Earlier this week, the Internet trolled the sh*t out of the Oregon “patriots” whose occupation of federal lands resulted in a public plea for snacks. Yet supporters of the so-called militiamen have come around and fulfilled leader Ammon Bundy’s requests as best as they can. In fact, one group that insists they’re not supporters of the cause has also contributed snacks: PETA.
Seriously, folks. PETA members traveled to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to hand-deliver packages of vegan jerky to the ranchers, militiamen and patriots. Sure, these men are protesting what they view as intensely unfair federal land management practices detrimental to their careers in animal husbandry, but vegan jerky? Really? Yes, really.
Despite the existential crisis created by the meeting of these two disparate factions of human society, PETA’s publicity arm swears at least some of the Oregon occupants tried the vegan jerky. They even provided photographic evidence of camouflage-wearing individuals opening the packages and discussing the merits of the meatless contents.
Unfortunately, like any opportunistic publicity campaign, PETA’s fell victim to the cursed “use the same response for every inquiry” routine. Most of these back-and-forth’s concerned whether or not PETA’s actions were inadvertently supporting the Oregon standoff.
This went on for so long that the organization briefly changed its tactics, telling one Twitter user they didn’t support the cause — with a PR tagline attached, of course.
The worst, however, occurred when PETA’s Twitter account sent its pre-written tag to genuine, non-trolling comments and questions.
The chance meeting of these two polar opposites — people who raise, kill and process animals for meat for a living, and people who think consuming honey steals from the hard labor of bees the world over — should be celebrated. Who would have thought that the armed occupation of a bird sanctuary in Oregon would have led to such an occasion? Even so, it’s not entirely clear who “wins” or “loses” after this particular PR charade.