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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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93 Responses

  1. Emily O.
    Emily O. January 28, 2007 at 7:19 pm |

    Um, yeah. Ew.

  2. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 28, 2007 at 7:20 pm | *

    That “Don’t Support Thai Elephant Cruelty” looks like the cover to some nasty porn flick.

    But I am utterly perplexed by the naked woman wrapped up in a microphone cord.

  3. CScarlet
    CScarlet January 28, 2007 at 7:24 pm |

    Oooer. I’ve never had any patience for PETA. I’d only ever seen the fur trim ad before, and that was enough, but the rest is just insane.

    I can’t believe the amount of bashing you and Amanda over at Pandagon are getting for *gasp* criticizing PETA for their overt sexism.

    This is disgusting. Rock on.

  4. wall-flower
    wall-flower January 28, 2007 at 8:06 pm |

    I’m also surprised that you guys have been getting bashed for criticizing PETA. I’ve disliked them for years because of this kind of advertising, and like others who commented on the previous post, I am a vegetarian (have been for more 15 years), only buy cruelty-free shampoo & soap, don’t wear leather, etc. I seem to remember another wrong-headed campaign, though it’s a little old: the “Got Beer?” campaign, which encouraged college students to think beer is better for you than milk. Brilliant.

    I think you can be provocative, fun, sexy, outrageous, and eye-catching without exploiting women or pandering to frat mentalities. It just takes a little more creativity than PETA appears to have.

  5. Ryan
    Ryan January 28, 2007 at 8:15 pm |

    I think the “All Animals Have the Same Parts” ad is rather clever, though their particular choice of a young, thin, tanned, blonde woman strongly suggests that cleverness wasn’t the thing they wanted their audience to focus on. It it were just some guy, or maybe a variety of people in a variety of ads, I think it could be a rather effective ad campaign while avoiding sexism. People do tend to forget that we’re animals, too, and there’s a disconnect between euphemistically-named cuts of meat and the bodies they come from.

    The rest are awful, particularly “Fur Trim” and “Chicks Agree.”

  6. laura
    laura January 28, 2007 at 8:23 pm |

    Wow. These ads are even worse than I remembered. Thanks for putting the evidence of PETA’s sexism up front and center when so many commenters seem to think it’s “no big deal.”

  7. johanna
    johanna January 28, 2007 at 8:31 pm |

    The one I really don’t understand: the running of the bulls ad. I mean, I got the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur,” clever maybe the first time, the “chicks agree” was a bit of a stretch – but the running of the bulls? Now we’re just in it for gratuitus naked women.

  8. Caro
    Caro January 28, 2007 at 8:41 pm |

    I’ve always been pretty squicked out by PETA ads. Not that I don’t agree with a lot of their principles (though they are a little more extreme than I tend to be regarding animal rights)… but couldn’t they advocate for those principles without objectifying women (and men)? Shouldn’t the actual message (cruelty to animals is ya know, cruel, and pretty often unnecessary) be enough?

  9. Ryan
    Ryan January 28, 2007 at 8:57 pm |

    Why does it always have to be degrading or exploiting when a girl CHOOSES to get fucking naked… what the fuck is so wrong with her mentality and body. Peta did’nt come up with this idea, subculture vegetarian activist gal’s generally arent to inhibited towards getting naked for a camera and a cause. Just cause they put the marketing finaces behind it, in the end, it’s the girls who get naked. And as Peta is something like 90 percent women. Im going to guess a broad is calling these marketing shots.

    Furthermore Korea does actually have horribly common violence against dommesticated animals. It’s hardly racist.

    I think men should be used as equally in such sex driven ad’s… Sex is hardly going to be exterminated from our every action in daily life, sex and nudity is treated always with such distaste and disrespect in by the majority of americans… it boggles my mind.

  10. zuzu
    zuzu January 28, 2007 at 9:02 pm |

    So, Ryan, what do titties have to do with veal?

  11. Jessica
    Jessica January 28, 2007 at 9:16 pm |

    So, PETA thinks women of color should only be behind bars in animal prints when they appear in ads. I am slightly disturbed that I never noticed this offshoot before. One more reason I will never give them donations of time or money. If they have no respect for human beings, there’s no way they could possible have any respect for animals.

  12. Jessica
    Jessica January 28, 2007 at 9:17 pm |

    possible = possibly

  13. Vanessa
    Vanessa January 28, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    This was the worst for me.

    It reminds me of that Vogue Italia photo spread from awhile back.

  14. Pax Nortona - A Blog by Joel Sax  » Blog Archive   » Insert A Trite Metaphor for A Corral #40

    [...] 8220;suicide by cop”. Check out the ads that PETA is using to promote its cause. (Anyone for a little bondage thrill?) One shouldn’t [...]

  15. Lesley
    Lesley January 28, 2007 at 9:40 pm |

    I think men should be used as equally in such sex driven ad’s…

    And yet, they aren’t. Not really at all. I bet if you think about that a little longer, you might understand one of the issues people here are on about.

    Sex is hardly going to be exterminated from our every action in daily life, sex and nudity is treated always with such distaste and disrespect in by the majority of americans… it boggles my mind.

    Yes, because we’re all a bunch of American prudes who want to exterminate sex from our every action in daily life. That’s so totally the narrative of all this. *rolls eyes*

  16. evil fizz
    evil fizz January 28, 2007 at 9:54 pm | *

    And as Peta is something like 90 percent women. Im going to guess a broad is calling these marketing shots.

    Because women can’t be sexist pigs too or something?

    p.s. I discourage use of the word broads in non-ironic contexts.

  17. Luke
    Luke January 29, 2007 at 12:15 am |

    I think this post would be awesome for Killing Us Softly 4.

    If they decide to make another one…

  18. Sirkowski
    Sirkowski January 29, 2007 at 12:44 am |

    Suddenly I’m reminded that Brigitte Bardot eventually joined the fascist Front National party in France. Seems somewhat fitting.

  19. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 12:55 am |

    The “all animals have the same parts” is not as frightening to meat-eaters as PETA wishes it were. It’s actually a very common way of explaining to people what the tender cuts on an animal are: Imagine you were on all fours, what muscles would you use a lot? Which ones wouldn’t get used much?

  20. coperad
    coperad January 29, 2007 at 1:00 am |

    I thought Bitch did a good article in their last issue about combining feminism and vegetarianism, called “Friend or Food?”. Anyone who hasn’t bought the Green Issue should give it a look.

  21. Henry
    Henry January 29, 2007 at 1:20 am |

    The “all animals have the same parts” is not as frightening to meat-eaters as PETA wishes it were.

    I think that perhaps alot of PETA types think that the only way someone can be a meat eater is if they are divorced from the idea of meat coming from living creatures. Unfortunately that ain’t true in the slightest.

  22. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 1:27 am |

    Well, there are people who are in denial and freak out at the suggestion that the meat came from, like, a dead animal. These people should probably not be eating meat in the first place.

  23. snakeface
    snakeface January 29, 2007 at 1:28 am |

    Naked ladies? Why didn’t you say so before! Stop animal cruelty now.

  24. Henry
    Henry January 29, 2007 at 1:45 am |

    The “all animals have the same parts” is not as frightening to meat-eaters as PETA wishes it were.

    I think that perhaps alot of PETA types think that the only way someone can be a meat eater is if they are divorced from the idea of meat coming from living creatures. Unfortunately that ain’t true in the slightest.

  25. karpad
    karpad January 29, 2007 at 1:59 am |

    ok, might I be allowed a small aside for someone who is both a feminist and an annoyed-by-PETA person:

    what exactly is a “trigger warning?”

  26. Isabel
    Isabel January 29, 2007 at 2:15 am |

    Well, there are people who are in denial and freak out at the suggestion that the meat came from, like, a dead animal. These people should probably not be eating meat in the first place.

    An amusing, if slightly off-topic, anecdote: I went on a trip to Spain with a group of high schoolers (not from my own school). One of the activities we did was going to see a bullfight. Our trip leader was explaining to us the cultural background behind the bullfight, and one thing he pointed out to make us feel more at ease about the whole thing is that, before the day of the fight, these bulls are treated much, much better than the vast majority of bulls and cows killed for food in the states are.

    At which point this one girl goes: “Wait, we kill animals for food?”

    She thought we only ate animals that died of natural comments. Some people are dumb. This is the same girl that, after having it explained to her what’s in a hot dog, pointed to the turkey she was eating and asked, “So what’s in this?”

  27. Cecily
    Cecily January 29, 2007 at 2:21 am |

    karpad – A trigger warning means a post contains pictures or descriptions of abuse, so that abuse victims know to avoid or read with caution. Sometimes it’ll be more specific.

  28. karpad
    karpad January 29, 2007 at 2:46 am |

    I see. I thought it was something to that effect, but I’m not sure what in particular was intended as the warning. as misogynist as these are, they don’t seem violent. but I suppose that’s something with less wiggle room than Worksafe since if even one thing triggers it, you’ve already missed.

    I guess the cages and chains thing? since there wasn’t a link to the beating for the coat advert until after a comment on it.

    sorry, I guess I’m distracting. This is one of those things that just feels like a really good idea to ask about and get a handle on ahead of time than to fuck up on.

  29. Blue
    Blue January 29, 2007 at 5:21 am |

    I can’t find the photo of this anymore, but PETA also did some protests against KFC where people in chicken suits sat in wheelchairs and the message was “KFC cripples chickens.” Same type of exploitation, except there was a bit of an email writing campaign to Ingrid Newkirk about how this perpetuated negative ideas of disabled folks. For whatever reasons, these rather quiet protests against PETA tactics resulted in what I understand was an apology from Newkirk and assurances they’d rethink that particular connection between chicken abuse and disabled folks who use chairs.

    I believe PETA’s willingness to respond respectfully to protests of the “wheelchair bound chicken” were more about stereotypical ideas of disabled folks and extending sympathy than actual respect for the group, particularly since the more public, more obviously offensive campaigns using women continue. But interesting, no?

  30. Em
    Em January 29, 2007 at 8:18 am |

    I agree with a lot of PETA’s goals.

    Why are you giving them so much credit? If, as Amanda suggests, we view PETA as a bunch of whacked out fundamentalists, we ought to, in the vein of the Feminists for Life takedown series, be examining what they say they stand for and if they stand for it at all. They don’t get a pass just b/c they say they stand for animals. Do they? What ARE their goals? Save animals? Nope (the dead dog scandal). All their other goals–stop testing, stop fur farming–have ended up directly contradicting their supposed number one goal of saving animals as animals they’ve ‘liberated’ from these situations have died from stress, exposure, natural (predation) or unnatural (car collisions) causes. Do they have tips for good animal care for pet owners anywhere? Are they endorsed by any veterinarians? Not that I’ve ever seen. Once more, I say stop giving them credit. PETA is not for animal rights, they are not for you or for me or for anyone else who actually cares about animals in ways that go beyond two-syllable words and one sentence sound bites. PETA is for PETA and PETA alone.

  31. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 29, 2007 at 8:19 am |

    PETA has a schtick. It lives by the credo, “Be as obnoxious and in-your-face as possible, and we’ll get attention.” And that may be true, insofar as we’re sitting around discussing them.

    But in politics, there is such a thing as bad publicity, and PETA has essentially turned themselves into the political equivalent a big nuclear wasteland that’s also infested with anthrax.

    An example: my ex-wife is a vegetarian, and we’re raising our daughter as a vegetarian (at least until she’s old enough to make up her mind–given that, at age four, she’s telling me “Daddy, you shouldn’t eat meat because it’s mean to animals,” I rather suspect it’s going to be permanent). I myself am not a vegetarian, but I’m sympathetic to the idea, and more than that, I’m highly sympathetic to the idea that we need to do more to ensure farm animals are treated better–if for no other reason than the way we treat animals now is a public health hazard.

    But neither my ex nor I would join PETA on a dare.

    Quite simply, when I hear PETA’s done something, I pretty much automatically tune them out. I know it’s going to be something stupid, like mocking Giuliani for having prostate cancer, or comparing feed lots to Bergen-Belsen, or the above-cited “Fur Trim–Unattractive” ad’s moral twin. Not to mention that as a fat guy, they really anger me with their obesity=ugly mentality. If they persist until they get my attention, they generally succeed in making me angry–at them.

    In short, if anything, PETA’s very existence makes me less likely to support their cause–and I’m sympathetic to their cause.

    Which always leads me to wonder whether PETA’s leadership is really in it for the animals, or to keep themselves in business. I often suspect the latter.

  32. Blog of the Moderate Left » PETA, PETA, PETA!

    [...] eff Fecke @ 7:23 am

    Jill at Feministe has a nice post on the sexism inherent in PETA ads.  (Warning: link may not b [...]

  33. Natalia
    Natalia January 29, 2007 at 9:15 am |

    I’d love to see some PETA people try to throw paint on a fur-wearing woman in Ukraine – and get beaten up.

    I’m not into violence, honest.

    I just don’t like myopia and stupidity.

    I don’t even mind the naked ads so much (I’m desentisized to the idea of the female body as a marketing prop at this point) – but consistently equating women with animals frightens me. You’re right – they hardly ever do this to the men. And I don’t think I would be comfortable even if they did.

  34. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 29, 2007 at 9:59 am |

    I don’t even mind the naked ads so much but consistently equating women with animals frightens me

    well, much as i loathe peta and their stupidity when it comes to dealing with this, the idea of equating women with animals doesn’t come from them but from mainstream culture – sensitizing people to it and critiquing it would be good. unfortunately, that’s the opposite of what peta’s doing. the problem is that they are taking advantage of this fact in order to argue that animals “are people too.” basically, they’re saying to people: “you’re used to and comfortable with the exploitation of women’s bodies, right? then why not think about how we do the same things to animals – they deserve at least as much compassion as women.” of course, they’re so clueless they don’t realize that by saying this they’re sabotaging their own message – they would only if they thought that misogyny is a problem, but they don’t and therefore can’t see that all they manage to accomplish is to actually contribute to people’s desensitization to exploitation of both women and animals.

  35. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 29, 2007 at 10:33 am |

    I’m also surprised that you guys have been getting bashed for criticizing PETA.

    I have a bit of a different read on how these discussions turn out. After 9/10 participants pat each other on the back agreeing with that PETA is racist, sexist, and obnoxious, the discussion tends to make a right turn towards scapegoating ethical and/or radical animal rights folk in general. Over the last 15 years, I’ve started to feel that progressives have this inexplicable need to find people more scary to sacrifice on the altar of politics in order to whine, “look, we are not really left-wing, we are moderates.” (Many feminists do it to Dworkin, Mackinnon and Daly, many gay rights advocates do it to radical queers. Kossaks seem to have the worst problems here though.)

    There are multiple reasons why I don’t support PETA, but I’ve seen enough of these conversations to clue into the fact that they are rarely just about racism, sexism, or PETA’s rather twisted support of direct action.

  36. Valkyrie
    Valkyrie January 29, 2007 at 10:35 am |

    Wow – The more things change the more they stay the same. When I was in college our local grocery store had a similar picture of a naked woman with cuts of meat drawn on her hanging over their meat department. A group of us made signs and marched in front of the store until they took that sucker down. What the hell has happened between now and then? Not much apparently.

  37. Bryan
    Bryan January 29, 2007 at 11:24 am |

    This is interesting, we we’re just having a debate about PETA on the Vegan Forum I’m on (www.veganfitness.net). A lot of vegans have a big problem with PETA, and see it as sexist and racist. I think the AR communtiy hates PETA more then any one else does. My quick thoughts about the issue:
    It’s not only wrong to commodifying women to de-commodify animals – it can’t work – they feed and reinforce each other.

  38. Jeff Fecke
    Jeff Fecke January 29, 2007 at 11:30 am |

    CBrachyrhynchos sez:

    After 9/10 participants pat each other on the back agreeing with that PETA is racist, sexist, and obnoxious, the discussion tends to make a right turn towards scapegoating ethical and/or radical animal rights folk in general. Over the last 15 years, I’ve started to feel that progressives have this inexplicable need to find people more scary to sacrifice on the altar of politics in order to whine, “look, we are not really left-wing, we are moderates.” (Many feminists do it to Dworkin, Mackinnon and Daly, many gay rights advocates do it to radical queers. Kossaks seem to have the worst problems here though.)

    I don’t know. After 37 comments here, I haven’t seen this discussion take that turn. More than a few commenters have written to say they support PETA’s goals, but not their methods.

    PETA’s stated goals are laudable. They may go too far for some, but the ideals aren’t generally evil. But PETA’s tactics are reprehensible and counterproductive. It’s not seeking “moderation” to point that out.

  39. CBrachyrhynchos
    CBrachyrhynchos January 29, 2007 at 11:48 am |

    Jill: Ohh, I wasn’t talking about you in specific. I just saw signs of people trying to turn previous vegan threads here, and the related thread on Pandagon into, “look at those crazy animal rights people.”

  40. Natalia
    Natalia January 29, 2007 at 11:51 am |

    I guess I’m one of those people who don’t mind nudity in ads per se – although I’d like to see more naked MEN, dammit – particularly if they’re tasteful, as opposed to violent (or “edgy” as some might put it, I don’t).

    The advertising industry is tricky – on one hand, a lot of the stuff they do I would consider art – on the other hand, there are all these messages being channeled through it that are disturbing to say the least.

    PETA is very consistent in their overall message – woman = animal. There isn’t even a grey area here. I don’t agree with that assumption to begin with, I don’t equate human beings with animals in general. And the fact that they would pick on women like this is very telling, IMHO.

    Something else that’s interesting – PETA can throw paint on women in fur coats, or on Anna Wintour’s sidewalk. But I’ve yet to read a report where they would attack, say, an enormous biker gang dressed head-to-toe in leather. I mean, these reports might be out there – but I’ve never heard anything.

    So when PETA is saying things like, “don’t prey on the weak,” who are they kidding?

  41. mythago
    mythago January 29, 2007 at 1:32 pm |

    Jill, I would not slight the work of other animal rights supporters just to give props to PETA. Temple Grandin has probably done more to insure that cows will be humanely slaughtered than Ingrid Newkirk ever will.

  42. oudemia
    oudemia January 29, 2007 at 2:09 pm |

    Hey, Mythago, so that is one thing at least in which you and PETA are in complete agreement! :)

  43. Tom
    Tom January 29, 2007 at 3:01 pm |

    It seems to me that a lot of people don’t care about animals, so instead, there are pictures of a life form people actually do care about-women. By using women in the ads, I suspect the intent is to gain more sympathy for animals than people would otherwise give them. I have to say though that that fur trim ad was ridiculous.

  44. Shiv
    Shiv January 29, 2007 at 4:00 pm |

    How about the way they treat animals themselves

    http://www.thisistrue.com/peta.html

  45. AndyS
    AndyS January 29, 2007 at 6:41 pm |

    Does anyone object to women stripping for peace? I’m wondering how much of the vehemence being expressed here (and in the related thread) goes away when the target is the prevention of war rather than animal cruelty.

  46. Diane
    Diane January 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm |

    I love all PETA ads. There is an implicit irony in them which I think people sometimes miss. PETA isn’t demeaning women; it is using the cultural demeaning of women to make a point.

    I own the entire Holocaust On Your Plate series, and it is powerful and well-done. I have a bumper sticker that says Factory Farming: A Holocaust Every Day.

  47. karpad
    karpad January 29, 2007 at 7:59 pm |

    thanks Jill. I totally wasn’t even looking that close and didn’t see the cuts.

    I still stand by “these are disgusting.” and there’s another level. ugh.

  48. Laser Potato
    Laser Potato January 29, 2007 at 8:30 pm |

    http://www.lynchposters.com/html/TP-Peta.htm
    Arrgh, Twin Peaks flashback…

  49. zuzu
    zuzu January 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm |

    Does anyone object to women stripping for peace? I’m wondering how much of the vehemence being expressed here (and in the related thread) goes away when the target is the prevention of war rather than animal cruelty.

    It’s still exploitation of women’s bodies for an unrelated cause, but at least it has the benefit of not explicitly dehumanizing them.

  50. tara
    tara January 29, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    Thank you for writing this and posting the evidence. I can’t support Peta for the reasons you list. What Peta is doing and has done — consciously used the tools of advertising sexism (objectification of women, misogyny) to sell its ideas — is nothing but wrong. And, ultimately, shortsided. They know that, in a sexist culture, men and women are (1) acclimated to unproblematically accept images of sexual violence inflicted on women and (2) to take a male point of view (more precisely, a heterosexual, white p.o.v.). So, they use these tactics. Ultimately, though, it not only offends those who are conscious of sexism in advertising and culture, but it raises contradictory meanings and ultimately diminishes the organization’s integrity because no one can reconcile why an organization valiantly fighting to protect animals would harm women. (The only answer being that they consciously know that, throughout history, women have been considered inferior and equivalent to animals.) Pretty shameful and awful, when you think about it.

    This masculinist strategy, I don’t think, will work in the long-run. The Democrats, for example, haven’t found success, really, by making concessions and selling out various groups (gay people, pro-choice people, african americans and latinos/as, immigrants) by trying to appear to have ‘middle america values': they just look like they have NO integrity…and no vision to offer.

  51. Matan
    Matan January 29, 2007 at 10:42 pm |

    Looking at these ads, I’m struck by just how gratutitous the use of objectification and nudity is. To be portrayed as an animal, a woman must for some reason not only be caged but also mostly naked? If they are trying to show that animal suffer even as people do–to a degree that pushes people’s buttons, no doubt–why show a woman who has been beaten as attractive rather than as traumatized?

    This is all just such a stupid and obvious manifestation of “sex sells.” Ugh.

  52. zuzu
    zuzu January 29, 2007 at 10:59 pm |

    It seems to me that a lot of people don’t care about animals, so instead, there are pictures of a life form people actually do care about-women.

