People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are enlisting the help of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer as part of a new publicity campaign. The childhood home of the notorious cannibal, located in Bath Township Ohio, is planned to be the site of a new vegan restaurant.
Ingrid Newkirk is the president of the animal rights group. She spoke to a local real estate agent and has stated that she wishes to convert the house into a vegan restaurant “to respond to the past with something positive.”
Obvious questions can be raised about the intentions of PETA in doing this. After OJ Simpson, Dahmer was arguably the most controversial American figure of the 1990s.
Jeffrey Dahmer, also referred to as the Milwaukee Cannibal, is known to have raped, murdered, dismembered and even cannibalised 17 young men and boys between 1978 and 1991. In 1994, the noticeably calm and collected 34 year old was bludgeoned to death in prison.
If you have the stomach for it, here’s a clip of Jeffrey giving an interview while in prison. It provides an insight into the workings of his mind.
This is not the first time PETA has induced controversy in the media as a form of seeking attention for its cause. As part of advertising and activist campaigns, the organisation has had a history of visually comparing human models to meat, emphasising and equating PETA’s value of animal life.
PETA have even compared the mass killing of chickens for human consumption to the Nazi holocaust of the 1930s-40s. An article by the Business Insider called ‘The 15 Most Offensive PETA Ads’ provides some of the best examples of this behavior.
Some could argue that the only way for an organization representing ideas which do not reflect the norm to get mainstream attention, is to engage in publicity stunts. The sensational proposition of using the childhood home of an infamous cannibal, to some, may serve as a means to an end for those who are ethically supportive of animal rights.
There is no immediate or deterministic way to judge this behavior. For those who believe any publicity is good publicity, a Dahmer restaurant would simply be another way for PETA to bring their agenda to the attention of the general public.
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