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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


An outraged Mummy Long Legs has done another post on PETA, this time because of a billboard ad they've got up outside a Glaswegian hospital.

Mummy comments:
This billboard would appear to intimate that if you eat meat (any meat) you will catch swine flu and die to death in a hideous dying to death way.

Indeed, and it's largely bullshit of course, albeit plausible bullshit to the vast numbers of scientifically illiterate people and dedicated non-thinkers in Britain today. Pigs may be a host for swine ‘flu but I’d bet avoiding pork won’t guarantee you won’t catch it, especially if it's properly cooked. MRSA has been known for only a few decades and would seem unlikely to have existed before the methicillin to which it's become resistant. That puts an upper age on it of a fairly modest rather less than a century, while our species has been eating meat for many thousands of years. Linking a Germy Come Lately like MRSA to meat eating is fucking ludicrous. Mad Cow, assuming we’re not talking about Ingrid bloody Newkirk or those women who get their tits out for PETA’s attention seeking publicity stunts, is widely assumed to be linked to meat consumption but nearly 30 years on the vCJD epidemic we were told was certain has failed to show up. And I’m sure I recall hearing that at least one life long veggie went down with brain rot. I suspect the science is nothing like as settled as people think and the precautions taken back at the time of the scare have turned out to have been good enough to protect us meat eaters (I notice that The Devil is even more sceptical – as he points out people have been dropping dead of CJD for a very long time and researchers might be seeing what they want or expect to see or will be paid to see rather than something else that has simply been with us all along). Lastly, E. coli. - this is PETA's weakest example of the lot given that it lives in the human intestine anyway and is quite capable of causing a food poisoning outbreak on vegetables as well as meat. Even water can carry it. PETA’s implied message that you can protect yourself from E. coli by becoming a vegetablist is fucking laughable.

The implication that meat consumption will kill you and that vegetablism will ensure your safety is patently untrue. I suggest complaining to the ASA. I’m serious. I’ll draft something but having left the UK I expect I’ll get a polite version of fuck off. Massed complaints from UK based people, say for example bloggers who’ve highlighted the Pilkington Taste Testers’ (incidentally, glad you’re still using the phrase, Mummy) ridiculous poster, along with any readers they’ve encouraged to complain as well.

UPDATE: Some excellent alternative marketing strategies for PETA to get the vegtablist message across to be found here, the work of Al Jahom. The first one I wouldn't put it past PETA to use for real. I wonder if he could be persuaded to do their PR for them.

UPDATE 2: Because I saw it and laughed.
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