If you’re friends with hunters on Facebook then you’ve probably noticed more than a few of them change their profile pictures to something like the above image. Hunters seem to believe that this is “trolling” PETA, subverting their message and making a mockery of their anti-hunting campaign. But here’s the thing: this is exactly what the PETA-philes hoped they’d do.
A few days ago PETA put out a Facebook “frame” — a template that you could use to change your profile picture, much like those that became popular following [INSERT TERRORIST ATTACK HERE]. Ostensibly the idea seems to be that people would post their gore-free selfies using the frame and show their support for the PETA’s anti-hunting message.
Hunters (being the anti-PETA bunch they are) decided that it would be fun to ruin PETA’s party by posting trophy selfies instead. Shoving bloody carcasses in front of tree huggers to “trigger” them. Turning the tables on PETA with their own campaign.
But is it trolling? Or is it playing into PETA’s quinoa-flaked hands?
Generally speaking, most people are fairly rational. The average person understands that hunting for food and for animal population control reasons makes sense. While they may not participate, most don’t really see an issue with that.
Until, that is, they are confronted with the reality of what’s happening. People love their steaks when they come in small white shrink-wrapped packages in the supermarket. But seeing a Porterhouse “on the hoof” — and with someone covered in blood grinning over the carcass — the emotional response takes over.
PETA depends on just that emotional response in order to spread their anti-hunting message. Logically they don’t have a leg to stand on. Instead they rely on the outrage of their membership to drive their funding and contribute to what few successes they have combating hunters’ rights. These pictures, people taking selfies with freshly murdered animals, are fodder for PETA’s campaign.
This is exactly the kind of “red meat” content that will enrage their base and polarize “fence sitters” who may not have had an issue with the abstract concept of hunting, but are appalled by the bloody reality of the practice. Hunters don’t see an issue because they understand and have accepted this reality, but to someone who has never been outside their sanitized urban environment these pictures are nothing short of shocking and disgusting.
Hunters might be having a grand old time poking fun at PETA, but in reality they’re doing a much better job of spreading PETA’s noxious animal rights message than they ever could have done on their own.