PETA: Enough with the sex and the vegetables and the "shock tactics" already! WE GET IT.

PETA has a long history of using over-the-top sexual imagery and shock tactics to get attention. Hell, they're even launching a porn site. (Yes, it's real. No, it doesn't make any sense and I can't fathom who would visit the site either.) I'm no expert, but when your animal rights organization launches a for-profit pornography website, I think you might be doing it wrong.

PETA isn't content to restrict its sex-sells messaging to the porn site, either. The latest campaign features a woman walking down the street in her bra and underwear in a neck brace, a result of rough (like, put your head through the wall and land you in a neck brace rough) sex with her newly vegan boyfriend. Is this a PSA for sexual assault? No. It's PETA's attempt to shock us into adopting a vegan diet (or making our partners eat vegan, thus giving them the skills to leave us neck-braced and dazed enough that we forget to wear clothes to the grocery store). Because PETA thinks we should want sex to end in a neck brace, I guess?

Offensiveness of this ad aside (read more about the ways it normalizes violence against women in this post from New Black Woman), this and other similar PETA spots are just plain fucking lazy (heh). Next time they might as well skip the ad altogether and instead make a SEXXX PORN BOOBS VEGETABLES HOT BRAS word association game. Oh, wait...

From PETA's website:

Apparently, NBC has something against girls who love their veggies. After we submitted our proposed Super Bowl ad, which features a comely crop of models demonstrating their fondness for fresh produce, NBC nixed the ad, saying it "depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." No joke, this is straight from NBC—so stop fondling your fruit salad right now and read the list of shots NBC requested we cut before they'd reconsider:

licking pumpkin
touching her breast with her hand while eating broccoli
pumpkin from behind between legs
rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin
screwing herself with broccoli (fuzzy)
asparagus on her lap appearing as if it is ready to be inserted into vagina
licking eggplant
rubbing asparagus on breast

veggie love ad shows a blond woman in lingerie thinking sexy thoughts about asparagus"No joke"? I wish like hell this was a joke. Look, I don't agree with PETA's objectification of women to promote porn animal rights, but an "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" ad is one thing, and a VIDEO OF WOMEN MASTURBATING WITH ASPARAGUS is something else entirely. PETA has always trafficked in the "scandal" (and by scandal I mean oldest, tiredest trick in the book) of using semi-nude women in their ads, but at least in the past they've been able to pretend like it had something—somehow—to do with animal rights. This "veggie love" ad and its "sexy neck brace" partner in crime, on the other hand, were clearly made with the knowledge that they'd never get air time. Did PETA really think that NBC would run a spot where a woman is "screwing herself with broccoli" at 4:00 pm during the Super Bowl, "America's Game"? The answer is no. No they didn't.

It's redundant and unnecessary at this point to say that these lazy, juvenile, sexist tactics are pissing me off, but THESE LAZY, JUVENILE, SEXIST TACTICS ARE PISSING ME OFF. Only fueling my rage is PETA's obviously bullshit coy response to the pushback: "Apparently, NBC has something against girls who love their veggies *giggle giggle*," (giggles mine, but you know they happened) as if they can't figure out for the life of them why the ad was banned.

Look PETA, WE GET IT. You want us to associate vegetables with HOT SEX. You'd rather get attention than stay true to your mission (which I can barely find on your website for all the lingerie, but I think it's animal-related). Fine. These publicity stunts are getting a little desperate though. Can't you just shout BOOBS!!! next time and stop pretending it has anything to do with the ethical treatment of, well, anyone?

by Kelsey Wallace
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28 Comments Have Been Posted

Oh my gosh!

I had not seen that commercial before but that was just sickening! I can't believe that these kinds of stunts are approved by some sort of executive or marketing group at PETA. It is just distasteful, insulting, and completely nauseating. Thank you for posting about this.

peta is evil

peta = Please Euthanize These Airheads
People Eating Tasty Animals: Stupid rotten bullies for animals since 1980

I keep being tempted to eat meat just to spite them.

While it looks tame compared to their newer tactics, even their "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign pissed me off. It was always super sexualized women in these ads, while men like Joaquin Phoneix are shown with a shirt on ( They've long been just a porn company rather than a cause worth supporting.

I'm going to go eat a double cheeseburger now.

Eff PETA. People have been eating meat for thousands of years, and keeping pets is not wrong. In fact, many experts now believe that dogs and cats may have domesticated themselves. I'm going to go buy a double cheeseburger right now in honor of this ass-backwards ad campaign.

Horrified? Yes. Vegan? Yes.

I am a vegan against PETA. I can't stand them. But guess what? They don't stand for animal rights. They don't speak for animal rights activists. Sure, some AR folks, for some reason, work with PETA. I can't for the life of me understand why any animal rights/anti-oppression activist would want to put any money or effort towards PETA, and the fact is most of them don't!

So to take PETA's BS and respond to it with "I'm going to go eat meat now!" is sort of missing the point. PETA members aren't the actual animals who are controlled, tortured and killed for reasons that don't even approach anything resembling necessity.

Yes, PETA's message is effed up. So take it out on them. You shouldn't ignore your moral duties to animals just because you don't like the messaging of one organization that claims to represent them.

Vegan Feminist: YES!

So happy to hear fellow vegan feminists responding with a critical thinking lens!


Ashley and Piggy - yes yes yes.

it makes me feel good to see

it makes me feel good to see fellow vegan feminist engaging in the argument!

PETA is an embarrassment to the cause

I'm a feminist, as well as a vegan animal rights activist, and PETA is a hindrance and embarrassment to the cause. I'm tired of being quiet about it. Objectifying and degrading women in their commercials and advertisements is in no way bringing animals closer to freedom, and is making it harder for people to take the movement seriously. The worst part of all is that most people think of PETA as synonymous with animal rights. It isn't, and it shouldn't be.

I agree!

And the very fact that the response people have is "I'm going to go exploit animals!" is testimony to the fact that this strategy doesn't work and just makes it hard for us all...

Happy someone sees the problem with this

I'm glad to see a few vegans poking their head up to separate themselves from PETA. I too am vegan, and I spend half of my time trying to debunk the image PETA has created of vegans in the mainstream media. This new campaign was pretty much the last straw for me, not that it would have taken much after so many other horrible PR stunts that were completely devoid of sensitivity to numerous other problems in the world. I announced my split from weird uncle PETA earlier this week on my blog:
Sadly, it seems plenty of usually vocal vegans that I follow online are saying very little about this whole thing. I like to think it's because they've given up on caring about PETA sometime ago, but a part of me believes it may be that they don't see the problem in how the "Go vegan" message is being pushed by our biggest loudmouth. Although I'm happy to know that folks like Bitch Magazine and their readers are voicing their opinion, it is sad to hear that part of the protest will be done with a cheeseburger in one hand. Don't get me wrong, you're free to eat what you want, but eating an animal is not going to change PETA's tactics any quicker.

The Winter issue of Ms. arrived in my mailbox today ...

and it, too, called out a PETA ad in its backpage "No Comment" section. Not the video, but a print ad that illustrates a vagina in a rather degrading light. Definitely continue calling them out on their rampant misogyny whenever possible ... and continue supporting those animal rights and vegetarian/vegan organizations you know of that CARE DEEPLY about the health and well being of ALL humans and animals! PETA deserves nothing from me. Nothing at all.

Let's not forget--

<p>The fat hatred of their "<a href=" the Whales</a>" ad campaign.

</p><p>And their ludicrously offensive comparison of dog breeding to violent racism, and this <a href="">stunt</a> where PETA supporters attended a protest <em>dressed as Klansmen</em>.&nbsp;</p><p>Also, their policies on euthanasia make it quite clear that they really have no interest in the "ethical treatment" of animals. If anyone in the organization's leadership has any genuine ideolgical interest in animals' rights (as opposed to an interest solely in profiting from controversy) then it looks like they're for the <em>convenient </em>treatment of animals. That is, treatment that is convenient for their conscience, but nothing that involves actual work and dedication of resources to provide for unwanted and discarded animals. As far as PETA is concerned, if an animal is sick, injured, or might pose the slightest potential for danger, feel free to kill it. (As long as you don't eat it<em>.)</em></p>

Who on earth is paying for this??

With a great deal of the vegan and anti-fur communities wanting to (wisely) distance themselves from Peta (I mean HOLY SHIT! I'M SERIOUSLY SPEECHLESS), I'm incredibly curious where most of Peta's funding is still coming from. They still appear to operate with a sizable budget (they were prepared to pay Super Bowl dollars??) , and I'd love to know how that's still possible when they're clearly alienating their base and their message was lost a long time ago. It's also difficult to picture the demographic that still responds to this bullshit opening up their wallets for an organization like Peta. I'm obviously thinking in really broad strokes here, but seriously HOW ARE THEY FUNDED? Is there a ven diagram somewhere of devout Maxim fans and animal rights activists that I can look at?

Does anyone know how Peta is funded? Is there a way that this information can be tracked down at all? I'm genuinely so curious to know exactly how this actually works. Their campaigns cost millions-- where does it come from?

Sell Outs

They've gone completely off topic and I'm sure the point of the ads is to draw in attention from the surrounding controversy. Don't see how it's going to make anyone go vegan though. Maybe they need to come up with a new tactic.

I've long wondered if PETA

I've long wondered if PETA hasn't been infiltrated and taken over by people who want to destroy PETA via campaigns designed to alienate and offend instead of gain support for their issues.

