I hope everybody knows by now that PETA is an awful bunch of people, but I thought I’d collect some of the reasons together for anyone who doesn’t.
- PETA has a long history of horribly, disturbingly sexist advertisements. (warning: that link is disturbing, seriously.)
- PETA also has a history of racist jackassery like wearing klan hoods to the Westminster Dog Show and comparing it to the Holocaust. They also put up billboards in Washington D.C. comparing animal cruelty to human slavery and specifically the American enslavement of Africans.
- This one deserves its own bullet point - they actually sued Sea World under the 13th Amendment. The one that outlawed slavery in the U.S. Yeah. They did that.
- And let’s not forget the whole “Holocaust On Your Plate” ad campaign.
- PETA also loooooooooooves fat-shaming. Example - this recent billboard featuring a.. meat pie coffin? I think? Suggesting that eating animals makes you (horrors!) fat and also kills you? So go vegan? Bonus offensiveness: they put this up next to a mortuary. See also this whole ad campaign centered on fat-shaming:
- Another recent advertisement claimed that going vegan will send your sex drive into overdrive and you’ll be so potent you’ll actually injure your girlfriend and leave her limping and wearing a neck brace which is awesome and hilarious. I wish I was exaggerating but I’m totally not.
- When a grisly killing spree in Vancouver left 15 women dead, PETA tried to purchase full-page ads in local papers suggesting that this carnage was no worse than the killing of animals for food.
- PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk opposes the use of Seeing Eye dogs and has had at least one dog taken away from its blind owner.
- PETA protests public shelters that euthanize animals, but their own shelter euthanizes most of the animals they take in. Not some. Most.
- PETA is actually right now trying to fight No-Kill legislation in Virginia, because it would prevent their shelter from euthanizing animals.
- PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals. This includes a 2001 donation of $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an FBI-certified “domestic terrorist” group responsible for dozens of firebombs and death threats. PETA paid $70,200 to Rodney Coronado, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) serial arsonist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory.
- During the past ten years, PETA has spent four times as much on criminals and their legal defense than it has on shelters, spay-neuter programs, and other efforts that actually help animals.
- Right here, from the actual PETA website, is their stance on extremist animal liberation groups that commit arson and violently harass medical researchers: Throughout history, some people have felt the need to break the law in order to fight injustice. The Underground Railroad and the French Resistance are both examples of people breaking the law in order to combat injustice… Anyone can be an activist. It does not take any special skills or superhuman abilities. You just need to care enough about animals to want to help them.”
Naming, shaming and blaming people for their weight, shape and size doesn’t work with anorexia and won’t work with obesity either. It’s a complex issue – a toxic obesogenic environment laden with piled-high processed food literally as cheap as chips – while at the same time thinness and the self-control it takes to achieve is highly prized.
We know that people with the serious mental illness of eating disorders have come forward in ever greater numbers for the treatment and help they need because the shame and stigma of the condition has been challenged head-on.
Let’s stop fat shaming now – it serves no purpose. The only shame is on the person who still thinks it’s acceptable to show their prejudice about weight.
But you might not want to go to the beach because of the attitudes you will encounter there. And these attitudes? Are not about whether you personally are ‘beach ready.’ They are about the fact that you live in a shitty society filled with judgmental assholes who apparently think they can decide whether you have a ‘beach body.’ And I wish I could make all those assholes go away so you could enjoy the beach in peace, I really, really do. I wish I could remove all the obstacles that make it hard for you to get to the beach and have a fun time while you’re there, whether you can’t even get ON to the beach because it’s not wheelchair-accessible or you don’t really feel like being snickered at by people when they walk past your towel and cough ‘whale’ into their fists.
January is the time when people around me talk about how much they hate their bodies and want to force them into something they’re not, or when people who are happy in their bodies get sidelong glances because they didn’t resolve to lose weight and have no intention to, because they have better things to do with their time. The new year is the crest on the wave of fat hatred, when it rises to a pinnacle fed by social pressures to ‘be a better person’ and ‘turn over a new leaf,’ because obviously fat people are bad, and hate being fat, and thus must want to turn over new leaves, to be new people.