The upper half of this PeTA advertisement (Kimberly Hefner less the dildo) originally read "to go vegetarian" appeared as a cut-out poster in "Stars & Stripes," the most widely circulated newspaper on military bases around the world. PeTA hopes to turn the men killing the people in Afghanistan, and around the world, into vegetarians.

Kick the T&A out of PeTA!
Boycott Misogynist Organizations

Thanks to Carol Adams, Evelyn Craft, Doug Levy, Steve Schadt, Judith Reisman. Michael Bluejay and Linnea Smith. Please freely distribute this article and the PETA graphic to lists and individuals when appropriate, including the url for this website.

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What happened to that fun-loving bunch of feminists who ran PeTA in the 80s? I loved the organization then. Now, it is an embarassment to animal rights and to female animal rights activists, particularly. PeTA seems much more intent on sexualizing women than on stopping the meat, animal research, or fur industries. What happened to your politics? I miss them...

Vegetarianism forever,

PeTA, for years I have tabled for you, leafleted, protested, chanted, have supported you, encouraged everyone I meet to support you, donated my money, sweat, time and energy since at least 1987. I have this to say to you now, PeTA: Your ad campaigns are atrocious, in that they objectify and exploit womynkind. Lacking compassion for female humans, you are selling out womynkind so you can make lots of money (Just like the pornography industry does). So what if it's "for the animals"?? Exploitation=exploitation.

If you're not part of the SOLUTION, you're part of the problem. PETA, you are part of the problem.

Let it be known: I am a VEGAN, animal rights activist WHO NO LONGER SUPPORTS you, PETA. Not one penny of my money goes to PETA until they learn and practice compassion for ALL beings.
For Animal Liberation, --J

This ad will be lost on a shell shocked public??? Shame on you. It violates women, uses pornographic images of women's bodies to make a political point without any notion that what you have done to women is the same objectification of animals you so vehemently oppose. You've done the right thing for the wrong reasons. It never ceases to amaze me how often the most intelligent and politically sensitive organizations/minds are blind when it comes to gender oppression. --Nora L. Jamieson
It just amazes me that an organization so hell-bent on drawing attention to the compassion deficit involved in enjoying the circus - can't also understand that this same lack of compassion is exactly what fuels and finances the acceptibility of the mass abuse of women and children in the porn industry. A pox on PeTA! ---Jamye Gleaves,
I've known PeTA was on collision course with patriarchy for some time, since they started advertising in Playboy and using slogans like "Fur trim: unattractive." I used to be *very* pro-PeTA, but their poor taste and malicious disregard subordinates all other concerns to animal rights-- even children's and womyn's rights. Does PeTA *really* think that the boys reading Playboy give a *damn* about animal rights? They'd just as soon kill a deer as fuck a wommon. It's almost enough to make one want to abandon the cause altogether! Is *that* what you're hoping for, PeTA?

Get with the program, kids! Animal liberation cannot be bought with women's bodies-- and it certainly won't be bought by appealing only (or chiefly) to men.

P.S. In case they are truly as uneducated as they are coming off these days, the kids at PeTA-- Ingrid Newkirk-- might try reading The Sexual Politics of Meat. (My thanks also go to Carol Adams) --Yoshi M. Bird, November 27, 2001

ACLU, Bless your heart. You do good work.
Thanks,--TJ Lambert

I HATE peta! I used to be a member until they started objectifying women to promote their cause. I canceled my membership with a letter explaining why and received a letter back from PeTA defending their tactics and accusing me of turning my back on animals.--Love, Beth
This is what happens when people revert to single issues like animal rights (among others like class, race, gender, soccer, whatever) instead of seeing the problem as systematic and interconnected. Otherwise injustice just reforms itself in other areas, it's the problem of an authoritarian society, not only a problem of meat or gender.
Por La humanidad Libre! For Anarchy!
A VegAnarchist

First, not only has PeTA used a sexist ad compaign, but several years ago I worked in an office building which got picketed every year because another tenant had fur concerns. They would crowd the street entrance wearing face masks and crowd, scream at and menace the low-wage female clerical staff which used the street entrance since we took the bus. The stockholders entered through a garage by limo which they did not have access to. So, these little revolutionaries chased a coworker down the street. She was wearing a leopard print blouse, polyester.

Second, they put a banner over a freeway overpass which fell into rush hour traffic. No human was killed, despite their lack of common sense. [Editor's note: We would support this particular tactic, but not done so haphazardly.]

Third, middle-class american children have been diagnosed with malnutrition and even died on vegan and macrobiotic diets.

