Yes, that’s right. Women are less entitled to rights than animals. At least to PETA. Though I’ve long found PETA sort of obnoxious, I’ve mostly considered it innocuous. But with their recent Fat-shaming “Save the Whales” campaign, I finally stopped ignoring their sexist and harmful tactics. For those, who missed it, check out Jessica Valenti’s post at Feministing:
I know I shouldn’t be surprised by PETA’s latest billboard campaign in Florida – after all, their brand of activism has proven to be sexist and racist time and time again – why not fat-shaming to boot? (Part of me hates posting this at all because it does just give PETA the attention that they want. But I just had to.)
I was pretty aggravated around the Superbowl when the “Veggie Love” ad popped up around the internet, after being banned by NBC. Just some of the offensive footage that was objectional included: (via email sent to PETA)
:21- rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin
:22- screwing herself with broccoli (fuzzy)
:23- asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into vagina
:26- licking eggplant
:26- rubbing asparagus on breast
PETA proudly touts this letter as an example of their supposed edginess and the prudishness of the powers that be, that would be happier if we all were meat eating zombies. But what PETA can’t possibly comprehend is that maybe we’re all a little disgusted at the dehumanizing behavior that the woman in these ads are portraying. It’s not just because of the faux sexuality pictured, but because it is objectifying and damaging to women. Not to mention the lies that PETA continues to spread about vegetarianism automatically leading to a more svelte, sexy body. It’s condescending to think that women couldn’t flock to vegetarianism for the obvious environmental and health benefits and that we need to be tempted by the same shallow promise made to us by Jenny Craig and Metabolife. Or, further that men couldn’t possibly be interested in vegetarianism if it’s not packaged in lingerie.
It almost reminds me of… what is it? Oh yes, this insulting and ridiculous campaign run last year by Ecko Manufacturing.
So how is “Veggie Love” different than “Hot Girls Make Great Clothes.” Well, there’s something even more bitter about degrading sexism when it comes from an organization masquerading as being committed for justice. As Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.” Congratulations PETA, you have chosen to value the justice of some over others. Now, I’m not against shutting down factory farming, nor am I against being vegetarian, I have been for about 10 years. What I am against is tactics that try to sell vegetarianism at the expense of women’s sexual autonomy or self-esteem.
In one of PETA’s most recent “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” ads, actress Nia Long is pictured on a subway naked and wrapped around a subway pole. At the bottom of the page is a claim that we should “be comfortable in your own skin.” This is of course, unless you are fat. Then you should’s be ashamed and vegetarian, because all vegetarians are skinny. Maybe that’s too simplified, but that’s apparently all the complexity that PETA thinks that people are capable of. Because you know, we’re not animals. They also apparently think we’re idiots. Because I don’t think even Nia Long is “comfortable in her own skin” otherwise why would she be so severely photoshopped. I think the question of why there’s an ad for an oil company in the background may be a question for another day. All in all, my reccomendation is ignore PETA and be a vegetarian, because it’s good for you, it’s good for animals, and it’s good for the planet. If you need help, check out some books from the library or do an internet search.