PETA’s “Veggie Love” Ad

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is trying to run a commercial in the Super Bowl. Women’s groups have denounced it, saying it “demeans women”. (You can find it here.) Basically the ad shows a group of women in bikinis who lick phallic-shaped vegetables and insert them into their mouths. The production values for this ad are those of a pornographic film. It’s clear that the makers of this ad wanted to create that association in people’s minds. If PETA wants to put across the idea that “vegetarians have better sex”, there are more subtle and less sexist ways they can do that. (Think, for example, of the feminist film, Like Water for Chocolate, in which eating is associated with sex).

PETA tried to run a similar commercial in the Super Bowl last year, and it was rejected. I don’t doubt that this new one will meet the same fate. Of course, some will argue that that is the whole point. The idea is to generate controversy and so draw people’s attention. As someone who is sympathetic to the idea of animal rights, I must say that this is a bad strategy. Men who seek out this video on the Internet (and it’s clearly meant to appeal exclusively to men) are not likely to be interested in vegetarianism. And I can’t imagine anyone seriously considering becoming a vegetarian as a result of watching it. As a failed vegetarian, I can tell you that maintaining that diet requires a major commitment, something that is not likely to be created by watching this ad.

This ad shows an extremely cynical attitude on the part of PETA towards the people that they are trying to reach out to, so much so that it’s actually insulting. I know it’s wrong to generalize, but this fits in with an impression that I’ve gotten over the years, which is that people who obsess over animal rights are, to put it in the politest possible way, unreliable.

One Response to “PETA’s “Veggie Love” Ad”

  1. Red Mike Says:

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy watching the ad, that said it did not encourage me to go veggie and really just highlighted a severe problem I have with the animal rights movement. It seems to be the militant wing of the fluffy Liberal Middle class rebels.

    They invest all there time and energy into something that ultimately won’t change a thing even if successful and definitely wouldn’t negatively impact on there lifestyles, unlike those on budgets who can’t afford organic foodstuffs or fake meat substitutes.

    Then there’s the racist overtones you get when they comment on foreign diets especially East Asia and the eating of dogs. I once read a blog post by some ALF nutter wishing to place sanctions on South Korea and China break off diplomatic relations because they farm a mammal for food.

    To me most animal rights advocates who exclusively make that there cause are just self centred quite well off Western bigots with some guilt issues.

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