This quote is not ‘created’ by PETA. It is from Eternal Treblinka by Charles Patterson, and in it the author is reflecting on passage 68 of Adorno’s Minima Moralia. Amongst other things Adorno writes, “the possibility of pogroms is decided in the moment when the gaze of a fatally wounded animal falls on a human being. The defiance with which he repels this gaze — ‘after all, it’s only an animal’ — reappears irresistibly in cruelties done to human beings, the perpetrators having to reassure themselves again and again that it is ‘only an animal, because they could never fully believe this even of animals.” This is from my copy which is the Verso edition, transl. Jephcott. This is far more complex than a ‘comparison’, of course.
I hope you’ll forgive me for saying that I feel equal impatience with both PETA for the careless attribution and for you for casting this as deliberate fakery. It took me all of 5 minutes on google to discover the Patterson quote. PETA don’t get everything right — who does?! — but they’re doing important work and don’t deserve to be wilfully miscast. People will always talk guff on all sides, but I object to your implication that vegans are those who post “cute fluffy things” to Tumblr. I’m vegan. I’m also educated to doctoral level, pretty healthy and well fed, and yes, aware that nature is often red of tooth.
I applaud your quest for ethical, sustainable produce. Truly, I mean that, and there are many different ways of pursuing that aim. In the case of a neighbour of mine the path he’s chosen is to only eat meat he’s hunted and killed himself. He keeps his own chickens and doesn’t use milk. My own path is veganism, but we always have a good chat over the fence because we feel a great affinity.