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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.   
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Today in passive aggressive backpedaling

Well, at least I don't have to worry about having reason to close this blog any time soon. Remember PETA's atrocious ad shaming fat women for daring to exist outside of burlap sacks? Well, check out their latest bit of barfitude, put up in place of their prior fat-hating billboard. On its own, it's pretty standard PETA fat-hating fare, but check out this quote from one of PETA's typical hateful little bigots:

"Our goal is help overweight Jacksonville residents - the best way to do that is to go vegetarian. We're not trying to insult anyone," Ashley Byrne, a senior campaigner for PETA, told Huffington Post after the first billboard was put up. "Vegetarians look and feel better than meat eaters. This is a life-saving message."
Yeah, you little fucking spokestool, because I didn't get the message the first 2,403,211 times around that if you're ugly and vegetarian or vegan you're a big. fucking. failure, and the entire female population of the world, as well as many men, certainly don't hear often enough that the only thing that matters is how you look, not who you are or what you contribute to the world. You know what, Ashley? This thin yet ugly vegan is sick to fucking DEATH of your stupid little goddamn organization shaming me for not being the epitome of a HOT HOT HOT vegan. In fact, half of the reason why I absolutely refuse to do leafleting is because I know I'd make a bad example for veg*ans because of how I look, and if you've ever done animal rights activism you know that leafleting is one of the activities for which most AR groups desperately need volunteers.

And quite frankly, when I hear sentiments like this, I don't even feel like I'm doing a good thing by being vegan. In fact, I feel like by being ugly and vegan I'm doing more harm than good to the cause; I feel flat-out like a bad person, like a liability. And what about all those so-called hot non-vegetarians, and the other vegetarians and vegans who don't measure up? And what about the torture animals go through so we can live up to the beauty standards that Byrne and all of PETA promote? Are animals really better off in a world mindlessly and cruelly obsessed with looks and consumption, a world with a frankly carnivorous appetite that can only be satisfied through the most horrible forms of animal testing and torture? Are we really better off in a world that values looks over kindness, that offers us nothing in return for goodness and everything in return for beauty?

As we grow more obsessed with the shallow, harmful things of consumerism that PETA stands for, both animals and people suffer and die, and nobody seems to remember Paul Wellstone's simple yet truest truth: "We all do better when we all do better." A world full of people miserable because they don't "look" good will be cruel to animals, each other and the environment, will focus on buying and what they can do to reach that impossible zenith of beauty rather than working to change the world. Meanwhile, in a world where we're not distracted and driven to misery by the beauty industrial complex, where our actions and not our bodies or faces dictate how others view us, people will have incentive to be good and kind, and will have little to nothing to gain by exploiting animals, each other and the environment. That is the world I want to live in, not PETA's land of selfish Beautiful People.

posted by The Venerable Vegan Empress @ 4:49 PM   10 comments
Monday, August 17, 2009
PETA to world: Whales SUCK!!!11!!!!1!!!1! (And women still do, too...)

I know I'm quite late on this and many others have already covered it, but I couldn't let it pass because it's one of PETA's more egregious stunts as of late. I shan't post a picture of PETA's latest piss-smelling billboard, but it's in Jacksonville, Florida and has an illustration of a fat-ish woman in a bikini. The emblazoned hate message on it is "Save the WHALES. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian."

One woman in Jacksonville reported being so upset by it that she forwent a trip to the beach with her family -- and even though I'm vegan, and with street clothes on look reasonably thin, I can honestly say I'd probably do the same if I saw a billboard like that on my way to the beach. I simply do not look like a supermodel when I wear a bikini, and although I love swimming, I always feel horribly self-conscious in a swimsuit, such that things much smaller than this can tip my decision on whether to go to the beach. It's particularly shitty because I have a lot of upper body problems that could benefit from more swimming (ZOMG an unhealthy thin person!!! Call the Body Police!) but it is not often that I feel up to the emotionally grueling task of having my exposed body publicly judged while I'm just trying to enjoy myself. And quite frankly, the fact that PETA would probably claim the message isn't targeted at me doesn't make a whit of difference as to how hurt I feel when I see it; PETA's billboard is hurtful to ALL women and ALL fat people and ALL people who have eating disorders or body dysmorphic disorder, regardless of whether we're vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous.

Furthermore, what's with the fucking speciesism, PETA? How is trivializing the anti-whaling movement and appropriating it for your stupid everybody-hating billboard going to help any, you know, actual whales? The humorous context of "Save the Whales" on this billboard only serves to further the ridiculous, over-the-top way that environmentalists are portrayed and perceived in our culture. Also, as a commenter at Shakesville notes, "I really don't follow the logic of that billboard. How does losing weight 'save the whales' if by whales they mean fat people? Isn't their point that they'd be getting rid of fat people? Logically then this billboard should read 'Wipe Out The Whales'! But of course somebody might read that the wrong way and a cute animal (because they rarely care about any other kind) might get hurt. So instead they insult a significant portion of the population and look stupid."

Funnily enough, a few weeks ago a friend of mine sent along the following e-mail, and it seems appropriate to re-post it here. I don't know how true the story behind the French gym is, but what matters is the awesomeness of the words themselves:

Recently, in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said:

"THIS SUMMER DO YOU WANT TO BE A MERMAID OR A WHALE?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia and the coral reefs of Polynesia.

Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.. Fish or human?

They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them. Therefore they do not have kids either. Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me; I'd rather be a whale.



The orcas are watching you, PETA, and they do not approve.*


*(Yes, I know orcas are not technically whales, but sometimes an empress just wants to post orca pictures, ya know?)

posted by The Venerable Vegan Empress @ 6:42 PM   3 comments
Vegans against PETA badges!
Ahoy, vegans! I crawl out from under my rock to bring you vegans against PETA badges that you can put on your website, use as avatars, etc. As I have approximately no artistic skills, you can bet your last falafel that I didn't make them. A lovely blog reader sent them to me. They come in all shapes so they should be appropriate for whatever occasion or space you have. Kind of like a black cocktail dress, only soooo much cooler! (No offense to black cocktail dresses, of course.)


posted by The Venerable Vegan Empress @ 5:54 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Huh
Sorry for the sparse posting lately, fellow PETA disparagers! Life has been crazy, and I am also in the midst of a fairly serious Personal Crisis and am attempting to Find Myself.

Wait! There I am! Under the desk, behind the dust bunnies and next to the ancient Egypt books!

Since I have been found for the moment, let's take a look at this interesting invitation for a debate between a philosophy professor and our BFF of ALL TIME, the one and only Ingrid Newkirk.

Some highlights:

While your followers who have managed to donate some 30 million dollars annually believe PETA's campaigns bring us one step closer to real justice for animals, there is still a significant percentage of animal advocates who disagree with this conclusion as well as PETA's tactics and fundamental philosophy.

Some PETA supporters have taken to avoiding any debate for the fear of what they call "infighting." Animal advocates are reluctant to give any energy into responding to disagreement in fear of disrupting the supposed unity of a movement for animals. However, I will remind you that debate and criticism is a lucrative means of exploring the truth. Debate is and has been a sound practice in academia and has been used effectively to learn more about a particular cause, theory, or discipline.

...

The purpose of this letter is to humbly request your participation in debating Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University School of Law under my moderation. The invitation has already been accepted by Professor Francione, so the ball is now in your court.

While Francione recognizes the sincerity of your beliefs, the fundamental differences between yours and Francione's approach make for a disagreement of tremendous importance to how rights may be established for animals. Professor Francione's disagreements with PETA's approach and fundamental philosophy are evident in his Six Principles of the Animal Rights Position where he argues:



3. Just as we reject racism, sexism, ageism, and heterosexism, we reject speciesism. The species of a sentient being is no more reason to deny the protection of this basic right than race, sex, age, or sexual orientation is a reason to deny membership in the human moral community to other humans.



This appears to stand in disagreement that a campaign that is sexist in nature cannot be considered an animal rights campaign. Francione has also vocalized disagreement with PETA's campaign tactics in the form of billboards and public demonstrations.


Of course, because this is a debate about animal rights involving PETA, the comments degenerate fairly quickly into total weirdness, and I also have to voice my own personal distrust of the Examiner, whose contributors tend to fly fast and loose with facts. Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral also notes in comments that she once asked Gary Francione to debate her directly, and the debate never happened, so make of this what you will.

It's a shame they used the wrong picture of her, though. Clearly, this is the only picture of Ingrid Newkirk that truly does her justice, and it can only be found here at Vegans Against PETA:





Anyhow. Back to the dust bunnies now! If you need to find me, I will be chilling with my homegirl Hatshepsut. She was quite the gender outlaw, you know!

posted by The Venerable Vegan Empress @ 3:02 PM   2 comments

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Name: The Venerable Vegan Empress
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If you have any ideas for an article here or would like to write a post, I'd love that! I work full time, volunteer and take classes at my city's university, so I don't work on this project nearly as often as I'd like. Just send me a comment with your contact info -- I approve all comments before posting, so if you include info that you don't want published let me know and I won't publish your comment.
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