PETA Goes for the Blubber; Women hit the Roof
Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm — admin
My first encounter with PETA involved a naked woman protesting in Midtown Manhattan. I was on the way to cover a drug convention at the Hilton, if I recall the hotel correctly. I had not given a thought to how one particular drug was derived. That all changed with one naked woman with a cause—the ethic treatment of horses.
Naked women abound in our society. Just check out Times Square or any of the dozens upon dozens of glossy magazine ads that have a prostrate female in masturbatory position, her hand dutifully tucked into the strap of her thong. Sex sells. That is a fact of human nature. Calvin Klein uses it, Victoria Secret uses it. Madison Ave. uses it. But when PETA uses it, women get a bit freaky, even as they do so in their Victoria Secret bras and thongs.
I must say, I am very thankful that one woman was brave enough to get my attention with her body. All her poignant parts were covered as she marched the street that day, but she was a true beauty and men were practically breaking their necks to get a look. Women hissed things like Slut sotto voce as they walked by the partially clad female. I was fascinated. A quick call to PETA and a filed story later, informed me, for the first time, the absolute cruelty to mares that Wythe required from them to produce Premarin.
At the time Premarin—used in hormone replacement therapy—was the largest selling drug in America. Since then production of the drug has dropped off after studies showed deleterious effects of HRT to many women.
But the larger question remains: Shall we torture animals for our supposed good? The mares and the unwanted foals they were continually required to produce were never allowed to have even the resemblance of a kind and decent life. PETA understands human nature very well—to get our attention they must resort to sexy means. (Sexy in the news biz means provocative by any means not just sexual.)
The bottom line for me was the fact that millions of women might have demanded that a more ethical drug be developed if they knew the cruelty involved in Premarin. PETA wanted to get out the message. And they did. They used sex and it worked.
Currently women have become very exercised about another PETA stunt. It is an ad that features an obese woman in cartoon on the beach and says: “SAVE THE WHALES, Loss the Blubber: Go Vegetarian.”
Neverumind that a two-thirds of our population is overweight or obese, neverumind that a plurality of studies show that a diet known as Mediterranean -- big on veggies, fruits, whole grains and fish-- has shown to be the path to a healthier, longer more active life. Forget all that: Call a spade a spade and hell hath no fury.
The PETA ad was simply a truth teller: eat right and you will lose the blubber. Sure they have an ulterior motive, but can anyone tell me that motive is vile? No. Their means is suspect, but what is the last ad for the ethical treatment of animals that you can quote?
And folks, believe me, when a person is laid out and sliced open fat IS blubber. All the talk about being happy with our body image translates into being happy with the too many layers of greasy, slimly yellow globs of fat that two-thirds of the populations carry around on their frames. It crowds the heart out of is resting place and makes our massive livers seem like a needle in a haystack. It hardens into slabs of moldered yellow Jam that plug up the lifelines to our brains and organs. It smells rich in an overpowering festering fashion. It looks like a body piped full of sticky pus. Talk of Body Image is just another word for nothing left to loose, to quote a favorite song of mine. Remember, hating fat is very different than hating fat people.
But what I found most perplexing is the animus towards helpless animals this ad inspired in many women: Here is a sampling from our own Blog Her Community:
These comments remind me of Right Wingers who, when confronted on the dangers of global warming talk oh-so proudly about getting that second Hummer, or when animal rights enthusiasts talk about cutting down on factory farming they yell tree-hugger and say they just ordered up some spotted owl for dinner.
What this says to me: insults to our self worth and self esteem are justifiable reasons to act badly. If You make me feel bad about myself, I will hurt a defenseless animal to piss you off.
My advice to PETA, keep up the nutty attention getting stunts. But the best thing you can do? Videos and lots of them about the abuse that is factory farming is. Run abattoir footage commercials at dinner time. Why? Because, as you clearly know, a picture of a contained animal with doleful eyes just doesn’t stir us the way an obese women in a bikini does. Down deep we all know why. We care more about our self esteem than animal suffering.
Link to BlogHer story and picture of the ad: