Against animal cruelty, but not human cruelty?

11th August 2009

Against animal cruelty, but not human cruelty?

posted in Fat Bias, Vegetarianism |

As if I needed another reason…  this new promotion reminds me yet again of why it is this vegetarian absolutely and vehemently refuses to support PETA.

Peta whales

For most of us, summer is fading fast, but for residents of Jacksonville, Florida, bikini season lasts all year. What does the Sunshine State’s endless summer mean for PETA? Our phone lines ring off the hook with reports of “beached whale sightings.” Good one, guys.

Luckily, we know the secret to getting—and maintaining—a killer beach bod. Did you know that vegetarians are 20 to 30 percent leaner than meat-eaters? So, to help residents and tourists “lose the blubber”—and hopefully to deter prank callers—we’re launching a brand-new billboard urging people to go vegetarian:

For a heartbreaking story of one woman’s reaction upon being bombarded with this billboard at a Florida beach, read here.

Click to Bookmark
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 2:58 pm and is filed under Fat Bias, Vegetarianism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There are currently 46 responses to “Against animal cruelty, but not human cruelty?”

Join the conversation! Post your comment below.

  1. 1 On August 11th, 2009, merri said:

    Wow I think that peta makes things that will offend people on purpose just on the basis that any publicity is good publicity. They’re like the little bully pulling your pigtails as kids.

  2. 2 On August 11th, 2009, random said:

    Why is it that PETA’s preferred means of attack is a WOMAN’S BODY?????? They’re so outraged by the objectification of animals–which is in and of itself evil–but trying to bring attention to this issue via objectifying women is INEXCUSIBLE. The hypocrites! Women’s bodies are not objects that exist solely to satisfy societal standards of beauty. Other women’s bodies are NONE OF MY BUSINESS, and my body is NOBODY ELSE’S BUSINESS.

    I just don’t get it. Why “slim down”? Why? Who cares if anyone is fat? So being FAT is a horrible health care issue (according to some), and we should encourage people to be healthy? Why not freak out this way over cigarrettes & alcohol? WHY ARE OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES ANY OF OUR BUSINESS?

    I realise that this turned into a rant–but I saw that PETA ad and I was utterly disgusted.

  3. 3 On August 11th, 2009, Ruth said:

    E-mail PETA through their website @:

    I did, and expressed my disgust at their cruelty (and also questioned the intelligence of alienating the fat, vegetarian, animal rights activist folk).

    It felt good!

    I hope they get bombarded with protests.

    Go get um!

  4. 4 On August 11th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Thanks for the link, Ruth. I’ve written them before on other sizeist/misogynistic campaigns and I just can’t muster up the energy anymore.

  5. 5 On August 11th, 2009, Lisa said:

    Argh. PETA is such a hypocritical organization.

  6. 6 On August 11th, 2009, Ruth said:


    You’re very welcome.

    I can absolutely relate to you having exceeded your tolerance limit, re: PETA.

    I experienced a similar phenomena when good ole GWB was President. I used to seek out all the Progressive news to stay informed, and was involved in local peace groups, and would write and read political poems before it was as acceptable to be against the Iraq war (due to the whole flawed 911 argument), that would piss people off and get me booed offstage, etc.

    I got so much flack and either wound up screaming to people who would NEVER agree with me, OR talking to like-minded people who all agreed with me (pleasant, but not useful).

    Eventually, I wound up being filled with such an impotent rage that I had to just go on a “news and angry poetry reading retreat”, and focus on my own life, health and peace of mind.

    Oh, and I just totally hijacked this thread. That was RUDE.

    My intentions are good, even if my approach is long-winded :-)

  7. 7 On August 11th, 2009, Ruth said:

    Sorry, correction: had to go on a retreat FROM news and angry poetry readings (of my own angry poetry).

    OK, I’m really finished now.

  8. 8 On August 11th, 2009, Jackie said:

    A PETA representative managed to get my e-mail adress from a WordPress site, which also posted about this. They referred to some controversial anti-racism magazine, which promoted the use of shock tactics and said “Sometimes the only way to the get the message across is using shock tactics.” So what they’re saying is, “They did it we should be able to too!” What kind of reasoning is that?

    PETA also harms children by showing graphic pictures of animal cruelty to them through their Unhappy Meals. As well as posting playground signs, deriding fat children.

