Thursday, August 20, 2009

PETA turn to random abuse, lose support

Peta are known for doing some dumb stunts, but now it's starting to look like they've just decided to take on everyone who isn't, like, you know, one of them. They have just run some ads in Orlando which call larger people "whales".

The poster features the back of an overweight woman and has the slogan "Save the whales - Lose the blubber - go vegetarian". That would seem to be making a pretty strong whale-person link, right?

"It appears you are implying that overweight people are like whales," WJXT-TV reporter Scott Johnson said to a PETA representative.

"Not at all," said Ashley Byrne, of PETA. "It's just a way of grabbing people's attention. It's just a provocative way to grab attention."

So putting a photo of a fatter person next to a big slogan saying "save the whales" isn't comparing a person to a big, blubbery whale, it's just being "provocative"? But isn't it being provocative because it's insensitively hurling abuse at fat people? And if it isn't hurling abuse, then how would it be being provocative?

Oh and... what is the point of being provocative just for the sake of it? What is there to respect in an organisation which is happy to run sexy pictures of slim people (like every fashion product ever), and now run photos having a go at the overweight (like diet product ads) , and yet thinks its in some way progressive?

Is it really helpful in the culture we're stuck in for an animal charity to encourage bullying of fat people?

And - come to that - if being overweight is such a terrible thing, and animals are so great, what's with the using "whale" as a term of abuse? Or is the poster suggesting that being overweight puts you on a par with one of nature's majestic giants? Or is it not even fully thought through?

The adverts have provoked some reaction though - and this, by the way, is where we get onto the music connection in this story. It's provoked Tegan And Sara to revoke their support for PETA. They just tweeted:
feeling a bit ashamed that we ever supported PETA. They should be ashamed over this.

The time to really have felt ashamed about supporting PETA, though, was when it started to emerge that, while they're very good at getting people to prance about in the nack to promote them, they're actually shit at caring for animals, and killed 95% of the animals they were 'caring' for last year.