- The Washington Times - Monday, August 14, 2006

NORFOLK (AP) — Kentucky fried cruelty.com is now just plain old Christopher Garnett again.

The animal rights activist who gave up his given name for his cause is one of three workers at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who changed their names to those of PETA Web sites.

Two of them now have returned to their given names.

“I think maybe its time had come and gone,” said Karin Robertson, who was known as Goveg.com until last month.

Miss Robertson led the way, changing her name to that of a PETA Web site in 2003 to get people focused on animal rights and vegetarianism.

Back then, she remembered thinking, “It will be just weird and quirky enough. It will be a lighthearted way to get the message out.”

She got a driver’s license with her new name on it and tucked her court papers in her wallet just in case. It worked: Web traffic to the site shot up, as did requests for vegetarian starter kits.

Her success inspired others.

Last fall, Mr. Garnett and Brandi Valladolid went to the courthouse and, with the stroke of a judge’s pen, became Kentucky fried cruelty.com and Ringling beats animals.com.

“The name said it all,” Miss Valladolid said. “It gave all the information people needed to know.”

Miss Valladolid said her mother was accepting of the name change.

“Of course, she’s partial to my given name, but she understands,” she told the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.

Neither said that they had much trouble with their new names.

“People laughed about it, and I really think that is the point,” Miss Robertson said.

For Mr. Garnett, all was going well until he applied for a passport and credit card in preparation for a family trip to Europe.

“Since Kentucky fried cruelty.com doesn’t have a Social Security number, it became a big hindrance,” he said. “From what I’ve been told, it’s a real nightmare to go through the whole process.”

In late June, the activist became Mr. Garnett once again.

Miss Valladolid, 30, plans to leave PETA later this month for a job in the Los Angeles film world. She plans to volunteer in future protests there and will keep her Web site name for now.

Miss Robertson, 26, changed her name back last month.

“I never thought I would be Goveg.com forever,” she said. “It was just a great way to pique people’s interest.”

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