Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Joint Statement by a Group of Abolitionist Vegan Feminists for International Women's Day

As abolitionist vegans and feminists, we oppose the use of sexist tactics in the animal advocacy movement. Ethical animal rights veganism is part of the logical conclusion of opposition to the exploitation of all sentient beings -- both human animals and non-human animals. Opposing speciesism is incompatible with engaging in sexism or any other form of discrimination, such as racism, heterosexism, classism, and other forms of oppression.

Unfortunately, we have witnessed many female activists saying that there is nothing wrong with using "sex" as a tool to get our message across, using various arguments to try to justify this view. Further, other advocates have been unfairly attacked for "sexism" because they are openly critical of sexism and sexist choices in the movement. Neither should be acceptable to advocates who take anti-oppression work seriously.

Some advocates defend the use of sex by accusing us of being "anti-sex" or prudish. Abolitionist vegans are not prudes by any means, however, we see that the way sex is used to sell things in our patriarchal society reinforces a view of women as commodities. For example, just take a look at the way in which PETA uses sex in its campaigns - they reinforce harmful Western beauty standards by using only thin, large-breasted women, who tend to be posed to appear vulnerable and alluring to the (heterosexual male) intended viewer, as well as using only men who are muscular and trim and posed to look powerful and self-assured. When sexism is being used to try to "sell" justice for non-human animals, at the expense of reinforcing harmful attitudes towards human women, the irony is clear. The seriousness of the injustices committed against both non-human animals and human women in this world are cheapened by the use of tactics based on inane and harmful stereotypes; far from challenging the issue of animal exploitation, this kind of approach reinforces the very stereotypes that have harmed human women and non-human animals alike.

Some of the activists defending the use of sex believe that showing our sexuality will call the attention of potential vegans by appealing to their own self image, implying that when they see how sexy being vegan makes us, they will want to become vegan too. This notion is not only misguided but also detrimental to the actual message we should be getting across. Veganism is about animal rights, not about feeling sexy, or having better sex (characteristics we all know have little to do with being vegan or not, but with each individual's lifestyle and well-being) and it is most certainly not about "looking better" than people who eat meat.

Promoting veganism as a way to become "sexy", which unfortunately is almost always equated with "losing weight" in our society (for example, the book "Skinny Bitch" comes to mind), further reinforces prejudices against larger or overweight people, which harms both women and men in our society, but particularly women. Not to mention that veganism is not some magic bullet to lose weight - there exist plenty of vegans who are far from "skinny", who are essentially being given the message that they are failures by these sorts of campaigns that imply or flat-out promote veganism as a way to achieve western beauty standards. Appealing to these harmful standards not only reinforces them, but draws attention away from the true reason people should go vegan, which is to acknowledge the moral personhood of non-human animals.

Many of these activists defending sexist tactics claim that they are not, in fact, sexist tactics, that they "empower" the women who choose to participate in them, and so that criticizing these campaigns is disrespectful to these women - some even claim that to criticize them is itself sexist. These arguments are false for a number of reasons. First of all, these claims are usually made to male activists when they criticize such campaigns. But one's gender does not in and of itself make one more or less qualified to speak about sexism or feminism.

There is a real "men should shut up and listen to women" attitude in these claims that seeks to replace the egalitarianism that feminism demands with a hollow and biologically-based authoritarianism. As bell hooks suggests, while sisterhood is powerful, feminism is for everybody. As abolitionist vegan women, we are extremely glad to have as allies men such as Gary L. Francione, among others, who has been denouncing sexism in the animal advocacy movement and consistently speaking up for feminism for years. While we do of course believe that women should be listened to and taken seriously, listening does not equate to agreeing with or accepting someone's arguments simply because that person is female; disagreeing with those arguments and presenting logical counter-arguments does not equate to being sexist. It is unfortunate, but sexism is so pervasive in our society that some women do not even believe that it's still an issue, do not see how sexism has an impact on their lives, and do not feel that feminism is relevant to them. Some male feminist allies have spent years studying feminist theory; just because they're male doesn't invalidate this expertise.

Furthermore, the view that anything a woman chooses to do "empowers" her is simplistic in that it ignores the patriarchal context in which those choices are made. Yes, the women who participate in the campaigns we are criticizing have chosen to do so voluntarily, and some may feel liberated, or feel as if their choices are themselves a challenge to female objectification, and we do recognize that they feel this way. We are simply asking them to seriously consider that these campaigns are both harmful to women as well as ineffective in challenging the exploitation of non-human animals, and that, in view of this, women should no longer support or participate in them.

As stated above, the view that women are "empowered" or "liberated" by choosing to commodify themselves ignores the structural dimension of sexism in our patriarchal society. Whether we like it or not, our choices to try to "take back" patriarchy's commodification of women by participating in it voluntarily affect the lives of other women, especially women with less power. In a culture that still views and presents women as sex objects on a daily basis, the "taking back" or "reclaiming control" intent of these choices is entirely lost to the greater public, and the objectification and commodification is simply reinforced. When this sexism is reinforced as being acceptable or no big deal, the overall effect is to reinforce the attitudes that allow the trafficking, abuse, and other forms of exploitation and violence that are inflicted on women in poverty and of lower socio-economic status around the world every day.

Some claim that these campaigns are necessary to get the attention of the public. As we mentioned above, this draws attention away from the real reasons behind veganism: the rights of sentient beings not to be considered property. Getting attention at all costs is not the way to promote a serious issue such as violence against animals; in a world where this violence is already not taken seriously, attention-at-all-costs tactics only serve to further trivialize the issue. PETA's sexist campaigns do get attention, but overall it is attention for PETA, not for the real issues. It's a guerrilla marketing tactic designed to get people talking about PETA so that the donations keep flowing. (And look, it's working, since here we are talking about PETA, but we felt we couldn't discuss this issue without mentioning the largest and worst offender, unfortunately.)

Even more disturbing are the video campaigns that juxtapose sex and explicit, gory images of violence to animals, purportedly to grab the attention of young heterosexual men and then to inform them about the treatment of non-human animals. For example, PETA's "State of the Union Undress 2010" features a woman stripping "for the animals", after which a second video automatically begins playing, depicting graphic violence inflicted on nonhumans. How exactly is getting men to associate these sexually arousing images with gory images of violence going to help anything?

The campaigns that blatantly use sex and Western beauty standards are not the only sexist tactics used in the animal advocacy movement. For example, the longstanding campaigns against fur have a distinctly sexist element. By singling out fur, advocates are not only implying that there is some moral difference between fur and leather or other types of animal-derived clothing, which there is not, but they are also singling out those humans who wear fur while ignoring or minimizing the actions of those who wear other types of animals. Most fur in our society is worn by women. Effectively, these campaigns single out as morally wrong a particular use of non-humans mainly by women, while minimizing other equally morally wrong uses by all genders. Does pointing out that a little old lady in a fur coat is wrong to use animals while ignoring a biker in a leather jacket really help anything?

Also worth mentioning are the gender issues involved in animal exploitation. The animals exploited specifically for their milk and eggs are, it should be obvious, females being exploited for their reproductive cycles. They are repeatedly forcefully impregnated in the case of cows and other mammals used for their milk, i.e. raped, then their babies are taken from them, which causes extreme distress to mother and baby. Both mammals and birds are killed once they reach an age such that their reproductive cycle slows down or stops, and they are no longer profitable to their owners. Similarly, female animals of most of the species exploited by humans are used as "breeding" animals, forced to have litter after litter of young, and discarded when their usefulness for this purpose wanes.

While, as is to be expected in our speciesist society that considers non-humans property, feminism and sexism have always referred to humans, when looking at it from a perspective that is both abolitionist vegan and feminist, this exploitation of female animals' "femaleness" could be seen to fall into the intersection of these two struggles. It is odd that some people claim to be vegetarian (but not vegan) for "feminist reasons" - one would think that if someone believes the eating of animal flesh to be connected with the treatment of women "like meat", that they would also see the use of animal products that come specifically from female animals' reproductive cycles as being connected. Feminism is not merely a matter of having a vagina and a monologue; it is a daily lived practice, a dynamic force for change and liberation, a dialogue, a community, and a social transformation embodied in words and actions every turning moment of our lives.

