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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PETA vs Illegal Immigration??

Every now and then, life likes to throw these little puzzles at me. I am anti-PETA. I am also anti-illegal-immigration. So when the two seem to be doing battle, it's really hard for me to choose a side. Unfortunately it doesn't really matter what I think, since the battle seems to be prematurely drawing to a close. It turns out that idiocy and propaganda are no match for criminals. I wouldn't say I'm giving a tip of my hat to PETA for their attempt to stop some illegal immigration, but I will admit that in this battle, my finger is wagging less furiously at them than it's waving at illegal immigrants. So what is this situation I'm referring to?

PETA attempted to rent billboard space on the border fence to post warnings to potential illegal immigrants that there's more to fear than the Border Patrol - they could also become obese by eating our meat and should go with veganism in Mexico.

I can't make this up.

The billboards, in English and Spanish, would offer the caution: "If the Border Patrol Doesn't Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan."

"We think that Mexicans and other immigrants should be warned if they cross into the U.S. they are putting their health at risk by leaving behind a healthier, staple diet of corn tortillas, beans, rice, fruits and vegetables," said Lindsay Rajt, assistant manager of PETA's vegan campaigns.

I'm just so confused by the sheer idiocy of this "campaign" that I don't know where to begin.

First of all, they're trying to say that meat is as bad for illegal immigrants as the BORDER PATROL is bad for them? That makes as much sense as telling a robber holding you at gunpoint for your wallet, "You know, if the police don't catch you - old age certainly will." Because people WANT to grow old. Just like how Mexicans crossing the border WANT the luxurious lifestyle that Americans have and cheap meat is certainly one of those luxuries.

And wait a second - are they trying to insinuate that a Mexican diet is naturally a vegan one and that by abandoning their motherland, they'll be tempted into the seedy underbelly that is the meat-eating population? I haven't lived in Mexico or anything, but I'm pretty damned sure that just about all of their signature regional dishes tend to have meat and cheese in them along with the "staple diet of corn tortillas, beans, rice" and so on.

In fact, a comedian said it best that just about all Mexican dishes are a combination of tortillas, meat, cheese and some vegetables. In a taco, the meat and cheese goes on the tortilla and you fold it over (or fry the tortilla and put the meat and cheese inside). In a burrito, you put the meat and cheese on the tortilla and then roll it up. In taquitos/flautas, you put the meat and cheese on the tortilla, roll it up and then fry it. In enchiladas, you put the meat and cheese on the tortilla, roll it up and then put sauce on top. In quesadillas, you put the meat and cheese on the tortilla and then cover it with another tortilla. In tostadas, you fry the tortillas, then put meat and cheese on the fried tortilla and cover it with another fried tortilla. Hell, in nachos, you fry up the tortilla, break it into pieces, then add meat and cheese on top!


At least when you're bitching at Americans to become vegans, you're speaking to a group of people who have absorbed so many different cuisines - they can hopefully find enough non-meat and non-dairy dishes in all of them to possibly sustain themselves.

If you tried to convince a Mexican that "arroz" is just as good as "arroz con pollo" - I doubt you're going to make any headway.

I'm also questioning why the proposed billboards from PETA were going to display Spanish and English. What illegal immigrant is going to pay attention to the English side if you're giving them the Spanish? Are there really that many non-Spanish-speaking illegal immigrants from Mexico who would need the English version to read the propaganda? Or are they suggesting there's a huge American tourist population near the border fences who can't read the Spanish?

Either way, I don't really give a shit how this turns out. I'm glad that PETA is trying to piss off a group of people who are not ME. I'm glad that PETA is making a very feeble, yet not-even-visible effort to fight illegal immigration. I'm glad that in the offchance that their ploy works, it means less illegal immigrants taking America's jobs and eating America's meat (leaving more for me to enjoy). It's more likely that they will still cross but maybe will only take America's jobs and eat less of America's meat.

Of course, the thing is really a moot point because a government spokesperson in Washington said the request will be denied because it would limit visibility through the fence - the way that Border Patrol agents can see illegals approaching.

What do you think? Are you on PETA's side or the side of illegal immigrants? Does your brain hurt trying to ponder that as well?

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Anonymous said...

asking my boyfriend for a nacho and beer date. so not girly of me.