FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Detroit Water Debt as PETA’s Latest P.R. Platform

by

After the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cut off water service to 17,000 households with overdue bills, and a thousand protesters took to the streets, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced they’d pay water bills for ten residents who sign a pledge, by August 1, to eat as vegans for a month.

Now it’s good that PETA president Ingrid Newkirk is talking about avoiding animal agribusiness (PETA often just presses McDonald’s and others to have animals killed in particular ways). And Newkirk is right about vegans saving water. According to Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander, author of Comfortably Unaware: Global Depletion and Food Responsibility (2011), if you’re consuming animal products, you use some 315,000 gallons of water per year, and it’s only matter of time before governments start restricting animal farming in order to secure fresh water supplies.

That said, does anyone else get the sinking feeling that with PETA, water stress is just the latest shtick?

The ten recipients will also get gift baskets containing vegan-friendly foods and a recipe book. It’s so much like the group’s “treats for the troops” campaign—during the deployment of the USS Truman to Afghanistan, PETA regaled military personnel with vegan cookies and pictures of a “PETA pin-up girl” hoping to “turn the troops on to vegetarianism”—that it comes off more absurd than helpful to the vegan cause.

Moreover, the president of PETA, who frequently undertakes book tours and turns up at events in Europe, likely has a larger environmental footprint than a cash-strapped person in Detroit. A little introspection is in order. Instead, Detroit’s people are offered water on PETA’s terms, if they enter a contest only a few can win.

There are sound ideas and resources for growing food crops in Detroit’s own community. PETA could simply support them rather than having people nominate themselves for goody bags shipped from out of state. PETA could also offer no-strings-attached help with water bills, as others have stepped up to do. Detroit residents seeking direct help paying for water should be shown this information.

People who can’t pay for basic water services are vulnerable and desperate. PETA is too out of touch to understand that this campaign taunts them—or too attention-hungry to care.

Lee Hall, a teacher of environmental, immigration, and animal law, has worked in the non-profit advocacy sector, and is a long-term vegan. Follow Lee on Twitter: @Animal_Law 

More articles by:

Lee Hall, J.D., LL.M., is an independent author, an adjunct professor of law and legal studies, a retail worker, and the creator of a studio for the Art of Animal Liberation on Patreon, for which support is always welcome and deeply appreciated.

January 18, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Destabilizer: Trump’s Escalating Threats Against Iran
John W. Whitehead
Silence Is Betrayal: Get Up, Stand Up, Speak Up for Your Rights
Andrew Day
Of “Shitholes” and Liberals
Dave Lindorff
Rep. Gabbard Speaks Truth to Power About the Real Reason Korea Has Nukes
Barbara G. Ellis
The Workplace War: Hatpins Might Be in Style Again for Women
Binoy Kampmark
Corporate Sickness in May’s Britain
Ralph Nader
Twitter Rock Star Obama’s Silence Must Delight Trump
John G. Russell
#Loose Lips (Should) Sink … Presidencies … But Even If They Could, What Comes Next?
David Macaray
The “Mongrelization” of the White Race
Ramzy Baroud
In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence
January 17, 2018
Seiji Yamada
Prevention is the Only Solution: a Hiroshima Native’s View of Nuclear Weapons
Chris Welzenbach
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Thomas Klikauer
The Business of Bullshit
Howard Lisnoff
The Atomized and Siloed U.S. Left
Martha Rosenberg
How Big Pharma Infiltrated the Boston Museum of Science
George Wuerthner
The Collaboration Trap
David Swanson
Removing Trump Will Require New Activists
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: United States Strategy
Binoy Kampmark
Macron in China
Cesar Chelala
The Distractor-in-Chief
Ted Rall
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
Mary Serumaga
Corruption in Uganda: Minister Sam Kutesa and Company May Yet Survive Their Latest Scandal
January 16, 2018
Mark Schuller
What is a “Shithole Country” and Why is Trump So Obsessed With Haiti?
Paul Street
Notes From a “Shithole” Superpower
Louisa Willcox
Keeper of the Flame for Wilderness: Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Sinister Plan to Kill the Iranian “Nukes” Deal
Franklin Lamb
Kafkaesque Impediments to Challenging Iran’s Theocracy
Norman Solomon
Why Senator Cardin is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Fred Gardner
GI Coffeehouses Recalled: a Compliment From General Westmoreland
Brian Terrell
Solidarity from Central Cellblock to Guantanamo
Don Fitz
Bondage Scandal: Looking Beneath the Surface
Rob Seimetz
#Resist Co-opting “Shithole”
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Unique
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
Weekend Edition
January 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
George Burchett
Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail