PETA is no stranger to shock tactics
because, as of late, it has discovered that it is the best way to get the media attention. Granted, the organization does not admit to resorting to the shock factor to be heard, saying instead it likes to speak out the truth no matter how hurtful. It’s doing the same with an ad campaigning the switch to the vegetarian lifestyle that was put up in Jacksonville and that has, since then, drawn heavy criticism in the media, as the Huffington Post
The huge billboard shows the drawn backside of a woman, rolls of fat spilling over her swimsuit in the most horrendous manner. A large caption reads, “Save the whales,” but, unlike what one might expect, it does not refer to the actual whales, but to women who look like the one included on the poster. Below it, another caption says, “Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.” in direct relation to statistics that show that vegetarians are slimmer than meat-eaters, which PETA also quotes in the accompanying press release.
However that might be, the billboard is offensive and should be taken down, several US media outlets say, as cited by the Post. Not only does the image suggest that overweight women (and people in general) are whales that need “saving,” but it is also offending for the residents of Jacksonville, because it implies they too are like that. This is by far the cheapest shot PETA has taken in order to make a point
, seems to be the consensus regarding the new campaign.
“Jessica at Feministing blasts the billboard as ‘fat-shaming’ and that ‘PETA owes the residents of Jacksonville a serious apology.’ Holly at Deceiver states, ‘This is exactly what you would expect [from PETA] – no empathy for humans whatsoever, just a lot of B.S. about how vegetarianism will make fat people just a little bit less of a blight on humanity.’” the Post writes, summing some of the negative reviews the ad has gotten so far. PETA
, on the other hand, is not at all concerned about the billboard, let alone about the controversy it generated in the media, standing by its initial statement: meat-eaters are fatter than vegetarians. Moreover, the organization says, if overweight people are bothered by the ad, then so be it, maybe now they will have enough motivation to get started with a healthier lifestyle.