Just got off the phone with a lovely young lass from PETA, America's favorite activist group turned performance troupe. They're always really nice to talk to, those PETA folks, right until they start trying to reincarnate your lunch.
Apparently they had applied for a booth at the State Fair of Texas -- their first attempt to take their act inside a state fair, where they hoped to give fair-goers a slightly less homespun (and slightly more vomit-inducing) portrait of the lives of American livestock. Here's what they proposed, in an email to the Fair's exhibition team:
Greetings from PETA. We are writing to request outdoor exhibit space at the state fair for a thought-provoking twist on the traditional 4-H booth--one revealing the damaging side of animal agriculture that the public is increasingly curious about. PETA's display will represent a more realistic side of the meat, dairy, and egg industries, with the four H's standing for "hellish for animals," "hazardous to the environment," "heart attack-inducing," and "hypocritical for teaching kids to care about only certain animals and to disregard others."
We will screen this video narrated by Sir Paul McCartney, which illustrates these points through undercover video footage from factory farms and slaughterhouses, where animals have their throats slit while they are still conscious and are even skinned alive. The video also shares data from the United Nations about the meat trade's devastating impact on lakes and rivers as well as various health studies about how meat contributes to the obesity epidemic, heart disease, and cancer. The display will also include free copies of PETA's vegetarian/vegan starter kit.
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The fair, of course, took a pass. As well it should have. Look, PETA: We love your devotion to reminding us of all the hidden heinousness in our bacon-wrapped lives, especially when it involves naked ladies, as it almost always does. But I'm taking a 4-year-old to the Fair tomorrow, and I don't need her watching Paul McCartney curb-stomping baby lambs, or whatever's in that movie. Next year, pitch something a little more understated -- something a little less, you know, PETAish. The fair will still turn you down, but at least you'll have more cause to bitch about it.