Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Does Sex Sell Animal Welfare?

Attention all concerned parents! Cover your children's eyes, PeTA is coming to town! This afternoon PeTA representatives are here in Houston to lead a demonstration against Kentucky Fried Chicken wearing a skimpy yellow bikini and holding a sign that says "KFC tortures chicks" as part of their Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign. Several months ago, PeTA was also in Houston for their "Rather go naked than wear fur campaign", again with nearly naked women leading the way. Do I see a trend here? I know Houston is a hot place in the summer, but is it really necessary to keep taking your clothes off?

Okay so seriously .... I am certainly not the first person to question PeTA's tactics. Check out other blogs and websites such as The Starting Point , Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach, and No Status Quo for a more in depth assessment. What strikes me is that PeTA is objectifying women much like big advertising agencies that sell soft drinks, alcohol, and cigarettes do. I simply don't understand why PeTA chooses to run such blatantly sexist campaigns. Now I'm not what I would call a feminist, that is not my agenda here. But I do find their demonstrations and ads offensive. Not only that, but more importantly for the sake of the animals, I find them ineffective. The animal rights movement (of which PeTA isn't even really a part of) should be appealing to people's hearts and minds, not other body parts. Check out PeTA's "State of the Union" address (warning: not suitable for those under 18), which is more like a striptease. For some reason it's hard to focus on the word's coming out of the young woman's mouth (mostly about the "victories" in reducing battery cages and sow crates, not promoting veganism) when she is busy taking off her clothes and the camera is zooming in and out on her breasts. Then of course they have celebrities starring in campaigns who are not even vegan themselves.

So, while PeTA protesters are getting baked in the Texas sun and honked at by dirty old men who could care less about animal welfare or rights, I will be holding my own form of demonstration.....telling people about veganism and how it is the only way to end animal suffering and ownership.


braceyourself said...

The chick in that Peta movie isn't even that hot... if they really want to get a fat old man's attention like myself, it will take way more than that.

vegan goddess said...

Thanks so much for pointing out that these types of demonstrations, while they may attract attention initially, do nothing to promote the longterm, lasting effects of being enlightened about animal suffering. I actually stopped by the Houston protest yesterday and stood there a while. I asked a few others there, whom I knew, what the connection was with bikinis and a KFC demo. At the time, I didn't get the "KFC tortures 'chicks'" slogan. This was my 3rd KFC demo and the first one was so much better with over 75 activists in 2005 and all PETA staffers fully clothed in business casual attire. Although others in the Houston activist community may disagree with me, I still DO NOT believe in using sex to sell a message. I feel it's almost hypocritical when a movement is working so hard for animal rights while demeaning women (who struggled for their rights throughout history). More lasting impact can be made through education and positive outreach like leafleting, websites, tabling, presentations, etc. Bikini clad protestors, regardless of the demo, really don't cause anyone to take us seriously and I don't think the animals receive any longterm benefit from them. So yes, I agree, they are ineffective!

Deanna M. said...

Hey there, I was googling our recent Houston protest and came across your blog - I really enjoy some of your postings and what you have to say, and would like to know what you think about our recent demo, "The Naked Truth" (12-12-07).


- Deanna M. Root