Letter to Peta
Here’s my letter to PETA:
After visiting the PETA website, I have many concerns with the messages that many of the images in your advertisements and campaigns portray. I find that your ad’s are distracting for the viewer from the real issue which is protecting animals because of the images in your ad’s exploit women. I find it very disconcerting that a group that is as dedicated to saving and protecting animals would not also be as dedicated to the fight against the exploitation of women.
But I’m writing this to you now having done my homework about your organization.
In response to a letter that is posted on www.about-face.org. A member of your organization states that PETA is “staffed largely by feminists and PETA does not want to do anything that contributes to the problems that face women” (http://www.about-face.org/yv/action/letters/petaresponse.shtml) After reading this statement I continued to surf the PETA homepage only to find that multiple ad’s are of naked women, exploiting their body parts in order to “create attention” to PETA’s cause. Your ad’s may get attention but I believe it is not bring attention to stop the cruelty of animals, the attention PETA ad’s receive is that which is repeated in numerous ad’s from food to tooth brushes. Your organization fights for animals but may I remind you that if you don’t’ support the fight against the exploitation and abuse against women there will be no one to support you and your organization as well as the animals. My question to you is this: why PETA continues to use this terrible form of advertising, one could say the PETA “robs from Peter to pay Paul’ you have successfully saved may animals but does it have to come at such a high cost.
I understand that many of the celebrities are volunteers that have made the choice to pose in seductive ways and use their bodies for a cause that they believe in. But what I find most compelling is the fact that the feminist on your staff would not protest of the printing of these ad’s if they truly believed in “not contributing to the problem” of the demeaning portrayals of women.ÃÃ
May other organizations have found very effective ways to voice their opinions and receive support without using women in seductive, sexual ways in order to get their message across. Why hasn’t PETA followed in the footsteps of theirs and stop this exploitation of the women not only the ones used in their ad’s but for women everywhere. I ask you to show your strength as a world wide organization and take a stand against the negative depiction of women in advertising.
I look forward to your responses which I will be able to share with others who are concerned with the protection of women’s integrity and self-respect.
With regrets that is letter had to be written, in order to protect women like myself, those that work in your office and for your female supporters.
Thank you for contacting us with your concern and for taking the time to visit our Web site. I’m sorry you disagree with our tactics.
Here at PETA, our main goal is simple: deliver the issue of animal rights the public and inspire people to grassroots action. Sometimes this requires strategies which some might term extreme, but part of our job is to shake people up and, yes, shock them, in order to initiate discussion, debate, questioning of the status quo, and of course, action. We attempt to bring controversial issues such as veganism and cruelty in the entertainment business to the type of people who would otherwise never give a moment’s thought to the animals.
Our approach has proved amazingly successful–in the 2 decades since PETA was first founded, it has grown into the largest animal rights group in the world, with 750,000 members and supporters worldwide. For a list of our victories, go to: http://www.peta.org/about/hist.shtml and http://www.peta.org/about/success.shtml.
Some of our victories are accomplished by months of undercover investigation and a tireless pursuit of justice through the courts; some by calling for consumer boycotts, initiating shareholder resolutions at annual board meetings, and urging our members to write letters.
We will do just about anything to get the word out, even to point of pulling outrageous stunts or colorful ads and demonstrations that include “naked” women and men. We have learned from past experience that the media, sadly, thrives on such shenanigans. We can’t get people to stop buying, for example, milk, if they aren’t aware of problems in the dairy industry. Getting the news out in the media, therefore, is vital. Unlike our opposition, which is mostly composed of wealthy industries and corporations, we cannot afford costly ad campaigns, and thus have to rely on getting free “advertising” through media coverage.
As someone who has participated in “naked demonstrations” (participants in these demonstrations wear underwear and female participants keep their chest covered), I do not believe that the way that I chose to express myself should be restricted simply because I’m a woman. I also feel there is nothing shameful or “wrong” about the being naked. Fortunately, we do not live under Taliban rule and we should not feel as though our bodies are something to hide. I believe it is oppressive to imply that it is acceptable for males participate in “naked” events but not females.
Our “naked” demonstrators and advertisement models choose to participate in these events because they want to do something to grab people’s attention. This tactic has been used since Lady Godiva rode her horse naked to protest taxes on the poor in the eleventh century. These activists are dedicating to helping foxes who are electrocuted and skinned by the millions for the fur industry, calves who are torn from their distraught mothers and slaughtered for the meat industry, elephants who are beaten bloody and forced to live in chains year after year, and the billions of animals who suffer from torture, maddening isolation, starvation, terror, and violent death at the hands of uncaring industries.
We feel all people should feel free to use their mind and body as a political instrument to bring attention to animal suffering and we appreciate any effort to help those who have no voice.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your views. Although we understand you do not support this tactic, we encourage you to continue to help animals, human and non-human, in your own way.
PETA Writers Group