If feminism is for everybody, that includes nonhuman animals. As animal rights advocates, whether we are male or female or genderqueer, it is our responsibility to oppose the exploitation and oppression of all sentient beings. This will be achieved by educating others in a creative and objective manner. How can we presume to end the exploitation of non-humans while encouraging or accepting the exploitation of our fellow human beings?

The bottom line is: commodifying ourselves does not truly "empower us". We can't use sexist methods to further a social justice issue. All exploitation of sentient beings is related; we're not going to end speciesism, the oppression of non-human animals simply because they are not human, without a firm commitment to ending sexism as well, and certainly not with the kind of attention-at-all-costs opportunism engaged in by certain activists at the expense of other oppressed groups.

Ana María Aboglio
Paola Aldana de Meoño
Jo Charlebois
Elizabeth Collins
Vera Cristofani
Karin Hilpisch
Mylène Ouellet
Renata Peters
Trisha Roberts
Kerry Wyler

29 comments:

Vincent said...

This is awesome. I am humbled to be a hanger-on in the same movement with you all. I only wish every advocate spoke out as openly and as eloquently against sexism in the movement as you all have here.

Luella said...

I think some confusion could be cleared up for those who are supportive of PETA's use of porn. There are lots of women who engage voluntarily in porn/sex as a commodity, but this is not the problem. It is the reasons you gave above - these campaigns are useless and are asking men to take you seriously because you have a thin, female body and can wear sexually suggestive clothing, which in fact has the opposite effect of no one taking you seriously.

I do not wish to reject women's choice of how to use their bodies by saying all commodified porn is bad, but PETA's use of women's bodies is truly sexist and harmful. I just wanted to make this point because sometimes the pro-PETA/anti-PETA discussions turn into pro-porn/anti-porn discussions, which do not have to be equated.

Luella said...

One other thing - PETA's anti-fur campaigns certainly do turn into something sexist, not to mention transmisogynist ("Fur is a Drag"). However, there is an important difference between fur and leather that comes before sexism. I believe most leather comes from factory farmed animals, i.e. cows. So I find it kind of pointless to ask people not to wear leather when they're still eating cows, which most people are. Yes, leather has a masculine tradition due to the history of farming, but I don't think that's really why fur is singled out. I think PETA just happens to exploit the fact that it is fashionable for women specifically to wear fur... and maybe it's true that it's easier denigrate women, but I think there's a much bigger reason for the focus on fur, unfortunately.

Allysia said...

I really enjoyed reading this, Mylene! Your writing is so clear, interesting and focused. Thanks :)

Chastity Castro said...

Mylene, you read my mind. I was going to post something similar on my Facebook. This is an AMAZING post.

I wanted to add that not only is sexism being used to "promote" awareness for a movement but our beloved nonhuman animals are victims of sexism in their "transformation" from sentient being to carcass. I started getting epiphanies recently about that. If you take a look at the darkly humorous blog Suicide Food, you see some advertisements sexualizing nonhuman animals and depicting them as prostitutes and various other choice "personalities" of the patriarch. The whole premise of Suicide Food is showing portrayals of nonhuman animals wanting to die for us.

You also mentioned that female nonhumans undergo a terrible sexist process and I completely agree. Not only do females face this but also the males. They are either murdered because their gender isn't economically fulfilling or they are raised to be murdered simply because their flesh is of "another kind." The industry is obscenely sexist as a whole.

