As I was doing my street stall yesterday, I stopped to think about the alternative types of animal advocacy out there, specifically about PeTA and their sexist/misogynist charades. PeTA, and many of those who defend them, claim their activities are “attention getting” and therefore justified.
Using sexist/misogynist tactics makes a mockery of animal rights. Even if we think it is empowering to self-commodify (which is a misguided thought), animal rights is a serious issue, and serious issues require serious advocacy. We do not have the right to make a mockery of animal rights with sexist/misogynist tactics.
The thing is, if discrimination is wrong, it is wrong. There is serious inconsistency in advocating against discrimination based on species while engaging in discrimination based on sex.
And not only is it wrong, it does not work. Not only does it not get people thinking seriously about veganism, it is counterproductive because it perpetuates the idea that animal rights is a joke. We have a moral obligation to engage in the most effective form of animal advocacy which gets to the root of the problem (nonveganism), and that is creative nonviolent vegan education.
Also, it is not just about “attention getting.” It is about changing the way people think and feel about veganism. If I had self-commodified yesterday, I would have undoubtedly left people with the impression that veganism is not important enough in its own right to get their attention. And that is so wrong.
One of the problems we face today, as animal advocates, is PeTA’s having turned animal rights into a societal joke. Do you realize how sad that is? Humans exploit and kill over 1+ trillion animals per year, and animal advocates are not willing to put on some clothes and have serious conversations about this? If we are going to enact a paradigm shift, those who take animal rights seriously need to take control of this situation by having friendly, intelligent conversations with nonvegans that show them that animal rights is a serious issue that deserves their serious consideration.
Join the abolitionist vegan movement today. Get involved with TAVS Advocacy.
Sarah K. Woodcock, Founder and Executive Director
The Abolitionist Vegan Society