    Oh, and we can’t forget the Lettuce Ladies, who dress as if they’re going to the strip club to put on a show!

    PETA is full of fail, I can’t remember when they haven’t been full of fail. I mean, seriously, they just don’t care. No matter how many people contact them about this, I’m sure they’ll just send out a form letter admonishing the person for thinking of their own suffering, before the suffering of animals.

    Frankly, I think if animals could speak, they’d tell PETA to STFU.

  9. 9 On August 11th, 2009, Bree said:

    Yet another reason why PETA is increasingly becoming nothing but a joke. This whale doesn’t need saving, thank you!

    I think our animals need new representation.

  10. 10 On August 11th, 2009, mim said:

    After comparing the Holocaust (with pictures of emaciated Jewish prisoners in concentration camps) to killing chickens for food,

    and after complaining about animal rights violations in the context of deadly terrorist attacks on civilians,

    and after using pictures of naked *female* celebrities (only women–objectify much?) to protest wearing fur

    and after being shown to run kill shelters, despite ostensibly being *against* cruelty and needless killing….

    How is anyone surpised? I mean, really? You thought they were a legitimate organization when they spat on the memories of Nazi victims and those who were murdered in terror attacks; when they treated women’s bodies like pieces of meat; when they were shown to be utter hypocrites? But now they come for the fatties and suddenly poof, they’re bad?

    I mean yeah, that sign is deeply offensive, and as a fat person who only recently swam in public again (I used to love it when I was a not-so-fat kid) I can imagine how shocked, hurt, and angry I would be to see that sentiment displayed in a public place. But,

    “PETA is full of fail, I can’t remember when they haven’t been full of fail. I mean, seriously, they just don’t care. No matter how many people contact them about this, I’m sure they’ll just send out a form letter admonishing the person for thinking of their own suffering, before the suffering of animals.

    Frankly, I think if animals could speak, they’d tell PETA to STFU”

    My cats agree. peta needs to stfu.

    And the only way that will happen is if people talk about this and all their other fuckups–not with peta, but with *people who support them, especially financially*. Have conversations about how you love animals and respect them but will NEVER support peta for the above reasons. Find other ways to suport animal rights and advocate against cruelty AND SHARE THEM WITH PEOPLE WHO CARE. Convert former peta supporters and have *them* explain to peta why there will be no more $$$. Maybe that’s a language PETA can understand. I think ‘the female/human body is not an object for you to publicly deride and degrade’ is a bit over their heads.

    *needed that rant, gets of soapbox now*

  11. 11 On August 11th, 2009, Courtney said:

    I just ran across this website on accident… and wanted to say I’m impressed by the entire concept of it. It’s nice to see people discussing these important issues. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder, and now (recovered) hopes to help others… I see how central this all is to life as a women. We are bombarded daily with images about the “ideal” women, who is thin and constantly on a diet. I think it’s important to confront these issues, I believe it can prevent future eating disorders and so many other problems. So…. I applaud your efforts.

  12. 12 On August 11th, 2009, Anna said:

    That woman has an AWESOME bikini!

    And I agree with Merri on this one – PETA seems to think any publicity is good publicity. I’ve noticed a lot of rampant sexism in various environmental organisations, and it pisses me off. Being nasty to people won’t make animals any happier.

  13. 13 On August 11th, 2009, Lucy said:

    Plus, it’s not true that vegetarians are thinner. It’s just freaking not.

    That broadly assumes that all vegetarians eat vegetables. Most teenagers who take up vegetarianism will actually gain tons more weight, because they stop eating meat, but instead of increasing their vegetable intake, they’ll eat pizza, mac and cheese, pastry, bagels… basically nothing that has any protein in it whatsoever. And lean protein actually is pretty essential in weight loss.

    Whoops, PETA.

  14. 14 On August 11th, 2009, rachel with a little "r" said:

    Well, well…PETA of all people, belittling the plight of the whales*…who yes, DO need saving…it’s not just a catchy saying…just to make fun of fatties, yet again. And how this campaign exactly helps animals, or influences people to “go veg!” I simply don’t know. What I get from this is that PETA very clearly does not care about humans…or whales, for that matter.

    (*Yes, I’m quite aware that PETA do not actually care about animal rights.)

