It is impossible to escape food related myths and discussions, no matter where you go. From people opining that eating meat from a young age could perhaps turn you into a cannibal later, to those debating about specific recipes and food items -- there is a plethora of food-related content around us.
And then, there are those who believe that animals have no business being on someone's dinner plate in the first place. Animals rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), had recently come out with a campaign urging people to "protect cows too" on the upcoming occasion of Raksha Bandhan. And while the organisation's aim was to reduce the usage of leather, netizens were bewildered by PETA's choice of festivals.
Needless to say, where there is a strange statement, there follows social media trolling and/or outrage. While many cracked jokes, others called out the organisation for what they deemed "selective outrage".
"Really, #PETA? A campaign to "protect cows" on #RakshaBandhan? Are cows harmed or butchered to celebrate #Rakhi? Could have been seen as astounding disconnect & ignorance, except for your track record of selective outrage in India & funding from global far left anarchist sources," tweeted National Vice President and spokesperson of the BJP, Baijayant Panda.
Others wondered how animal abuse was liked to the Raksha Bandhan festival, with some noting that they'd "never seen a leather Rakhi". Others focused on the slaughter of goats during Eid.
Peta India was quick to respond to the tweets, wondering whether the Twitter users, "cared about goats, but not cows".
"This campaign is pointing out cows are our sisters under the skin, like us, they want to live, & that Raksha Bandhan is a great day to extend our protection to our cow sisters not wearing leather," the organisation said. It added that they were not talking about leather rakhis, stating that this would be a good day to "extend protection to cows who are our sisters under the skin".
Things however took a turn towards a Twitter battle of sorts, as PETA India engaged in a virtual exchange of words with several individuals including Shefali Vaidya and Jay Panda.
"‘This Eid-Al-Adha, sacrifice your ego, not innocent animals’. Said NO celeb animal rights activist EVER!" Vaidya had tweeted two days ago.
On June 18, PETA dug out a March 5 tweet by Vaidya where she had mentioned that she was not a vegetarian, and ate fish and chicken.
"I am vegetarian--things @ShefVaidya never says, because she is a meat-eater. Change starts at home. Go vegan Shefali, live by example, and join us urging Konkanis, Muslims, and people of all other backgrounds to go vegan," the organisation said.
"Exposed: ur obsession w/ Eid isn't 4 respect 4 animals. Konkani and so won't stop eating chickens/fish, but expects Muslims to stop eating goats? Pathetic. Join us in asking EVERYBODY to go vegan. Start w yourself. How goats & chickens/fish u eat suffer(sic)," it wrote in another tweet.
Not only Vaidya, even Panda was on the receiving end of several tweets from the organisation, being told to not "make this about religion".
"Please try not to make this about religion or be so ready to be offended, that now you’re even offended by a message in favour of cow protection. :) Surely what’s offensive is not our ad, but how cows are tortured/killed for leather," the organisation responded.
In a series of tweets PETA spoke about how cows are ill-treated, and killed, as well as repeating their earlier missive about cows being "sisters under the skin".