The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Womens’ bodies are whale like

Posted by Cate on August 18, 2009

I was angered on Friday to receive a copy of PETA’s latest marketing campaign to turn meat eaters over to all things vegetarian…. petasavethewhales

Yes apparently womens’ bikinied bodies that don’t fit some lithe physique that’s unattainable to many are ‘whale’ like and contain ‘blubber.

Further, their press release states,

“Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA has a free ‘Vegetarian Starter Kit’ for people who want to lose pounds while eating as much as they like.

I was vegetarian myself for 10 years during which I certainly was not able to lose pounds eating whatever I  liked. And haven’t PETA made women feel inadequate enough about their bodies with their advertisements of naked vegetarian female celebrities, usually draped with fruit or baby animals?

PETA also fail to consider the reality that many women are curvy or ‘overweight’ despite a vegetarian diet? You can eat a lot of vegan Oreos or ice cream in one sitting. They also seem keen to simply ‘guilt’ women into restricting what they eat, for weight loss instead of ethical reasons. Certainly one step towards an eating disorder for those with any propensities for such things. It reminds me of when I was at school and the participants in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine were overwhelming young girls.


20 Responses to “Womens’ bodies are whale like”

  1. regisfilia said

    PETA doesn’t seem to think before they release many of their advertisements… *shakes head* That poster is silly. And yes I know quite a few overweight Vegetarians and Vegans. I still love them. 🙂

  2. rayna said

    Yeah playing on insecurities of body image perceptions is NOT cool. Nor is it very clever. Boo PETA!

  3. Penelope said

    Vegetarianism is a common outlet for adolescent eating disorders – it gives you the perfect excuse to be neurotic and obsessive about what you eat while getting lots of pats on the head for your moral superiority.

    I was vegetarian for 12 years and was certainly never skinny because of it! In fact, the tendency of a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet to be high in fat (especially the vegetarian options in restaurants) leads to a high incidence of gallstones in vegetarians.

  4. Stu Burns said

    Um… if you can eat as much as you like and be skinny by simply “going vegetarian”, I would suggest your diet has greater problems than containing meat products.

  5. Mel Campbell said

    The thing that bothers me most about PETA is that they treat women like meat in order to highlight that animals are worth more than just meat – yet it’s easy to take away the opposite message, that women are only bodies to be consumed.

    I suppose that, like regular carnivores, PETA would rather consume ‘lean meat’.

  6. Nikki said

    Obviously these people are a bunch of uniformed extremists who their best to capitalise on popular culture for there cause.

    I have been brought up a vegetarian from birth for health reasons and come from a vegetarian family, I am their proof that vegetarians are slim I suppose because I am a size 7 and 50 kilos. But most people I knew who switched to vegetarianism in my teens stayed chubby if they were already so because of the hot chips and chocolate substitution for bacon and charcoal chicken.

    What really gets up my goat is that I went to their website and downloaded the pdf mentioned in their press release and guess what! In their guide to becoming vegan/vegetarian (they seem to be confused about the difference) Page 15 states “simply VEG UP your favourite recipes by replacing the meat…. try having spaghetti with MARINARA sauce instead meatballs” Yeah PETA I didn’t know those kind of scallops were made from potato!

    Perhaps their next genius campaign will be to entice Japanese whaling vessels to the beach (I don’t actually know if the Jacksonville where the campaign is from is land locked) or pool. Instead of cruelty those Japs would be performing an act of charity dismantling those beluga heffers before they reach Venice beach and god forbid they get greased up with palm butter and slip in naked to one of their advertising campaigns hiding a rubanesque figure behind a Wagu calf.

  7. Bruce said

    In the US a marinara sauce is the basic tomato reduction that we more commonly call napoli here in Australia.

    PETA will lash out at anyone or anything if it suits them. They can’t even recognise friend or foe any more and have taken their ideology so far down the rabbit hole many of their potential supporters can’t get behind their tactics. This is just another example of that.

  8. […] and Racist and Fatphobic and Ableist and….(A Pictorial Essay) After reading this post at The Dawn Chorus, I felt compelled as a committed vegan, feminist and smokin’ hot fatty to […]

  9. tina sparkle said

    despite what many would have us believe, there is no scientific link between vegatarianism or veganism and thinness.

    thankyou, PETA for reminding us of Thin People’s moral duty to Save the Fat People.

    on this issue PETA, like a cow’s arse, is full of bullshit.

  10. katie said

    honestly, gain some perspective.

    what is more offensive, that ad or the animals that die and the damage caused to the environment by a meat-eating diet?

    • caitlinate said

      The repeated sexism & racism shown by PETA (and the able-ism shown here) are incredibly offensive and this is not a one off thing (if you follow the link posted above your comment you’ll see what I mean). There is no scale of offense between the two things you mention. Of course the damage to the environment and the experiences of animals that are slaughtered in horrific ways are important and deserving of attention. The question is why does PETA feel the need to degrade women to get this message across? Expressing that this ad is really wrong and awful doesn’t say that veganism is terrible or bad or that what PETA would like to achieve is wrong. You’re confusing criticism of the medium with criticism of the message.

      • totalrevenge said

        i never said that i thought the ad was right or effective. but i also hope people don’t take the easy way out by ignoring the message because they have found the way it was delivered offensive.

  11. redmegaera said


    It’s hardly a zero-sum game. There are plenty of ways of promoting animal rights without compromising women’s in the process.

  12. ellymc said

    What rot, it is not ok to publicise a good cause by vilifying women.

    This reminds me of a horrible incident at a school camp when I was 17 and was overheard by a charming young man requesting my vegetarian meal, the charming creature quipped back “you’re not skinny enough to be a vegetarian.”

  13. Janice said

    I’m not sure why PETA has never made the connection between animal rights and women’s rights – there’s a lot to be said for them both stemming from the same drive to control nature. I guess this is just what happens when NFPs become enterprises in themselves.

  14. Jon said

    Offending your target audience is a strange tactic indeed. I’d call it a stunt at most. Perhaps if there was a PETP, they’d be all over this!?

  15. Valerie said

    I’ve seen fat vegetarians. Not only are these people inconsiderate. They’re full of crap.

  16. […] Like many Australians, I am overweight. Obese actually.That said, I don’t believe that veganisms is the path to all things thin (you can read my take on PETA’s “Lose the Blubber, Go Vegetarian” here). […]

  17. Ms .45 said

    “I’m not sure why PETA has never made the connection between animal rights and women’s rights”

    Whereas I’m not sure why people don’t make the connection between vegetarianism and women’s oppression. I have heard that 70% of vegetarians are women. How is this NOT a continuation of the expectation that women should deprive themselves in order to be “feminine” and fulfil their self-sacrificing role? Instead of the burnt-chop syndrome, it’s the no-chop syndrome.

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