PETA created a funny and clever PSA for a vegan Thanksgiving, and you should watch it, but not without a watchful eye on their other activities.
The Julia Child stand-in really makes the video work. A swear-happy sweet older woman calling animal eaters “weak-ass motherfuckers” is bound to get some vegan converts. And the obscene yet gentle take on poultry factory farming actually resonates, especially when she characterizes bird lives as “totally fucked.”
But of course, PETA’s gore tactics are never far out of reach. The link in the video’s comments to meat.org leads you to a horrific video (for some reason starring Paul McCartney). Even with a genuinely funny bit, PETA can’t get out of their own way.
Known for wild ploys to draw attention to animal rights, the organization has never been one for sensible acts. While their cause is valid, their tactics are often tasteless or too extreme. For one, they have no problem degrading humans through their work. In addition to suggesting that drug tests be conducted on humans, they have compared abuse to killing fish for food, juxtaposed concentration camps with animal farming, created a “Got Autism” ad (a-la “Got Milk) to publicize an unfounded link between dairy and the disease, and likened the killing spree of Jeffrey Dahmer to the meat industry.
Their “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ads have featured the esteemed likes of Chad Ochocinco and the Kardashians. They also launched a porn site to draw unsuspecting horn dogs and made this ad—which was banned and bears resemblance to Hardee’s gross, misogynistic commercials. Also, they kill hundreds of dogs and cats each year (and argue this is the most ethical treatment for those animals).
So good job on this one, PETA, but maybe rethink some of your strategy. Extremism may draw attention, but it will regularly struggle to change minds.
You can also watch the uncensored version of PETA’s PSA here.