Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

wtf seriously August 12, 2008

Filed under: vegan — Noemi M @ 2:31 pm
Tags: , ,

PETA wants to advertise vegan message on border fence

While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans today to announce an unusual marketing pitch to the U.S. government: Rent us space on the fence for billboards warning illegal border crossers there is more to fear than the Border Patrol.

The billboards, in English and Spanish, would offer the caution: “If the Border Patrol Doesn’t Get You, the Chicken and Burgers Will — Go Vegan.”

“We think that Mexicans and other immigrants should be warned if they cross into the U.S. they are putting their health at risk by leaving behind a healthier, staple diet of corn tortillas, beans, rice, fruits and vegetables,” said Lindsay Rajt, assistant manager of PETA’s vegan campaigns.

The Department of Homeland Security is working to meet a deadline to complete 670 miles of fencing and other barriers on the Southwest border by Dec. 31. The fencing operation has run into stiff opposition by landowners fighting government efforts to obtain their land through condemnation.

PETA says its billboards would picture “fit and trim” Mexicans in their own country, where their diet is more in line with the group’s mission. Another image on the sign would portray obese American children and adults “gorging on meaty, fat- and cholesterol-packed American food.”

PETA’S offer to the feds is expected to arrive in a letter to Border Patrol officials today.

But a government spokesman in Washington said the request will be rejected because it would limit visibility through the fence. And Border Patrol does not allow advertising on its property or installations, the officials added.

“The fencing being put in place is, in many cases, mesh fencing to allow our officers to see what’s happening on the other side and to better secure the border,” said Michael Friel, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

One property owner on the Texas-Mexico border laughed at PETA’s proposal.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Noel Benavides, who is contesting the construction of a fence dividing his family’s 145-acre ranch in Roma on the Rio Grande. “I can’t see the point of something like that.”

But Rajt said the rent money they’d pay would help offset the huge costs of the fencing — and the advertising message “might even be frightening enough to deter people from crossing into the U.S.”

PETA has often been criticized for its aggressive animal rights crusades. It’s used billboards to push many of its controversial positions such as “Buck Cruelty: Say NO to horse-drawn carriage rides” or “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse.”

I have no coherent thoughts on this right now.


29 Responses to “wtf seriously”

  1. johanna Says:

    WHOA. That is new levels of fucked-up-itude, even for PETA, & that’s saying something!!!!!!

  2. Royce Drake Says:

    Double-U Tea Ef. All I can say.

  3. Bah. Noemi, I too have no coherent thoughts but reading that just rubbed me the wrong way times twenty. “If border patrol doesn’t get you????” AAAAGGHHHH!

  4. meridith Says:

    It’s been a busy couple of weeks at PETA – first they create an ad in response to the man who was stabbed and decapitated on a bus and now this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fuck PeTA!

  5. mel Says:

    I generally hate internet shorthand, but “WTF” is the only suitable response I have right now.

  6. The way I read it, PETA is making a joke out of the fence, not out of AR, veganism, or Mexicans. To me, it sounds more Stephen Colbert -ish than Lou Dobbs -ish. But I guess that’s just me. I tend to interpret PETA a bit differently than many, apparently.

  7. Noemi M Says:

    Elaine-I can see how it can be taken like that (using whatever means necessary to get publicity) , but I don’t see anything about the fence being joke worthy.

  8. johanna Says:

    PETA does a great job making a joke out of themselves, actually.

    Even if they were trying to be all ironic & subversive or whatever, that’s totally not how such a sign would be read by the majority of people seeing it daily, & the majority of people hearing about it — thus not making it any different in impact from a completely serious intention.

  9. johanna Says:

    & also frankly, any cleverness to their humor would be way offset by the offensiveness of them paying money to help support the building of such a fence!

  10. mel Says:

    Elaine – I don’t see it at all as satire. PETA has proven again and again that they are Machiavellian opportunists, with only one cause fueling their mission. Was it a realistic plot? No, I don’t think they were expected to be taken up on their offer, but just making sensationalist headlines seems to suit their goals to “get people talking.”

  11. Ico Says:

    OMG. That is… wow, yeah. Really no words for this.