Last week when I was roaming the internet, I somehow stumbled upon the disturbing image of the June 1978 Hustler Magazine. It definitely proved that violence towards human and nonhuman females was and is still alive and well.

http://blog.spout.com/wp-content/uploads/hustlercover.jpg

It's strange because I am an actress who recently did a sado-erotic horror film (I am actually a legitimate, vanilla actress who would totally do Shakespeare. I'm not one to do pornography...I'm setting the record straight right now. ;) ) I feel weird when I talk about feminism because I truly do believe I am a feminist. As someone who also has friends who work as sex workers and dancers, it can be a tad tricky for me to claim the feminist title although I do feel I am. The epiphany that I got was that it's completely okay to be female, to be sexual and to express sexuality in a liberating, self-consenting (is there such a thing?) fashion. However, I also felt that the patriarch was using sexuality as a way to control females. That's why we have sex selling the most inane and useless of products and even movements (ahem, PETA)! The patriarch continually condemns females for being sexual beings yet everyone is meant to be sexual to some degree. That's what so confusing about it. The patriarch totally calls the shots on it. If we look at stripclubs, pornography and prostitution these are very fine examples of products of the patriarch. They were created to alleviate male sexual frustration--males grow up to believe that their wife should be a virgin and females grow up to believe that being sexual is dirty. Sexuality has been completely misused, misunderstood and abused in very damaging ways.

I think in our daily lives if we viewed sexuality in a healthy way--the acknowledgement of being an individual who is sexual without turning to external "solutions"--sexism probably wouldn't exist.

Chastity Castro said...

The reason why I mentioned that I am an actress is because sometimes people accuse my latest choice of a role as something that was demeaning to women. I wanted to point out the difference between a David Lynch inspired film and pornography, stripclubs et al. The movie I did was a work of fiction and it was a story that was being told. It does not mean that the director, my castmates and I condone the behaviour of these characters. I can see that the storyline may be sexist but it does not mean that encourage others to do these things.

However, if you take pornography, it is a real life thing. What's dangerous is that although there is a storyline, it is not known as a work of fiction. It is known for its exploitative scenes. The models and/or the actor/esses are not known for their portrayals or the advancement of a storyline--they are known as performers. Nobody can point out one of the "characters" Jenna Jameson has played because pornography isn't like that. Jenna Jameson is known as a porn star and nothing else. If you take a regular actress who has done certain memorable scenes, yes you may remember her doing things like that but she is not encouraging sexism unless she were to do Playboy because she's no longer depicting something fictional. She's representing herself. PETA's sexist campaigns are also very troubling. Nobody thinks of the nonhuman animals when they see these ads and protests. They just see a bunch of nude women and the attempts at awareness is completely done in vain. I can acknowledge that some of these women agree to this sort of thing but it once again brings the issue to the human level as opposed to the nonhuman level.

Barbara DeGrande said...

Beautifully said.

Lucas said...

Much respect!

jessica said...

woooh! Power to you for this! This will be my new go-to website to send people who just don't 'get it' re: veganism and feminism

The Cosmopolitan Hour said...

Well said! Kudos.

Mylène Ouellet said...

Thanks so very much to Jo for having come up with the idea to do this. There was definitely a need.

You can read / hear more from some of the women who collaborated on this letter by visiting their respective nooks on the internet:

Jo Charlebois - http://thestartingpointisveganism.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Collins - http://nzveganpodcast.blogspot.com/

Trisha Roberts - http://lobsa.org/

Ana María Aboglio - http://anima.org.ar/

Paola Aldano de Meoño - http://www.youtube.com/porolita22

Mylène Ouellet said...

Also:

Karin Hilpisch-http://abolitionismusabschaffungdertiers.blogspot.com/

Elaine Vigneault said...

You wrote:
"take a look at the way in which PETA uses sex in its campaigns - they reinforce harmful Western beauty standards by using only thin, large-breasted women, who tend to be posed to appear vulnerable and alluring to the (heterosexual male) intended viewer, as well as using only men who are muscular and trim and posed to look powerful and self-assured."

This is not a true statement.

