In light of September’s terrorist attacks, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has decided to tone down its tactics — for now. “Sadness and images of cruelty would not be effective right now,” said PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk. But PETA’s critics say the anti-meat group is likely to return to its usual tricks. PETA has called time-out on agitation before, but “they returned to shout and confrontation.” Cate Alexander of Americans for Medical Progress said PETA is actually exploiting the recent tragedy by seeking attention for calling a hiatus on behavior the group shouldn’t be committing anyway. “At a time when the nation’s focus is on the victims of the tragedy, it strikes us that PETA is trying to get points for not being offensive,” Alexander said.

If PETA’s pause is an effort to exploit September 11, it wouldn’t be too surprising — the group is taking advantage of tragedy elsewhere. Latching on to a Mesa, Arizona, murder that “may have been in response to the attacks,” PETA is offering schools an anti- violence curriculum package — that includes animal rights propaganda, of course.