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Vegans Against PETA
This is a blog for animal rights activists who are concerned about the misogynist, racist, homophobic and transphobic tactics used by PETA.   
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
PETA's pointless pussy/penis pushing
PETA is trying to bore me to death.

No, really, they are! You see, as I'm sure everybody reading Vegans Against PETA has been waiting to hear, our hoseheaded friends at PETA have finished their Sexiest Vegetarian Next Door contest. And the winners are....a skinny blonde chick and a muscular black guy! Who would've guessed? It's almost like I never left my black intellectual studies class earlier this week, where we were talking about the idealization of white women, the more Aryan and skinny the better, and the hypersexualization of big buff black men. Really, PETA, could you be any more boring? Are you TRYING to make me fall asleep at my desk while visions of American history 101 dance through my head? Couldn't one of 'em at least have had a tattoo or body piercing or something? Or better yet, couldn't you just have saved me the trouble and not run this stupid contest at all?

You see, we all know by now that PETA is trying to get people to go vegan/vegetarian by convincing them that not eating animal products magically gives you Teh Hot. Better still, if you are a guy you will get your very own Pet Vegan Woman who is also very, very, very hot and likes to sit around in cages for your titillation. You will probably even get one of these women if you are gay, just so people don't start thinking that being vegan gives you Teh Gay.

However, in addition to objections I've previously raised about the Hotness-By-Tofu tactic, and the obvious objections that feminists have been raising for years about this sort of thing, PETA's tactic fails for another reason: There are plenty of hot meat-eaters out there, too. And there are plenty of vegans and vegetarians who don't measure up. I recently took one for the team (again) and looked up Maxim's most recent Hot 100, their list of the year's hottest women or whatever. Well, actually, I went to a blog that listed the top ones, as I couldn't stomach actually going to Maxim itself. This blog listed the top however many, and I double checked them against a list of famous vegetarians and vegans on Happy Cow. The verdict? One woman on the list is a vegetarian. (And to be honest, I don't even remember who the fuck it was. Sorry.) Here's the list of women who aren't vegan or vegetarian yet somehow manage to fit society's stupid standards for fuckability:

Lindsay Lohan, who PETA hates
Jessica Alba
Eva Longoria
Jessica Simpson
Christina Aguilera
Jennifer Garner
Scarlett Johansson
Ali Larter
Sienna Miller
Angelina Jolie
Katherine Heigl
Sarah Silverman
Keira Knightley
Julia Roberts
Cameron Diaz
Mandy Moore
Halle Barry
Penelope Cruz
Danica Patrick

And yes, I double checked, and no, Angelina Jolie is not vegetarian or vegan, which surprised me. I then made my own very short list of other celebrities who are widely considered attractive and cross-checked it with the vegan and vegetarian celebrity list, and none of them came up as vegan. These are Selma Hayek, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Liv Tyler, Beyoncé, Viggo Mortenson and George Clooney. (And in case you noticed a pattern, yes, goddamn it, I watch too much Lord of the Rings. Interestingly enough, though, a lot of the rest of the cast is vegetarian or vegan.)

And then we get around to the fact that a lot of vegetarian and vegan celebrities don't fit the standard for super-mega-charged hotness. I mean, let's face it, people who are willing to buck off society's expectations of what they should eat are probably also more likely to be willing to buck off societal expectations for looks, and they may also be aware of the animal cruelty involved in most methods for achieving beauty. Of course determining beauty is subjective, and most of the people in the following list are celebrities who I consider far more talented, amazing and beautiful than any of the people on the "hot" lists. In fact, my favorite singer is on this list. But I know that society doesn't see things as I do, so I've picked celebrities with society's fucked up standards in mind:

Meatloaf (Hey! I didn't say I liked ALL the people on this list, K?)
kd lang
Boy George
Chelsea Clinton
"Weird Al" Yankovich
Yoko Ono
Michael Jackson
Tracy Chapman

I hope you can all tell who my favorite singer is on that list. But anyhow, what are we to do about this? Should we tell less attractive people to eat meat so they don't embarrass us and so we can make an example of them? And, what about all the vegetarians and vegans who have done amazing things for the world? Think Corretta Scott King, Rosa Parks and Gandhi, to name a few. Long after Pamela Anderson is dead and forgotten, these three will still be in the history books. As my co-worker said today of PETA's Hotness-By-Tofu tactic, "it's baseless and it's stupid." It tells us nothing about the real reasons to go vegan or vegetarian, it devalues people's real contributions to the world, it's completely and totally refutable by the mere existence of meat eaters who are "hot," and worse yet, it says to those of us who don't measure up: This is not your movement. We don't want you, you make us look bad. Go somewhere else, anywhere but here.
posted by The Venerable Vegan Empress @ 5:09 PM  
  • At April 18, 2009 at 10:08 PM, Blogger Luella said…

    It would be a lot more effective if vegans ran a mass campaign asking these celebrities to live more kindly and acknowledge that animals have rights. I'm not a fan of the Olson twins or anything, but when I saw PeTA's webpage calling them the Trollson twins and showing them all bloody and gory, I thought that was kind of mean. I know that fur is mean, too, but I don't think that depicting the enemy as evil is helpful. If I were an Olson twin and saw that shit, I'd probably ignore it for as long as possible. Knowing that I'm in the tabloids every day, I'm not going to read something scathing about myself if I don't have to.

    And I like a lot of celebrities. They're good people. Just like a lot of non-vegans I know personally. For example, I love my professors, but none of them are vegan or even vegetarian to my knowledge. I'm not going to start blogging about how evil they are as soon as I graduate because that's not going to get them to listen to me at all and will only annoy them greatly. I am going to listen to them and invite them into dialogues I start or tell them about the life I'm making as a vegan activist. That's something respectable, not demonizing a few to change the many, or demonizing anyone at all.


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Name: The Venerable Vegan Empress
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