Friday, August 21, 2009

PETA is a Bad Organization, Full Stop

Now, I have to admit that this billboard sparked me to do this post--in it, fatties are equated to whales and vegetarianism is the cure to our horrible, blubberious existence. First off, vegetarianism is part of an eating philosophy, sometimes religiously ordained, and it can be a very healthy lifestyle choice. However, it is not an automatic weight-loss system and there are certainly fat vegetarians! I know more than a dozen fat vegetarians, I even know a fat vegan. But this billboard is only the latest use of misogyny by PETA to get their message across. Below you will find a variety of offensive photos PETA has used to make sure that (as the Onion piece embedded below decries) "every animal on Earth is treated better than women." Animal Rights is important--especially in light of our inhumane industrial feedlots and slaughterhouses that need to be regulated and reformed (see: Omnivore's Dilemna by Michael Pollan). But, there are much better ways to get Animal Rights Issues across than caging half-naked women and getting C & D-List celebs to pose naked every couple months for a campaign against the fur industry. PETA says sex sells, but what they are really selling is the pornification of violence against women, reinforcing the very dangerous notion that women like to be abused, controlled, and tortured. It just so happens that caging a woman in a yellow bikini kind of could be coded as sympathy for chicks, baby chickens that is. Its a disingenous campaign strategy because all it serves is the attention seeking low-level celebs (who are rarely Vegetarians themselves, just out for the publicity), it makes animal rights activist look insane, and it supports the Patriarchy. Check out the images below!

Here we have a 3/4 naked, pregnant woman. The alleged intent of this campaign was to point out that pregnant cattle do not have much room--fair enough. How about actually campaigning for the humane treatment of cows? No, Vegetarianism is the only solution? Well, what this image does is to make pregnant women more animalistic and dehumanized, which they all ready are during that time (see: The Business of Being Born) in which the history of birth and of taking away decisions or agency from laboring women is detailed.

This is an anti-KFC, yellow chick add. Now KFC has some serious animal rights abuses to contend with and I welcome reforming industrial food in this country, but what does this do besides say: this woman is in sexy distress? Oh, she hates it, loves it. Doe-eyed and bikini clad. Please, its just pornification of abuse.

Pornification of abuse writ large, here. More "Chicks."

Now the pornification of abuse meets the commodification of "human meat."

Instead of posting the 20 or so C & D List Celebs who have done this ad, I wanted to mention that what I mostly heard about this particular anti-fur ad was how much Khloe Kardashian had to work out and "eat right" in order to get into PETA shape for this ad. Gross! First off, Khloe Kardashian is the Kardashian most belittled for her figure, completely unfairly, but second of all that just demonstrates how this whole PETA campaign stuff is really about the publicity, not the Animal Rights Activism. I doubt that many of these low-levels celebs give a damn, let alone have read a book or two on the subject. Its just a trendy "do gooder" thing to do that also happens to be slightly scandalous because you get nekked. Which is perfect publicity, because its both "sexy" and says "I care" which of course in reality its neither--its disturbing, anti-sexy, demeaning, and reinforces the sub-human status of women and it makes animal rights activist look both nutty and shallow.

So over all PETA bad, animal rights good, Patriarchy very bad.

Check Out the Onion's Take-Down of PETA's Misogyny:

Advocacy Group Decries PETA's Inhumane Treatment Of Women

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