People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is well-known for its assaults on common decency, but its latest move in Canada may have significantly backfired. PETA took responsibility for an attack yesterday on Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, in which a protester smeared her face with a tofu “cream” pie with the accuracy of an Olympic marksman. Now, Member of Parliament Gerry Byrne is calling for PETA’s attack to be investigated as a potential act of terrorism:
When someone actually coaches or conducts criminal behavior to impose a political agenda on each and every other citizen of Canada, that does seem to me to meet the test of a terrorist organization. I am calling on the Government of Canada to actually investigate whether or not this organization, PETA, is acting as a terrorist organization under the test that exists under Canadian law.
Our friends up north can find a precedent from our own government. As we’ve pointed out, this “Facility Security Profile” questionnaire from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service describes PETA as a “Terrorist Threat,” listing it alongside notorious domestic terrorist groups like the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. (See Page 4. While the USDA removed the form from its website after we started spreading the word, you can find a PDF copy preserved here.)
We revealed back in 2002 that PETA gave $1,500 to the Earth Liberation Front. PETA, naturally, had a wide range of shifting explanations for this “grant.” And that’s not even getting into the group’s $70,000+ gift to convicted arsonist Rodney Coronado, along with other eyebrow-raising “donations.”
Yes, yes. We know it was “just” a tofu dessert (if there really is such a thing). But the fact that a PETA wingnut can get close enough to a Canadian cabinet official to assault her (and the PETA activist was charged with assault) should give the Mounties some serious pause.
A 2003 New Yorker profile notes that “officially, PETA does not engage in violence, but its leaders wholeheartedly defend and encourage guerrilla groups like the Animal Liberation Front.” The sooner governments start recognizing this reality, the faster the projectiles stop flying toward government officials.