    Sorry, are you new here? People don’t care about women, either.

    I own the entire Holocaust On Your Plate series, and it is powerful and well-done. I have a bumper sticker that says Factory Farming: A Holocaust Every Day.

    Aw, how nice for you. No Jewish friends?

  53. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 29, 2007 at 11:14 pm |

    While I do not agree with all PETA tactics I agree with their premise.
    Oppression is based on heirarchy and the belief in domination/control/power-over other/others. Animals are at the bottom of this unfortunate paradigm. What you define as “sexist” certainly is from one view but from a broader context the content speaks to the wider problem of patriarchy and domination of those deemed ‘lesser’. I have been a feminist for about 24 years. I have been a vegetarian nearly as long. I haven’t agreed with every position either group has taken but I try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I think ultimately it is counter-productive to attack those in groups below the ‘powerline’. If the progressive left would learn this lesson we might be more effective against the real enemy, the republican thugs that have set back virtually all progressive movements since being in power. These people are truly evil with the goal of a world-ruling theocracy.

    Most of the leftys I know are meat eaters. I personally think eating meat is immoral but I cannot force my beliefs on others. I want these people that I agree with in many ways politically to be commited with me to ending the reign of terror created by BushCo.

    I am reminded of an early struggle in the women’s movement that created splintering which ultimately birthed the Gay Rights Movement. I am grateful for both movements. Animal Rights are as important, at base, as any movement that moves us closer to living in harmony on the tiny sphere on which we all live. I would prefer an bioegalitarian approach to the world from humans and I believe that a nonviolent world has its roots in a nonviolent diet .

  54. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 29, 2007 at 11:16 pm |

    Sorry, are you new here? People don’t care about women, either.

    zuzu…when was the last time you saw someone carve up and eat a woman?

  55. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 29, 2007 at 11:16 pm |

    Literally.

  56. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 29, 2007 at 11:23 pm |

    Women aren’t animals. When was the last time you saw someone carve up and eat a man? While we’re at it, take a look at the PETA apologists here. They aren’t that concerned with the exploitation of women, or people of color, or the Shoah, or the homeless.

    You won’t get anywhere if you insist on degrading other marginalized groups to make your point.

  57. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 29, 2007 at 11:42 pm |

    Sheelz
    Pretty bold, sweeping statement that people who care about animals, “…aren’t that concerned with the exploitation of women, or people of color, or the Shoah, or the homeless.”

    You end with:“You won’t get anywhere if you insist on degrading other marginalized groups to make your point.”

    I would recommend you apply this wisdom, and it is wisdom, to yourself.

  58. h.truthseeker@gmail.com
    h.truthseeker@gmail.com January 29, 2007 at 11:52 pm |

    Sheelz didn’t say that “people who care about animals, “…aren’t that concerned with the exploitation of women, or people of color, or the Shoah, or the homeless.””
    She just said “the PETA apologists here”. The too are not equal.

  59. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 30, 2007 at 1:49 am |

    PETA apologists ” the statement itself is avalue-judgement and last time I check apologists of any stripe are people. Next time I want a lesson equality, I’ll be sure to ask you h.truthseeker who is equal to whom.

  60. tekanji
    tekanji January 30, 2007 at 4:40 am |

    last time I check apologists of any stripe are people.

    If you don’t want a lesson in equality, how about a lesson in logic?

    The breakdown you’re trying to use is this:

    Premise 1: PETA apologists are people who care about animals.
    Premise 2: People who care about animals are people.

    Now, given that, it’s a logically fallacy to draw the two conclusions (outlined below) that you have.

    Conclusion 1: Saying PETA apologists don’t care about the oppression of humans is the same as saying that people who care about animals don’t care about the oppression of humans.
    Conclusion 2: Pointing out the logical fallacy in Conclusion 1 means that one is saying that PETA apologists are not people.

    Logically you can’t assume that if all PETA apologists are people who care about animals that it follows that all people who care about animals are PETA apologists. Ergo, the statement that PETA apologists don’t care about the oppression of human beings has absolutely no relation to PETA apologists’ existence as either animal lovers or people.

  61. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 30, 2007 at 5:35 am |

    hopespringsaturtle, you say:

    Most of the leftys I know are meat eaters. I personally think eating meat is immoral but I cannot force my beliefs on others. I want these people that I agree with in many ways politically to be commited with me to ending the reign of terror created by BushCo.

    think of it this way (not that this point hasn’t been made before): leaving meat-eating aside – because it’s such a deeply ingrained practice (kind of like the way misogyny is widely accepted in its most basic manifestations such as exploitation of women’s labor and control of women’s lives) – what would you say if these “meat eating lefties” you mention decided that the best strategy for furthering some specific lefty goal would be to torture animals? would you support them then? would you bring up bush and say that the ends justify the means then, too? ’cause it’s the same thing here, with peta and their tactics.

    i am a vegan and an animal rights supporter and activist, but i believe very strongly that peta is doing irreperable harm to the movement. that‘s what’s counter-productive. i call them “unethical people for the ethical treatment of animals” – nobody should seek to promote animal rights at the expense of other social justice issues! period.

  62. bean
    bean January 30, 2007 at 5:49 am |

    Does anyone object to women stripping for peace? I’m wondering how much of the vehemence being expressed here (and in the related thread) goes away when the target is the prevention of war rather than animal cruelty.

