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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.   
Saturday, February 13, 2010
PETA, please go fuck yourself
Well. This is appalling. PETA is having losers vote on their website for their annual worst-dressed celebrity list (meaning: women and black men who wear fur; since leather is very commonly worn by straight white men, they don't typically include leather wearers in their list). Of course, the usual misogynist slurs toward women who wear fur are in full effect, but PETA decided to go the extra mile and also make light of domestic violence when including Rihanna in their poll:

You'd think that being a victim of violence would have opened Rihanna's heart to the suffering of others—like the animals who were beaten, drowned, and electrocuted for her fur coats. Girl, you've got beautiful eyes: Use them to see the pain and suffering your wardrobe causes.
Of course, I'm sure whatever ignorant intern wrote that is patting themselves on the back for the COMPASSION they showed in noting that Rihanna has beautiful eyes. (Because compliments on a woman's looks totally make it okay that her ex beat the shit out of her!) But ya know, when you drag somebody's traumatic past into the picture, that makes you a first-class insensitive asshole. If it weren't so awful, I'd be amused at the fact that domestic violence and women's rights activists have been trying to tell PETA all along that there's a link between exploiting people and exploiting animals, and that when you exploit people in the interests of animal rights you're actually strengthening the structures that also lead to animal abuse. But comments like these just show that the problem isn't that PETA doesn't get the interconnectedness of all forms of violence, as they're perfectly willing to make arguments like this. The problem is that PETA knows all violence is connected -- they just don't care about it if it happens to humans, which does absolutely nothing to help animals.
posted by The Venerable Vegan Empress @ 8:15 PM  
  • At February 17, 2010 at 10:23 AM, Blogger Necmiye said…

    Where do you start with that quote, which is the epitome of hypocrisy? Maybe here, throwing it back at PETA: "You'd think that PETA's staffers, who are self proclaimed feminists (gag), would have opened their hearts to the suffering of WOMEN--like the WOMEN who are beaten, sexualized, trafficked, and raped to uphold a male power structure. Girls, it doesn't matter what kind of eyes you have--limpid, bulging, or otherwise--use them to see the continuation of women's subjugation that your organization causes!!!!"

  • At February 17, 2010 at 7:35 PM, Blogger diana said…

    I've always been on the fence about how I feel about PETA, because on the one hand they are over-the-top and spread a lot of misinformation, but on the other hand they aren't afraid to put themselves out there and do crazy things to get noticed and raise awareness about a lot of things that I wouldn't otherwise know were going on. However, coming across your blog has made me reconsider my position on that. You have a lot of very interesting points that I hadn't considered before about the way they portray women. I had a coworker last week tell me how Alicia Silverstone was on tv talking about how being vegetarian made her skin clearer and lost so much weight. I rolled my eyes and told him that if anyone became vegetarian for those purposes alone, they'd revert right back! I like PETA's overall animal rights values, but lying/tricking people into your beliefs and objectifying women definitely isn't the way to go about it!

  • At February 19, 2010 at 6:26 AM, Blogger The Venerable Vegan Empress said…

    Necmiye, that is BRILLIANT! If only PETA didn't moderate their blog so strictly I'd say you should post it there! Okay, not like I should talk -- I toss comments I don't like into the garbage without a second thought, but hey, I don't have time for it. What's PETA's excuse? Oh yeah, they can't argue with awesome comebacks like yours, that's their excuse.

    And welcome, Diana! I'm super happy that my little blog has made a difference for you! And yeah,that's the eternal problem with PETA -- obviously as vegans we all support their (ostensible) goals, but how well do they actually accomplish those goals? And what harm do they cause along the way? I know soooo many people who've gone vegetarian or vegan after seeing Meet Your Meat, but I don't know a single person who's been swayed by the State of the Union Undress or Alicia Silverstone swimming laps. The whole organization has morphed into this really narcissistic enterprise that seems more about attention than animals at this point. I'd love to see them reverse course, but that's looking less and less likely, unfortunately.

