PETA Hopes To Lure You To Vegetarianism With Fat Shame

s-save-the-whales-largeSurprise, surprise. PETA — whose previous nude babe campaigns have shown that they have more of an interest in saving animals rather than promoting gender equality for humans — have really outdone themselves with their latest campaign. A billboard placed in Jacksonville, Florida reads “Save the Whales. Lose the Blubber: Go Vegetarian” next to a drawing of an overweight woman in a bikini. This campaign has really nailed two of the advertising industry’s favorite prescriptions for lazy concepts: puns and sexism. And let’s not even get into the fact that “save the whales” is completely the opposite of PETA’s supposed “lose weight” message. I guess when PETA’s founder and president Ingrid Newkirk isn’t penning books about throwing pointless parties for puppies, she is inspiring her team to come up with genius ad campaigns. A thousand One Shows for PETA, please!

The billboard has already been appropriately labeled as “fat-shaming” but let’s not ignore the sexism in the campaign. Women are overly concerned with their body-image (as they should be, PETA is saying) and the only way they would take a cause like vegetarianism on is if they were told that it would help them lose weight. Considering that PETA is notorious for putting nude, skinny, pretty and often silicone-enhanced female celebrities in their ads it is plainly obvious that they are not only riding on a the wave of an unrealistic and unhealthy body image for women, but they are promoting it. Why do the women in PETA’s ads have to be nude and often accompanied by sexually provocative puns in the ad copy? What does being naked and sexual have to do with a vegetarian lifestyle? PETA is famous for using women’s sexualized bodies as a way to promote animal rights. And how committed to animal rights could an organization be if they just want to attract people who are interested in mimicking famous porn stars or are only interested in losing weight? Vegetarianism and veganism is more than fad diets, they are complete lifestyles that require a lot of dedication. Considering that most people don’t stick to diets (or at least that is what I guess by seeing all the fad diet books and tips there are out there) you would think that PETA wouldn’t even bother marketing to the people to whom fad diets would be appealing.

But, again, I guess actually promoting animal rights instead of promoting celebrities and an unhealthy body image for women isn’t really what PETA is all about. So go ahead with your idiotic and tired PR stunts, PETA, while you alienate the non-celebrities who would have considered joining your organization! We will all just stay back here and eat a steak in your honor.

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59 thoughts on “PETA Hopes To Lure You To Vegetarianism With Fat Shame

  1. Guess what?

    It’s totally possible to be skinny and still eat meat. That’s what I do, and I have no plans to change my routine anytime soon.

    Nice try, PETA. I won’t fall for your mind games.

        • I don’t really post there very often anymore and only on the veggie board. I used to post on the moms board and the general board and the newly wed board and… Well let’s just say it can be quite the time suck! I haven’t even been on the program in months really, I find keeping track of points just messes me up because on when I don’t eat enough points I feel I should eat something else even if I’m not hungry and if I reach my target I get all rebellious and want to eat more.

        • Haha! Lukily the points are super easy for me to stick with. I like control. They give me that.
          I’ve only posted on the breastfeeding board. I was trying to figure out points with a nursing toddler. They nurse much less than babies.

        • There’s a breast feeding board now? I know they have about 50 boards now but never expected to see that one given how squeamish the censors are about words like breast and nipple!

  2. This billboard is very close to where I live. It is so funny, because NE Florida is all about good pork ribs, juicy steaks, and fried chicken…yum! And if you go to Jacksonville beach (not one of my favorite beaches, actually), the beach is full of gorgeous, thin women in bikinis. Sure, you’ll see a smattering of overweight people, but most people are smoking hot.

    PETA is a huge turn-off for me. They go way over the top to the point that I find them vile. Their campaigns are laughable, their leadership demented, and their workers/volunteers are crazy.

    Does anyone else remember the open letter they sent to Ben and Jerry’s 5 – 6 months ago where they asked if they would start making their ice cream from breast milk? Ewww. Who in their right mind would support these nuts?

