April 18, 2024

Slaves, animals: what’s the difference?

One of PETA's controversial posters

The powerful lobby group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is reconsidering its use of posters which compare animal abuse with black slavery. PETA’s animal liberation campaign includes 12 panels which juxtapose images of black people in chains with shackled elephants and other provocative images. However, they have been inundated with complaints from black civil rights groups. “PETA operates by getting publicity any way they can,” says John White, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. They’re comparing chickens to people?”

However, the head of PETA, Ms Ingrid Newkirk, doesn’t appear remorseful. “We are all animals, so get over it”, says an entry in her blog. “Only supremacism makes us think that ‘our kind’, our narrow view of ourselves as Protestants, Muslims, white, black, a woman, a man, a human being, is more important than the rest. But a broader definition of ourselves is simply that we are all animals. Our indignation at injustice to fellow whatever-we-are should go further — to indignation at injustice to anyone. Otherwise, what are we but selfish little supremacists?”