Canadian Politician Says PETA Throwing a Pie is Terrorism

by Will Potter on January 28, 2010

in Terrorism Scare Mongering

peta pieingA PETA activist pied the Fisheries Minister of Canada, as a publicity stunt to draw attention to Canada’s seal slaughter, and now a member of parliament says the pieing should be investigated as an act of terrorism.

The Globe and Mail reports that the member of parliament, Gerry Byrne, said:

“When someone actually coaches or conducts criminal behaviour to impose a political agenda on each and every other citizen of Canada, that does seem to me to meet the test of a terrorist organization…”

“I am calling on the Government of Canada to actually investigate whether or not this organization, PETA, is acting as a terrorist organization under the test that exists under Canadian law.”

Ingrid Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, called it empty posturing and said “It is unlikely to impress anyone who has a heart for animals or who is bright enough to spot the difference between a bomb and a tofu cream pie.”

The whole thing sounds a bit outlandish, huh? Well, unfortunately this isn’t the first time people have called for labeling tofu cream pies as terrorism.

To put this in a bit of historical context, pieings were much more common in the 90s when groups like the Biotic Baking Brigade and others snuck into corporate meetings to lob a pie at a dignitary. The point of the whole thing, of course, is to make a silly spectacle. It’s hard to be taken too seriously when your face is covered with vegan whipped cream.

When corporation and industry groups were calling for an expansion of “animal enterprise terrorism” statutes, one of the claims they made is that the law did not cover “not so savage acts” like pies in the face. Really. Check out this background document on the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. Ultimately, that law was expanded and became the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

I suspect this will all blow over, much to the dismay of corporate hacks like the Center for Consumer Freedom, which put out a press release egging the whole thing on. But that’s not the point.

The real danger is that this “terrorist” PR campaign, which has been going on since the 80s, has worked its way to the top levels of government, here and abroad. Regardless of how you feel about PETA, pies or parliament, that should make everyone stop dead in their tracks.

Scarce anti-terrorism resources devoted to investigating tofu cream pies, or threatening to investigate tofu cream pies, are resources better spent keeping people safe from less savory national security threats.

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