  3. I love animals, I don’t wear fur because it’s gross and ugly but I hate PETA. They force their self righteousness down everyone’s throat and it’s so annoying. As far as I can tell they aren’t helping any animals either.

    It’s a total lie that vegans and vegetarians are thin too. I know plenty of women who are over weight and don’t eat meat. I also know thin women who love meat.

    • True, I’m with you on that.
      I’m a vegetarian, but I hate how PETA alienates people. People take it against vegetarianism/veganism instead of just against PETA, and that is so counterproductive!

  4. I don’t really care for PETA all that much, but I believe that when they use nude models, it is to get the whole “I would rather go nude then wear fur” message. I think people are being way too sensitive with this billboard. Usually, everyone is complaining that magazines and advertisers bombard us with skinny, perfect women, causing us normal women to be self-conscious. PETA used a chunky woman, or fat, whichever term you prefer, and they are catching all type of grief for it. The majority of US women are overweight, so why is it wrong to use an overweight woman on the billboard? I believe it is a fair representation of American women. I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t think eating meat makes your overweight, but the billboard wouldn’t have had the same impact had it been a skinny chic up there. I don’t necessarily agree with their message, but I don’t see anything offensive about the billboard either. Regardless, the billboard did its job. It’s got everyone talking doesn’t it?

    • They’re referring to her as a whale and saying she needs to lose weight. It’s not like they’re using a chunky woman and portraying her in a positive light.

      • No, they didn’t refer to her as a whale. “Save the whales, spare the blubber.” They are referring to the woman as having blubber, which isn’t exactly a false statement.

        • It says to lose the blubber. Blubber is closely associate with whales. The fat woman is a whale and needs to lose the blubber in order to be saved. If they’re not referring to her as a whale then why did they put that phrase on the billboard?

    • Anything can be fattening depending on how you cook it. If you deep fry tofu it’s going to be high in fat and calories but that’s because of the oil. Soy itself isn’t fattening.

      • Yes it is. One serving of soy uncooked has 6-7 grams of saturated fat, that’s almost as much as a plain hamburger. Soy is not fat free.

        • Fresh soy beans have 100 calories, 3g of fat and no saturated fat per serving. Tofu is about 120 calories, 7g of fat, and 1g of saturated fat per serving.

          You can make soy into unhealthy things but soy itself is very good for you. Nobody said it was fat free, there are plenty of very healthy foods that have a bit of fat and fat is necessary in a healthy diet.

  5. Don’t let peta’s shitty advertising campaign detract you from going veg – or encourage you to eat meat. Maybe it would be a better message if they posted some pictures of cows being drained of blood, at least then they’d get a real point across.

    • Agreed. I have been vegetarian for 3 years but PETA just gives vegetarians and vegans a bad name. They are so ridiculous and often times downright hateful (like their campaign against the Olsen twins), and I just can’t support that.

  6. I don’t believe a vegan diet is healthy. You need some animal fats, such as the omegas in fish, to be truly healthy. Statistics show that partial vegetarians who eat mostly fish and lean chicken have lower rates of cancer and heart disease than straight vegans. Besides a totally animal free life is impossible, practically everything uses some type of living thing. Even movies use celluloid, what are you going to do not watch movies?

    • Just because it’s unavoidable, doesn’t mean a person who is interested in animal rights shouldn’t try to reduce their impact.
      As a vegetarian, I also dislike PETA. In my opinion, any effort and recognition of animal rights is a step in the right direction. PETA is infamous for being too extreme, and insisting everyone who isn’t with them, is against them. PETA is the biggest reason why people roll their eyes when they find out I’m a vegetarian, or why the same revelation leads to eye rolling and an instant desire to attack my beliefs.
      I think it’s important for people to realize that PETA does not accurately represent a population. It’s like seeing a black man being arrested on TV, and then assuming all black people are criminals. It’s unfortunate that all we hear about are the negative aspects.
      There are a significant amount of vegetarians who do not hate people who eat meat, who will not take any opportunity to spout propaganda at the dinner table, and who just want to able to follow their beliefs in peace. It would be really nice if there was more awareness of this fact, an a publicized group to represent the less fanatic vegetarians out there.