    In general, I’m opposed to using nudity as a form of protest (unless it somehow has something directly to with nudity). However, I also see varying degress of the offensiveness of using nudity. Take the peace protest you linked to — besides the fact that the photo is taken at such a distance and angle that you are not getting a picture that could easily be found in Playboy or Penthouse, you can also tell that the women in that photo are fairly diverse in size and age (although, not in color). Also, the women are not being treated or portrayed as animals.

    You can’t say anything about the PETA ads.

  63. StacyM
    StacyM January 30, 2007 at 8:11 am |

    I despise PETA and there is a ton of evidence on this post to justify this. One has to engage in a kind of double-think to be both a feminist and a tried and true PETA supporter.

    Having said that, I take issue with the literal implications of this statement:

    Women aren’t animals.

    Actually, human beings are animals. It’s just that humans draw a distinction between themselves and other kinds of animals.

    I don’t want to see women exploited as they are in these horrid ads. I don’t want to see us mistreated/killed/controlled in the multitude of ways that women experience across the world, every day. I also don’t want to see other living beings exploited the way they are by agribusiness, the pharmaceutical industry and any number of other human endeavors.

    Naturally, I feel a particularly strong commitment to women because I am a woman (and human). However, I feel a commitment to other animals, too, because I know that, similar to human beings, they can experience suffering. We are all animals: that is, we are all living creatures who feel pain and at least some degree of awareness. It is the act of drawing that dividing line between human and “animal” that allows one to justify the exploitation that we see. We are capable of drawing all kinds of dividing lines within humanity as well. There is a strong degree of similarity in both practices—an ability to compartmentalize and exploit that which is deemed “other.”

    As for HopeSpringsATurtle, what if PETA started using other marginalized groups of people in similar ways: people of color, poor people, queer people, disabled people, the elderly? When would you finally say, “Enough is enough?”

  64. oudemia
    oudemia January 30, 2007 at 8:13 am |

    One shouldn’t presume to speak for all Jews on the matter of animal welfare and the Shoah. (And I am speaking generally here of the comparison itself and not of the PETA series.)

    Several of our most important artists have worked with the analogy themselves. Isaac Bashevis Singer (a strict vegetarian), is, to my recollection, the first to make use of it, in Enemies, a Love Story:

    As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: In their behavior toward creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with other species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principle that might is right.

    and again, more famously, in the story “The Letter Writer”:

    In his thoughts, Herman spoke a eulogy for the mouse who had shared a portion of her life with him and who, because of him, had left this earth “What do they know – all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world – about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.

    The Jewish, feminist, activist artist Judy Chicago also explores the comparison in her work The Holocaust Project, which debuted at the Spertus Museum of Judaica. Chicago:

    I had learned that during the Industrial Revolution pigs were the first “things” on the assembly line. I began to wonder about the ethical distinction between processing pigs and doing the same thing to people
    defined as pigs. Many would argue that moral considerations do not have to be extended to animals, but that is just what the Nazis said about Jews.”

    You can hate on the PETA series–I found it ham (haha!) fisted–but I would resist the claim that all Jews must find any exploration of the analogy exploitive and anti-semitic.

  65. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 30, 2007 at 9:51 am |

    Enough Jewish people have found it anti-Semetic and grossly offensive to equate the Shoah with dead chickens that there was a huge outcry. No one said that all Jews must find this anti-Semetic–but it was indeed grossly offensive to many, and did come off as anti-Semetic.

  66. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 30, 2007 at 9:55 am |

    “PETA apologists ” the statement itself is [a] value-judgement [sic] and last time I check [sic] apologists of any stripe are people.

    So are women. And you seem quite happy to dismiss the vile treatment of us. You seem fine with women being used as stand-ins for animals, and get quite pissy when someone points out PETA’s double-standards.

    I don’t think I’ll bother learning about equality from you, dear. Given your hairsplitting and willful obtuseness in your subsequent comments, it’s obvious that you’re trolling.

  67. oudemia
    oudemia January 30, 2007 at 11:06 am |

    Hi She. — Like I said, I agree with you about those PETA ads; I think that they were thoughtless and sloppy about a topic that requires thoughtfulness and care. I just wanted to be sure to point out that the comparison has served as a locus for examination and art by thoughtful, careful, and creative Jews.

  68. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 30, 2007 at 12:50 pm |

    Sheelz…Someone disagrees with you and they become a troll? Ad hominem attacks because we disagree on a particular political issue is neither productive nor cool. I understand the points made here; I’m not “willfully obtuse” and your rudeness brings an incivility to the discussion that is counter-productive. You illustrate my point about “eating our own” (no pun intended) perfectly. Instead of addressing what I say about oppression, you just call me stupid. Good job. When I’m trying to woo someone or sway them in my direction, I insult them. Very effective.

    ruxandra
    you say:

    what would you say if these “meat eating lefties” you mention decided that the best strategy for furthering some specific lefty goal would be to torture animals? would you support them then? would you bring up bush and say that the ends justify the means then, too? ‘cause it’s the same thing here, with peta and their tactics.

    You outline an unrealistic ‘lifeboat situation’ re: animal torture furthering the Left’s Bush opposition. To torture any living being is cruel and does not exhibit peace as a goal.

    I did not come in here to fight. I came to offer an expanded perspective. I don’t apologize for PETA. The tactics they use are arguably not the best. Does that mean the work they do should be dismissed out of hand? I want us, all of us, to join energies and topple what is certainly the most serious threat in the world today: The BushCo policy of war-mongering and world-wide horror. Why does that automatically make me a troll?

    A basic knowledge of feminism tells us that we cannot elevate ourselves on the bent back of another; animals are part of that hierarchy. It is very difficult to parse the topic of sexism/animal cruelty adequately in the comments section of a post but bottom line we all are animals, sentient beings that deserve to live in peace, without fear. If we remembered we are in it together I believe we could move mountains.

