PETA’s euphemisms

PETA: Propaganda for the “Ethical” Treatment of Animals.

Late last week, the British electro-pop musicians Pet Shop Boys announced that they had declined a request by animal rights group PETA to rechristen the duo as the âÄúRescue Shelter Boys.âÄù PETA had hoped that the name change would âÄúhelp raise awareness about the cruelty involved in the pet trade,âÄù just one of a multitude of practices that the group philosophically opposes. If it seems odd that an organization that dresses itself in the skin of an advocacy group is focusing on such a bizarre effort to promote political goals. ItâÄôs because the public has largely been the victim of a simple misunderstanding. PETA isnâÄôt an advocacy group, but rather a sophisticated propaganda syndicate. Although it may not be the quintessential âÄúpack of liesâÄù that characterizes âÄúblackâÄù propaganda, PETAâÄôs media goals are, nonetheless, subterfuge used in an effort to obscure real debate by using euphemism flavored with sensationalism. Rather than argue against the merits of sport fishing or seal hunting, for instance, PETA pushes to rename fish âÄúsea kittensâÄù or offers to rent the NHLâÄôs Montreal Canadians franchise for a week under a temporary moniker: the âÄúCanadian Seal Pups.âÄù The tactic even extended to a recent letter to the editor appearing in this paper where PETA supporter Ryan Huling berated a âÄúneedlessly inflammatory and grossly misleadingâÄù column that was critical of PETAâÄôs animal euthanasia policy. Huling went on to justify the actions as an effort to battle the âÄúdog and cat overpopulation crisisâÄù and proceeded to address the ways in which PETA offers shots and neutering for low or no cost. He did not mention, however, that PETA has loudly objected to public animal shelter euthanization policies and opposes any kind of pet ownership. The public deserves better than to be harassed with propaganda that labels university researchers as a âÄúDeath SquadâÄú and calls the consumption of animal products a âÄúholocaust.âÄù But because the policies PETA supports are unpopular, this is all theyâÄôve got. Try to ignore it.