PETA fat-shames in “Save the Whales” campaign


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.)
From PETA’s press release on the billboard:

A new PETA billboard campaign that was just launched in Jacksonville reminds people who are struggling to lose weight — and who want to have enough energy to chase a beach ball — that going vegetarian can be an effective way to shed those extra pounds that keep them from looking good in a bikini. The ad shows a woman whose “blubber” is spilling over the sides of her swimsuit bottom…
Anyone wishing to achieve a hot “beach bod” is reminded that studies show that vegetarians are, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters…
“Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. (Emphasis mine)

Seriously? This shit is just shameful. Consider this woman’s reaction after seeing the billboard:

I was planning on taking [my family] to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day when I saw a billboard that made me want to cry.
…We all sat there and stared at it for a minute and everyone in the car was silent. No one wanted to mention my weight. I laughed it off as usual, but it really had made me so embarrassed, so self conscious and so ashamed about my weight that I dropped off my family at the oceanfront and left to go home, making the excuse that I wasn’t feeling well.

I’m with Holly at Deceiver: PETA owes the residents of Jacksonville a serious apology.
Related posts: Sometimes there are no words
Quick Hit: PETA’s Ad Banned from the Super Bowl
PETA: Cause objectifying women never gets old
When you thought PETA couldn’t get worse.
PETA does it again
Same old shit from PETA

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151 Comments

  1. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Oops. Wrong placement. Move along, please; nothing to see here.

  2. MLF
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    It isn’t a situation where Jews are being compared to animals, there is no claim in any of PETA’s campaigns (and I’m not defending them – I can’t stand PETA either) where they claim Jews are like animals – that isn’t what is being used as a metaphor.. I wish people will get that. Yes, Human beings are different from cows, just like cats are different from dogs… Can’t I compare dogs and cats – explain their similarities without claiming that they are the same? They both move on four legs, they both feel pain…
    I can see similarities between how slaves were treated and how we treat animals… Just like I can see similarities between how Jews were treated during the holocaust and how slaves were treated in the US when slavery was legal. Was black slavery in the US the same as the holocaust? Nope. But do they have similarities? I think so.
    “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.” – Alice Walker

  3. SarahMC
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I can’t really take the credit. I read it somewhere else: maybe Shapely Prose or Shakesville? Anyway, it’s a phrase worth remembering because it’s applicable to so many situations.

  4. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Or, you know, I could just focus on the 50 – 80 hours a week of work I have along with the existing challenges of daily living and just hope that the eggs and fancy grass-fed beef I have the ~luxury~ and ~privilege~ and ~access~ to ~sometimes~ be able to drop the extra cash on are as humane as the package claims them to be.

  5. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Sarah MC, I kind of heart you right now. Thanks for tackling this here.

  6. Devonian
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    “I honestly think eating meat is evil. That is my opinion and I think that meat eaters and vegans will get along easier if meat eaters stop getting defensive about my opinion.”
    Because getting defensive when someone calls you evil is TOTALLY unreasonable, amirite?

  7. Synna
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    WOoooooOOOoooo!!
    Welcome to the fat shaming segment, our regular feature here at Feministing!
    /headdesk

  8. PenningtonBeast
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    It’s insulting and trivializing to animals to say that comparing humans to animals is inherently insulting and trivializing
    Yeah, except that animals don’t give a shit because they’re animals.

  9. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion, any message that implies that some group deserves to be shamed and mocked or that — like PETA’s, here — actually shames and mocks a group of people is inherently the opposite of “a good message.”

  10. Lily A
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, really gotta disagree. Sometimes, what someone else puts in their body is of relevant social concern. If the guy down the street murders small children to eat, I get to judge him pretty hard. Likewise, folks who advocate for a vegetarian or vegan diet see meat eating as a social problem — it’s unethical because it causes other beings to suffer, or because it contributes to pollution, or because it uses more energy and has a greater environmental impact than vegetables, etc — and so people who engage in it don’t get to use the “don’t judge my personal decisions” defense.
    Trying to make a parallel between criticizing the social and environmental impact of meat eating (and therefore saying that people who engage in it may be unethical) and the private decisions that women make about their bodies is really unfair.
    To be clear: I’m not endorsing MLF’s argument, I’m just saying that it’s reasonable to make moral judgments about what people eat, and that it’s not fair to compare that to sexual / health decisions.

  11. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    PETA’s pissing me off, too. You know what would restore my mood and stamina right now? A nice, fat steak oughtta do the trick.
    This is the beginning of my steak-eating campaign. I will eat a steak every time I cop onto PETA demeaning women yet again.
    It is the opposite of a hunger strike. Sort of a nourishment aggression.
    Feel free to name my new steak-eating nourishment aggression campaign, if it pleases you.

  12. MLF
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Just to make it clear – I never go around telling people they are evil. Just like many of the people here think rape is evil – I think raping cows and forcing them into pregnancies is evil. Deal with it.

  13. Lily A
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, make that some folks who advocate for a vegetarian or vegan diet see meat eating as a social problem.

  14. Lily A
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    You don’t go around calling people evil, but you come to a forum where you know that people eat meat, and say “eating meat is evil”? Seems a little disingenuous?
    Perhaps if you want to get a less defensive, more constructive response, you might try to say “eating meat is unethical” rather than “evil.” It’s amazing the clam debates people will have about ethics, when they’re unwilling or unable to have an equally honest discussion about “morals.”

  15. Lily A
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Erm, make that calm (not “clam”) discussion. I really fail at the proofreading tonight.

  16. animalpress.wordpress.com
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m vegan, and I do not support PETA. I never have, and I never will.
    That being said, I know plenty of overweight vegans, so their ad holds no water.
    I hate PETA so much.

  17. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    The babyeater analogy is hyperbolic.
    I am not the first person to suggest that judging women morally for their eating behaviors is problematic from a feminist perspective. You might find this relevant or interesting: http://kateharding.net/2008/07/14/quote-of-the-day-classic-edition/ .
    Also I didn’t actually make that response to a critique of the cultural practice of meat eating. I made it in response to a moralistic statement about the consumption of meat as horrific and evil.

  18. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    The babyeater analogy is hyperbolic.
    I am not the first person to suggest that judging women morally for their eating behaviors is problematic from a feminist perspective. You might find this relevant or interesting: http://kateharding.net/2008/07/14/quote-of-the-day-classic-edition/ .
    Also I didn’t actually make that response to a critique of the cultural practice of meat eating. I made it in response to a moralistic statement about the consumption of meat as horrific and evil.

  19. Peepers
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Eew, weird, my “back” button did that.

  20. llevinso
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Yes, many people here think that rape is evil. In turn, they probably also think that RAPISTS ARE EVIL. That’s where your argument here seems to fall apart. There are very few people here that I have seen say that rape is evil but really good people just happen to engage in this evil, horrible act. And even more few people that make that argument make any sort of sense.

  21. mandoir
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the respectful clarification; I’ll be more careful with my terminology in the future.

  22. mandoir
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this comment; I was thinking of how to make a point about believing in humane treatment of livestock/farm animals and you’ve done it very succinctly here.

  23. mandoir
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to thank everyone who responded. It was interesting reading your opinions. I’m not going to comment any further because it’s kind of a threadcrap, but I do thank everyone for taking the time to comment and discuss with myself and others animal rights vs. welfare and the morality of eating meat.

  24. zp27
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this-you articulate my feelings well. I’ve been a vegetarian for years because of the bad and dirty meat production in this country-not cause PETA got to me-and I hate, hate HATE being identified with PETA. It might be that I hate idealogues of every stripe, because extremism gets so tired so quickly, but PETA makes me especially mad.
    I truly think that the higher ups of PETA care nothing about the supposedly compassionate and ecological mission. They focus on publicity as a means to make money, to keep the donations rolling in, and they keep shitstorms going and star stupid debates to keep PETA in the public eye and to keep memberships high. The foot soldiers might be true belivers, but I think Ingrid Newkirk is one sly asshole, and she knows exactly what she’s doing.

  25. fatima
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    i think rape is horrendously evil. and while i think rapists need to be held accountable for their evil actions, they are not 100% evil people. to say otherwise is to oversimplify human behvavior. we are much too complicated to be TOTALLY evil or TOTALLY good. (and its way too reductionist to base a person’s entire character on one act. it just is.)
    similarly for meat eating (as mlf pointed out in a previous comment) people who eat meat are not necessarily EVIL. they are just participating in an act that mlf deems evil. and perhaps people who engage in that act need to be held accountable, learn about why that act is harmful, etc

  26. davenj
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    When you choose to call something “The Holocaust on Your Plate” you’re willingly evoking one of the strongest memories of human genocide in your viewers.
    So the real issue is how good is your comparison? Is it good enough to warrant evoking the imagery of some of the worst actions in the history of humanity? Because that’s what you’re going for when you say “Holocaust on your plate”.
    It’s problematic in the same way that people use the word “rape” to describe something that’s not actually rape.
    When you use genocide to describe something that’s not genocide you run the risk of diminishing, triggering, and desensitizing.

  27. Ayame
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see how sending the message that it’s okay to shame people for their appearance is in any way okay. Seriously, even if your points about fat being unhealthy were true (they aren’t, but don’t take my word for it, there’s lots of good stuff about this all over the internet), how does that in any way justify the constant shaming directed at fat people? In fact, I would argue that a whole lot of people of any weight or size would be a whole lot healthier if we didn’t have constant messages of hate, shame, and lack of worth being tossed at people just because they don’t look like supermodels or body-builders.

  28. ikkin
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I know this is going to sound really abrasive, so I’m apologizing beforehand.
    After growing up on a ranch/dairy farm for a good portion of my childhood, I know that an animal can have its rights respected and live a happy life, but still end up on my dinner plate. As a child, I was resentful towards the idea, but as I grew up I began to grasp a real sense towards the food chain. It is not unnatural for people to consume meat, it is just unnatural at the rate and method at which we do it today.
    If you respect animal rights and enjoy meat, you can encourage manufacturers to have more ethical practices. You don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

  29. ikkin
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I’m still having trouble grasping that PeTA actually thought it was okay to make this advertisement. For so long, they’ve grasped at straws, claiming that they do not intend to hurt women with their shocking style of marketing. This hurts women, specifically. I am convinced that Ingrid Newkirk and PeTA will not stop until every animal is treated with more respect than women.

  30. Lily A
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    It’s problematic in the same way that people use the word “rape” to describe something that’s not actually rape. When you use genocide to describe something that’s not genocide you run the risk of diminishing, triggering, and desensitizing.
    Yes. Thank you for framing this in a way that’s so relevant to this community!

  31. monkeyhaterobot
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    But they *have* made people go veg or vegan. The “Meat Your Meat” video has influenced a lot of people I know to at least consider going vegetarian. The anti-fur campaign has made an impact to some degree.
    However, that is not the point. The point is I don’t really want to see PeTA on Feministing anymore. The arguments are not constructive and make me want to hit my head against a wall.

  32. FLT
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    This ad is icky, but I’m going to remember it, because it sums up vegetarians for me.
    Not across the board, but for the most part, the men I know who are total vegetarians are control freaks (Ghandi, Hitler). The women have self esteem problems.
    This ad targets them both making those who are already vegetarians comfy, without actually having a prayer of recruiting anyone!

  33. pepper
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Hitler fail. Hitler is not a vegetarian. Thanks for playing the famous evil veggie game. Come again when you have a valid point and aren’t making a swipe against a perfectly reasonable lifestyle choice.

  34. Ariel
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    He was an animal right’s activist though. He made it illegal to shoot dogs in Germany. I’d also like to point out that he/she put Hitler’s name next to Gandhi’s. Not exactly the “famous evil veggie game.” Finally, and I hate to be nit-picky, but I think you meant to say that “Hitler *was* not a vegetarian,” since Hitler is dead.

  35. bklynchica
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Whoa- first let me say that the whole “go veg, be thin” theory is false. I have been a vegetarian about a month or so and am the same weight I was before. So whatever.
    Second, I am kind of turned off by the whole “who loves animals more” crap going on here. I ate meat my entire life and while, no, I don’t claim to have been an animal rights activist, I did love animals and it sickened me to my stomach to see them hurt. So yes, maybe I wasn’t as into the cause as, let’s say, vegans were, but to say, “How can you exploit animals by eating them?” Well, to that I would have said, “Fuck you, pass me the ketchup for the burger.”
    That is to say: just because some of us had made the decision to stop eating meat, does not make us more “moral” or “ethical”. It means we’ve made that next step. Some people aren’t ready, but they do other things to promote animal welfare that are also very important and should not be discredited just because they still eat meat. Likewise, I am not vegan so it would be easy for a vegan to harp on me for my leather shoes, but I am comfortable with the level I am at now. One step at a time please.

  36. monkeyhaterobot
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow. I’m really sorry that most of the vegetarians you know in real life are control freaks and have self esteem issues. I really, really hope that this ad doesn’t sum up vegetarianism to you. There are plenty of people out there who are vegan or vegetarian and are perfectly civil and great individuals.
    …And this is why I cannot stand having PeTA ads on Feministing anymore. People take PeTA’s ads and apply the absurdity to ALL vegetarians/vegans in a hateful way.

  37. FLT
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Quite true.

  38. pepper
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    1. You can’t say bringing up Hitler is meant to be anything less than inflammatory.
    2. Hitler loving his dog in no way makes him a decent person. Being veg*n doesn’t make a person good or bad.
    3. If you are going to start grammar checking my posts.. well, good luck.

  39. idiolect
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I do think that the “who loves animals more” style argument is pretty unproductive (and, okay, annoying), and I definitely think that it is necessary for people to sort of go at their own speed with this stuff and determine their own comfort level… BUT, I do think there’s a legitimate point to be made in response to people who say “I eat meat” and “it [sickens] me to my stomach to see them hurt” in the same breath. I mean, you *do* have to kill an animal in order to eat it, and if you can’t conceive of a situation in which you’d be totally okay with an animal being killed, you probably shouldn’t essentially let someone else do the dirty work for you by eating the meat of an animal someone else did have to kill.
    I really, really don’t mean this to come off as pushy or anything, I’m just saying, there’s a certain sort of conflict there. Of course, if you’re totally fine with killing animals (setting aside the circumstances of their death — I know people who would be fine with sort of traditional, well-kept small farm style livestock, but are not at all okay with the way the industry is actually run, for instance), then none of this applies to you, and there’s a whole different discussion to be had.

  40. Synna
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    But the underlying assumption i get from your post here is that vegetarianism/veganism is BETTER than eating meat, which I think is unhelpful.

  41. Ariel
    Posted August 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I love how you obtained such inaccurate inferences. I’ll tackle each of your points.
    1. “You can’t say bringing up Hitler is meant to be anything less than inflammatory.” Agreed, but stating facts isn’t inflammatory. Making comparisons on the other hand is. No one said all vegans are the equivalent to Hitler. Instead, it was stated that Hitler was a vegetarian, which he was but not for moral reasons. He had gastric problems. And no I didn’t get my facts from Wikipedia. I got them from Snopes.com.
    2.”Hitler loving his dog in no way makes him a decent person. Being veg*n doesn’t make a person good or bad.” Agreed again. But I didn’t say Hitler loved his dog. I said that he made it illegal to shoot dogs and this is early evidence of his Antisemitism: you can shoot a Jew, but you can’t shoot a dog. I also like how you inferred that I was defending Hitler. My point was that FLT was putting the good next to the bad, rendering your snark meaningless.
    3.”If you are going to start grammar checking my posts.. well, good luck.” You should be thankful. I could have had a field day with such an obvious mistake. I let a lot of grammar errors slide: misspellings, punctuation, etc. A verb, however, is the most essential word group in language, and the tense of a verb is imperative. I ask that you not take it personally. My correction wasn’t an attempt to make you look foolish. It’s just a tick I have.

  42. pepper
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    1. Avoiding meat on a doctor’s order is not vegetarian. Hitler is often brought up during these discussions, to see more google every veg*n thread derail ever.
    2. Please link me some info on the Hitler dog rule. The reason I talked about Hitler’s dog is because for all my googling all I could find with Hitler + dog is stories about his great love for his dog. Hitler + laws + dogs doesn’t filter out any pages that match what you were talking about. Beyond any of that I agree it is despicable to elevate dogs above humans. But I’m failing to see what that has to do with the majority of veg*ns. It would have been one thing to compare PETA to Hitler instead of implying all veg*ns have control issues.
    3. Was a snip at myself. I tend to bang comments out too fast to proofread.

  43. Ariel
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    You might try responding to me. Oh, and being a vegetarian means avoiding meat. Period. Reasons for becoming a vegetarian are irrelevant. If you avoid meat for the rest of your life, then you avoid meat.
    Sadly, I do not have a link about Hitler’s law about the dogs. I learned in my college history class where my professor is an expert in the Holocaust and WWII. You can’t find everything on the internet. Sometimes you have to look in books :)
    Finally, you are under the impression that I am somehow vindicating the original argument because you keep applying statements I never made. I don’t think vegans are control freaks. I merely wanted to correct a couple of your statements.

  44. Ariel
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    You might try responding to me. Oh, and being a vegetarian means avoiding meat. Period. Reasons for becoming a vegetarian are irrelevant. If you avoid meat for the rest of your life, then you avoid meat.
    Sadly, I do not have a link about Hitler’s law about the dogs. I learned in my college history class where my professor is an expert in the Holocaust and WWII. You can’t find everything on the internet. Sometimes you have to look in books :)
    Finally, you are under the impression that I am somehow vindicating the original argument because you keep applying statements I never made. I don’t think vegans are control freaks. I merely wanted to correct a couple of your statements.

  45. Liza
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    In my 7 years as a vegetarian I was never thin. I was a vegetarian who swam competitively and I was never thin.

  46. pepper
    Posted August 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Jesus Christ. I apologize deeply and sincerely for responding to the wrong post and deciding not to clutter the internet with a double post.
    Avoiding meat does not a vegetarian make. Hitler still ate meat but mostly avoided it.
    How about a reference for the dog info? Does that suit your highness better?

  47. Clairefish
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    This is the response I got when I emailed them:
    “Dear Claire,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on PETA’s “Lose the Blubber” billboard. We apologize for any offense we may have caused; that was not our intent. We agree that a world where self-esteem is unrelated to body size would be a wonderful place. Our aim is not to insult people who are overweight but to persuade them to make a simple, positive change for their health.
    While many people have found our billboard humorous, we take obesity very seriously. We want to encourage overweight people to go vegetarian to protect their health. Researchers have found that a higher body mass index is associated with a greater risk of premature death from all causes. For example, according to the American Heart Association, obesity contributes to heart disease, America’s number one cause of death. The American Dietetic Association says that vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity than meat-eaters do.
    Studies have shown that “weight loss” diets don’t work long-term—but going vegetarian does. Studies published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the New England Journal of Medicine have found that vegetarians are far less likely to be overweight than meat eaters are. By encouraging people who want to lose weight to go vegetarian instead of resorting to unhealthy diets, we hope to offer them a choice that the multimillion-dollar diet industry won’t give them: a long-term strategy for maintaining a healthy weight.
    Certainly not every single vegetarian is at a healthy weight, as some have suggested our billboard implies, but there are many more meat-eaters who are obese and unhealthy. For most people, eating vegetarian meals is an effective way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. But weight loss isn’t the only reason to try a vegetarian diet; we also promote going vegetarian as a great way to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of many diseases. For most people, a vegetarian diet is an effective prevention strategy.
    Our billboard is just one of the many ways that PETA promotes healthy vegetarian living. Other efforts include distributing free copies of our “Vegetarian Starter Kit,” hosting free public food tastings, offering meal plans and thousands of meat-free recipes at http://www.VegCooking.com, and educating people about the meat industry’s disregard for animal welfare (http://www.GoVeg.com/factoryFarming.asp) and its devastating effect on the environment (http://www.GoVeg.com/environment.asp).
    To read more about how obesity can be addressed by going vegetarian, please go to http://www.GoVeg.com/obesity.asp. To read vegetarian weight-loss success stories, please visit http://www.GoVeg.com/f-veganweightloss.asp. You can order a free “Vegetarian Starter Kit” for yourself or a friend at http://www.GoVeg.com/order.asp to learn even more.
    We respect your opinion on this matter. I hope this response addresses your concerns, but I also understand that you might not agree. Even among those of us who care about animals and share similar goals, there are times when there will be a difference of opinion.
    We hope that among our many campaigns to help animals, there are others worthy of your support such as our low-cost spay/neuter services (http://www.HelpingAnimals.com/about_snipSponsor.asp) or our work to end cruel and unnecessary product testing on animals (http://www.CaringConsumer.com).
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns and for all that you do to help animals!
    Sincerely,
    Laura McCaul
    Correspondence Assistant
    PETA Foundation”
    Love the nerve, love the fake-tastic apology. Love it. I also love the “We know what’s best for you” attitude and the fat-shaming.

  48. Annora
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Humans evolved as omnivores. You know what an omnivore is? It means something that eats everything. Plants, insects, animals, we eat it all. To suggest that eating meat is evil is suggesting that our evolution, too, is evil.
    We have sharpened canines to tear flesh, while we also have flat molars to chew plants. I will agree that much of what goes on in slaughterhouses is highly unethical, and there’s never a reason to torture anything. The kind of sensationalized bullshit that animal rights ad campaigns run is just that, though. Sensational.
    I personally won’t eat red meat, but I do eat poultry and fish because it’s good for my diet, and it tastes good. I won’t tell someone enjoying a steak dinner that they’re horrible evil people, why should you think it’s okay to do that? What people eat is up to them, meat-shaming is no different from fat-shaming. Cut it out.

  49. Jessica
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    “Or have to work 3 jobs and barely have the time and energy to go SEARCHING for a store that carries vegan-friendly alternatives.”
    There are definitely a huge range of vegan alternatives to meat. Boca, Morningstar, Field Roast, and Tofutti are just a few examples of companies that offer the vegan alternatives that I think you are speaking of. I will agree that these kinds of products are very expensive. I’m not sure, though, that this example can be used as an arguement of privilege. I’m a vegan, and I would never advocate that anyone make these products the basis of their diet. Vegans, and everyone else for that matter, should make whole fruits and vegetables the basis of their diets, not fancy meat-free products. It is possible to buy several pounds of fruits and vegetables for under twenty dollars at the nearest grocery store.
    “And it is a privilege to have even learned about healthy vegan alternatives.”
    I don’t see how this is a privilege, either. I definitely didn’t learn about veganism at school. I found out by accident, really, on the computer at home. I just don’t see how learning about something like veganism is a privilege. I think that if someone truly wanted to learn more about vegetarianism/veganism, no matter what kind of income that person has, that that person would find a way. If someone didn’t have a computer at home, there’s always a library they could find to get access to information.

  50. vwom
    Posted August 23, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    If a person knows anything about PETA it’s that their president is as misanthropic as they come. Ingrid Newkirk doesn’t give a blinking *@#! if you or anyone is healthy or not.
    Newkirk has stated that “humans are a blight on the planet.” She has directed in her Will that her corpse be barbecued and eaten. Newkirk wants women consumed literally and figuratively (see Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams about the “consumption” of women’s bodies.)
    I’ve been a strict vegetarian for over a decade. And yet generally I find people who preach about diet obnoxious. I went vegetarian after watching a 60 minutes episode about hog farming. Most people simply are unaware of the pain –horror really–that animals suffer on factory farms. For example, piglets have their tails chopped off without any pain reliever or anesthetic, and yet it’s a fact pigs are more intelligent than dogs. Who in her right mind would cut off a dog’s tail? Pigs and cows have feelings AND emotions.
    Furthermore, there are many reasons why a woman may be overweight. Some medications shut down the metabolism, mess with enzymes in the liver, and so on. My mother was overweight but hardly ever ate! It was her medications! But people just refuse to accept this.
    As a general rule I ignore PETA because the organization really does get off on creating controversy and the publicity it generates(perhaps why PETA is in bed with celebrities. Celebrities need publicity and PETA provides a means.)But in my view this latest billboard is tantamount to hate speech and should not be tolerated at all.
    I could go on . . .

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