  15. 15 On August 11th, 2009, Bethface said:

    When I look at this billboard what I think about, other then being offended, is not whales and how they are treated. I think about the beach and wanting to go swimming, summer, and so on. Peta actually barely comes into my thoughts. It seems like an ineffective campaign. Offensive and ineffective. I don’t have the drive to find out what is happening to the whales or give any money to Peta. So in the end what is the point.

  16. 16 On August 11th, 2009, Bilt4Cmfrt said:

    Shocking? Not really. In fact, as Jackie mentions, shocking is what they want. Case in point; their recent comparison of the National Kennel Club to the KKK. They even produced a commercial featuring a Klan member in full regalia dropping in a on a Kennel Club meeting and ‘fitting right in’ (YouTube video here-> Yah, know. ‘Cause canine breeding is so similar to the KKK’s master race philosophy it’s hi-larious. Or maybe PETA is comparing POC to dogs. The funny just does not stop. Either way, they never seem to get the idea that they are really doing themselves and their message more harm than good. With these inane ad’s, whatever message they might have hoped to send usually gets flushed right down the toilet behind all the ‘attention’ the ad’s themselves get. Mission; Failed on inception. And yet they keep trying. With the same crap. Over and over again.

    I’m starting to think that it really isn’t about the animals at all. Their little ’cause’ and the attention it gets them makes them feel important and activated. Kind of like a live action version of your garden variety Cyber Troll. The more attention they manage to grab the more frenzied they get. I’m starting to think PETA is coming from the same place as Michael Karolchyk and MeMe Roth. Attention whore’s, the lot of them. And they don’t really care what kind of attention they get or how. As long as they get a lot of it, their as happy as Gollum once he’s got his hands on the One Ring. Just as loathsome and equally as pathetic.

  17. 17 On August 11th, 2009, Cindy said:

    Stay classy P.E.T.A.

  18. 18 On August 11th, 2009, Shinobu said:

    People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals? So how about some ethical treatment for people? Did they forget that we’re animals too?

  19. 19 On August 12th, 2009, Jackie said:

    Well, as I guess should have been expected, what started as a number of posts condemning PETA’s anti-fat sign, now has reverted to almost a 2 year old level discussion that fat people are bad. It may task some of your sanity points to visit the area on PETA where this is being discussed, but I don’t think many given that the fat hating people literally are talking like little children about the issue.

    Feel free to attempt to change the course of discussion. Someone posted about being fat despite being vegan, so that’s a good point to make. I know the blog is also moderated, and perhaps PETA being overwhelmed with such intelligent claims against their promo, chose to only approve posts in favor of what they’re doing. Even if it is just babbling fat hate nonsense, like a grade school bully.

  20. 20 On August 12th, 2009, twincats said:

    I tried to send a complaint, but the form kept telling me that I had missed a required field that I couldn’t find.

    Maybe I’ll try snail mail…

  21. 21 On August 12th, 2009, ItsTheWooo said:

    The irony is that carbohydrate is more involved in obesity than is protein/fat (i.e. animal products). Eat a sloppy vegetarian diet full of starches and sugars and anyone remotely vulnerable to obesity is going to gain some weight. Omnivorous diets are better for health and weight. Primarily carnivorous diets are best for health and weight.

    Re: statistic. Vegetarians are thinner probably because eating disorders (both acute and mostly in remission) are much, much more common among vegetarians esp. teen vegetarians. Weirdness about eating -> weirdness about eating animals -> adoption of vegetarianism both for ethical reasons and as a cover for eating disordered behavior.

  22. 22 On August 12th, 2009, ItsTheWooo said:

    Don’t waste your time complaining to PETA. It’s like writing a letter to stormfront informing them that you are offended by their views. It’s like telling your local manic street preacher that he is not jesus. There is no point. They’re beyond reason.

  23. 23 On August 12th, 2009, Rachel said:

    I think Peta truly does care about the animals, or at least, most of its members do. They just think that bad attention is better than no attention at all. And I do have to give them credit for elevating the plight of animal rights amongst the national consciousness, but I don’t think it’s all that constructive. Peta, to many meat-eaters, is simply a joke, and they make other vegetarians/vegans and animal rights activists seem just as clownish by cause association.

    And, I’m also afraid to say, but I think this little campaign might just be effective. After all, look at the success of the “Skinny Bitch” books. I personally know several meat-eating people who’ve become an outright vegan all of a sudden just because they want to lose weight.

