Response to PETA Whale Campaign
PETA does it again. Offending people, rather than educating them, that is. Their latest attack is on overweight women, calling them whales and saying that a vegetarian diet will help them lose weight.
Let me not be the first vegetarian to say that not all vegetarians support PETA. In fact, PETA is actually a highly debated topic within the vegetarian community. Years ago I supported them, but that didn’t last long before I realized that their approach to getting the word out about animal rights and vegetarianism is to offend anyone that will listen.
Here’s some of their more offensive tactics of recent years that have done more to harm the vegetarian movement than help:
- Likening overweight women to whales (according to Dr. Campbell of The China Study, just 100 extra calories per day will add 10 pounds per year and 100 calories is not much)
PETA has one thing in mind and I am not so sure it is animal rights. It could have something to do with raking millions of dollars per year. After all, they did rake in a cool $34 million last year. Their mission is to offend anyone that has anything to do with animals. If it were actually animal rights they wouldn’t celebrate a victory for getting KFC in Canada to be nicer in their killing methods to the chickens they serve. Instead their mission would be to get the message out in a non-offending way about how vegetarianism is better for the animals, the planet and your own health.
Not all vegetarians like PETA because of their questionable practices. I personally feel they have done more to harm the vegetarian movement than help it. While years ago they may have had their heart in the right place, they have lost their way and today all they care about is getting negative publicity, which further leads to them and the vegetarian movement looking silly and not being taken seriously. I can’t tell you how many times over the years when I tell someone I’m a vegetarian they immediately bring up PETA. Vegetarianism, sadly, has become synonymous with PETA – a group that offends people at all costs and feels nothing is off limits.
The way to get people to see the benefits about vegetarianism is not to offend them by calling them whales or any other ridiculous tactic. The way to do it is to introduce them to the concept in a manner that is not offensive, have discussions, and serve good vegan food to show them that it tastes good. As soon as they do something offensive people close their ears to the real issue. They lose them right there.
If you are looking for someone or something to support that actually works to do more good for the animals, consider other groups that are less damaging to the vegetarian movement, such as Humane Society of the United States, Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (which offers a free vegetarian starter kit), and be sure to read the Abolitionist Approach.
What PETA excels at is fundraising. Their efforts, which constantly bombard anyone they get the address of and are all over their site, pay off big. Why do so many people donate? Because they want to help animals and feel that the PETA promise means their money will be put to good use. Those who donate have their heart in the right place. But they would likely be better off sending it elsewhere.
What do I like about PETA? Believe it or not, there are a few things I actually do like about the group. I just wish they would concentrate more on those areas, instead of the offensive areas. They have a good recipe site, their vegetarian starter kit (which gives t them your address and they will use to try to fundraise) and cookbooks. I think they should stick to offering the world more of those items.
There is not doubt that they have also done some good throughout their history, especially in the first years and when they have exposed animal cruelty. But for the last several years their methods of “helping” animals have certainly taken a turn for the worse.