Animal welfare has been a growing concern within the United States, as well as the rest of the world. It sparked in the 1980’s when Ingrid Newkirk decided to launch “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” also known as PETA. This organization promotes the vegan lifestyle and condemns using animals for any kind of food, experimentation, entertainment, furniture, clothing, etc. They also go as far as to say that it is wrong to keep animals as domesticated pets.
PETA has become some what of a phenomenon among the younger generations of America. There is even a separate division for high school teenagers and college students known as the peta2 Street Team. They do their best to promote their cause through peaceful marches and assemblies. Lately, the way they promote their cause and organization has changed.
Along with demonstrations and informative pamphlets, they have now created new posters to promote their cause. There are not just posters of helpless chickens and worn down cows, but of naked women. You may ask “What do naked women have to do with animal welfare?” This was my question exactly, and I cannot find an answer.
These posters have naked women lying in piles of vegetables or women only wearing body paint under the slogan of “I’d rather go naked than wear fur.” You can barely see the PETA logo at the bottom of these posters. When I came across these ads I was astonished. I thought I was looking at an ad from Playboy. They say that that these ads are supposed to give a real, live view of how the animals are treated and force human beings to put themselves in the animal’s position. When I look at these posters of women naked and chained to steel bars, I do not think “Save the Animals,” I think “S&M!”
It disturbs me that a well-known, non-profit organization that is suppose to promote for the greater good of animals has stooped so low as to use sex as a selling tactic. This is something that Hollywood would do, not serious advocators. It angers me to see women degraded yet again for societal gain. Obviously there is something wrong with your advertisements, if you have to have naked people on them to get attention.
I feel as if the public is not going to take PETA as seriously as they did before. I am not a member of PETA, but I am in favor for the betterment of animal welfare. I do not think animals should be treated horribly, and I am not a fan of wearing fur, but I am not radical about it. Their views can be extreme, and they have gone to the extreme with their advertisements.
The response to these ads has not been very positive. There are online forums debating why PETA has decided to go follow the famous “sex sells” idea. They seem to have lost a little respect for the organization. While walking around I have seen how others react to these ads. Young men pass by and all they see is a naked woman lying on her back in a sensual pose. They laugh or make snide remarks. It sometimes occurs to me that they do not even realize they are PETA ads. The images are close to pornographic and hurt the ad more than they help.
I am not a full supporter of the ideals of PETA, but I liked their old ads. They were shocking enough. There were pictures of mistreated, diseased animals helplessly hanging on for life. The posters also included statistics showing exactly how many animals are being hurt and what needs to be done about it. The old ads had perspective and clarity, as well as shock value. They told the truth from the perspective of PETA. When people passed by, they got an eyeful for what was really going on, whether they liked it or not. Now people get an eyeful of thighs and breasts.
My point is that no one should use sex or degrade someone else’s body for their own purposes. This will make your cause get the wrong kind of attention and people will have the wrong idea. PETA needs to wake up and look at the ideas that are being conveyed through these posters. Naked women will do nothing for animal welfare in the long run.