  24. 24 On August 12th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Vegetarians are thinner probably because eating disorders (both acute and mostly in remission) are much, much more common among vegetarians esp. teen vegetarians.

    I disagree with this and moreover, I think this assumption is very offensive and harmful to ethical vegetarians. While it is true that some with an eating disorder use vegetarianism as a cover, this restrictive diet is usually not sustainable after recovery unless the person commits to it for other reasons than weight-loss. The real reason I think vegetarians are thinner is A) people who are vegetarian usually DO eat healthier foods if for no other reason that a large number of fatty foods are off-limits; B) vegetarians also tend to be environmentally-conscious and tend not to eat processed foods that harm the planet; and C) only about 3 percent of the national population identify as vegetarian, so you have a much smaller sample pool from which to pull statistics.

  25. 25 On August 12th, 2009, Lauren said:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade. And I’m still fat. Guess this whale can’t be saved…

  26. 26 On August 12th, 2009, Liza said:

    I have a problem with any animal rights group that advocates killing and banning animals (check out their stance on pit bulls). Among so many other things that I don’t have the energy to get into.

  27. 27 On August 12th, 2009, Liza said:

    Also, I didn’t lose an ounce when I went vegetarian as a teenager.

  28. 28 On August 12th, 2009, Rachel said:

    @Liza: I know what you’re referring to with the killing of animals (it’s a popular anti-Peta argument because they euthanize animals), but in their case, I truly do think it’s a case of compassionate euthanasia. Peta usually gets the animals that are sometimes beyond saving and in these cases, the truly compassionate thing to do is to relieve the animal of its suffering.

  29. 29 On August 12th, 2009, DaniFae said:

    Rachel, the article concerning PETA’s stance on pit bulls is here.

    Also, in Norfolk VA, home of PETA, the SPCA is no kill (meaning they will not kill healthy, treatable, or adoptable pets, they will preform compassionate euthanasia) PETA’s shelter isn’t. PETA’s adoption rate is 14% compared to the SPCA’s 74%. I live in VA, and donate money to the SPCA, PETA doesn’t get a dime from me, I’d rather see my money go to an organization that is actually helping animals, rather than demonizing humans.

  30. 30 On August 12th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Actually, I can’t say that I disagree with their position on pit bulls and I’d have to look into their shelter operations in more detail before I could offer an opinion on that, but I am with you in that there are plenty of animal welfare orgs that would put my money to better use than in coming up with such offensive campaigns. The local paper just did a story on the county shelter where I live and they had to euthanize some 200-plus cats in ONE MONTH because of a lack of space. My husband keeps telling me that I can’t save them all, but I might be able to at least save a few.

  31. 31 On August 12th, 2009, Liza said:

    DaniFae, thanks for linking that. I have been computer-less for a few hours.

    I have to ask, how can you not disagree with a stance that involves discriminating against a breed because of an unfounded bad reputation? A discrimination that has already lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths, some of those of beloved pets, and will undoubtedly lead to more? I know there are a handful of bad animals out there, just like there are a handful of bad people, but no breed of dog is harmful enough to need to be banned. Those kinds of laws exist out out of ignorance and prejudice. Someone out there can’t look beyond the tabloid reputation of the breed and therefore wants to slaughter all of them.

    Pit bulls have been used as fighters and guards because they are easy to train and eager to please. They are NOT an inherently violent or dangerous breed; there is a vicious cycle in place: people with bad intentions (think the Michael Vicks of yesteryear) got a hold of them and started training them for bad things like fighting, thus they got a bad reputation which draws in more people with bad intentions which perpetuates the training for said bad things which perpetuates the bad reputations.

    The same ease of training and eagerness to please is exactly what makes them wonderful family pets. Yes wonderful. Yes, family. That includes families with children. That includes small children. Because they are actually nurturing and caring creatures. Just ask my cousin, his not-quite-3-year-old daughter and his pit bull Titan. If I could find it I’d link to a picture I have of the dog and the girl (as an infant) cuddling on their couch. They are 99% goofy, loving clowns and 1% trained to fight. But the 1% makes for sexier headlines so that’s what people think of.

