anyway, on to my point. I started getting emails from Compassion Over Killing (COK... yes, I know), which appears to be "affiliated" with PETA. And by "affiliated" I mean that I can't seem to find their connection to PETA, but because they both use the same scare tactics and display the same horrific photos, it's my opinion that they are lumped together as one big scary company.
Now, I'm all for getting the word out about animal cruelty. And I agree with the beliefs and principles they are preaching. And I'm all for going vegan, when I can actually afford to do so. (Soy products are not cheap.)
But I think these people a new marketing guy. Like, 5 years ago.
Check this email out that I just got from the people at COK:
Subject: Action Alert: Act Today to Help Caged Hens
Compassion Over Killing and Vegan Outreach are teaming up with compassionate people everywhere to ask Morningstar Farms® to stop using eggs in its product line.[[Insert disturbing photo of hens in very small cages and a caption below it with a horrifying statistic]]
[[Insert link to an entire photo gallery of these terrible images.]]
Morningstar Farms®, which is owned by the Kellogg® company, was approached in September 2005 about its use of eggs in its products...
[[Insert link to more disturbing photos of hens in cages.]]
[[Insert long description of horrible conditions that the hens live in that I am certain my readers don't want to hear.]]Morningstar Farms® has long been a leader in supplying delicious vegetarian foods to a growing market.
[[Insert a suggestion that everyone should contact Morningstar Farms and tell them to stop using eggs in their products]] ...encourage them to join with companies like Gardenburger®, which last year announced it has taken eggs out of all its products except for one private-sourced item.
Okay. What the hell, COK!? Are you actually picking on a company that provides us vegetarians with yummy yummy food-stuffs in lieu of a company that is mistreating the animal directly? What happened to going to the root of the problem?
You seriously need to learn how to pick your battles, COK. You're biting the hand that literally feeds you. In fact, let's throw another cliche in there: beggars can't be choosers.
It's like saying to a doctor, "Well you sorta cured cancer, but it's really not good enough yet. Think you can work on that? Uhm, oh yeah and here are a TON of my friends to tell you the EXACT same thing until you DO fix the problem."
Or saying to the rocket scientist, "Well, the rocket got us safely to the moon and stuff, that's great... but the coffeemaker inside the rocket isn't working right now, ya think you could take a look at that? Cuz the astronauts are really thirsty and uhm... you're gonna get about 40 emails a day until it's fixed. Thanks!"