    • Being vegan isn’t about being perfect, it’s about doing the best you can. The vast majority of vegans use tires and prescription drugs and watch movies.

      You can believe a vegan diet isn’t healthy. You could also believe that gravity doesn’t exist, that the sky is neon orange, and that penguins can fly but you’d be wrong about all that too.

      • You’re right that people are wrong when people say that a vegan diet isn’t healthy, but only because most people aren’t making their point specific enough. It is true, however, that a vegan diet can very easily be unhealthy if people aren’t careful about it. I’ll grant you that the same can be said about any other diet, but the more restrictive your diet the easier it is for you to have health issues from missing out on certain dietary elements.

        That being said, I love your statement about how being vegan is about doing the best you can.

    • Agreed. I guess I am one of those partial vegetarians that you described. The only meat I eat is fish and lean chicken or turkey. One thing I do stick by is eating organic as much as possible. I have health and moral issues with how a lot of meat is essentially mass-produced. By following the strictest organic standards, I can have some peace of mind that the animals I am eating were raised and slaughtered humanely.

      If PETA focused strictly on cruelty towards animals, and appealed to our compassionate sides, they would be much more successful. This campaign is degrading and insulting. No one likes to be told they’re fat.

      • That’s my point. They ought to focus on the clubbing of baby seals and the slaughter of elephants for ivory because those things are totally unnecessary. They should also focus on improving farming techniques to make them more humane instead of harassing someone for eating an egg. I personally was assaulted by some PETA members when I was in NYC wearing a FAKE fur coat. The nimrods were so extremist they didn’t even hear me when I said it was faux.

        • I feel your pain. As a general rule of thumb, attacking someone in order to change that person’s views does not work. Yelling, degrading, and and generally insulting someone for their views is only going to ingrain those views even further and escalate the situation. This is where PETA is failing.

        • There are lots of things that are totally unnecessary but are common practice. Stuff like debeaking chickens, impregnating cows so they’ll make milk then taking the babies away to slaughter, and various other forms of torture common in the livestock industry. The whole industry is unnecessary because there is no need for humans to consume any animal products to be healthy.

        • Rhonda, we may not need to consume animal products, but many of us want to consume animal products. And, let’s not forget about 30,000 years of meat eating history built into our genes. I know I personally crave beef that is dripping with blood (sorry if that grosses you guys out :-)). I can live the rest of my life without ice cream, chocolate, or sugar but I would be very sad without my meat.

        • I get that some people like eating meat. I used to enjoy it too (I was a so-rare-it-practically-moos kinda girl too) but I can’t imagine eating it now. My point was that basically everything that PETA is against is technically unnecessary. It’s the difference between wanting and needing; you might want a big juicy steak but your body can get the nutrients from plant foods.

        • The fact that meat-eating is unnecessary may be true, but is not completely relevant to this ad campaign. I choose to eat leaner types of meat that have been humanely and organically cared for. You choose to forgo eating meat altogether. Both of us have drawn a line between what we believe is right/necessary and wrong/unnecessary. And both views are completely acceptable. PETA is basically trying to insult people into moving our moral lines, and that is unethical in its own way.

        • I never once said I was a vegetarian. I’m sorry if I gave you that impression. I was just trying to describe my version of a healthy diet and how I believe PETA’s tactics are doing more harm than good.

    • It’s possible to get all the omegas/iron/etc that are most available in meat and animal products, from other non-animal sources. Eating a vegan diet can be super healthy, but you must be much more aware of what you are eating and you must eat a large variety of things that aren’t really prevelant in a N American diet. Not that there is anthing healthy about the prevelant N American diet….
      I’m not vegan, I don’t ever plan to stop eating animal products, but I can see all sorts of ways people can be healthy on most diets…there are a LOT of really super healthy, edible things in the world that aren’t animals, that most people aren’t used to eating.

