Which PETA campaign do you hate the most?

I refuse to post the image of the newest horrific stunt that PETA managed to pull off in London yesterday. Instead, I’ll go vintage sexism and give you the oldest ad that we have – Save the wild pussy!
Sometimes it seems that PETA’s sexist bullshit will never cease to haunt us, so I thought it was about time we do something about it. I wanted to take the opportunity after this most recent heinous stunt to make a poll out of five of their most offensive ads/actions that we have and ask you which is your personal favorite (to hate, that is). So will it be:

“Fur Trim” Ad?
“Milk Gone Wild”?
Naked Alicia Silverstone’s ad?
“KFC Blows” Sex dolls?
London’s “Unhappy Mother’s Day for Pigs”?

And while we’re collecting your responses, give PETA a new campaign idea like these that Ann suggested, “Vegetarianism is not sexism” or “Don’t make women your meat substitute.”

Join the Conversation

  • http://kendallmck.wordpress.com/ TheSoyMilkConspiracy

    Back when I was a crazy animal rights activist in college, I got naked, painted myself like a tiger, and sat in a cage for 6 hours in front of a circus to protest the inhumane treatment of animals – the idea being that it’s supposed to be horrific and offensive to see a human in the same gross and vulnerable position that we gladly put animals in everyday for profit. Rake me over the coals if you must, but it was one of the most effective protest techniques I participated in. It’s supposed to illicit empathy, but I understand why people take it a completely different way. Naked women seem to bring out the nasties in everybody – even feminists.
    I go back and forth with PETA.

  • leah

    There needs to be an “all of the above” option :P

  • http://marnanel.org Thomas Thurman

    Thank goodness I clicked through to see that campaign! Otherwise, I might have forgotten that it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and forgotten to phone my mum. Otherwise, eugh.

  • http://heartoffalsehood.wordpress.com/ laceyfish

    They’re also racist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfCGFAMRodY
    I don’t understand how one organization can be so completely wrong so often.

  • sojourner

    “t’s supposed to illicit empathy, but I understand why people take it a completely different way. Naked women seem to bring out the nasties in everybody – even feminists.â€?
    *Even* feminists? Gee I wonder why feminists would have an objection to women’s naked bodies being used to sell stuff (this case an ideologu/lifestyle).
    Why is it that it’s always naked women and not men? Because women are equivalent to animals and men aren’t? Why naked anyways?
    Why is it that in those PETA ads, images that are supposed to look disturbing and horrific, look hot and sexy instead?

  • http://cola82.blogspot.com Cola

    It was a close one between Milk Gone Wild and the London… pigs one. I think the former was more gross than sexist (thought it’s hard to separate the two).
    TheSoyMilkConspiracy, I don’t mean to disparage your political causes, don’t get me wrong, but I thought you were going to follow this sentence, “Back when I was a crazy animal rights activist in college, I got naked, painted myself like a tiger, and sat in a cage for 6 hours in front of a circus to protest the inhumane treatment of animals – the idea being that it’s supposed to be horrific and offensive to see a human in the same gross and vulnerable position that we gladly put animals in everyday for profit.” With the acknowledgment that it’s not much different to put a woman, especially a naked one painted like a cat, in a cage than an animal. I think context is important, but even at a circus, it isn’t entirely out of place.
    Maybe there’s something to be said about the way we treat animals being akin to the way we treat women? I don’t know, but I don’t feel that it’s as effective as other forms of protest, simply on the basis of our social expectations for women.

  • http://facebook.com/group.php?gid=22162852544 Genetic_Mishap

    Ugh, the comments on Hilton’s blog…yuck. First and only time I’ll ever visit. “OMG UGLY SAGGY BEWBS! WTF?!?”

  • judgesnineteen

    TheSoyMilkConspiracy (hey, I read something a while back with this crazy guy saying that soy milk was going to turn boys gay, is that what your name is a reference to?),
    Thanks for telling us what you did and why, because I think you made a good point that I may not have thought of. But that angle should work with a man just as well as with a woman. I don’t follow PETA’s ads, but do they do this kind of stuff with men, too? Anyway, I just think the point of their ads is different. Maybe the pig one was more like yours, I don’t know, I didn’t entirely understand what the message was supposed to be. But the general idea I get from the others is that they associate themselves with what sexist society wants women to be like (shaven, sexy, naked, whatever) to get people to associate vegetarianism with being cool and sexy, and then occasionally they just do something crazy (and sexy/objectifying) to get attention, and during all of this, they have no qualms with sacrificing women’s rights to win people over for animal rights. I think they should be honest and rename themselves something like PETABWNSM: People for the ethical treatment of animals, but women, not so much. There have to be other ways for people to advance animal rights than to stoop to the level of Budweiser and sell sex.