I also think PETA is a plant

I also think PETA is a plant by the government (or maybe, factory farms?) to turn people off veganism as a whole and animal welfare as an issue. The vegans I know are anti-oppressive, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-BULLSHIT people who would never in a million years think what PETA does is acceptable. They do not speak for vegans. I don't even know if I believe real vegans are associated with this absurd level of preposterous, oppressive bullshit.

Read the book "A Tiger Among

Read the book "A Tiger Among the Jungle". It exposes PETA as a FBI/CIA/COINTELPRO false flag operation and Ingrid Newkirk as a FBI/CIA operative. It also exposes the fact that Rod Coronado was 100% innocent of the crimes he was accused of committing and that he was a convenient patsy who PETA practically threw under the bus.

ignoring how hypocritical

ignoring how hypocritical PETA is about certain things (their use of euthanasia comes to mind)... I can't help but assume that they're run by self-loathing people who think that human beings are a scourge upon the earth that needs to be destroyed via malnutrition because the other animals are better than us.

that'd explain the misogyny and hatefulness in general.

One thing that I hate almost

One thing that I hate almost as much as I hate PETA is the response that they invoke in some feminists: "Fuck PETA, I'm going to eat a bacon cheeseburger to spite them."

Yes, that may seem a little

Yes, that may seem a little immature, but just keep in mind that some people eat meat because they <i>can't</i> be vegan, whether it's due to cultural tradition, class (food deserts, anyone?) or disability (celiac disease, texture sensitivity.) Veganism may be great for some but is still grounded in upper-class Eurocentric thought.

Celiac disease is caused by a

Celiac disease is caused by a sensitivity to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats. I don't see how that, or "texture sensitivity" preclude one from eating a vegan diet. I also throughly disagree with the proposition that living in a low income area or "food desert" makes eating in accordance to ethical beliefs impossible.
I think the statement " still grounded in upper-class Eurocentric thought." strikes me as problematic. Many cultures from around the world have long considered food choices a moral decision. Buddhism and Jainism spring to mind.
Clearly, some people may have medical difficulties with eating any diet, vegan or otherwise, but I do take issue with the thought that the act of choosing what industries you choose to support with your food buying dollars is some kind of priviledge of the upper class or is based in "Eurocentric thought".


Sound like it was written for the POV of a frigid, man-hating, meat-eating lesbian.

"but at least in the past

"but at least in the past they've been able to pretend like it had something—somehow—to do with animal rights"

Sorry but this statement is WAY TOO GENEROUS. Peta is like a well funded vegan version of the Westboro Baptist Church in that they will exploit anything to get attention.
Peta is indefensibly misogynist, racist and exploitative and they have been building this profile for a long time. Their fatphobia, body policing and sexual objectification of women is the tip of the iceberg. Peta consistently marginalizes human bodies in order to allegedly communicate its message. They repeatedly invoke Hitler and the Nazi Holocaust, slavery, lynching, the KKK and other examples of crimes against humanity, in way that evokes the anti-choice Genocide Awareness Project's equation of abortion with such atrocities. They've constructed campaigns exploiting murder victims (the Greyhound bus decapitation and Robert Pickton come to mind). Yes factory farms are unacceptable, no it is not acceptable to exploit the suffering of murder victims and their families to shill your message.

We need to adopt a zero tolerance approach with Peta. While there are obviously scores of ethically minded vegans and vegetarians who denounce their antics, you can still find their pamphlets in veggie restaurants, college campus animal rights groups, anarchist bookfairs and activist spaces all over the place. Celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Charlize Theron, Russell Simmons, Ryan Gosling, Anjelica Huston, Jane Lynch, Sara Gilbert, Scully and 3 out of 4 Golden Girls have done spots for Peta or supported their benefits. Why don't we call these people out on it? Why doesn't someone sit these people down and show them ALL of Peta's advertisements and campaigns, and ask them why they still support this group? People actually called actors and directors out on it when they signed the petition for Roman Polanski, as they rightly should. Do the same for Peta. If we can boycott corporations that fund homophobic NGOs, we can boycott Peta's less offensive veggie recipe books because the money goes to an organization that suggests that the whales at Sea World are comparable to black slaves. If you're not prepared to sign on to that ridiculously problematic statement, find your vegetarianism awareness literature somewhere else.


Absolutely agree with you about the literature. Great pamphlets can be had from Mercy for Animals, Vegan Outreach, and PCRM. No need to use PETA.

pcrm and peta suck

<i>Great pamphlets can be had from Mercy for Animals, Vegan Outreach, and PCRM.</i>

Don't forget that PCRM (=Preposterous Committee of Rowdy Maniacs) is a front for People Eating Tasty Animals (or Pathetic Egotistical Tyrants for Animals or whatever you want to call them). If the Preposterous Committee of Rowdy Maniacs is a credible source then walking under a ladder brings good luck, Carrot Top is the president of the United States and peta is your favourite animal rights group.

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