      I agree that avoiding animal products entirely (not eating) is basically impossible, unless you make everything that you use in daily life (clothes, soaps, buildings) yourself. Which is silly.

  7. I think that PETA’s negative, guilt-ridden advertising is shameful. They claim to promote all things good and happy (happy people, happy animals, blah blah blah), but go about it all the wrong way.

    They have a new video that I recently watched, and it was laughable with it’s hate-mongering:
    ‘Eating animal products makes you FAT’…no, eating too much OF ANYTHING makes you fat.
    ‘Animal products cause heart disease’, ‘Eating animals is eating FEAR’….why can’t they just say that eating a vegan diet can be better for your heart (if you eat properly…which most people don’t, meat or no meat), and that veganism means you don’t have to eat a living thing.
    And now they are using sizism to clarify that they are completely prejudice against anyone who’s fat/evil (meat eating)/savage (working in the livestock business/unsexy (per their x-rated sexist commercials).

    Even if I agreed with their message, their means is disgraceful. But apparently veg*ism doesn’t have enough good points for them to be able to focus on the good….

  8. The idea that going vegetarian will help you lose weight is complete bullshit. My younger sister fell for PETAs brainwashing and peer pressure in high school and became a vegetarian for all the wrong reasons. She never researched how to eat a healthy and balance vegetarian diet and simply took meat out of her current diet. With the meat gone, she filled the void in her diet with carbs and sugar. She lives on chips, ice cream, cheese pizza and potatoes. Since becoming a vegetarian, she’s gained about 25 pounds.

  9. One of their old ads aimed at children that said “Your mommy kills kittens” did it for me. That’s when I lost the last bit of respect I had for them.

  10. The more you do retarded stuff like this, the more I will eat meat. Matter of fact, I’m doing a BBQ this weekend and this has inspired me to buy a lot more meat for the cooking and enjoyment of all.

  11. Puf – cakes contain eggs, some even have milk in them. PETA will rip your face off for that Doritos – cheese and milk, Candy bars all contain milk products. None of this is acceptable to PETA. They want us to use NO animal products. Their beliefs extend to that dog or cat that you may have. You are exploiting them! SET THEM FREE!

    Oddly enough, their standards do not apply to PETA. They have freely admitted that approximately 80% (yes, EIGHTY) of the dogs they “rescue” from shelters are killed immediately, usually as soon as they get them in the van.

    They do have some good points, but their bizarre stunts cancel it out.

    Read this article for a real eyeopener. The author is Randy Cassingham, I have read his stuff for years and have found him to be fair.

    • Not all cakes contain eggs and dairy, there are several cookbooks dedicated to vegan baking. Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos are OK too, those don’t contain any animal products. Not all candy bars contain milk either. There’s plenty of vegan junk food out there.

      • I’ve had vegan chocolate cakes before. They were pretty tasty. The texture is different; it is more moist and dense.

        Rhonda, are you a vegan or veggie?

        • My family is 99% vegan. We eat all vegan at home but I’m not crazy strict in restaurants (if it looks and sounds probably-vegan that’s good enough) and I let my little guy eat birthday cakes and such at preschool and parties. It’s about being healthy, not about making life difficult.

    • I read that a while ago. Bizarre. How can you claim to be for animal rights then just kill innocent companion animals? Meanwhile they get mad if I smash a bug.

  12. PETA sucks? This isn’t news. This just reminds me to sit around thinking about how PETA sucks. *walks off to eat a hamburger*

    And i’m not fat either. Wahaha.

  13. BTW, PETA received so many complaints about this sign that they took it down. They tried to downplay the complaints by saying a woman called them to thank them for “showing her the light” about her whale body ways. Whatever, I think they are making that up. They replaced it with a sign that says something like, “Gone are the pounds; Gone is the meat” or something to that effect.

  14. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (stylized PeTA) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A non-profit corporation with 300 employees, it claims to have three million members and supporters and to be the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way.”;^’^

    Most current short article on our blog <

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