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Florida College Republicans group hosts meaty barbecue to protest PETA

November 5, 2009 |  5:39 pm

BbqA Republican students' group at the University of Florida used barbecue to voice its opposition to PETA's principles on Wednesday -- and encouraged students to bring their pets to the event. Why that last part? Well, to prove that the group's members love animals, of course.

Wait, what?

UF's College Republicans organization staged the event, which it termed the People Eating Tasty Animals Barbeque, to draw attention to what its members say are the extreme stances of that other PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  "I think it's the best thing ever," Nick Galyon, a junior at UF, told the student-run newspaper the Independent Florida Alligator. "I am a big supporter of eating animals. I think PETA is just ridiculous. It's liberal propaganda."

College Republicans President Bryan Griffin (no relation to the fictional, talking dog from TV's "Family Guy") echoed Galyon's sentiment in an interview with the Gainesville Sun's Chalkboard blog.  "We're against radical environmental extremism," Griffin said. 

But beyond just "radical" environmental stances, the group also seems to be opposed to more mainstream eco-friendly ideals like, say, not littering.  From the Chalkboard:

The group also puts on a Carbon Credit Bake Sale twice a year -- on Arbor Day and Earth Day -- to poke fun at climate-change policy. People who buy a cupcake or cookie get a credit allowing them to litter in a designated area. Griffin made sure to point out that all the trash is cleaned up and the money is donated to the Nature Conservancy.

Griffin brought his own pets, a ferret and a ball python, to the anti-PETA barbecue, telling the Alligator that there "is a balance in the animal cruelty debate.  Loving animals does not exclude you from eating meat."  As if to add insult to injury, the College Republicans staged their event at the same time, and in the same location, as a vegetarian lunch hosted by a local Hare Krishna group. 

As for the real PETA, the group has thus far refrained from commenting on the barbeque.

Strange bedfellows: Glenn Beck, PETA join forces to give Al Gore what for
PETA prances out playmates, but is anyone influenced to go vegetarian?

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Texas hickory-smoked brisket with coffee barbecue sauce. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times

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