  • At February 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM, Blogger redvelvetfemme said…

    i couldn't agree with you more. one thing i hate about much of the animal right/vegan movement is this sort of blind acceptance of PETA. people figure if they help raise awareness, what's the problem? as you've pointed out, there are MANY problems. we can raise awareness without invoking racism, sexism, homophobia, and other hideous -isms that affect people's daily lives and experiences. for PETA to do so is not only unethical, but just plain lazy.

    i love your blog so much! please keep 'em coming! xo

  • At August 22, 2010 at 7:43 AM, Blogger Amy said…

    Hey, I love your blog! Just one question:

    "If it weren't so awful, I'd be amused at the fact that domestic violence and women's rights activists have been trying to tell PETA all along that there's a link between exploiting people and exploiting animals, and that when you exploit people in the interests of animal rights you're actually strengthening the structures that also lead to animal abuse."

    Do you have a source for an article on this? I don't dispute it; in fact, I think it's 100% right. I would just love to have an article I can point to that has all the statistics, etc., laid out in an easy-to-understand manner, so that I can refer others to it.

    Any info would be really greatly appreciated!! Keep up the awesome blog.

  • At August 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM, Blogger The Venerable Vegan Empress said…

    Hi Amy, unfortunately there's really no one article I know of that lays it all out, simply because there are so many human rights issues and so many animal rights issues. The book Animal Rights/Human Rights is a good starting point. I haven't read the book Animal Factory, but it seems to lay out a similar though less philosophical and perhaps more utilitarian argument. I'm also just beginning the book Brutal by Brian Luke, which uncovers the ways in which traditional notions of masculinity encourage and lead to animal exploitation.

    Otherwise, you can also see that jobs that involve mass killing of animals are among the worst in the world -- Mother Jones has a comprehensive article on the work conditions in slaughterhouses, and in Minnesota two years ago pork factory workers developed severely disabling autoimmune disorders from, basically, an "aerosol mist of pig brains" at the plant.

    Also, if you have access to a university library or computer, you can look at this article that draws the lines between human and animal oppression.

    (continued in next comment)

  • At August 24, 2010 at 2:39 PM, Blogger The Venerable Vegan Empress said…

    If you Google terms like +animals +humans +oppression, or +animals +humans +interlinked (or interconnected) or "dietary racism" (referring to how common lactose intolerance is among people of color yet dairy products are pushed on everyone, particularly children in schools) you'll probably find some good sources. It's also worth noting that this philosophy is generally accepted in most cultures, as we can see in Chief Seattle's quote about the web of life, and despite the vastness and difference among traditional African religions, one thing most have in common is respect for nature and the planet. The intertwined knots of the Celtic Knot often include interconnected people and animals who depend on each other in their lives, and the whole circle of life idea is and was central to all these religions. I think it's kind of common sense, really -- if you destroy the environment and animals, where would people be? But of course, the people causing such destruction are sufficiently insulated right now through their privilege. Poor people and indigenous people suffer first and most from environmental degradation, and South American tribes are at ENORMOUS risk from the destruction of the rainforests (Google "environmental issues poverty," without quotes).

    And, it may seem tangential to animal rights, but it shouldn't be: The issue of water around the world is HUGE. We've polluted and consumed so much water that there is, literally, a water crisis around the world, and as always it affects poor people first -- and women, as it turns out. Of course, animals need this water, too, and as we destroy their habitats to create goods that are made of their flesh and skin, we take away their habitat and their access to safe water. After all, we have the same fundamental biological needs as most animals, so destroying what keeps them alive will destroy what keeps us alive, and poisoning them will poison us. Google "water poverty" without quotes for more info.

    I guess what I'm saying is this is a huge issue, one that can never be truly described in a single article. It's really the story of our planet, and it's a part of everything we do, every day. I wish I had a quick, easy answer or chart for you. Maybe you should start with one very specific animal rights and/or human rights issue that most interests you and find the way those two issues are interconnected.

  • At August 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM, Blogger The Venerable Vegan Empress said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.


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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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