Are You A Mass Murderer, Too?

The dateline:"Milwaukee....July 1991." The copy: "They were drugged and dragged across the room..... Their legs and feet were bound together.... Their struggles and cries went unanswered...Then they were slaughtered and their heads sawn off...Their body parts were refrigerated to be eaten later...Their bones were discarded with the trash." An over-the-top ad for a quickie paperback on the Jeffrey Dahmer case? No, an ad produced by a Washington-based animal rights group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "If this leaves a bad taste in your mouth," the ad concludes, with an obvious nod at the grisly Milwaukee murders, "become a vegetarian."

The Milwaukee Sentinel refused to run the ad. But The Des Moines Register ran it last week, to the protests of meatpackers. "[It is] the most tasteless, demented, twisted piece of garbage I've seen in a long time," Charles Harness of the National Pork Producers Council in Des Moines told the Register. "It shows how crazy these people are." PETA was unapologetic. "We're offended by the slaughter of 16 million animals every day," a spokeswoman said. Officials at the Register admitted there had been some in-house debate about accepting the ad. but, "while graphic in expression," said ad manager Nancy Trafton-Dyer, "[it] wasn't posing anything illegal and was expressing the opinion of one group."