Who are they trying to reach with this? If PETA is attempting to convert people to veganism or, at the very least, get carnivores to think twice about eating meat, they are going about it the wrong way. The problem with such activism is it preaches only to the choir. No sane person is going to be moved by an ad equating the tragic beheading of a young man with eating breakfast sausage. . .Agreed. I love Wendy's new "meatatarian" commercial--more so knowing it enrages hypocritical PETA people.
The message is lost on all but those who are already convinced. So what good is it? Is destroying property and setting fires for your cause going to convince people to back it, or will the act overshadow the meaning? If standing out in front of a circus telling small children that they support the death of animals is only going to irritate people, why do it? Wouldn’t it be better to present your message in a way that’s kinder and gentler? After all, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, right? (Sorry PETA. I forgot honey equals enslavement.)
So I have to wonder, are these organizations really trying to recruit people with ads like this, or are they just talking — and preening — amongst themselves? Because if these groups want more people to listen to them, they are going to have to speak to us rationally. We may not convert, but at least we won’t write off their cause as one made up of lunatics and hypocrites. Benevolent names like Freedom Fighters isn’t going to keep people from seeing through the “we care” front they put up when they resort to acts of violence, eco-terrorism, or even mentally assaulting the children whose future they proclaim to fight for.
When I first saw the linked TheTruth.com ad, I was sitting in my living room with five teenage boys. At the end one of them said, “These commercials make me want to start smoking just to spite them.” The other boys laughed and agreed.
This is the reaction to extreme activism. I know every time I see a PETA ad I have this strong desire to go eat a rare steak. I confess: I had frog legs at dinner last night while I was discussing this subject, and just talking about PETA’s previous campaigns made me enjoy those legs even more.