PETA have done it again. The organisation that literally seems to fight for the right of animals has sunk to a new low with their latest ad. Whilst trying to promote veganism they have seemingly endorsed domestic violence.
Watch this and see what you think.
Tory Shepherd writes for The Punch today
It’s about a woman getting the ‘bottom knocked out of her’ by a virile vegan. But don’t worry, ladies, PETA also offers some tips on protecting yourself from his aggressive advances!
* Wearing a helmet (“strap it down, hop in bed and hold on tight”).
* Wearing goggles to “protect your corneas from his turbocharged loads”.
* Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles so you can handle his ‘superpower’.
Stick to getting famous people to take their kit off, PETA. This is just a nasty, puerile piece of work. Not because of the sex. Talking up the virility of a man who has forsworn all animal products is not a bad way to counteract the general impression of vegans as anaemic, pale weaklings.
But domestic violence? Really? Don’t chortle and say it’s “tongue in cheek” and “playful” and point out the chick’s “mischievous smile” as though really, she was asking for it. She’s wearing a neck brace, and you’re merrily jesting about needing protective equipment.
PETA’s President is female. I wonder if she likes getting the bottom knocked out of her.
Hear hear Tory. I am ardent supporter of animal rights, I think some of the work PETA does is amazing, but sadly not always admirable. To portray domestic violence as a “by product” of veganism is to my mind appalling.
PETA is not new to controversy, in 2009 one of their ads was removed by US Network NBC and in 2008 we covered their Sydney protest against KFC. Three women, wearing only underwear and some tape to cover their nipples, were protesting inside a cage outside the KFC restaurant on George Street, Sydney. They had a banner that read: “Chicks agree, boycott KFC”.
At the time a thought-provoking article by Josephine Tovey criticised PETA for its repeated use of the naked female body to generate media attention for the plight of animals.
This is the sophisticated publicity technique the organisation has been perfecting over the past decade, with scores of their campaigns using the female body to try to raise awareness about animal rights. Not in a John-and-Yoko, dimply-bottoms-out-for-peace kind of way, but in a “put a hot naked chick next to a product you’re trying to sell” way.
Last year in the United States a semi-nude woman painted to look like a snake protested outside an exotic leather goods store in Florida, while in Washington, bikini-clad protesters sat in cages, holding egg-shaped signs that read, “Chicks Suffer for Eggs”. Then there was their internet video campaign, which featured a young women addressing Congress about animal rights – while stripping.
Whether or not you think the campaigns are sexist, they do raise a bigger question of whether this is really an effective way to get a message across to your audience.
it is hard to understand why PETA still uses the oldest, laziest and, many would argue, most sexist trick in the book. A feminist commentator, Ann Friedman, summarises the message behind these ads: “It’s OK to buck the stereotype of real men eat red meat, because here are some naked ladies to reassure you that you’re still a superhetero manly man!”
Indeed, the not-so-subtle message behind these ads is that animal rights are not just for those with hairy armpits and dreadlocks, but are sexy, fun and mainstream. Or it could just be, “Hey look over here! Boobies! And by the way, battery farming is bad!”
But it’s the last part of that message that usually gets lost, as most people tend to focus on the first half. If it did work,
every 14-year-old boy in Australia would be demanding tofu for dinner.
A straw poll on the meaning of Monday’s PETA demonstration among friends at the pub threw up responses including “the Catholic church’s treatment of women” and “an ad for a new line of lacy underwear”. Attention was grabbed, but the message was lost….
Are PETA exploiting women to help animals? Do their good intentions justify the means? And has this latest ad just tipped the scales?