Women in the media are relentlessly treated like nothing more than pieces of meat, presented as objects for the mindless consumption of the viewers, and for the financial gain of the industries behind sexist marketing tactics. Who would have expected that an organization could take the “women treated as pieces of meat” route so literally? Are we even surprised that it’s PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)?
Today in San Francisco, one of our workshop leaders, Ivette, was walking back to work from her lunch hour, and stumbled upon a horrific scene. Naked women (who were “attractive,” white, thin, and with large breasts, as usual for PETA) were sprawled out on the sidewalk in human-sized meat packaging trays, wrapped in cellophane, and covered in fake blood. (There were no men in similar poses.) Slogans such as “Meat Is Murder” appeared on signs, while other PETA members handed out pamphlets.
As atrocious and sexist as this scene is, this is nothing new for PETA. They continually sexualize women to promote their message, even if it sends out harmful sexist messages about women.
As a vegan, I can truly get behind PETA’s goals and messages; as a feminist, I cannot get behind their appalling tactics. I understand the importance of spreading knowledge about animal rights, but we cannot do so at the expense of human rights.
PETA truly presented women as pieces of meat in this protest today. There are countless other ways that animal rights organizations can spread their message without objectifying women.
If it were just about using humans to demonstrate the terrible ways that animals are treated, then why isn’t PETA using a variety of people for their “meat mimicking” demonstrations? Where are the men? The people of color? The women who are a size 12 or 18? I highly doubt that conventionally attractive, thin, white women are the only PETA members willing to participate in such an exhibition.
PETA claims it wants to use shocking methods to gain attention, which is understandable. PETA states in regards to this protest today, “The activists aim to demonstrate that all animals—including humans—are made of flesh, blood, and bone; that animals have the same five senses and range of emotions as humans do.” If this is the case, PETA, how about we focus on treating animals more like sentient, emotional beings, rather than treating women like unconscious, unfeeling objects?
This is just so typical of how PETA conducts themselves. Not surprised.
Peta enrages me. I am all for not harming animals, but at the same time, eating meat is just nature’s way. I’d like to see them try to protest to a damn tiger to go vegan. No, he’s going to effing eat that wildebeest!
Also, their ads are a disgrace to women. They need to just stop.
Wow. PETA never ceases to amaze me with their salacious garbage and shamelessly overt sexism. Thanks for covering Stacey. Adds more fuel to the fire of my deep loathing of their “work”.
I think you need to look more into why people–like the author–go vegan. There is nothing natural about the way we get our meat.
But yes, PETA is an absolutely disgrace.
Thanks for the comments, all.
Ashely, while I agree that PETA’s advertisements and demonstrations are typically a disgrace to women, I definitely agree with Canaduck in that there is nothing natrual about the way we get our meat. But, meat-eating or not isn’t even the issue here. The important thing to focus on is on the way PETA goes about putting out their message, and the way they degrade women in the process. It’s unacceptable, and I just don’t know what (if anything) it will take for them to realize that, sadly.
I was part of this protest (handing out booklets & videos) I am Latina & a size 10. Unfortunetly, I did not volunteer to be in the “meat tray” but next time I will. To show that not only “white, thin” women participate in PETA’s protests.
Men were also encouraged to participate but only women showed up.