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PETA Save the Whales Ad: On Target or Over the Line?

The animal rights group PETA has never been known for employing subtle tactics, but they are known for showing some skin.

Their recently unveiled ad, a billboard in Jacksonville, FL, shows some flesh — that of an obese woman in a bikini and they compare her to a whale. Needless to say, people are outraged by fat shaming tactics being used to promote vegetarianism. PETA stands by their ad and here are excepts from their press release:

A new PETA billboard . . . reminds people who are struggling to lose weight — and who want to have enough energy to chase a beach ball -- that going vegetarian can be an effective way to shed those extra pounds that keep them from looking good in a bikini. The ad shows a woman whose "blubber" is spilling over the sides of her swimsuit bottom . . .

Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach.

What do you think of their tactics?


Join The Conversation
ali321 ali321 7 years
And on another note I've noticed that some people are complaining that people are getting angry as opposed to focusing on the animal rights issue. But that's what happens when you insult people. They tend to get mad and go off. If the point of the add is to really save the whales then they should just say that. I get that that's easy for people to ignore, because it's been said and done. That's where creativity comes in. Come up with something better than making people angry and actually focus on the issue at hand. I'm probably going on more than I should, but I can't stand that PETA gives animals rights a bad image.
ali321 ali321 7 years
I agree with treating animals humanely and I agree that all of the hormones they pump into them are probably a bad idea. But I still don't think that eating meat in itself is wrong. Eating meat is natural. Animals do it all of the time. I was a vegetarian once and I have no desire to go back. Puting up a billboard insulting people is not going to convince me to be one again. It's just rude and in my opinion it turns people off. Educate people. Give them facts. Give them ways to change things. I don't see how making enemies is going to do anything for their cause. I can't believe I used to support them. I was young and didn't know any better.
biarose biarose 7 years
While I don't think the ad is a big deal, I don't think it would be very affective because people would just feel offended!
BeccaU BeccaU 7 years
I live in Jacksonville and just passed the sign today. They've removed it, and replaced it with a sign that says "Gone", then something like (and I'm paraphrasing) Just like the pounds would be with a vegetarian diet. Cracks me up.
wowitsjessicka wowitsjessicka 7 years
I disagree with the billboard and the message that vegetarianism = weight loss although adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet can help. PETA should just focus on what their campaign is meant to do - and their even terrible at that. Now, addressing obesity is another issue entirely. I don't think that we should continue NOT seeing obesity as a problem in this country - it leads to diabetes, heart disease etc... and people just ignore it and go on with their lives. Kudos on NOT shutting their eyes to the situation but the way they went about it was wrong - and they should leave it up to the professionals to post billboards about health, not extremists.
reesiecup reesiecup 7 years
obesity is an issue. however, offending people is not the way to promote healthy eating or vegetarianism. veggies dishes can be fattening too, depending on how they are prepared.
nutrihuney nutrihuney 7 years
being vegetarian does not always equal slim and healthy. i have known plenty of folks who shun meat but who are overweight, don't eat a balanced diet and shun exercise.
briannaNicole briannaNicole 7 years
I wish they'd stop getting so much attention for being ridiculous.
expresso14 expresso14 7 years
As far as add campaigns go, I don't think it's too effective in linking meat-eating to obesity, and like many of the posters, I know a couple overweight and even obese vegetarians and vegans. Yes, I agree that we seem to have a weight problem in the US, and more people are becoming overweight or obese (people watch for a few minutes at a local mall). As far as meat consumption goes, getting everyone to become a vegetarian will not happen. A far more sensible alternative is the movement by Micheal Pollan and other groups promoting less meat consumption (either small amounts or having more meat-less days) and buying meat from local sources, that are fed less hormones and antibiotics, and free-range when possible.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I don't see why people are mad at Fit Sugar over this. She was just trying to get a dialogue started, as that is the point of the blog. I personally think it's better to discuss a controversial topic than to act like it should be totally censored.
metallicnymph metallicnymph 7 years
PETA is annoying. They ultimately come across as way less than credible in their arguments because their tactics are so ridiculous. remember the whole george clooney flavored tofu thing? gross. things like that, and this ad are bizarre propaganda that loses focus from thier plight alltogether. no one is forgetting what PETA stands for (or maybe they are, now to some they'll be seen as the size-ist organization), why muddle that with less than relevant tactics? yeah, they get headlines, but ones without focus.
elle-dub elle-dub 7 years
I'm not a fan of PETA, but there are health benefits associated with having a BALANCED vegetarian diet. It is easy to be an overweight vegetarian if you only eat potatoes and cheese, but if done correctly can be quite beneficial to your health (i.e. generally lower risks of certain types of cancers, heart disease, and obesity). I think that instead of insulting and alienating people, PETA would be much better off if they advertised the health benefits of living the cruelty-free life. They're certainly not making any friends by putting up those kinds of billboards.
AMP AMP 7 years
I don't really think its over the line, but I will say that since becoming a vegetarian, I've actually gained weight.
gigglesss gigglesss 7 years
Haha I live in Jacksonville and actually drove by this today.. Peta is pretty outrageous when to comes to a lot of their advertisements. However, I feel this was way over board.
bleached bleached 7 years
Amen @ syako. How can PETA ever expect to be taken seriously with antics like these
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