Many Americans are familiar with the various boundary-crossing media stunts of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which often involve women in states of undress or animal-rights shock tactics aimed at children. So when we heard that PETA had decided to export its infamous stunts to the Middle East, we wondered what would go wrong first. According to the Daily News Egypt, the answer in Cairo was… well, just read this:
A fistfight between two women broke out in Mohandessin Sunday, after two-dozen Egyptians scrambled to collect free vegetables given away by an animal rights group. […]
The onlookers, many of whom seemed more interested in free chilies, eventually dashed to fill their bags from a large pile of peppers PETA had placed on the ground.
The rush for chilies led to the scuffle between the two women, one of whom was knocked to the ground while both had their headscarves pulled off, angering several onlookers.
“It is shameful that they put food on the ground for us, as if we were animals. They are disrespecting Egyptians,” screamed one man, who only went by the name Mahmoud.
Did PETA at least win a few hearts and minds in the City of a Thousand Minarets? Not exactly:
Mohamed Hassan, 32, gathered three crates of peppers to use for cooking in his small street-side restaurant.
“Of course, I will not stop eating meat, however expensive it may be,” said Hassan. “But now I have a whole lot of peppers, which should last me at least three days.”
At least no one was arrested in Egypt, although PETA can’t say the same in Jordan. PETA’s anti-meat message, of course, was lost in all the commotion. But the news isn’t all bad: Handing out free food is one of the few truly charitable things we’ve seen PETA do in years.