There are three types of people in America: those who despise PETA, those who will inevitably despise PETA at some point, and insufferable assholes. PETA is in some ways the most execrably nihilistic group within the activist left simply because it genuinely doesn't give a damn about people. It cares about animals and only animals, at every turn putting their needs head and shoulders above the needs of actual human beings and the personal crises they might be enduring in groups or as a species. If you or I happen to reap a reward in one of PETA's obnoxious campaigns in support of animal rights -- such as its ongoing disingenuous push to get people to go vegan because it's supposedly healthy for them -- it's completely incidental, since the intended beneficiaries of PETA's efforts are always animals.
PETA's founder, Ingrid Newkirk, is, after all, the same woman who once wrote Yassir Arafat to plead with him to stop using donkeys in suicide bombing attacks (while ignoring the people he was killing). She's the same person who backs the terrorist Animal Liberation Front in its campaign to free research animals, despite the fact that much of this research saves human lives every single day. She's the same person who wants to ban seeing-eye dogs and the one who says fish should be called "sea kittens." She's someone who believes, "The smallest form of life, even an ant or a clam, is equal to a human being." In other words, she's a fucking militant lunatic. And the group she heads, in keeping with its lack of human understanding, seems to have decided that the way to win public support is through PR stunts that rely on condescension, antagonism, and conspiracy theories.
Which brings us to the latest of these. Earlier in the week we told you about the City of Detroit's plan to shut water service off to as many as 100,000 residents because they simply can't afford to pay their bills. This is happening as the city's water utility is raising its prices to double the national average. The situation is so bad and so systemic that even the United Nations is calling the problem a human rights emergency. Chew on that for a moment: a human rights emergency within the United States of America. Well, riding in to the rescue of these desperate families living in a city that can barely sustain itself comes PETA with an offer that would be comical if it weren't so insulting and didn't smack so much of the first-world, tone-deaf, white-people condescension PETA is legendary for.
Put it this way: you barely have money to exist and things have gotten so bad for you that you run the risk of losing access to water, so what you really need now is to go vegan! PETA is offering to pay the water bills of some of Detroit's destitute residents if and only if they make a commitment to give up animal food products.
Behold this announcement from PETA's blog on Thursday:
With jobs in Detroit disappearing, many residents are struggling. As they’re forced to choose which bills to pay, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has chosen for them―shutting off water and leaving many people high and dry. The department put the shutoffs on a temporary hiatus, but people’s water bills are mounting. So with the help of a generous PETA member, we have come up with one small way to assist Detroit residents and save animals, too.
Thanks to this donor, PETA will be able to pay off the water bills for 10 families who commit to going vegan for one month. We’ll also help them get started by giving each family a basket of healthy vegan foods and recipes.
The last thing that people who are struggling need is increased health-care costs. By accepting our offer to go vegan, not only will families be getting an immediate financial boost and helping animals, if they stick with it, they’ll also lower their risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and strokes.
Ready to have some tasty vegan food and a check delivered to your Detroit home? Send your most recent overdue water bill and your pledge to go vegan to...
No, I'm not going to show you where you can sign up, because, well, fuck PETA and their white-knight patronizing.
It practically goes without saying that if you can't keep the water on in your family's home you damn sure don't have the time or money to concern yourself with going fucking vegan. This is especially true when you consider that many neighborhoods in Detroit don't have access to the foods necessary to maintain a strict vegan diet. It would be great to be flip and snarky about what PETA is proposing but the reality is that it's so unbelievably offensive that it's hard to find any kind of humor in it at all. Affluent and middle class white hipsters almost literally dangling a check -- and "some tasty vegan food" -- over the heads of minority residents of a dying metropolitan area in the name of saving the lives of animals is just another example of the people on the hill showing them where they rank on their priority chart.
The ability to go vegan is the ultimate first-world luxury and whether or not to obsess over it is the ultimate first-world dilemma. That luxury and that dilemma are things many people living under the specter of absolute collapse in Detroit can't even begin to fathom. But to PETA, again, nothing is as important as the lives and health of animals. The fact that one-seventh of Detroit's population is being treated like animals is of no consequence, apparently. Actually, these people wish they could be regarded as highly as PETA regards animals.
They're about to be told they can't have water, what should be a basic human right in the United States, but PETA is proving again that it doesn't care about human rights -- only animal rights. They're lucky to get any decent food they can and PETA just suggested a militantly exclusionary diet. "Let them eat vegan," the group is saying. Where have we heard something like that before?