People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) awarded Russell Simmons with its annual “Person of the Year” trophy, which recognized his efforts to spread the current “cult of Veganism” across the globe via his celebrity.
Simmons has had a busy year again, to say the least. He was succinctly heckled by Occupy Wall Street protesters, PETA gave him his own stamp, and he told his former girlfriend and current Atlanta Housewife, Cynthia Bailey, she’s a “fine muthafucka.” Now that’s the balance only ahimsa yoga can teach a person
While we here at Frugivore applaud PETA and Russell Simmons for their continuos work, laying the foundation for compassion and wellness in regards to animals, the next generation of activists have to lose the hyperbolic rhetoric that divides more than it melds. And under any divide and conquer scheme, best believe there is a eternal, cold-blooded yet — as in PETA and some of their celebrity endorsers case — “compassionate” capitalist.
Most vegans are unconcerned about the tremendous effects producing vegan products have on the environment, from clothes to some their highly processed foods. No one is marching against cotton producers who use lethal amounts of pesticides and absurd amounts of water to yield profitable bushels. Insects and smaller organisms die daily from obligatory “civilized” human behaviors, such as walking outside.
PETA must seek a more utilitarian approach while maintaining their passion for protection and zeal for the spectacle. They cannot continue to speak out against animal abuse without critiquing the larger systems of tyranny and abuse, which keep humans indifferent to suffering of animals.
Again, we love PETA and Russell Simmons for their work on behalf of the planet, but it’s time for them as well as all of us to decolonize our minds even further, embracing the relatively good and bad in life, which means at sometimes we will have to give everlasting thanks to an animal who dies for the nourishment and protection of our bodies.
So in 2012, let’s continue to fight the abuse of animals for profit, bringing a message peace and oneness with all life, not just the ones that tug at our heartstrings.