People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) does not shy away from attention grabbing news stories when it comes to furthering their cause of animal rights. As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal, the organization’s president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, recently wrote a letter to the real estate agent who listed infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home for sale. In the correspondence to agent Richard Lubinski, Newkirk said that PETA would like to turn the Ohio house into a vegan restaurant and “respond to the past with something positive.”
The home, now listed for $295,000, was the location of Dahmer’s first murder in 1978. He killed, dismembered, and scattered the remains of Steven M. Hicks around the 1.5-acre property. Dahmer would later take the lives of 16 more victims. Newkirk wrote in her letter, “Dahmer’s old house gives us a way to evoke sympathy for these victims and to suggest that a life-affirming diet can change everything.” It is unclear what Ms. Newkirk meant by ‘everything.’
Zoning inspector and administrator Bill Funk explained that the group would, “have a lot of hurdles to jump,” because the house is located in a Bath Township residential zone where businesses are not allowed. However, PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt asserts that they are serious about the proposal and they have even thought of a name and a possible menu for their future restaurant. They’re planning on calling the restaurant, Eat For Life: Home Cooking, and they intend to offer vegan dishes at a cost of $10 or less.
Right now, Lubinski says that he is treating PETA’s interest as a “serious lead,” though he’s unsure if it is purely publicity driven. Newkirk wrote, “We are always looking for ways to draw attention to the violence inherent in the production of meat, eggs, and milk — which involve processes that would shock all but the most hard-hearted person.” However with PETA’s website stating, “Like Dahmer’s human victims, cows, pigs, and chickens are made of flesh and blood and fear for their lives when confronted by a man with a knife. They are also drugged and dragged, and their limbs are bound. Their struggles and screams are ignored as they are killed and cut up to be consumed. Their bones are thrown away like garbage,” some feel that PETA’s latest effort shows a lack of compassion for Dahmer’s victims.
UPDATE April 9, 2014 9:23 AM PDT:
PETA Media Officer, Moira Colley, contacted Odd News via e-mail with an update to the story. Colley wrote in part, “We regret that we won't be able to move forward with this project, even though it was met with some enthusiasm as well as some derisive comments… getting zoning for a restaurant on this site is apparently impossible, in part because of issues with the plumbing and waste systems.”