Yesterday at High Noon, PETA Barbecued One of Its Own
Those kooky animal lovers at PETA are up to their crazy shenanigans again. (By "kooky" and "crazy shenanigans" what we mean is, "Have you ever wondered if PETA is just some sort of pervy scam to get twentysomething women to disrobe in public?) According to the groups press release, they will "cook" a nearly naked member on a grill at noon today at the corner of Main and Ackard Street downtown.
Flickr PETA won't be roasting a pig tomorrow. They won't be roasting a person, either, but they'll pretend to.
And why, given the ready availability of extremely delicious nonhuman meat sources that carry none of the side effects or social stigma of cannibalism, would you want to barbecue a person?
"We are challenging Texans to think about what meat really is," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in the group's press release. "Flesh is flesh, and animals feel pain and suffer just as humans do. What revolts people about the idea of eating other humans should also apply to the idea of eating other animals."
OK. But why the quotation marks around "cook"? And how naked are we talking here?
I called Shakira Croce, who was listed as the RSVP contact on the press release, to ask.
"It's just a person lying on a barbecue," she told me.
And the barbecue's not even lit. No charcoal. No fire. Just body paint (The same stuff Burger King uses to stripe the Whopper?) to mimic the grill marks.
Hmm. A bit disappointing. But back to the nudity. How naked are we talking here?
"As much as is legal," Shakira said.
Dammit! A woman can't even be topless in public! I was chagrined until I realized that I hadn't clarified the barbecue-ee's gender. Just as well.
My interest was reignited a bit further in the press release.
On today's factory farms, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they're still conscious, piglets are castrated and have their tails cut off without being given any painkillers, and cows are hung upside down and are often skinned while they're still able to feel pain. On the decks of fishing boats, fish suffocate or are cut open while they're still alive.
Whoa. So does this mean PETA's going castrate one of its members, hang them upside down and flay them alive, all on a downtown street corner?
No again. Turns out the whole "barbecue" is "symbolic." Which seems like a missed opportunity. Think of the press you'd get if you did barbecue one of your members alive? People can't ignore self-immolation.
Update: As several of you pointed out, this happened happened yesterday, not today. The press release that landed in my inbox yesterday afternoon said 'tomorrow,' which I assumed to mean today. And let me ask you this: If I don't even know what day of the week it is, how am I supposed to know the date?