Sunday, April 20, 2008

PETA, An Irrelevant Advocacy in the Philippines

No, I’m not promoting the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). On the contrary, I think it’s an inappropriate, irrelevant, and a misplaced advocacy in a third world country such as the Philippines.

Last Friday, three women, an American, Canadian, and a Filipino, with only lettuce leaves covering their private parts, demonstrated outside the Quiapo Church at noon, carrying placards which said “SAVE THE PLANET, GO VEGETARIAN.”; “ILIGTAS ANG MUNDO, MAGING VEGETARIAN”. Of course, they attracted the noonday crowd who were ready to eat the lettuce, and more…. These women and their support group should have been hauled right into the prison cell. Why, choose Quiapo church of all places? Whom were they trying to convince to become vegetarians, the masses in Plaza Miranda? Many are in fact going hungry and wouldn’t mind eating “animals” or “plants”, whichever would be available at affordable prices.

PETA is a first world invention, an advocacy which is being exported to third world countries and unfortunately, since it is a well-funded campaign, there are willing partners even here in the Philippines.

I’m not sure if I’m being the odd man out here, but I read their campaign statements and found them weird and inappropriate where there are many food-poor people.

Take this one, PETA believes that animals ... are capable of suffering and have an interest in leading their own lives; therefore, they are not ours to use — for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other reason.”

Then they have this campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken. PETA claims that “more than 850 million chickens are killed every year for KFC. They are crammed into sheds, mutilated, suffer from broken wings and legs, and are often still completely conscious when their throats are slit and they are dunked into tanks of scalding-hot water. We need your help to persuade KFC to implement real animal welfare standards and stop this hideous cruelty.

Well, our partner NGO in Gingoog provides micro-financing to women’s groups that raise chicken which they sell to Sr. Pedro, a popular chicken-barbecue stand (similar to Andoks) with several branches in Cagayan de Oro City. I don’t think Sr. Pedro puts the chicken to sleep before slaughtering them! And I don’t think the women feel that they are violating the chicken’s rights!

There is nothing wrong with promoting vegetarianism but to compare pigs in livestock farms to the “Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust” is absurd. There are more important advocacies than this. Rather than focusing on the animals, put the people’s rights first! People have the right not to go hungry. If they want to promote vegetarianism, then promote crop and vegetable production. Start with the advocacy for a more equitable access to the land, prohibition against the conversion of prime agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses. Or promote various recipes using malunggay, talbos kamote, and tokwa that can provide cheap but nutritious food to the majority of the people.

I wonder what the local PETA partners are getting?

1 comment:

Daet Parochial School Class 67 said...

Hi Toti,

I was about to write a lengthy commentary about this,but on the second thought, "huwag na lang". Wala rin namang mangyayari. As long as you have Filipinos who think that they are not part of the masang Pilipino, there will always be these activities that we might ask " are these people for real? Just several days ago, I approached a filipino-chinese family from Manila (they will attend a presentation of time-share at our resort) to be able to save on the tickets to Disney attractions. Doon palang alam mo nang nagtitipid. When I introduced myself as a Filipino, the guy look at me and said, so you are Filipino, you seems to be doing okay here, ha! And then the wife said, may mga Filipino din ba dito? Baka naman mga OFW lang. Toti, my friend, I know how frustrated you are with what is going on there. But the problem is the mentality of the Filipinos. "Silaw na silaw sa salapi", so everyone is doing all they can to amass wealth.
Even those who have less, are dying to get out to earn any currency, huwag lang ang piso.
But back to the PETA, actually, eating vege is not bad at all. Anyway, marami namang mapagtataniman sa Pinas. Masama din naman ang karne. "kunyari ha". But again, not eating the burjer and the chicken fajita and the steak is "bakya" , kaya kahit masama, sunod naman sa "status symbol" nang mga may atik. And to your opinion that there are more important advocacies, I agree with you my friend.
Doon nila dapat ibuhos ang kanilang mga mababangong pawis. Regards my friend. Palamig ka nang ulo dito sa Tate.


Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

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