PETA has reached a new low with its latest campaign. It features a photo of a shark with a bloody leg dangling from its mouth, along with the words “Payback Is Hell – Go Vegan.” That’s all fine and dandy except for the fact that the ad is in response to last week’s shark attack on 21-year-old Floridian  C.J. Wickerhsam.

Ella Wickersham, C.J.’s mom, calls it “over the top” and she tells Fox News that she won’t even dignify them with a response. Fortunately, her son survived the attack and is in stable condition, though he received around 800 stitches to close the wound on his left thigh.

“With the shark attack in the news, we thought it’d be a good time to remind people that sharks are not the world’s biggest predator – we are,” said PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne. “We hope the billboard will lead to Floridians choosing a healthy vegan diet.”

Okay, really, Byrne sounds like a nut job. I myself am vegetarian (or pseudo-veg) but I do value human life over animals. This campaign is tasteless and it essentially blames the victim, which is ridiculous. I just think of C.J. and his mom – and how she must have felt seeing this gory image while watching her child recover from such a horrific incident. The last thing she needs are a bunch of crazies using her son as an example of evil.

Byrne, on the other hand, has a message for C.J.: “We’re glad that Mr. Wickerhsam is going to be okay. We hope that after this experience he considers the pain and terror that fish feel when they are impaled and suffocated to death.” Yes, sweetie, I’m sure that’s exactly what he’s thinking.

(Photo: peta.org)