The Five Stages of PETA Grief
June 15, 2012 by Nathan J. Winograd
People who support PETA even after they learn about their mass killing and embrace of abusive shelters don’t love animals and they know it. They may claim they do. They may have Facebook pages filled with animal images and stickers with animal related messages on their car. But they don’t. For such people, a misplaced trust and need to identify with PETA is more important than the professed values that presumably led them to support PETA in the first place. In fact, it is more important than the animals themselves because they are willing to embrace the suffering and death of animals so long as that suffering and death is caused by PETA or the “shelters” PETA defends.
PETA lovers: I challenge you to read the following articles and then explain how PETA’s actions or the defense of those actions by you is consistent with a rational definition of “loving” animals without resorting to the decidedly irrational and Orwellian argument that killing is a “gift” and that the living want to die as Ingrid Newkirk does:
- PETA’s Defense of Abuse & Killing
- My Disturbing Encounter with the Mind of PETA
- The Butcher of Norfolk
- March Madness
- A Blank Check
- The Butcher who Cried Hoarder
I further challenge you to avoid the five stages of PETA Grief. Because whenever I post the truth about PETA, here’s what I typically get from you:
- Anger. First, you become angry and launch an invective-filled ad hominem attack on the messenger. You can’t top the colorful ways I’ve been attacked, so don’t even try. I’ve already been told I “live in my grandmother’s basement,” that I “need a hobby instead of scratching my fat, pimply ass in front of a computer,” and that I like “to sit in the bathtub and play with poo and pee.” You’re in good company.
- Defensiveness. After about 10 minutes, desperation fueled by cognitive dissonance kicks in. Because so much of who you are, your identity as “superior” to everyone else is wrapped up in PETA and you’ve just discovered that PETA kills animals, you start to feel defensive and are desperate for a means to prove that what I am saying isn’t true. So after the personal attack, you’ll come back with another comment, this time demanding proof. Of course, PETA death statistics are from PETA itself. And PETA has admitted to killing animals who are, in their own words, “healthy, “adoptable,” “perfect,” and “adorable.” And here is a postcard your idol Ingrid Newkirk herself wrote to me admitting that PETA does not support “right to life for animals.”
- Denial. Unable to reconcile your identity which is wrapped up in feeling superior because you perceive PETA as a “radical animal rights group” even though PETA’s killing is inconsistent with animal rights, their defense of abusive shelters is inconsistent with animals rights, and PETA has admitted they don’t support the rights of animals, you’ll simply deny it. About 10 minutes after the defensiveness phase, you’ll post yet another comment saying that it isn’t true and that I must be part of the “exploitive meat industry” out to “destroy the animal rights movement.” I’m not, and in fact, I used to volunteer with PETA before learning the truth, unlike you who will tenaciously cling to the fiction that PETA represents something it does not, even when PETA staff, including Newkirk, have admitted as much and even when all evidence is to the contrary.
- Reassert superiority. But you can’t let it go, and as your conscience realizes it is unable to reconcile what are in fact irreconcilable contradictions, you’ll reassert your superiority, because that is what it all comes down doesn’t it? Feeling superior to the masses. So you’ll write, “Are you even vegan?” or “I don’t have to listen to you because you are not even vegan.” Hey, I’ve got news for you: that is irrelevant to the issue at hand. It is not who is right that matters, but what is right. And PETA’s killing and defense of killing is wrong no matter what other forms of animal abuse exist. You are defending PETA’s killing and embrace of even abusive shelters because cows and chickens are being killed by someone else. How does that make any sense? Incidentally, I am in fact vegan and have been for over 20 years: www.allamericanvegan.com.
- Anger. And so you’ll get angry again because you just can’t face the fact that you don’t really love animals, after all. You love PETA. You love them so much that you are willing to sacrifice the animals. You are willing to accept their systematic slaughter and even defend their killers as long as those killers are the people who give you an identity. But you now know that claiming to love animals and loving PETA are inconsistent. And because I was the messenger for that realization, well, that brings you back to square one. Yeah, I know, I know. I like to sit in the bathtub and play with poo.
Good luck coming to terms with who you really are.