PETA Glorifies Violence To Protect AnimalsFebruary 16, 2012 2 Comments
Protecting animals? Hurting humans? Or both?
These are the serious questions we must ask ourselves after viewing PETA’s new shocking ad campaign, Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me (BWVAKTBOOM).
In the video, a woman walks the streets wearing a neck brace, no pants, and looking forlorn after her vegan boyfriend has rough sex with her. It seems as if vegetables give him superhuman powers to “bring it like a tantric porn star.” After a short session of reflection, she decides to go home with a bag full of leafy greens and, presumably, become a vegan herself.
What kind of situation is she walking back into? Is violent sex really a way to force someone to submit to veganism? Will he beat her bloody or worse if she sneaks a strip of bacon?
But it doesn’t really matter what happens after. The fact that she was physically hurt once is enough.
It’s astonishing that PETA would use violence in an attempt to curb animal cruelty. It may be effective in that it gets people’s attention, but this doesn’t make it right by any stretch of the imagination. Animal rights shouldn’t mean compromising human rights.
More than this, though, we all know that domestic violence is still very much a worldwide problem. On February 14, thousands of women marched in Vancouver to draw attention to missing and murdered women. Like battered women, battered animals are surely deserving of our attention. But these are two separate conversations that shouldn’t have to intersect to make an impact.
In defence, PETA says it sometimes “finds it necessary to use controversial tactics in order to initiate debate and action.” As a charity, they’re in desperate need of PR. And it’s not like using shock factor for publicity is unprecedented. Even the Advertising Standards Association (ASA) has condoned various jaw-dropping ads. For them, the ends sometimes do justify the means.
As an animal lover and a feminist, I don’t buy it. This comment by Arwa Mahdawl of The Guardian perfectly sums up the ethical hole PETA has dug for itself:
“It makes no difference whether you’re promoting chocolate or charity: normalizing violence can never be justified.”
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