PeTA who shames women for wearing fur (I own a fake fur) doesn't mention that human breast milk is high in fat and cholesterol, fat and cholesterol is what we grow on and is harmless in moderate and organic amounts, but soy substitutes lack both.

Now I have read The Politics of Meat, but everyone who has should read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It is about indigenous food traditions, Indians were not vegetarians, but they respected their environment and did not rape it. Do the indigenous people of the world need PeTA telling them how to live?

Well, here's the thing. PeTA is the ONLY animal rights organization people know about in the mainstream. Unless you are an animal activist, you've never heard of In Defense of Animals or other great organizations. PETA is the one people know.

And here's the problem. They got the world's attention via sexual images of women. It's the old "Sex Sells" marketing standard. That's what shocks and holds people long enough to read the associated message.

It's kind of like selling your soul for fame, or like selling your sister to save your mother. There has to be another way.

Let's be creative. Let's be original! Look at all the great ad campaigns out there -- for the New Beetle, The Gap, etc. -- it can be done! Come on, PETA! You can do it!!

i know alot women will apppreciate your critism of peta.......thank u!

The in-your-face ad campaigns that PeTA puts out are pretty effective at getting people's attention, but they do little to further the cause of animal rights because people have stopped taking them seriously.

Although I support the right of the porn industry to exist, I am sad that a group working for equality of all creatures is publicly supporting an industry that makes billions of dollars from the expolitation and objectification of women - an exploitation which, in part, is preventing women from achieving real equality with men.

Oppression of women and oppression of animals are connected in our culture where exploitation of people and resources is an accepted way of making money to perpetuate an unsustainable form of existence for a small portion of the world's population.

Oppression is inherent in our capitalist system and groups who are horrified by injustice should take a long hard look at the root causes of injustice and oppression, rather than !! buying into corporate objectification of women and relying on shock tactics which do nothing but alienate the public from the real issue at hand.

PeTA is free to do whatever they want, but all groups should take a look not only at their level of effectiveness but also how their political stance is connected to the broader political, social, and economic realities that exist today. --concerned student

[If you wrote this post please note that you had asked to be subscribed to our updates list and didn't give us your email address.]

PeTA is making me completely sick. Exploiting women like that is just inexcusable. It's sick, and it's wrong. I saw their "Lettuce Ladies" campaign on their site and it just about turned my stomach. Using women as meat is right. Blargh. Disgusting. :( I'd really love to do some activism work against PETA's exploitation of women. It makes me really sick. :( --Helen Caddes
You can't end oppression of anyone, be it woman or turtle, by exploiting others. I never understand how animal rights organizations can't SEE the connections between oppressions. They are all linked. Where is the logic in buying vegan shoes that were made in sweatshops? Aren't humans animals? PeTA should be working to end oppression everywhere, not using women as tools to free "other" animals. What the fuck? --Elona Horner Holdhusen
Anyone know how much of PeTA's funding is coming from Playboy Magazine or the pornography industry? --Nikki Craft
Not only has PeTA fallen into the patriotic bullshit campaign trap, but they've actually made a violent commercial in which a woman is shown being clubbed to death and her fur coat stolen. Granted, Peta has decided not to air the commercial -- but not because they realized the offensiveness of using violence against women in a commercial, but because of the events of Sept. 11. (Of course, you can still see the commercial in their entirety on their website, just not on TV).
This org gets further away from their purported cause every day!
Sadly enough, I am not suprised by the approach. Although I am not a personal supporter of the millitary, I am currious why the site only mentions the Lettuce Ladies. Either PeTA does not realize or does not care that women are also serving in the US Millitary.

The Hefner poster in millitary newspapers is also offensive because again, women service members who might be contemplating vegetarianism could very well pick up the paper and decide they are being reduced to sex objects. Granted, this would not be the first time in military culture that women have been reduced to sex objects to "inspire" the soliders, but geez it's the 21st Century. Even the millitary itself is at least making public noise about how sexual harrassment and assault will not be encouraged or tolerated (BTW: anybody know if that is actually working?)

I was hoping that a "progressive group" would not have intentionally gone out of its way to promote something so reactionary and exclusionary, but PeTA really showed it's "true" spirt with this little fiasco.

That commercial is sickening. I don't recommend watching it, but you can send them your thoughts.

Women have enough war on the streets as it is, and now they have found an area where they think it is justified. Besides, fake furs, these days, look real.

It is women who are the vegans and the vegetarians, not men, and to see a man beat a woman because she's wearing a fur is laughable, as if men as a whole truly care about animal rights! "A hunting we will go. A hunting we will go. Hi-Ho, a merry-o..." or whatever the hell it is!

