Udayavni Special

’20-yr-old NGO reduced to low, abusive trolls’: Shefali Vaidya has last laugh after being trolled by PETA


Team Udayavani, Jul 19, 2020, 5:45 PM IST

 

A targeted campaign against columnist Shefali Vaidya seems to have backfired on PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India with several Twitteratis calling out the animal rights organisation for its hypocrisy.

The war of words ensued on July 18 when Vaidya reacted to a PETA campaign featuring a cow, asking people to “go leather-free” this Raksha Bandhan. Several other social media users were left puzzled over the relation between leather and rakhis.

 

Amid criticism from netizens who argued that rakhis are rarely made of leather and using such an auspicious occasion to promote cow protection was insensitive and ill-timed, PETA India clarified that the campaign is pointing out cows are our sisters and Raksha Bandhan is a great day to extend our protection to our cow sisters.

“This campaign is pointing out cows are our sisters under the skin, like us, they want to live, & that Raksha Bandhan is a great day to extend our protection to our cow sisters not wearing leather,” it tweeted.

In continuation with the criticism against PETA, Shefali Vaidya subsequently tweeted, “This Eid-Al-Adha, sacrifice your ego, not innocent animals’. Said NO celeb animal rights activist EVER!”

Notably Vaidya’s tweet never asked Muslims to stop eating goats or at any point claimed that she is a vegan, rather she just questioned the ‘selective outrage’ in calling out a Hindu festival and why PETA was not doing a campaign to save Goats on Bakri Eid.

She also tweeted a few hashtag suggestions for PETA which included #BakraLivesMatter #ThisEidSacrificeYourEgoNotGoat with the former becoming one of India’s top trends.

As many users supported her tweet, PETA India raked up her old tweets and began targeting her for not being a vegetarian – while refusing to addresses the allegations of hypocrisy levelled against it.

“I am vegetarian”–things @ShefVaidya never says, because she is a meat-eater: https://twitter.com/ShefVaidya/status/1235534874506752001. Change starts at home. Go vegan Shefali, live by example, and join us urging Konkanis, Muslims, and people of all other backgrounds to go vegan”, tweeted PETA.

“Exposed: ur obsession w/ Eid isn’t 4 respect 4 animals. Konkani and so won’t stop eating chickens/fish, but expects Muslims to stop eating goats? Pathetic. Join us in asking EVERYBODY to go vegan. Start w yourself. How goats & chickens/fish u eat suffer,” it said in yet another tweet.

Amid this onslaught, other users too began troll Vaidya and began sharing edited videos of her comparing her to a snake.

Shockingly, PETA India even used an opportunity to attack Vaidya when other users trolled Vaidya comparing her to a snake. In a taunt, at Vaidya the organisation told “just letting you know, we help snakes too”.

In a win of sorts for Vaidya, many Twitter users jumped to her support and called out PETA for its hypocrisy. Very soon ‘PetaIndiaExposed’ began trending on Twitter and it soon became India’s number two twitter trend.

A Twitter questioned how PETA gave a Hero to Animals award to Shilpa Shetty, despite her being a ‘meat-eater’.

In another tweet, the same user asked as to how PETA who wants to protect cows on Raksha Bandhan, can name actress Sonam Kapoor as its person of the year even though she has done several endorsement with leather-goods manufacturing brands over the years.

Many prominent twitter users concluded from PETA’s attacks that Vaidya’s tweets has successfully unmasked it as a group of common trolls.

Vaidya while responding to PETA’s personal attacks against her has responded by saying that, “I think I can go to bed tonight happy in the feeling that I turned a 20 year old NGO @peta @PetaIndia with huge offices in multiple cities in the world into nothing but low, abusive twitter trolls! Last 48 hours, their ONLY activity has been trolling me, a private individual!”.

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