  69. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 30, 2007 at 12:57 pm |

    Jill re: the “South Korea” ad:
    The ad is not racist. It certainly can be construed to play into racist sterotypes but it depicts a cultural practice that people who eat pigs, cows and chickens cna see as barbaric and hopefully extend the logic to their own dietary habits. This forum is inadequate to fully express all of my sentiments on this topic but suffice to say can you not see getting people to equate ‘companion animals’ with ‘food animals’ encourages a reframing of their treatment?

  70. Morgan
    Morgan January 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm |

    wow.

    unfortunately, i don’t think PETA is alone. i was involved in many lefty groups as a student, and if you wore clothes from the gap, you were a fascist, but if you were made uncomfortable by titty jokes, then you were a humorless bitch.

  71. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 30, 2007 at 2:06 pm |

    You outline an unrealistic ‘lifeboat situation’ re: animal torture furthering the Left’s Bush opposition. To torture any living being is cruel and does not exhibit peace as a goal.

    and neither does demeaning and dehumanizing women exhibit peace as a goal.

    wow, you’re really not interested in hearing the “ends don’t justify the means” point here, are you? how is what i said presenting an unrealistic “lifeboat situation”? i wasn’t asking you to choose between evils at all. i was equating peta and peta supporters’ idea that it’s ok to use tactics that demean and exploit and hurt women if it’s (somehow) for the larger goal of animal rights with the idea that it would be acceptable to use tactics that hurt animals as long as it was for the larger goal of some social justice issue. i do understand that the latter doesn’t seem at all palatable to you. but, you see, that’s the whole point. it’s not acceptable! and “we cannot elevate [somebody] on the bent back of another” – well, PRECISELY.

  72. Cecily
    Cecily January 30, 2007 at 2:24 pm |

    oudemia — it’s worth pointing out that, as in the recent thread about whites repeating Chris Rock’s ‘n****r’ joke, it’s very different for a member of an oppressed group to use the imagery/terminology/history of his own oppression to critique his own group or draw parallels with other issues than for an outsider to do so. Thus, there is no reason that those who condemn PETA’s use of the Holocaust analogy must disapprove of Jewish authors playing with the same line of thinking.

  73. Catherine Martell
    Catherine Martell January 30, 2007 at 2:35 pm |

    Apologies if anyone has posted this already. But let’s not forget that PETA hates trans people, too:

    this ad comes from their sister site, Kentucky Fried Cruelty.

    Hmm. “Dirty little secret”. Nice.

  74. oudemia
    oudemia January 30, 2007 at 2:43 pm |

    Cecily — I agree with you as to that difference. My problem with that PETA series was that I just didn’t find it very thoughtful, however, not that non-Jews were involved in the making of it. Some arguments require a certain amount of care in their making and not everything will be suitable for poster-rhetoric.
    And if all of us, as a culture, are going to derive some good from the thoughtful artistic and scholarly work done on the analogy, then that line of thinking has to be available to all artists and scholars, who then can be judged on the fruits of their labor. Care, thought, and precision required.

  75. HopeSpringsATurtle
    HopeSpringsATurtle January 30, 2007 at 3:51 pm |

    Those of you that responded to my comments abstracted points you could deconstruct and make me wrong. You win. Happy now? Feel better that someone already on your side feels angry, alienated and and unheard for the broader point she was trying to make? I have not be arguing the “ends justify the means”. I’m in favor of animals right, women’s rights, human rights, et al. My point is we would do better if we stopped attacking each other. Go ahead and have at it, apparently a win is a win is a win. The paternalistic, condescending way which I was treated here in the comments explains volumes. No loss though, since you believe I care about animals and apologizing for PETA more than women anyway….

  76. ruxandra
    ruxandra January 30, 2007 at 4:24 pm |

    @hopespringsaturtle: i’m sorry that you are taking it this way. i know that i, at least, was trying to make a connection when i replied the first time. because i’ve been there, supporting peta, before i saw that they really do believe that the ends justify the means, that all publicity is good publicity, that there’s no such thing as misogyny or if there is it’s not an issue to care about, that social justice issues are not interlocked, etc.. and i tried to convey to you that to some of us, at least, opposing peta is very far from opposing animal rights – that it’s, rather, about seeing animal rights as integrated with other social justice issues (but not something that trumps the others). the thing is, what peta is doing is not defendable from a social justice/ethical point of view: they need to be criticized for their tactics (and from within the a.r. movement, most of all). it really doesn’t matter what i think about you, or you about me, or who “wins” here – i think what’s essential is to not give our support to unethical practices and organizations, because it’s generally harmful.

  77. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub January 30, 2007 at 4:26 pm |

    HSAT–I called you a troll because of your hairsplitting and your diversionary tactics. You picked a fight with me over because I refered to PETA’s apologists as PETA’s apologists, and when people pointed out the fallacy in your logic (not all animal lovers are PETA apologists) you flipped out and aspirated on your own spittle. When you preach to me about winning people over to my side by not insulting them, I suggest you take your own advice.

    But do, go on, post about how rudely you were treated after acting like a pompous, condescending ass. It’s all about you after all.

    Is it getting lonely up there on your martyr’s stake?

  78. Halfmad
    Halfmad January 30, 2007 at 4:41 pm |

    That guy in the last ad isn’t exactly SLIM!

  79. Halfmad
    Halfmad January 30, 2007 at 4:51 pm |

    I mean, last photo.