  • http://www.randommusingsonlife.blogspot.com/ GottaBeMe

    Unfortunately, PETA only uses young, attractive women to strip publicly for protests. So instead of being offensive and disturbing, it becomes nothing but eye candy. I guess PETA’s thinking is that they’ll use and objectify women to recruit men, their “real” target. Gross all the way around.
    Having naked women in front of a store will actually help that business. The more effective way to protest is by spreading accurate information (PETA falls down here too, they have no problem with lying to further their cause) and encouraging consumers to boycott, call with complaints, and write letters.
    The fact hat PETA never, EVER has men strip for protests is very telling.

  • TheSoyMilkConspiracy

    Um, PETA uses naked men. Not nearly as often as women, and again, I’m not here to defend their tactics, because I am all too aware of the implicit problems, but let’s be fair:
    And the one of David Cross totally gave me a she-rection and has been pinned on my wall since its release.

  • Erica B

    I voted for the Milk Gone Wild, but only because I didn’t really “get” the London Pig thing. They’re pretty much equally bothersome to me.
    @TheSoyMilkConspiracy — would it have been just as effective to be a woman in a tiger costume (faux fur of course!) or did the effectiveness come from the fact that you were a naked painted woman? Not trying to rake you over the coals much, honestly curious what you think :)

  • http://thecurvature.com Anonymous

    This is absolutely disgusting. But all I can think right now is “holy shit, Mother’s Day is on Sunday.” Fuck fuck fuck.
    Thanks for the reminder PETA, but you’re still assholes.

  • http://thecurvature.com Anonymous

    Okay, wait. It’s only Mother’s Day in the UK. Now I freaked out for nothing. So I doubly hate PETA. Though the disgusting nature of their tactics would surely be enough on their own.

  • TheSoyMilkConspiracy

    Again, I’d like to point out that I’m not defending PETA – in both an animal rights sense AND a feminist sense. In fact, the majority of hardline animal rights activists consider PETA to be a total joke, and the naked lady thing is a pretty big reason why. Oppression of any living thing is obscene.
    I meerly felt it necessary to point out that feminists can and do take part in animal rights demonstrations that utilize female nudity for a variety of reasons. I was (and still am) very much a feminist in my naked-tiger-cage days, and all I’m saying is that there are a variety of ways to interpret both the action and people’s reactions. I’m trying very hard to be non-combative in this discussion, because this subject is pretty subjective.
    I should also note that the people that were most offended by the demonstration were misogynists who yelled “slut” and “prostitute” at me while I was protesting and made disparaging and sexually threatening remarks about my body and sexuality. The cops surrounding the scene weren’t interested in stopping the harassment because, hey – I was naked and getting what I deserved. What they were REALLY interested in was watching very carefully to see if they could catch enough of a glimpse of nipple to justify arresting me.
    Ha. I was wearing pasties.

  • Nattles

    Honestly, the only ad I’m offended by is the fur trim ad. It’s telling women that their bodies are icky, and this is far worse than any amount of naked women.
    I tend to come down strongly on the pro-naked people side of the feminist porn wars. I understand the logic behind using sex to sell their ideology — people come to the protest because they hear about the naked, and the whole situation makes them think that yeah, maybe animals do get treated like shit — and I’m not offended.
    Also, I have trouble with the view that the women posing for PETA are victims of exploitation. They choose to take off their clothes because they believe in a cause, and they’re willing to deal with being objectified if it will help animal rights. Even if you’re anti-porn, I think it’s important to respect the feelings of the actual naked people. Anything else is patronizing.

  • chefmatt

    I’m not in any way supporting Peta or their weird ass marketing. But I think the issue of female nudity can go either way. Is the nudity in question trying to convey a message? Or is it just trying to present women as an object men fantasize over?
    And one of the posts raised the question, “why don’t they have men posing naked?” That I understand. Men usually don’t wear fur. Most of the time, fur coats and such are made for women. So it wouldn’t make much sense to have a add campaign urging men to not wear fur, when they usually don’t anyway.
    Having said that, I very much doubt that seeing a picture of a naked women (no matter how sex she is) is going to make someone stop wearing fur.

  • Baby Fem

    FWIW, in this case it makes sense to have a woman in a cage. They are specifically protesting the use of gestation cages for pigs by demonstrating how uncomfortable it makes us to see a pregnant woman treated the way we treat pigs. I get that, and I appreciate the point they are making, and I do think it’s effective. So in isolation, I don’t find this stunt particularly offensive. However, in context with much most of their other ads, which demonstrate a trend of putting women in vulnerable and submissive positions compared to men, PETA’s tactics just tire me out. Don’t you feel strongly enough about your stance that you don’t need to use sex to sell it? Jeez!

  • fiery_lil’_redhead

    I fucking hate this fur trim ad. It’s one thing to make a statement about vegetarianism, but it’s completely unnecessary to make a statement about vegetarianism while simultaneously stating that it’s unattractive for women to have pubic hair. Fuck you Peta.

  • Thomas

    The “pig” thing made me a bit sick. The use of “pig” and “cow” terminology is so loaded that I know women who do BDSM and who like humiliation, for whom those are hard limits, i.e. things they won’t do under any circumstance. I worry that this episode will produce emotions in that model that she couldn’t predict and that will stay with her a very long time. I find much of PETA’s advertising vile, but this one may give me nightmares. If she were my friend, I would try my best to talk her out of going in that cage.

  • keshmeshi

    the idea being that it’s supposed to be horrific and offensive to see a human in the same gross and vulnerable position that we gladly put animals in everyday for profit.

    That sounds more than a little self-defeating considering that plenty of men would find that titillating.

  • Ruby

    Thomas, I completely agree with you. The naked, pregnant woman in the cage disgusts me in its own right, but because the word “pig” is so often used to denigrate women, I find this demonstration especially vile. I have been a strict vegetarian for years and this demonstration makes me want to eat meat just to spite them. Fuck you PETA!!!

  • plenilune

    um, for the london pig protest, why is the pregnant woman in a cage on her hands and knees? the equivalent to a pregnant pig (a quadruped) in a gestation cage would be a standing pregnant woman in a cage. women, as part of the species homo sapiens, are bipeds. i’d like to think that an animal rights organization, even a despicably misogynist one like peta, wouldn’t be so brazen as to have the woman pose in a biologically incorrect but blatantly sexual way.

  • http://www.randommusingsonlife.blogspot.com/ GottaBeMe

    But again, the issue for me is that although PETA has apparently used naked men in a tiny number of their ads (which I’ve never seen and got nowhere near as much press as the naked women) is the fact that they have long used the objectification of women to attract attention to their point.
    I’m not saying that the women who get naked for PETA are being exploited. I’m saying that PETA is promoting and using the objecitification of women as sexual objects to get attention for their cause, which has nothing to do with sex. The fact that they continually use young, naked women to get attention for their cause shows who their target audience is: men. Why aren’t they targeting women as much? Why aren’t they providing the same amount of male eye candy?
    And yes, I agree that having the pregnant woman on all fours was uncecessary – human beings are bipeds, and would not naturally be down on all fours, whereas it’s natural for pigs, which have four legs, to be standing on all fours.
    PETA does, in fact, promote the subjugation of women by putting them in humiliating positions, denigrating them, and implying that yes, even breastmilk is unhealthy, beer is better. The misinformation spread by that organization alone is insane. But whether they mean to or not, they are promoting the view of women as sexual objects to further their own cause. That’s what I have a problem with.

  • CScarlet

    Because we are still regarded as chattel by a good number of people on this planet, or they think that we should go back to being regarded as chattel, using women in these ridiculous ads muddies the waters. It is undeniably connected to the inferior way women are viewed, and it cannot be separated from the routine sexualization of women’s bodies without their consent.
    Women are already compared to pigs and cows without PETA helping it along, not to mention the racism of the organization already covered.

  • frip

    So, I made a suggestion to Peta for an ad, and got a form letter back that explained that most of their staff as feminists they also have images of naked men, that the women who do it are doing it voluntarily blah blah and, besides “This tactic has been used since at least the 11th century, when Lady Godiva rode naked on a horse to protest taxes on the poor. ”
    Way to go Peta, use a LEGEND to validate your ads.

  • Brinny

    This was a pretty difficult decision, as they’re all pretty horrible.
    I chose Milk Gone Wild though because I think it’s the most irrelevant to their message.
    I mean, once the “Meet Your Meat” message comes up it’s just confusing. What? My meat is an inebriated exhibitionist woman? That and it made me gag.

  • Farhat

    chefmatt: Yea, well, fur is worn by women predominantly but leather is worn by both sexes and as far as the animals are concerned its the same skin off their back. So when are we seeing PETA outside biker congregations?

  • LilahCello

    I am not a fan of PETA either, so I may be missing something that will make me look ignorant (something I try to avoid!). I looked at the links with the male-centric ads – for the most part, they were “normal” looking guys – thin, muscular, “attractive.” One could argue that David Cross and Ron Jeremy were the odd balls out by not fitting into the ideal body type, but I have NEVER seen a non-“ideal” woman featured in an ad. It’s the typical double-standard again. It’s okay to show men who are fat/unattractive/etc., but not women – women have to be thin and beautiful. (This is not an argument as the the beauty/desirability of any of the featured men.) I just notice that all PETA ads I see are of sexualized, “ideal” women’s bodies. What if I, a fat vegetarian, had been willing to pose naked for PETA – would I have been welcomed with open arms? My guess is no.

  • hellotampon

    They could have put the woman in a pig costume and it would have been less… wrong, and still gotten the point across. I really don’t see why she had to be naked.

  • Jane Minty

    Chefmatt, I’d say the issue isn’t that men don’t really wear fur, but do PETA members have the balls to approach men wearing fur?
    I’ve singlehandedly come up with their next sexist campaign right here:
    “The only cut of roast beef that comes near my buns is ‘curtain!'”
    You’re welcome, PETA.

  • Wildberry

    SoyMilk, I clicked on one of the links you provided, with the ads of men, and it had one with a hairy man and the ad says to wear your own fur…if you’re a man. Then women get told that fur is unattractive, and we shouldn’t even wear our own “fur”

  • Jaina

    Huzzah to Peta for having so many crappy ads to choose from!
    I picked the “fur trim” ad as the one that bothers me most. I mean… they’re all horrific, completely offensive. I can’t imagine that they describe themselves as “feminists” as someone above describes.
    I’m just really, really sick of being told that pubic hair on women is ugly and unacceptable. Enough guys already buy into this crap. Wildberry… I saw that ad as well. It just gets my hackles up big-time when I see double standards like this. What’s wrong with our fur???
    Oh god I hate PETA.

  • MLEmac

    I agree that the sickening part of the pigs ad is that the first thing that came to mind is that it was calling women pigs.
    Arguable, the leather that people wear is coming from cows already being killed for meat, whereas fur comes from animals that we kill solely for their pelts.
    I do eat meat and wear leather, occationally, but I don’t wear fur. I also wholeheartedly support harsh punishments for cruelty to animals. Sadly, Arkansas is one of the few states that still doesn’t consider animal cruelty a felony. Every time such a bill comes up, all the hunters complain that the bill will take away their rights because hunting might be interpreted as cruelty to animals. I always want to smack my forehead and yell “no you assholes, we’re trying to increase the punishments for crimes that already exist, hunting is legal, thus it doesn’t afffect you!” Sadly the fuckers who microwave kittens still get off with a slap on the hand.

  • kemp

    I couldn’t agree more, LilahCello. And Wildberry, that was my first reaction, too. The taglines on the ads with men are saying things like “wear your own fur” and “be comfortable in your own skin”. They’re sending a completely different message than “Fur trim. Unattractive.”

  • Jane Minty

    Also, my dude has thing for 70s bush (as a lot of foreign guys do, at least in my experience). I guess they’re not targeting his demographic.

  • Bellecamino

    The pubic hair ad is the one that pissed me off the most.
    And I really didn’t see what was racist about the AKC/KKK ad. It was actually mildly funny. Explanation?

  • BluePencils

    I hate PETA, always have, but I’m not terribly offended by the “Mother’s Day” ad. Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant? No one forced that woman to take off her clothes and get in the cage, she’s protesting, pointing out what she believes is a valid point that if you think a pregnant woman shouldn’t be in a cage, neither should a pregnant pig. I don’t think that women and pigs are equivalent, but SHE does. She’s not being exploited. PETA is using the shock value of seeing a naked pregnant woman in a place society thinks she shouldn’t be to get attention, and the shock value of seeing a pregnant woman actually having a “voice” and using it, especially for something that doesn’t have to do with babies or women. I’m pregnant myself, and I still see myself as the same person with the same voice and political rights and opinions that I had months ago. But society likes to see us only as “pregnant women,” obsessed with babies, not as people. It’s shocking to see us with a voice–something that feminists have known for a long time. Look at that photo that pops up on the Flickr column, the one with the pregnant woman with something written on her belly. It wouldn’t have the same effect if she weren’t very pregnant. PETA’s just doing the same thing.
    I still hate them, though!

  • Suze

    PETA contributes money to domestic terrorists (see http://petakillsanimals.com/news_detail.cfm?ID=3564). I’m far more concerned about their channeling money to groups that threaten the lives of researchers than their stupid publicity stunts. I wonder if most of the people who contribute to PETA have an inkling what they’re supporting.

  • cadylee

    MLEmae, it’s wackos like PETA that cause the kinds of problems your state has. PETA is against hunting, just as it’s basically against the killing of any animals for any reason (though their pet shelters are not no-kill, but whatever), and unfortunately for people who support animal rights but are not rabid, fanatical nutballs, people like your Arkansas hunters think of PETA when they think of animal rights. So if a bill comes up supporting animal rights, they fear it will be the start of a slippery slope toward the eradication of their hunting rights. And why shouldn’t they feel that way? The most vocal animal group they know about would like to take away their right to hunt. The animal rights movement needs a loud but sane voice. PETA does more harm to the movement than good, because they discredit themselves and alienate people who want to compromise. No matter how many naked women you put in pigpens, you’re never going to convince humanity to stop eating meat. No matter how many young girls you get to flash their breasts, you’re not going to stop humanity from drinking milk. If PETA really cared about the welfare of animals, they’d accept these realities and work with the industries to ensure the animals have a good quality of life before they are killed, and that the methods by which they are killed are humane.

  • Peepers

    I think it would be perfectly fair, at this point, to draw attention to some anti-objectification arguments by using images of people clubbing baby seals.

  • MLEmac

    cadylee, I totally agree with you about how much PETA hurts the cause. I’m as much frustrated with them as I am with the hunters who won’t allow the bill to pass. I understand the fear of the slippery slope, but I don’t think that increasing the punishment for crimes that are already on the books is in any way a step towards making hunting illegal.

  • Mina

    “And Wildberry, that was my first reaction, too. The taglines on the ads with men are saying things like ‘wear your own fur’ and ‘be comfortable in your own skin’. They’re sending a completely different message than ‘Fur trim. Unattractive.'”
    What if an anti-fur campaign was pro-male-*and*-female-human-body as well?
    Imagine posters with the positive slogans showing people of all sexes and skin types (different colors, patterns, textures, everything) wearing alternatives to fur* and leather, sometimes posing with furry animals that are alive and well…
    * I’ve seen people claim that killing animals for fur isn’t violent if the fur is necessary to keep warm. Maybe this audience would be more convinced by campaigners in Everest-appropriate non-fur jackets than by nude campaigners?

  • canto_xii

    Ingrid Newkirk was on The Colbert Report last night. The arrogance and egotism and hypocrisy that woman spews makes my teeth clench. I’ve lost friends because they were PETA supporters and I wouldn’t let it slide. They’re so anti-animal, so anti-people, the only “cause” they’re really working for is money. Everything they do is wretched and these ads are just icing.

  • DaveNJ17

    I voted for the fur trim ad, which is brutally sexist and offensive for the sake of a bad pun, but if there were a write-in section how about the “Holocaust on your plate” ad campaign. That was one of the most disgusting pieces of moral relativism I’ve seen in my life.
    PETA’s a crazy group that doesn’t do that much for animals, and even less for humans. Saving the lives of some animals by engendering stereotypes in future generations is the equivalent of telling your kid black people are inferior as long as it saves a few dogs. The future’s too important to allow these kind of ads to be tolerated.

  • Wildberry

    You know, the whole “I’d rather go naked” thing is just dumb. They could easily put someone in a clown suit or something, and it could be “I’d rather walk around in a clown suit.” Wouldn’t that get the point across just as well? And all without objectification.

  • LauraB813

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade, and PETA makes me want to cook up a big ole steak and dive in.
    Not that I’d have the faintest idea how to cook a steak… but still.

  • http://snowplow.org/martin Daniel Martin

    I’m waiting for PETA to put together an ad saying “Is your bitch too uppity? Stop feeding her meat”, with a picture of a lioness tearing into an antelope.
    However, until PETA actually goes there, I’m going to stick with the “Fur Trim” ad as being the most offensive.

  • http://profoundsarcasm.blogspot.com Liza

    There should be an option for “All of the ads are gross and PETA is a sick terrorist organization that gives animal rights a bad name.”

  • Mudpuppy

    “Why is it that it’s always naked women and not men? Because women are equivalent to animals and men aren’t? Why naked anyways?”
    You didn’t look into your above statement.
    Peta has many many men that have appeared in their adds.

  • bluestate8

    Can I just say how completely sad I felt when I showed the “Unhappy Mother’s Day for Pigs” ad to a male friend and he LAUGHED. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.