We never seem to run out of attempts by self-anointed “food police” groups to regulate our diets for us through soda or food taxes and frivolous lawsuits. And as we told you last week, the fringe animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came out in Florida with its own tactless tack, mixing obesity and animal rights messages: Save the whales by losing “the blubber” and going vegetarian. Funny, right? Sure—unless PETA thinks you’re the whale.
PETA’s billboard stunt has received widespread condemnation (as usual). It set off the “Twitterverse” with comments. An obesity policy organization issued a statement blasting the “stigmatizing images” and calling for PETA to dump the ads.
We decided to weigh in with our own statement on the crudeness of this campaign. As we told the Florida Times-Union:
PETA’s ad is meant to feed off the insecurities of the body-conscious in order to promote meatless eating, regardless of the humiliation it may cause. The group has consistently promoted a message of animal "rights" with total disregard to the human cruelty it causes. To equate any person (regardless of size) with a whale, or any other animal, is mean-spirited, cruel, and ugly.
We’re by no means alone. Fifteen feminists showed up to protest PETA president Ingrid Newkirk at a Portland book signing on Tuesday. As one protestor said of the ads, “They’re sexist and size-ist, and they need to understand that you don’t have to oppress women in order to liberate animals.”
Looks like PETA got called out for treating women like pieces of meat. Again. How’s that for irony?