Warning: Graphic images and video content contains references to sexual assault.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has done something offensive to get attention. Most of us are familiar with PETA’s previous work, some of which you might remember like the notorious ‘Wool Coat’ campaign:
Not only is this a fake sheep, but it is by no means what a sheep looks like after being shorn – what you can expect are small knicks one might experience whilst shaving their face or legs. They also used a handsome bearded man to distract you from how horrible their fake sheep was. #sneakyPETA.
PETA has really outdone themselves this time though in their recent campaign that compares animals who get artificially inseminated, to rape victims. The video commences with truamatic recounts of sexual assult and it is confronting. But the final message is appalling.
Where do I begin in how wrong this is?
Aside from the fact that um, it isn’t the same thing, did no one at PETA think, “Maybe rape victims will find being compared to animals hurtful?”
no survivor of sexual assault should have to go through their trauma being compared to an animal's when we've already been dehumanized
— zoë magdaros @ ECCC (@UnburntWitch) November 3, 2016
The sad thing is, they probably did. PETA understands that being offensive and creating controversy over their campaigns will make them get noticed. However, this campaign seem unethical not only because it changes the perspective of sexual assault victims to correlate with artificially inseminating animals, but it helps no one. It seems like a mockery of rape survivors.
The video ends with this text across the screen:
Every year, billions of animals are born into the meat, egg and dairy industries. Almost all of them are a result of forcible artificial insemination. Almost all of them are a result of rape. Don’t participate, go vegan.
The internet was clearly unhappy with the video and took to Twitter to show their displeasure:
I am vegan. I am an animal activist. I am a rape survivor. This ad is atrocious. PETA needs to be put to an end.
— Brittney Bosher (@hellobrittneyb) November 3, 2016
Burn PETA to the ground https://t.co/zpkfg8M0hk
— Local Aquaman Expert (@abrissverlierer) November 4, 2016
@peta y'all have used fat folks, the holocaust and now rape victims as shitty shock-value publicity and it's abhorrent. It's disgusting.
— it’s time for gun control (@capncrybaby) November 3, 2016
If PETA geuninely cared about animal welfare in the agricultural industry, they would be funding drought relief for farmers who can’t afford to feed their animals who are slowly dying of thirst. They would be against mass production and factory farming which is owned by corporations and hurts small farmers who farm ethically.
After negative feedback from social media, PETA was quick to defend themselves. But, of course, instead of acknowledging the pain they caused, they replied with a response that was equally tone deaf to the problem:
Sexual abuse is a serious issue. Acknowledging it for animals doesn't take away from humans. https://t.co/hZXwEdJTOd
— PETA (@peta) November 3, 2016
If you want to support rape and sexual assault survivours or need online or telephone counselling, check out the the support services below: