Same old shit from PETA

via Renee comes the latest PETA nekkid-lady ad, featuring U.S. Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard:

The argument against this ad is not that Amanda Beard is being exploited. The issue here is that once again PETA is employing the tired old tactic of using a conventionally beautiful woman with conventionally “perfect” body, posed naked or nearly naked, to call for animal rights. But the thing I hate most about this particular PETA propaganda is that it takes what should be a message of empowerment, Love-Your-Body-style, and turns it into yet another affirmation of the female ideal. As Renee puts it, “It seems that they respect the rights of animals far more than they respect women. Consider that they don’t use images of male nudes, nor do they use images of women with varying body sizes.”
As you’ll recall, PETA has defended this advertising strategy with the weak response that “sex sells.” It’s an excuse I expect from Axe and Maxim, but not from a movement that is supposedly about justice.
Oh, and we’re not done yet! From Debbie at Bitch (via Vegans of Color) comes the horrifying news that PETA now wants to advertise on the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico.

While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans today to announce an unusual marketing pitch to the U.S. government: Rent us space on the fence for billboards warning illegal border crossers there is more to fear than the Border Patrol.
The billboards, in English and Spanish, would offer the caution: “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.

WTF?! I have no words. This is so fucked-up, even for PETA.

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77 Comments

  1. Vordreller
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Sex has been used since the dawn of mankind and probably will never go away, thanks to our hormones(both male and female mind you)
    still, it is indeed a sad sight that PETA tries to influence women into not buying fur through ther looks. Women who care this much aobut their looks aren’t the ones who care about inner beauty, these women care about getting attention and getting a man/woman, depending on their sexual orientation.

  2. Mina
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, I’d like to see some anti-fur ads in which the humans wear real substitutes for fur coats – thick, warm coats without fur. Imagine one with snow in the background, a warmly dressed person hugging a fox or something, and a slogan like “stay warm and let animals do too!” :)

  3. FuckDecaf
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I would also like to see the ad Mina describes- mainly because it sounds ridiculously cute.

  4. Vidya
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Vegans seem to rely a whole lot more on supplements while seeming to state that veganism is healthy and complete diet.
    Many vegans, like myself, don’t use allopathic drugs, because they are tested on (and sometimes, made from) animals. Those of us who ‘rely’ on supplements are often using them in place of relying on more violent systems of medicine. I don’t take lots of supplements because my diet is lacking, but because they are keeping a life-threatening health condition at bay.

  5. Farhat
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Any drug you use will eventually have to be tested on animals as humans are part of the kingdom animalia. I volunteer PETA members for that as each member could probably save tens of rats and mice and it would give them real joy to be saving them.

  6. Farhat
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t take lots of supplements because my diet is lacking, but because they are keeping a life-threatening health condition at bay.
    That brings another question. Why do so many vegans have different conditions. It is certainly larger than in the general population. Vegans also seem to age significantly faster since their diets will lack collagen unless they take supplements.

  7. FuckDecaf
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Farhat- “Why do so many vegans have different conditions. It is certainly larger than in the general population.”
    It “seems” to me that this is a pretty big assertion, and one that doesn’t really hold up to reality. The number one killer of Americans is heart disease.

  8. Jessica
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Farhat, I’m curious where you are getting this “data” from. Would you care to post some links to well-researched articles about the majority of vegans having “conditions” and “aging faster?”
    No offense, but the tone of your comments on veganism suggests a sort of anger towards the diet itself… and like you aren’t very open to information about it.

  9. jlw
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    It seems like the fact that more vegans use supplements (if that is actually a fact) could easily be that they are just more diligent about making sure they get an adequate intake of vitamins.

  10. Posted August 16, 2008 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I am so sick of threads about PETA attracting people claiming how cheap and easy vegetarian diets are. Vegetarian diets are easier to maintain when you have adequate access to fresh, quality produce, and some foreign products like tofu, etc. NOT everyone has this access.
    I live in Newark, NJ. This is one of the most economically depressed areas in NJ. For those of you who have easy access to a Stop and Shop, Whole Foods, Traders Joe’s, etc., imagine if your life was like this–your primary grocery store is gone. If you want fresh and quality produce or meat, you have to take a bus or walk to the next town because there IS NO GROCERY store. I don’t know how to make this any clearer, but there is no grocery store in the middle of Newark, not even a Gristedes. There is a limited farmer’s market that’s in operation when I’m at work, once a week, June through October. Other than that, you have to get your groceries at a bodega. The fruit and vegetables are poorly refrigerated, usually spoiled, and covered in insects. Rice and beans are in abundant supply, but that’s it.
    Now tell me how easy it is to go vegetarian, when I don’t even have room to garden and have to get my groceries in another state (I work in NYC and there’s a Gristedes near the PATH station.)
    The argument that fruit and vegetables are cheap and everywhere reeks of privilege, it’s like some people can’t even comprehend that there are parts of America where unprocessed foods aren’t available for everyone.
    I have to say, though, I do hate how much energy is invested in factory farming.

  11. Farhat
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    From the Cleveland Clinic. Scroll down to “Getting enough nutrients” and read the second sentence.

  12. Jessica
    Posted August 16, 2008 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Farhat, I read the second sentence: “Those of you following a primarily vegan dietary pattern, however, are at higher risk of nutritional deficiencies for nutrients like iron, vitamin B12, zinc, calcium and vitamin D.”
    But it does not address the “conditions” and “aging faster” issues that you talked about. It talks about being at a higher risk of deficiency. Being at risk of a deficiency is not the same as actually having a deficiency or having some kind of “condition.” Out of that list, I think vitamin B12 is the one nutrient that vegans should make sure they are getting from a supplement since the vitamin is not plentiful enough in plants like it is in meat (and dairy, I think). Vitamin D would rank second, in my opinion, while letting a varied diet take care of the rest.
    Words like “risk” and “deficiency” do make the diet sound hazardous. Anyone can be at risk of deficiency if their diet is poor.

  13. FuckDecaf
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Farhat, if you read the whole article you linked to, instead on one sentence, you’d notice it is mostly about health benefits of eliminating meat from your diet.
    Considering your original comment said that vegans have more “conditions” than the “general population,” that looks pretty bizarre. The takeaway from that article is that vegans are more at risk for certain vitamin deficiencies and should pay extra attention to that, but are much less at risk for the diseases that kill more people in the US than any other.
    I’m not saying you need to quit eating meat, but your hostility toward veganism is leading you to some pretty silly logic.

  14. Posted August 17, 2008 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Oh Christ. I am an animal rights activist (hence the name), and the last thing I want to do is get into it on this thread. The anti-animal rights/vegetarianism heat is palpable here and I gave up having the same aggravating fight over and over again when I left college. Or so it seems…
    You can tell people over and over again that meat and dairy are terrible for you and that factory farms (the way the majority of the meat in the US is made/slaughtered) are horrific polluters, breathtaking wastes of resources, environmental nightmares, and home to some of the most flagrant human rights, immigrant rights, and women’s rights, (not to mention animal rights), abusers in existence. That last fact is particularly amusing considering how many “socially conscious” people on this board are defending their participation in such an industry.
    I could point out that meat and dairy are, on a whole, way more expensive than fruits, veggies, and grain, and while being able to be selective about what you eat IS directly linked to privilege, feeding yourself and your family on a vegetarian diet is actually less expensive if done correctly and will probably save you money in the long run due to health-related expenses (fast food/obesity/diabetes anyone?). I could point out how vegetarianism and environmentalism go hand in hand, mention all the health benefits, and regale you with cringeworthy stores of the viciously barbaric ways in which slaughtered animals are treated. I could inform you that I’ve managed to maintain a vegan/vegetarian diet for 6 years on practically no money, while eating fast food, at restaurants, cooking myself, etc., with little if any additional effort. None of it matters – when people want to eat meat and wear leather and believe animals are made entirely for human consumption, facts ain’t going to stop them. There will always be an excuse.
    And I’ve heard them all. I’ve heard all about your vegan friend who’s “has all kinds of problems.” I know all about the time you “tried to be vegetarian” but it was “just so HARD” because you “couldn’t eat ANYTHING!” I’ve heard about your sister who “went vegetarian but then her doctor told her she was getting really sick so she HAD to stop OMGGGGGGG!!!!” I know all about how you “get your meat from sustainable local farms so it’s not thaaaat bad.” Yes, you’ve told me the one about the parents who “killed their kid with a vegan diet” (how many more have given their kids serious health problems with a steady diet of McDonald’s)? I’ve even heard the one about the guy who had to sustain himself entirely on “liquidized meat drunk through a straw” when he was a little kid, otherwise “he would die.” Seriously. Personal anecdotes really don’t mean anything in this debate. I was vegan for 3 years and I’ve been vegetarian for 3 more after that, and for the first time in my life my cholesterol is at a normal level after having been sky-high my entire life, my protein levels are actually ABOVE when I was a meat-eater, and I’m in the best shape of my life. See? That means nothing to you, but it’s true. It’s just so fucking completely laughable that people claim that a vegan diet is unhealthy. A vegan diet, for MOST people (not counting those with specific allergies or special health needs or conditions that conflict with it), is THE healthiest way to eat. Period. But yeah, keep claiming that a diet rich in veggies, fruit, and vegetable-based protein is unhealthy. It makes you look really smart.
    Nobody’s perfect and nobody can fight every cause. I recognize the fact that some people cannot be selective in what they eat because they do not have the resources or the privilege to do so. I recognize that we do not live in a society that makes it particularly easy or acceptable to be vegetarian. I realize that animal rights rank very low on the majority of people’s concern lists. I realize that many people just simply aren’t willing to give up meat and/or dairy because they like it and don’t care enough about the cause or don’t believe in it at all. This is all ok.
    What is NOT ok is attacking vegans and vegetarians, and spouting bullshit about how wrong they are about things they’re really right about, how unhealthy veg diets are, and ignoring all the really obvious and provable problems with the meat and dairy industry. I mean, fuck – we all do things we know are “bad” (bad for us, not in line with causes we believe in, etc.) but at least we admit they’re “bad.” I am a feminist who wears a lot of makeup and high heels and watches porno (all arguably unfeminist things), but at least I admit the confliction between my behaviors and beliefs and don’t defend it with a childlike loyalty and complete disregard for actual facts. I am big enough to admit that I am a product of my culture and environment, and, as hard as I try not to, I often engage in behavior or activities that are not conducive to my fight for social justice.
    I totally get the the viscerally antagonistic and apologist response to animal rights activists and vegetarians, because that used to be me. I was the person who laughed in my vegetarian friend’s faces and scoffed that they were full of shit when they would patiently answer my bratty and patronizing questions about their lifestyle. I would purposefully eat meat in front of them while mocking their beliefs. I refused to even consider that perhaps it wasn’t cool to believe it’s ok to deliberately inflict pain and suffering on a defenseless living being. I never really had a *zing!* moment where it all clicked and all of a sudden I flipped and became super vegan warrior lady, but I do know that after countless conversations and a bunch of my own research and reflection, I really couldn’t ignore or attack the argument for animal rights anymore – for my sake, for society’s sake, and for the animals’ sake. And after all is said and done, I realized that the reason I was so adamantly against animal rights, the reason I so viciously attacked my vegan friends, the reason I so proudly denounced the rights of animals to exist without being tortured by humans…is because I ultimately knew I was really fucking wrong. At the time I was a really dedicated peace activist, and I just couldn’t ignore the close correlation between the fight for human rights and animal rights anymore. But honestly, I used to sound JUST like Farhat.
    I find it interesting that really the only progressive social justice movement I’ve ever seen attacked on Feministing boards is the animal rights movement, even with its connections to feminism (Sexual Politics of Meat, helloooooo?!) I’ve seen people go easier on MRAs. It is so completely disrespectful to say things like “I’m going to go eat chicken and burgers, yum!” and brag about all the leather you use with the specific intention of being flagrantly offensive without actually adding anything to the discussion. Just because you don’t agree with PETA’s tactics doesn’t mean the cause itself is wrong, and saying things to purposefully hurt the Feministing readers who strongly believe in animal rights is just unnecessary. Bragging about how you, the big, mighty, deserving human, just LOOOOVES to fuck over animals, doesn’t make you look cool. I mean, really – what are you tying to prove? Congratulations, you’re an asshole! What’s next? Rape jokes?
    Holy shit – I completely forgot why I originally was commenting. Anyway… I’m only on here defending animal rights, not PETA, because there are clearly some obvious problems with their tactics and I am in no way claiming that their use of naked women is acceptable. That being said, I’m really getting tired of this misconception that PETA never uses nude men. Attack PETA if you want, but at least be accurate – it took me 30 fucking seconds on Google to figure it out. Here is a collection of ads that feature nude/semi nude men (or mixed gender groups with men in them):
    http://www.peta2.com/outthere/o_ami_james_tattoo_image.html
    http://www.peta.org/mc/ads/Steve-O_Rather_Go_Naked.jpg
    http://www.peta2.com/outthere/images/SteveO_InkNotMink.jpg
    http://www.peta.org/pdfs/Boss_Models_ad.jpg
    http://www.peta.org/mc/ads/simpleplan72.pdf
    http://www.peta.org/mc/Billboards_ads_images/Todd_Oldham_Kathy_Najimy_ad.jpg
    http://www.peta.org/feat/jennaethan/page/Jennahires.pdf
    http://www.peta.org/feat/frankapotente/frankaFULL300.pdf
    http://www.peta.org/mc/ads/ad-kristoff.pdf
    http://www.peta.org/mc/ads/rodmanthink-72.pdf
    http://www.peta.org/mc/ads/ad-davidcross.pdf
    http://www.peta.org/pdfs/ADmola.pdf
    http://www.peta2.com/outthere/pdf/P2macdanzig72.pdf
    http://www.peta2.com/OUTTHERE/page/400-mates-of-state.jpg
    http://www.peta2.com/OUTTHERE/page/lg-miretad.jpg
    http://www.peta2.com/OUTTHERE/page/P2tommyleeINK72.jpg
    Yes, their advertising is still problematic (why are all the men posed in “powerful” positions and women are all seemingly passive?), but clearly PETA doesn’t shy away from using naked men in their ads.

  15. Posted August 17, 2008 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Oh, and one more thing (I know, I know). I also find it interesting that we tend to admire and respect the strong and beautiful bodies of female athletes, but are attacking Amanda here for “making us feel bad about ourselves.”
    Amanda Beard is not a supermodel, though I realize that yes, she is modeling here and the point is that her body is being held up as a standard, but come the fuck on! She’s not a waif, she’s not posed in a meek and vulnerable position, she’s not in a particularly sexualized position, and she looks about as far from unhealthy as you can get. She looks like a strong, confident, healthy, athletic woman here – complete with thick muscular thighs, chiseled arms, average chest, and a relatively round tummy. Her body is not what I would consider the feminine “standard.”
    Yes, there are plenty of PETA ads where surgically enhanced women with are used as passive, pretty objects, and yes, I wish they used a wider variety of sizes and skin colors, but this is a pretty powerful ad. Amanda looks fucking fierce here.
    I mean, really – if this was for something other than PETA, I’m relatively sure that readers here would love it.
    That border patrol thing is fucking outrageously not ok, though.

  16. FuckDecaf
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    MoxieHeart:
    “If you want fresh and quality produce or meat, you have to take a bus or walk to the next town because there IS NO GROCERY store.I don’t know how to make this any clearer, but there is no grocery store in the middle of Newark.”
    This hasn’t been true for about 18 years- there is a Pathmark in the central ward. They are open 25 hours. This week they have a sale on organic celery hearts, locally grown cucumber, black mission figs and asparagus.
    In many ways, this store is an exception that proves the rule about groceries in poor areas (the supermarket, while profitable, was developed in a partnership with neighborhood development groups,) but it just isn’t correct to say there is no grocery store in the middle of Newark.
    Because of the the private/nonprofit partnership most of the store’s revenue goes back into community programs, so if you really are unaware of this store may I suggest you make a (short) trip there?

  17. Vidya
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, TheSoyMilkConspiracy, for articulating a lot of feelings that I share. (I’ve also heard almost every one of those dumb excuses for meat-eating.)
    I do think that, for many people in North America, a veg-based diet does involve a certain degree of privilege, however. I survived a number of years of absolute poverty, living mostly off street-vendor veggie dogs and falafels, because I lived in a rooming house where the evil landlady didn’t allow me to cook or keep food, even in my own room. (Illegal, yes, but I was too poor to get out of the situation.) I didn’t give up my vegan lifestyle during this time, but my health definitely suffered (it would have on a non-veg diet as well, naturally). I remember how much time I spent just looking for foods I could eat and afford, that would fill me up well enough to allow me to think straight — that is more difficult on a vegan diet.
    Now that I have an apartment, I’m back to my beloved veggies, and it’s definitely cheaper than either home-cooked non-veg stuff or fast food of any sort — but you do need a certain amount of time, energy, and resources to prepare your own food, which the poorest of the poor simply don’t always have.

  18. Mithras
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    According to the Flag Code, when the flag is hung vertically, the union – the blue field with the stars – should always be to the upper left.
    On PETA, I’ll say what I always say when posts like this come up: They do these ads to get attention, and you’re paying attention.

  19. FuckDecaf
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh my, I meant to say that PathMark is open 24 hours a day, of course (damn insomnia talking.) If you are really feeling adventurous, you might try to go there on the 25th hour, but I’m not sure I recommend it.

  20. Suzannah
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    This is by far not the first time that PETA has been a road block for women. Remember that in the NOW v. Scheidler case, in which NOW was took right wing anti-choice nutjobs all the way to the supreme court for their use of intimidation to close down clinics, it was this bunch that defended Scheidler’s methods in an amicus brief filed on behalf of Scheidler. Scheidler was responsible for Operation Rescue’s attempts to close down clinics with intimidation – not just protesting.

  21. Lizard
    Posted August 17, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    TheSoyMilkConspiracy, you rock.

  22. Posted August 17, 2008 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    FuckDecaf: Damn, there’s a Pathmark? Where is it? I’ve only been to a ShopRite in Kearny, or a just go to Jersey City. I’ll definitely start going there, especially since it’s helping the neighborhood.
    I live in the North ward and I used to shop at a C-Town but they shut it down. I was really hoping that when Corey Booker came into office that he’d be able to attract a grocery store in a central location so everyone could use it. Instead, downtown has 3 Starbucks.
    SoymilkConspiracy: Aside from the one comment about eating a burger or a steak, I haven’t seen anyone here attack animal rights. I doubt that anyone would argue that animals should be made to suffer. But we all come from different backgrounds and some of us grew up eating meat. I’ve found that a lot of vegans/vegetarians spend time attacking our lifestyles and a better tactic would be to present the facts about factory farming and its effects on the environment. It takes a lot to change and I just wish that vegans/vegetarians would be more patient with us omnivores.

  23. FuckDecaf
    Posted August 19, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    MoxieHart-
    The PathMark store is right across the street from the University hospital on Bergen. I hope your shopping trips are a little more convenient now!
    I myself am a “lapsed vegetarian” (like a lapsed Catholic.) I think that veggies and omnis both would be a whole lot better with each other if we don’t treat other people’s dietary choices as some kind of challenge to our own moral core. “Meat is murder” vs “for every animal you don’t eat, I’m going to eat two” is not a great way to change anyone’s mind.

  24. Roxanne
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Well this ad has accomplished what it is supposed to: get attention. It doesn’t matter if you think it is awful, offensive or love it. You’re thinking about it and that is the goal.
    I am a PETA supporter and have been for many years. I personally find nothing offensive about nudity whether it be female or male. If I were given the opportunity to participate in this campaign I’d do it, and my body is far from perfect.
    Besides this is an athletic woman. She is going to have a toned body. I’m sure the main objective with her participation is because of her Olympics activities (I believe she’s in the Olympics. I never bother to watch the events, not my thing), her personal morals against fur and the ever controversial China that has horrific animal abuse. Not because of her body type.
    I’m probably a minority on this one but it has never bothered me at all with women participating in provocative ads, careers or wardrobe choices. And seeing an attractive woman in an ad like this does not make me doubt my appearance. But that is just me.

  25. Posted August 27, 2008 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  26. sumonecute
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    How can any woman who is not a model feel good about being butt naked on an ad. Of course they did photoshop this of course
    Why does Peta continue to exploit women saying that they are protecting animals? Women are not as important as an animal? Women can be exploited and that is OK? But dont exploit your dog or cat or anything else, just women cause theyre used to it. They are sick and disturbed. Will continue to eat my meat, thanks.

  27. Avery X
    Posted March 26, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

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