PETA stands for "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals." Apparently this group is unaware of the fact that human beings are animals because their treatment of humans is far from ethical.
Their latest outrage is a billboard in New Jersey that promotes a link between milk and autism. This is part of their aggressive promotion of vegetarianism. The reasoning—if you stoop to calling it that—is described on their website at Got Autism?.
Orac at Respectful Insolence has taken time off from his campaign against alternative (i.e. non-evidence based) medicine to take a whack at PETA [see PETA: Even more impossible to parody than ever!]. The take-down is impressive. PETA is exposed as bunch of kooks hiding behind the veneer of science in order to promote their special brand of woo. If they harm people by spreading lies, then so much the better, as long as those people are carnivores.
Toward the end of his posting, Orac backs off a little so that he doesn't appear to be too nasty to the PETA fools.
I know, I know. Beating up on PETA is like beating up on a helpless puppy dog, except that puppy dogs are cute and lovable, and PETA is anything but either of the two. It's also too damned easy, leaving me feeling vaguely guilty when I'm done for not going after a more challenging target. I do it anyway because the level of sheer irrationality demonstrated by PETA with each and every one of its campaigns just irritates the hell out of me. I hate having my intelligence insulted in such a manner. Also, the sheer publicity whoring for which PETA is so well known irritates me. It's painfully obvious that PETA doesn't give a rodent's posterior about helping autistic children. It just knows that autism has been in the news a lot lately and decided a good way to get publicity would be to latch onto autism somehow, no matter how tenuous the link they come up with to justify their billboard. Not that it will matter to most PETA supporters or to the "biomedical:" (translation: antivaccinationist) movement. Indeed, this latest campaign is so idiotic that I almost expect to see it touted on autism quackery websites soon.
There, now. I feel better. Slapping down PETA is always a fine diversion when my workload gets too heavy and I need a break. Hopefully, I can pick a more challenging target next time. On the other hand, so much woo is no better than this; so I'm not sure there really is a much more challenging target in that realm.