    This person says it all much more eloquently that I do:

    The violently aggressive dog I had when I was child, that got so bad we had to have her put down (after about 5 years of trying to train her), didn’t have a drop of pit bull in her. She was mostly lab.

  32. 32 On August 12th, 2009, Liza said:

    Also, I have a hard time believing that a 78% kill rate is entirely compassionate. Having worked at a shelter, I have seen many compassionate euthanasia cases. And the percent of animals coming off the street that required that was FAR lower than that. Maybe a handful of them were, but there is no way all of them were.

    And this was a shelter that doesn’t make $31 million per year.

  33. 33 On August 12th, 2009, FatNSassy said:

    It is more and more obvious what PETA really wants is attention. I think the animals represent their wounded inner child and they want to get back at whatever real or imagined abuse they suffered as kids. Animals are safe to trust but humans aren’t. If it wasn’t all about them, why would they continue to alienate so many from their cause.

  34. 34 On August 12th, 2009, belledame222 said:

    PETA, like their right wing counterparts screaming from Fox News and hate radio, are basically RL trolls. if only RL banning were so easy.

  35. 35 On August 13th, 2009, Lexie Di said:

    Ok! 1.) I posted a comment on their blog about the billboard… and it wasn’t posted. All I said was that I thought this was weightist and bad publicity. That they can’t say they want to treat animals well and not treat humans well.

    2.) If they want to save the whales… doesn’t that mean we should stay fat? If whales lose blubber, they die. Then there are less whales… They’re kind of got an oxymoron going there. They must be idiots. Ugh. I truly dislike PETA.

  36. 36 On August 13th, 2009, Diane said:

    Well, the ad is generating a discussion, just look at the people commenting here. There are even more who do not leave a comment. Animals and people both deserve help. Unfortuantley, animals cannot speak up for themselves. I agree that sometimes a shocking ad is necessary to get a point across in this world that is flooded with media. I believe PETA can and should make shoking adds without offending people who themselves are often a target of discrimination and ridicule.

  37. 37 On August 26th, 2009, The Bald Soprano said:

    They’ve replaced the billboard… with something nearly as bad….:

  38. 38 On August 26th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Ha, I just saw that and was going to post it! You beat me to it, Bald Soprano!

  39. 39 On August 26th, 2009, Ryan said:

    I’m a member of PETA, as well as other animal rights groups, and I beleive in the ethical treatment of animals, saying that, I don’t think people should be offended as a way to get the word out.

    Simply reducing your meat and dairy intake can make a difference, to your health, animals and the enviroment. Even if you choose to have just one vegan meal a week.

  40. 40 On August 26th, 2009, Peta: People Effecting Terrible Absurdity » said:

    [...] good news: Peta has removed its highly offensive “Save the Whales” billboards. The bad news: They still don’t quite *get* it. Here’s part of [...]

  41. 41 On August 26th, 2009, Rachel said:

    @Ryan: I don’t think that one bad deed ever justifies another bad deed.

  42. 42 On August 26th, 2009, Ryan said:

    I’m sorry, what bad deed are you refering to here, Rachel?

  43. 43 On August 26th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Sorry, Ryan. I misread your comment as saying that you thought it was acceptable for people to be offended in order to spread the word of vegetarianism.

  44. 44 On November 15th, 2009, Tabitha said:

    ugh PETA! Whhhyyyy? I love everyone here for not equating vegetarianism and PETA. haha.
    I like going to animal rights groups meetings (that aren’t freakin PETA) because the vegans (includin me) come in ALL shapes, sizes, genders, creeds, EVERYTHING. the bad eggs (ha! irony) in PETA are out-casting entire groups of vegans/vegeterians and any kind of animal rights activist by trying to suggest that vegetarians fit into these tiny “perfect” stereotypes. The good eggs in PETA (like Ryan here) need to take over the PR department.

    Oh yeah, and I went from omnivorous diet to vegetarian to vegan and i have maintained a constant weight. Healthy and skinny shouldn’t be always be equated.

  45. 45 On January 11th, 2010, scarface said:

    kill people, not animals!

    most people are against killing animals, BUT most people eat animals……..

    why would any decent human being be against PETA? they do more good than harm.

  46. 46 On January 11th, 2010, Rachel said:

    @scarface: I can only hope you’re being facetious.

  • The-F-Word on Twitter

  • Categories

Socialized through Gregarious 42