PETA: Five Ways Vegans Can Screw With Carnivores at the Fourth of July BBQ

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has always been controversial. But sometimes you've got to make waves to get noticed. By bringing the plight of animal cruelty in circuses, factory farms, and in laboratories to light, many barbaric practices are being phased out.

In part because of the work of PETA and other animal rights groups, many circuses are phasing out the use of animal acts, consumers are choosing to not buy meat from factory farms, and a U.S. Senate committee has just approved a bill that would protect great apes from national research studies. But why stop there when you can preach at the family barbecue?

PETA has come up with a handy list of five tips every vegan should do to ensure your Aunt Cindy leaves the picnic in tears. They include:

5. Set a Good Example - PETA actually suggests that you don't go on a militant rant at the party. Better to relate to your friends in a loving, kind way. A good example? "If a bacon-loving friend has a dog, tell that person that pigs are smarter than dogs". We're sure Uncle Bob will love hearing that the bacon strips on his burger were once Mensa material.

4. Don't Forget The Sides - Because everyone will absolutely put down that rack of ribs oozing with homemade barbecue sauce for your edamame and tofu toss.

3. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve - What goes with a pair of denim cutoffs as chic picnic attire? How about this adorable shirt? Aww -- wook at the widdle piggy. Then wook at the widdle pork chop.

2. Know The Facts - PETA suggest "boning up" on your animal cruelty factoids, so when your brother-in-law is ready to chow down on his burger, you can gently remind him that most cows are "genetically altered to grow faster or to produce much more milk or eggs than they naturally would (many animals become crippled under their own weight and die just inches away from water and food)." Better yet, break out your iPad and show him this video of a downed cow.

1. Bring Your Favorite Mock Meats - Why bring beer, when you can bring a box of frozen Boca Burgers to the party?

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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