I’m not the kind of person who gravitates to causes. You’re not going to find me on a sidewalk distributing flyers about the plight of baby sea otters. You won’t run into me shouting through a megaphone about the many injustices the modern-day milk cow suffers through. And you probably won’t happen by me locked arms in a picket line for the better treatment of silkworms. I’m just not that guy. I’m more the guy who quietly slinks past the protesters; trying to avoid eye contact, doing my best not to attract unwanted attention so I can pass through without having to accept a pamphlet or be lectured on the many unethical things that have to happen in this world so I can continue to live in the relative comfort modern-life has afforded me.
Earlier today I was doing just that, minding my own business, strolling down the street on my way to grab a quick lunch. The dining establishment I was visiting just happened to be across from a McDonalds where a number of protesters were lingering in front of. I attempted to sneak past but was interrupted by a woman holding a “McTorture” sign who crammed a pamphlet into my free hand. I continued on without incident showing the other protesters the informational leaflet I had been forcibly given. Once I had successfully navigated through the throng of signs and activists, I immediately disposed of the pamphlet and went to lunch.
Reading the newspaper at lunch I came across an article about the very protest I had witnessed. The protesters were part of the group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). They were protesting the methods McDonalds uses in the slaughtering of chickens. Apparently the method currently utilized is to knock the chickens unconscious with a jolt of electricity and then slit their throats. The protesters from PETA wanted McDonalds to implement the European method of gassing the chickens, claiming the latter practice induces less suffering. I left lunch a little more knowledgeable and made my way back through the PETA crowd. I was once again stopped by a protester, this time an older woman clutching a “Chickens Feel Pain” sign. She asked me to take a flyer and I replied, “That’s okay I already agree with you, we should just gas the chickens like they do in Europe.” The woman’s face went ashen; she started screeching at me that they were protesting any harm to chickens anywhere, ever.
Confused I continued through the mob with the woman close behind me pointing me out to the others. A protester shouted at me, “Nice man, just go on being apathetic and ignorant, man!” The crowd of activists began to tighten around me. More shouts came, “He’s an appeaser!” "Cluck You!" “Chicken Torturer!” “Goebbels! Goebbels!” (Which I’m assuming was a dated reference to Uber-Nazi Joseph Goebbels or it may have been a protester confusing the sound a chicken makes with the sound a turkey makes). Panic set in, the shouts were becoming angrier and harder to place. I darted out of the crowd and into the relative safety of the street dodging through traffic, making my escape.