When PETA Goes Hog Wild

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been the most popular animal rights group in the United States. It’s a non-profit corporation with 300 employees and has almost two million members that actively participate in the organizations various rallies, protests and fundraisers. Believers of the cause pride themselves on never wearing, eating, experimenting or using animals for any sort of entertainment.

Their campaigns to rid the world of animal abuse have always proven effective and inspiration. Campaigns created have always had positive messages with concrete facts that spread knowledge of their cause. However, with the company’s latest string of campaigns have caused the public to take sides on where they stand with PETA. Although endorsed by celebrity clients such as Drew Barrymore, Pamela Anderson and Steve-O PETA has taken the extra step to make sure their messages are heard.

In 2003 the organization released a new public relations campaign called “Holocaust on your Plate.” The campaign asserted that the eating of any animal products was equivalent to the torture and slaughter of Jews at the hands of the Nazis. The hateful point of the message was not even expressed subtly, instead the campaign decided to make the explicit theme the entire message of the campaign.

The first step of the campaign was the photos PETA chose to juxtapose of concentration camp inmates in their tightly packed bunks next to chickens being kept together in cages as they awaited their deaths. Sadly, the length of the gruesome photos did not stop there. The photos went as far as to show comparisons of piled bodies of Holocaust victims next to photos of dead pigs. The caption for these photos read “Like the Jews murdered in concentration camps, animals are terrorized when they are housed in huge filthy warehouses and rounded up for shipment to slaughter.”

PETA’s disgusting PR campaign points to a real crisis America is having. There is a clear lack of modern animal protection activists and a frightening rise of fanatic extremists. The comparison PETA made of a real life crisis for the sake of modern animal protection is inhumane in itself. Many members of the public viewed PETA’s “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign as a clear look into the twisted moral vision of the majority of animal rights activists in America.

I believe in using the “shock” method to get your point across but as a meat eater but a pro animal rights human this slew of campaign methods were disgusting and unflattering to a company that has done so much for animal rights.

Apparently, some people agree with me.


About Ayan Jama

I am a University of Oregon graduate with a BA in Journalism with a focus in Magazine and Public Relations. I enjoy foreign movies, white chocolate, shoes, and friends & family.
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2 Responses to When PETA Goes Hog Wild

  1. schorrmore says:

    Ayan, your blog is fantastic!

    Regarding this post- few things anger me more than poorly done Holocaust metaphors. Godwin’s Law much? Ugh. The extremists of PETA ruin the whole organization.

  2. The former PR director at PETA came to speak to Principles of PR in the fall (and I’m hoping to have her back this spring). She talked about how this kind of campaign is really part of the organization’s strategy. It was a very interesting talk. I’ll let you know when she’s coming next and you can sit in on the class.

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