Some counterexamples to your FALSE statement:
http://nakedpeta.blogspot.com/2008/03/vegetarians-make-better-lovers.html
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JQvWqQj9Ii4/R-RyMKe1taI/AAAAAAAAAdM/DKVBGQ2s0jU/s1600-h/david-cross.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JQvWqQj9Ii4/R-Rtmae1tXI/AAAAAAAAAc0/LTZn8tY_2RA/s1600-h/peta-ronjer.jpg
http://www.furisdead.com/page/ad-vanessa.jpg
http://www.elainevigneault.com/wp-content/uploads/boss_models_ad.jpg

Elizabeth Collins said...

Hi Elaine,

thank you for the links. If we were to change the word "only" to "mostly" would you still object?

Thanks

Paola said...

Re: Elaine's comment:

I agree with Elizabeth, for example:

I have a youtube channel, where I make videos of veganism mostly, but I am sure if you go and review them, you will find a few where I talk about different things, i.e. my life in general, my feline family, vacation trips, etc. Would it still be FALSE to say that I promote veganism in my youtube channel? Of course not, because that is what 90% of my videos are about. Same goes to Peta's campaigns. Pin pointing occasions where they portray different types of people doesn't invalidate our statement. And you, more than anyone should know this, since you even have the "Naked Peta" blog where you have reviewed a lot of their naked stunts. Just go do a
"Google images" search for Peta, and look at the outcome. It really boggles my mind how you can say our statement is FALSE when anyone who has ever watched a Peta campaign knows the things we mentioned in this essay are true. Not only regarding the body stereotypes, but also the discrimination of groups, the oversexed messages and singling out fur like the rest of the animals are not equally deserving of consideration.

I am really interested in what you have to say about this. I honestly am.

Mylène Ouellet said...

Note: Updated to add Renata Peters' name to the list of abolitionist vegan feminists endorsing the statement.

Elaine Vigneault said...

I think the entire "joint statement" is far too vague and overgeneralizes.

I think it's way more anti-PETA than it is pro-women.

animalactivist said...

How do I sign on?

SuperAstro said...

First of all I want to say that I indeed am against sexism (and any type of discrimination) and, also, that I am against the welfarist agenda of PETA.

On the other side,
I believe there are irelevant parts in this article that needs to be sorted out...

There is absolutely nothing sexist about showing a ('naked') woman on a picture, as there is nothing sexist about showing a ('naked') man on a picture. Now is it pertinent to promote veganism and animal rights with 'naked' people? I believe it can be in some situations, as it can be wrong in others. Is it shocking? It sure can be. Is it sexist? It can be in some cases, but in essence, it is absolutely not.

That said, it is irrelevant to generalize and accuse things of sexism while it is only in fact not so relevant/efficient ways of promoting veganism/vegetarianism/animal rights/etc.

I did research "PETA" on google images and I did not see only the stereotyped kind of thing you are talking about in the article. PETA is wrong for promoting welfarism, but not for "promoting sexism" by using "sexist" adds. Just exactly, for example, as the car companies are wrong for promoting the consumption of unsustainable transportation, but not for "promoting sexism" by using "sexist" adds.

"Being sexy and having better sex" has everything to do with health, which in turns has a lot to do with nutrition. Veganism does, in fact, help to "be sexy and have better sex" and this has nothing, at all, to do with sexism.

If you were to talk about sexism and speciecism in a same article, I would instead focus on the extreme exploitation of female birds and cows to produce dairy and eggs.

Sexy women do and will continue to show off their sexy bodies whenever they have the opportunity, and most people will be looking (no matter the size of their breast) because they DEMAND it.

Is there something sexist about this picture:
http://noise.typepad.com/photoblog/images/peta2006_1.jpg ?
The question is not whether or not it is relevant to promote vegetarianism.

VegBlogger.com said...

Excellent! I completely agree with you on this. I am absolutely against the objectification of women in veg campaigns. It's offensive and demeaning. And I for one hate "Skinny Bitch." You really hit nail on the head with this one. Nice job@

Jeff at Coolwater4animals said...

SuperAstro, you make some very confused and contradictory observations. The only one that comes anywhere close to being valid is your suggestion that an article on sexism and speciesism should focus on the exploitation of nonhuman animals.

That is precisely the point of the published statement! -- A statement of repulsion toward campaigns that use sex to supposedly direct attention to animal exploitation when, in fact, by their very nature, no attention is directed toward the actually victims of that exploitation in the minds of the viewers at all! They are little more than the exploitation of women (or men) to cater to the whims of a patriarchal society that achieve one goal: the corporate massaging of ego in order to generate public revenue streams.

I have said before, the mere suggestion of such an affront to women is disgusting enough, but for organizations like Peta to reduce the very real suffering of innocents to campaigns of base titillation is more than immoral or ignoble, they are contemptible!

And, in my opinion, this published statement says just that.

*******************

As Vincent says, "I am humbled to be a hanger-on in the same movement with you all. I only wish every advocate spoke out as openly and as eloquently against sexism in the movement as you all have here".

Kudos to all involved now and in the future.

SuperAstro said...

Vincent, you accuse my claims to be "confused and contradictory" but you did not show why.

"A statement of repulsion toward campaigns that use sex to supposedly direct attention to animal exploitation"
You did not get my point... Mylène and you confuse sexism and sex, which are two different things.
Yes, using sex to direct attention to animal exploitation is a bad way to promote veganism. But sexism is not equal to "using sex".

There is no exploitation if a boy or a girl starts running naked outside (on his/her free will or not). Is it stupid? Yes. Is it relevant? No. Is it sexist? No.

There is no exploitation if a girl or a boy go naked outside with some AR signs (on his/her free will or not). Is it stupid? Yes. Is it relevant? No. Is it sexist? No.

There is some type of exploitation if some girl or boy decides to sell her/his time for money for some alienating job. Is it stupid? Yes and no. Is it relevant? Yes and no. Is it sexist? No.

There is some type of exploitation if some girl or boy decides to show herself/himself naked for money for some advertisement. Is it stupid? Yes and no. Is it relevant? Yes and no. Is it sexist? No.


I ask you one question, what is "confused and contradictory" about this paragraph which was found in my prior comment:

"Being sexy and having better sex" has everything to do with health, which in turns has a lot to do with nutrition. Veganism does, in fact, help to "be sexy and have better sex" and this has nothing, at all, to do with sexism.

SuperAstro said...

Sexism is a prejudice or attitude of bias in favor of the interest of members of one's own sex and against the interests of members of the other sex. Sexists violate the principle of equality by favoring the interests of their own sex.

The fact of the matter is, phenomenas like prostitution and pornography, by essence, have nothing to do with sexism despite having everything to do with sex. There can certainly be cases of sexism found in those phenomenas, but that is not the point.

It is important to be conscious of the tremendous difference between sex and sexism.

sulay said...

I am in my 26th year as a vegan, and as a animal rights advocate.
In all of those years I've seen women as the clear majority (in numbers) of Animal rights advocacy.

Most of these advocates, I believe, go home to men who, at best, give lip service to our shared cause And
there are many, many more who are without life mates, working hard on the behalf of animals.
Think of what its like for them.
Imagine the struggle without any support.
In truth, it would be difficult to say which of the competing forces are stronger; our need for a "just ethic", or our desire for companionship.
I have seen "ethics" loose to this quandary. Activists who marry outside of the movement DO NOT STAY in the movement.
It is with this reference in mind, that I would wish we all revue PETA's (admitting embarrassing naked) campaigns.
One such example is the 2010 "state of the Union" undress delivered by a woman of color.
This was no off hand dirty idea. This was the work of an ad agency. The production was spotless.
I suspect that the woman involved knew perfectly well what the objective of the ad was to be, and she decided to do it, because she BELIEVES in the cause.
As much as we cringe at these ads,we must remember, we are not the target audience.And who would that be the target?
To answer this, I go back to my opening comments.
Men.
I believe that this ad. is to attract men. Specifically, men of color.
Peta attempts to do what the rest of us don't.That is, make activism a pleasant space to LIVE in. All of our talk of rights, sexism, heterosexuality, specieism, do nothing to add to our numbers.
Could peta explain their campaign to the rest of us?
We will remain vegan despite there antics. And we are of such pitifully small numbers comparably, there would be no need for them to do so.
There have been many twists and turns with the animal rights struggle. And nude advocacy is certainly one of them.I, for one, hope it works.

SuperAstro said...

Here is my much more concrete response (than my prior comments):
http://vegan182.blogspot.com/2010/03/confusion-between-sexism-and-sex.html

Mylène Ouellet said...

Thanks everybody, for all of your feedback, both encouraging and critical. I'm going to be locking down comments on this post since I've been getting a lot of anti-PETA spam on it (somewhat ironic, no?), as well as a few misogynistic comments (and 'misogynistic', here, is a euphemism for what they really are).

Just a few comments I'd like to make, first:

sulay wrote:

Peta attempts to do what the rest of us don't.That is, make activism a pleasant space to LIVE in. All of our talk of rights, sexism, heterosexuality, specieism [sic], do nothing to add to our numbers.

Yeah, I guess that talking about things like 'rights' and 'speciesism' when trying to get people to take the interests of nonhuman animals seriously doesn't scream: "Hey, come party with us!"

Imagine that.

SuperAstro, I've read your four comments (as well as your blog post to which you linked) dismissing PeTA's use of exploitative images of women as sexist. I could respond to you, but would ultimately just end up repeating the points made in the statement, since they succinctly identify what the problems are. Maybe reading the statement a second time would help?

You don't think that using naked images of vulnerable-looking women--treating female bodies as commodities to push agendas--is sexist. You think that the objectification of women to bring attention to the fact that nonhuman animals are being being treated and used as things helps nonhuman animals and is harmless to human women. I don't get why you don't get it, but at least you've made it clear that you don't. Thanks for your comment.

Vegan Japan said...

Have there been any formal studies done of:

a) the effectiveness of PETA campaigns in creating new vegetarians/vegans, stopping animals exploitation, changing opinion on the issues.

b) its financial effect on smaller, existing campaigning groups?

if so, can anyone point me to them?

Perhaps the worst crime PETA is now committing ... aside from the difficult situation with taking donations to cull, wholesale, unwanted pets ... is a lack of imagination.

Whereas in its beginning, yes, I would say their campaigns were shocking/amusing/attention grabbing and worked, my feeling is that now they do not. That they have just become a tit-and-ass factory exporting their values globally (with recent attempts to crack the Japanese market) and part of the sexist wallpaper of life that everyone ignores.

Their "embarrassments" ... e.g. their fixation and dependency on "VIPs" who then go on to contradict their support in their actual actions (eating meat, wearing fur) ... for me, overwhelms any success they might be having. It would seem that getting your breasts out and "Doing a PETA Ad" has just become an established career step for each of these women.

I am also frustrated by their confusion of vegetarian and vegan at times.

Why have vegan VIPs and represent them as vegetarian? When and why was it decided to downgrade or drop veganism?

I am sorry to say it but I think vegetarianism's time is over and today the message has to be pro-vegan. it strikes me, in their hunger to sustain their position within media, PETA are increasingly willign to compromise.

The Vegan Movement should step aside from PETA's immature, populist media whoring, tell it to shut up, support and focus on those groups and individuals who are quietly working to make serious change.

I, personally, see no evidence to suggest that the popular audience they seek cares about the issues or is changing their attitudes and lifestyle ... men do not make and sustain ethical decisions with their penises, they have to have their brains inspired. The blood is being sent in the wrong direction.

Veganism not PETAism ...

Nicole said...

What a brilliant post. I have just found your blog by way of Carol Adams' work. Interestingly enough, I did write something about PETA recently in reaction to a letter I received from them. You may be interested in reading it. I absolutely love this abolitionist feminist vegan blog.
http://thevegancommunicator.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/deconstructing-petas-thinking/

Aura Willow Hazel said...

Please add me to this list , My name is Aura Willow Hazel and I am vegan animal rights and a feminist, as such I despise the use of sexist bullshit, one social justice can never be served by damaging another.