  12. vicky la vegan Says:

    all i can say is O___O

  13. Megan Says:

    PETA’S intentions aside, it still comes off as completely tasteless and offensive. Boo to them for not taking five minutes to think about this.

  14. Ginny Says:

    Let’s look at the “kicker” … that last line … of this article. What is controversial about the Pink billboard that said “BUCK cruelty: Say No to Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides!” What’s wrong with that? Anyone who knows the way that NYC carriage horses are mistreated would support a ban 100%, just as PETA, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, Friends of Animals, the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages already do. The industry is inherently inhumane.

    Actually, I don’t see the source of this “news” article…if it is a wire service, the attribution has been stripped. I am curious as to why the Pink billboard is described as “controversial.” Animal abuse is never entertaining.

  15. It’s official. Somewhere down there in Norfolk, they must actually sit around thinking, “what’s the most absurdly offensive thing we could do?”

    And at first, the strategy seems too simplistic: Anything that draws attention to the message is good. Anything that gets people talking, engages emotions, is good. Controversy leads to conversation leads to change.

    But, of course it’s not that simple and, all too often, it backfires, leaving other animal advocates to deal with with the perception of a movement that is dangerously disengaged with other struggles. The lack of accountability angers me.

    But the people down there are not simple. Nor thoughtlessly racist. My friends who work there include a woman of color who used to be a women’s studies teacher stressing the intersection of oppressions and a man who’s gone to jail for doing things like protesting border fences. I’ll try to find out what was the thinking behind this.

    Not that it matters. The rest of us are still left to pick up the pieces.

  16. meridith Says:

    I have often wondered how staff not directly involved in campaigns feel about some of PETAs tactics. But for those of us not in veg-friendly places, people think vegan = PETA = sensationalist and out of touch. For those that are okay with this recent stunt, how exactly am I supposed to defend this action to others? Better yet, why should I spend my time defending an organization’s actions when I could use that time to talk about veganism and animal rights with others from my own perspective?

  17. Meep Says:

    So then why do they do things that are racist? Are the people there who are anti-racist powerless or too scared to speak up? There’s got to be some responsibility.

  18. I’m trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, but it won’t budge…

  19. Royce Drake Says:

    Found the actual images of the signs:

  20. Noemi Says:

    wtf-it’s already up? or that a sample?

    si no te agara la migra, thats just so fucked up man.
    and did you see the comments!!!

  21. Meep Says:

    wow… now that I see the images, I feel kind of like someone stole my culture a bit.

  22. Noemi M Says:

    the thing is, I just can’t roll my eyes at this like alot of the shit that PETA has pulled. This is seriously seriously fucked up. I don’t give a fuck if it’s considered satire. When was it okay to make fun of people risking their lives crossing the border? If the migra doesn’t get you, like if it’s a joke???

  23. […] Via Noemi @ Vegans of Color, PETA’s latest publicity stunt: pro-vegan ads on, of all places, the US-Mexico border fence: While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity. […]

  24. […] Discussion: Vegans of Color – WTF, Seriously. In the comments, Noemi provides a link to the PETA blog and advises people to look at what is […]

  25. […] articulate discussion of this event to be found at Racialicious and Vegans of Colour. « […]

  26. And note this statement at the end of PETA’s blog announcement:

    “PETA’s placement of these colorful ads would certainly offset some of the tax dollars that fund the fence. It’s a winning solution for the folks at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, immigrants, and farmed animals alike.”

    So it seems like they’re attempting some sort of satire, but, um, giving the US government more money to offset the cost of border walls is, um, A BIT misdirected. What’s next–“Colorful ads” on Guantanamo?

  27. […] good thing that came from this dumbass ad was me finding the blog Vegans of Color.  😀  Well, until Elaine showed up, that is: The way I read it, PETA is making a joke out of the fence, not out of AR, veganism, or […]

  28. […] Via Noemi @ Vegans of Color, PETA’s latest publicity stunt: pro-vegan ads on, of all places, the US-Mexico border fence: While many view the contentious border fence as a government fiasco, an animal rights group sees a rare opportunity. […]

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