  80. Lesley
    Lesley January 30, 2007 at 5:12 pm |

    The paternalistic, condescending way which I was treated here in the comments explains volumes.

    The only thing I’m going to say on this subject right now is that when you come into a thread where people are clearly upset about something wrong and define for them who the “real enemy” is (real enemy are your words), then you are being paternalistic and condescending in the first place. When you tell progressive leftists that the progressive left needs to learn a lesson as a critique of their actions, you are being paternalistic and condescending in the first place. When you cite yourself as an example of living this lesson you’ve determined progressives need to learn and fighting your definition of the real enemy in juxtaposition to what people here are doing, you are being paternalistic and condescending in the first place.

    If you are going to be paternalistic and condescending in the first place, you ought not be surprised when people respond that way to you. People here are adults who have made their own judgments as to who the “enemy” is. People here are adults who have made their own judgments as to how they should carry on the fight for their causes. You may disagree with them, but there are other ways to express that disagreement. Completely dismissing their judgments out of hand isn’t necessarily going to endear you to the commentariat.

  81. Caveat
    Caveat January 30, 2007 at 5:24 pm |

    Yeah, well, peta. They started out well but hypocrisy from the top down kind of takes the wind out of their sales. Their own executives use medical treatments not only developed through animal testing, but some are still obtained directly from animals today. Half of their celebrities eat meat, some don’t even know they are supposed to represent peta.

    They have a lot of money and dupe a lot of people into believing they are about animal welfare.

    They’re not.

    They want to eliminate animal husbandry. No cats, no dogs, no birds – no pets. No cows, horses, sheep – no domestic animals.

    The Thai elephant thing is a disgrace and I agree with them on that one. I also agree that wild animals should not be used in circuses and canned hunts. I have more faith in the SPCA and other animal welfare orgs than I could ever have in peta and their cousins at HSUS, ELF, ALF, PCRM, etc. Too much money going in, none going out to actually protect animals.

    The ads are ho-hum, peta hasn’t had an original idea in decades. Too busy lobbying at all levels of government to bother coming up with anything original I guess.

  82. Caveat
    Caveat January 30, 2007 at 5:25 pm |

    Oh, sorry for the typo – sails. If any more, blame it on burning eyes and looking out the window while typing.

  83. zuzu
    zuzu January 30, 2007 at 8:29 pm |

    Feel better that someone already on your side feels angry, alienated and and unheard for the broader point she was trying to make?

    Well, see, that’s what we’ve been saying all along. PETA’s use of cheesecake to get attention for its message angers and alienates a lot of feminists, and we certainly feel unheard when defenders of PETA dismiss our concerns because the ends justify the means.

  84. Tara (a different one - I need a nickname to make things less confusing)
    Tara (a different one - I need a nickname to make things less confusing) January 31, 2007 at 12:42 am |

    What ARE their goals? Save animals?

    PETA is a pretty confusing organization. On the one hand, they equate the lives of animals and people. On the other hand, when asked to help raise money to feed cattle starving in a blizzard, they refuse because the cattle are just going to be eaten eventually, anyways. If animals and people should be considered equals, then should we help animals regardless of their grim future, or should we refuse to help people because they’re going to die soon, anyways?

    Looking at PETA membership doesn’t make it much easier to see what they stand for. I’m sure there’s a pretty big difference between how Ingrid Newkirk feels about animals and their treatment vs how members actively involved in animal rights/welfare feel about it vs how members who just joined because they thought “I’ll support you guys – I love animals!” feel about it.

    So yeah, I’m wondering right along with Em: what are their goals? What are they working towards, and what is their mission statement? Do their actions support this? Somebody with a bit more time than I have should break this all down and post it.

  85. Rebecca M
    Rebecca M January 31, 2007 at 3:23 am |

    Weighing a bit late here, but from my perspective (feminist and vegan for animal rights and health reasons), PETA does more harm than good. Yes, they do attract a lot of attention, but it’s usually in the context of “Hey, look at the nutjobs!” (Or “Hey look, a naked chick!”)
    Even worse is the “guilt by association” stigma. It frustrates me that the time I spend explaining to people that NO, I don’t like PETA either could be spent actually doing something worthwile to the cause.

    Just as every feminist has her own reasons for being so and ways of going about it, so do vegetarians. PETA does not speak for all of us.

  86. Jay
    Jay January 31, 2007 at 8:22 pm |

    I emailed Peta UK about this a couple of weeks ago – the ads they’re running over here are fractionally different, I believe, but exactly the same in themes. I called them out on being sexist and reinforcing oppressive images of femininity – and they responded saying Peta’s run by feminist women, and they don’t think nakedness is anything to be ashamed of, so it’s cool to use naked chicks ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE.

    Fuckwits.

    *is considering eating meat again, buying Burberry, etc*

  87. mythago
    mythago January 31, 2007 at 9:39 pm |

    but I would resist the claim that all Jews must find any exploration of the analogy exploitive and anti-semitic

    I didn’t realize that we had to take a vote of every Jew on the planet, and if one disagrees that something is anti-Semitic, it’s not.

  88. Charity
    Charity February 1, 2007 at 12:51 pm |

    Speaking of PETA ads… as luck would have it, I recently joined NOW. I thought, “Okay, NOW strikes me as kind of old and fusty, but let’s give it a try.”

    Yesterday I opened up the National NOW Times, and there on page 14 is a full-color quarter-page ad for PETA. (At least this one is of the inoffensive pig picture variety.) My perception of NOW has just gone from “fusty” to “stupid”. I’m disappointed that they’re accepting advertising from an organization that depends so heavily on spectactularly sexist campaigns.

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