Several days of back and forth social media exchanges with PETA India has not deterred Shefali Vaidya. The columnist who recently exchanged virtual blows with the animals rights organisation has now fired a fresh salvo at them.
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. Thus began the controversy.
PETA India slammed those who suggested it was indulging in "selective outrage", telling BJP National Vice President and spokesperson, Baijayant Panda to "not make it about religion".
The organisation also put effort into criticising Shefali Vaidya, after the latter took a dig at them over the lack of Eid-Al-Adha related campaigns. PETA India responded, amongst other posts, by digging out a March 5 tweet where she had said that she ate chicken and fish.
As the battle continued, Twitter saw a few strange trends such as "#BakraLivesMatter" and "#SnakesLivesMatter".
On Wednesday, the debate continued, with Vaidya posing several questions to the organisation. She wondered why the festival of Eid was not mentioned in PETA's hoardings about goats, and then followed that up by wondering whether Ingrid Newkirk was indeed the founder of the organisation.
"You LIED that @IngridNewkirk WAS your founder and she is NOT the main functionary at @PetaIndia , if that is true, why do your campaigns feature her, and why does she sign your official FCRA returns? #AntiHinduPeta #PetaIndiaExposed," she alleged.
Vaidya wondered why the organisation had never named Hindu or Jain spiritual leaders who were for the most part "vegetarian and advocate Ahimsa".
"Why has @PetaIndia NEVER chosen a Hindu Guru or Jain Acharya as your Person Of The Year, when @PetaIndia chose Pope Francis @Pontifex even though he eats meat," she queried. She then went on to talk about one of the recipients of the award, Sonam Kapoor.
She was named PETA India's Person of the Year in 2018. Earlier, the organisation had named her the Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2016. A year later, she her brand Rheson earned a Compassionate Business Award from the group for their cruelty-free vegan handbags.
Ironically, it is the same accessory that Vaidya has criticised her for.
"@PetaIndia trolled me for two days calling me a snake and saying #SnakeLivesMatter. Yes, they DO. But have you given this gyan to your Person Of The Year @sonamakapoor who proudly flaunts a python leather Prada bag worth 1900 USD?" she asked.
Calling it hypocrisy, Vaidya also shared screenshots of the aforementioned bag, as well as a screengrab of a Prada listing. She also shared a link purportedly of Kapoor's rather impressive collection of bags.
"Here it is folks, the huge collection of exotic leather bags owned by Sonam Kapoor, PETA India ‘person of the year’! I am guessing all those animals died naturally of a heart attack after watching Sonam Kapoor’s ‘acting’!" she jibed.
Kapoor does not appear to have engaged in the discussion, even as she remains active on Twitter. However, that hasn't stopped Vaidya (and many others on social media platforms) from bringing up her name in connection with the discussion.
In the meantime, PETA India seems to have stopped their war of words with Vaidya, even as new posts on the Twitter handle suggest that the Raksha bandhan campaign may have been modified. "Go leather-free for life. PETA India apologises about misunderstanding, encourages public to wear vegan with new campaign," said a recent post on their Twitter page.