No, you can't actually eat vegan cuisine in Dahmer's home . . . but yes, this is for real. And, I'm sure no one is surprised to learn that PETA is behind the stunt.
Per usual, PETA cashes in on horrific human tragedies to draw attention to violence against animals. In doing so, they effectively alienate veganism from the general public and embarrass vegans everywhere. Though zoning restrictions thankfully prevented the project from getting off the ground, PETA apparently sought to turn one of the sites of Dahmer's serial killings into a vegan restaurant.
PETA has a long history of offending vulnerable groups and destroying any hope for movement alliances with various ridiculous tactics. These have included having volunteers dressed as the Ku Klux Klan hand out fliers to dog show attendees, posting billboards of Holocaust victims, posting billboards of overweight women referring to them as "whales," running a series of ads mocking overweight people by photo shopping them to resemble pigs, and of course, blasting the public with thousands upon thousands of images of sexually objectified women--many of whom are depicted as victims of graphic violence. All in the name of animal rights.
There is nothing cute or ironic about making a metaphor of Dahmer's violence and veganism. Dahmer raped, killed, dismembered (and sometimes consumed) 17 boys and men, many of whom were children, gay, prostituted, and persons of color. Indeed, local authorities have been criticized for not acting sooner by heeding the missing person reports of the victims' family and friends--as the victims were "low priority" minorities.
Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports:
The discovery of Dahmer's acts widened racial divisions in the city. He was white and many of his victims were black, though he also killed white, Latino, American Indian and Asian men and boys. There was a sense that Dahmer was able to get away with it for so long because of the perception that the missing males were marginalized because of race or sexual orientation.Many Americans have a very strange fascination with serial killers, and there has been considerable taboo over the sales of "murderbilia," as this is seen as as extremely hurtful to the family and friends of victims. The Dahmer murders happened between 1978 and 1991, meaning that many, if not most, of the victims' loved ones are very much still alive and would likely be devastated by PETA's tasteless project. Indeed, they are hoping for a memorial to be erected:
. . . but not at the 25th and State site where the Oxford Apartments building, where Dahmer rented unit 213, was razed. That spot is forever marred by the memory of a freezer, a blue acid barrel and boxes of God-knows-what being carried out by police and the medical examiner on July 23, 1991.Murderers are prevented by law from profiting from the hype over their crimes, but third parties, unfortunately, are still free to do so. The morality of cashing in on the fascination over Dahmer's crime to bring attention to veganism is suspect nonetheless.
|The family and friends of Dahmer's victims at a candlelight memorial service|
The Milwaukee Drum, a news resource for African Americans living in metro Milwaukee, reports:
For twenty years we watched the news and saw the local media make these families relive (or recreate in some cases), the pain they have lived with for the sake of ratings. Even though the local media has trivialized this tragic event, there are many in the community who continue to care and pray with these families as they felt the torment the families have been left to deal with.Veganism must be a message of peace and non-violence. Yes, unimaginable violence is enacted against billions of animals every year, but associating veganism with a horrific American tragedy is in terrible taste. PETA's project capitalizes on the suffering of vulnerable people, specifically, they are exploiting racialized violence. This is antithetical to our position.