In the past few weeks we’ve shared stories about the various celebrities promoted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who don’t actually toe their radical animal-rights line — including Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon (“Everything’s better with bacon!“), rap group Little Brother (“Meat ain’t murder, it’s what’s for dinner!“), and singer P!nk (“I got leather boots on my feet, you know what I’m saying?“). His Holiness the Dalai Lama, former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, Indian cricketer Greg Chappell, and rappers The Beastie Boys have all asked PETA — to no apparent avail — to stop misrepresenting them as animal rights activists.
Add another vegan pretender to that list. Russell Simmons, who made hundreds of millions making hip-hop a household word, has long been promoted in PETA literature. One leaflet the group distributes features a supportive quote from Simmons, in addition to his photograph (and that of meat-eating Little Brother rapper Phonte). Simmons told Mother Jones magazine in 2003: “I don’t eat anything that runs away from me.“
To be fair, the above quote is accurate. A celebrity interview column in The Miami Herald yesterday reported Simmons’ admission that he eats fish, an animal that (technically) never runs away from anyone. The next time Simmons’ kids take the modelling runway, we can only assume that PETA will be there to give them a copy of “Your Daddy Kills Animals,” PETA’s ever-so-tasteful attempt to build up its “Fish Empathy Project.”