Dear Portland Vegan Feminists:
Years ago I spent a large portion of my life handing out PETA literature around town, protesting KFC, and even scheduled a speaking event or two that involved PETA literature or a representative. I was so young then and dealing with my own patriarchal oppression in my personal life that I didn't understand why so many people were turned off by PETA, even as I had interned for them and had a horribly traumatizing experience doing that. When I heard my peers blasting PETA on their radio shows or saw them glaring at me, I just thought they were being mean and not putting animal rights first. Sometimes misogyny is internalized so much that people don't understand what they are doing is harmful to themselves as well as others, even if it is in the name of animal liberation. I'm really sorry for any triggering pain that PETA ads, like the more recent "Boyfriend Went Vegan" one depicting domestic violence, might cause any one. Now I understand that PETA is mostly made up of female chauvanist pigs like Lindsay Rajt, with a minority of male chauvanists as well, even if they have smiling faces and deliver good one-liners on television attempting to justify their bullshit. While I will always give PETA credit for the footage they captured that made me vegetarian in elementary school and eventually vegan, I understand that there are other groups who also do this without perpetuating misogyny in the process. These days when I encounter a young person working for, interning for or passing out literature for large scale animal rights organizations, I can't help but feel saddened and disgusted by how dis-empowered, naive and stifled their lives and minds are by being fed the bullshit of such organizations, especially when those individuals tend to perpetuate and be complicit to sexist bullshit because they believe anything else is divisive and counter to the goals of animal rights. I guess that's all I wanted to say. I get it now, it just took me a while longer than others. I still hate KFC and hope all of their establishments are in ashes by sunrise, but I also fucking hate PETA now too! It feels great to make the announcement here.