Just hours after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh wondered on his show if maybe, just maybe, “hardcore environmentalist wackos” had sabotaged the Deepwater with an explosion that killed 11 people and is bringing the Gulf economy to its knees.
While Limbaugh was presumably conjecturing from somewhere — perhaps he was thinking of the Earth Liberation Front, which torched an SUV dealership in Oregon in 2001 and used a stolen earth-mover to topple two radio towers in Washington state circa 2009 — his critics blasted him for trying “environmental wackos” without a shred of evidence.
Turns out, Limbaugh has nothing on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): One week after the oil from the exploded Deepwater rig began to contaminate coastal areas, the animal rights organization flew a message over the heads of despondent Alabamians that read, “Meat on your grill=Oil Spill. PETA”
According to the Karin Bennett, PETA was doing the residents of Alabama a favor by freeing them from false consciousness. “At times like this, I know it’s popular to blame big business, and that’s fair enough,” Bennett wrote on PETA’s blog. “But in a free-enterprise system, business only gets big (and sloppy and greedy) because of consumer demand. This morning, PETA delivered that message to Alabama residents by flying a banner over downtown Mobile.”
Her explanation as to how omnivores are to blame for a poorly managed (or even sabotaged) oil rig?
“Oil spills can be blamed in large part on the oil-guzzling meat industry, which owes its existence to the meat-guzzling public. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it takes more than 10 times as much fossil fuel to produce a calorie of animal protein as it takes to produce the same amount of plant protein.”
We have a call out to PETA and expect to hear back shortly.