DUBAI — Last week’s protest outside the Dubai Zoo did not go too well for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but the group is braving on despite the setback.
There’s plenty of room for activism in the Middle East, the group says, because awareness is a precurser to changes in society. It plans to hire more campaigners in the region and a series of protests are on the cards in the Middle East and Australia to end the import of live animals.
Ashley Fruno, senior campaigner for the Asia-Pacific, sounds unruffled by the reception from the region when PETA protesters were packed off from the protest site in Dubai. She’s overwhelmed by reactions from the trip. ‘‘Since our demonstration, we have received dozens of emails from people all over the UAE,’’ she says.
The group has been campaigning on a small level in the Middle East for almost a decade, and activism has grown, it says. ‘‘The discussions on vegetarianism and animal transport are bigger than they have ever been. PETA has taken more trips to the Middle East recently because of the demand from members in the Middle East.’’
‘‘Animal rights is a newer concept in the Middle East, but it’s an important topic nonetheless. People are talking about it like never before, and we find that people are very curious about it.’’