Their organization has risen from the care and work of women, so I shot them an email and will follow up with a snail mail.

It's a disgrace..... I thought PeTA was supposed to serve a good purpose? Now it's just a haven for porno...what the hell's wrong with our society...--nkm
Ugh, I'm so disgusted with all of this (the commercial, the fucking lettuce ladies, the cozying up with pornography, etc. So, I tried to write to them, but couldn't find anywhere on above link to give comments/send an email. Could you give me more direction once I get to that website? Thanks!
Hats off to Nikki Craft's ACLU for creating a web site to address PeTA's misogyny! It's about time we had a forum to document, and speak out against, their sexual exploitation of women.

It was 1994 when I first found out about what PeTA was doing. I was working with WHISPER at the time, one of the first anti-prostitution agencies in this country founded by survivors of the sex industry. Well, these women took one look at PeTA's "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" advertisements and, for them, it was like being turned out by a pimp all over again. They created a flyer with a big BOYCOTT PeTA letterhead on it, put the PeTA ad next with a big slash through it, and underneath it they wrote We won't BARE our ass to save their SKIN! While the flyer was criticized by a few who most likely never had to sell their own ass, it was very well received within the communities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where it was handed out.

Given the fact that PeTA has gone on to present even more extreme acts of violence against women -a dead woman laying naked on a table, and a woman being murdered on the street--and the fact that PeTA's relationship with the sex industry has grown to the point where they are actually creating their own centerfolds I'd say it is well past the time when PeTA can be seriously be defended by anyone within the justice movement. PeTA has become an embarrassment, a joke, and a threat to all of our interests.

WHISPER demanded an apology from PeTA, as well as a commitment to refrain from sexually exploiting anyone to get their message across. That challenge still stands, and until PeTA takes responsibility for their actions, let us take our efforts elsewhere. There are numerous organizations working on behalf of animals that could use our help. PeTA could have been a leader of this movement. Instead they have become the loser. How sad for everyone.

Patricia Barrera, MA
Director of Community Education
The Lola Greene Baldwin Foundation
Portland, Oregon, USA

Perhaps we could start a counter group called PeTAA (Please Eradicate Tits and Arse Advertising).

So amazing about PeTA's lack of political intelligence is the fact that they continue to pretend an interest in animal rights, even while supporting a sex industry that murders animals for their skins in S/M, that encourages males of many species to rape females of many species, and that promotes the destruction of ALL life on earth by making men's sadism against oppressed beings profitable.

No PeTA, pleather does not make white and male supremacy the new avant-garde of wimmin's liberation. Particularly not when your leading wimmin's fashion statement is cutting the arse end out of jeans. Nice one. You really look like sad fatherfuckers trying to use porn in 2001 to sell your politics just because it appeals to anarcha-chic, and you're all hitting a middle class/mid-life crisis. Get clued into the fact that there's a new wave of feminism rising that turns onto flame-throwing pimps and pornographers, not suckkking them off (figuratively speaking, of course).

If it weren't for the fact that I'm a radicalesbian feminist vegan, I'd be writing this email because I'm so fucking BORED with baby boomers trying to make porn look like radical politics. We're not buying it.

I look forward to the uprising of real radical feminist groups for animal rights after the fallout from PeTA's pathetic attempts to say 'we're animal rights activists, but men want to fuck us too'. Oooooh, SO radical, SO liberating.

Jennifer Rice

The "woman with fur coat" thing actually has a very interesting and complex psychology behind it. I personally have found that women feel protected by the fur, and somewhat empowered because they seem rich or at least to have a rich husband. It gives them a sense of being less vulnerable because the fur signifies a kind of "mantle of authority" that symbolizes the protection of a powerful/rich Male. In the 50's and 60's when women were economically and politically relatively powerless, it was the dream of poor women to have a fur coat. That was the ultimate status of being loved and protected.

The sense of power probably comes from being in the position usually reserved for the Male, the one that kills the animal for his own use. It's a male thing to be so dominant over animals. At the same time, I think women who wear fur look somewhat animal-like. The Male kills the animal and then gives it to his female to keep her warm because she is his. She has a somewhat similar position to the animal that has been killed.

Yep. In Venus In Furs, Sacher-Masoch himself considered the fur a fetish object, which the woman of his hero's fantasies should wear to embody the power of "brute, uncaring nature," "animal force," etc blah etc blah. Of course, the coat, being something that could be removed at (man's) will (he commanded the woman to wear the fur, of course), is false power. Just as the man commanded the woman to pretend that she commanded his actions, it was only role-playing, and finished at his say-so, not hers.
Maybe they could change their name to PETER - in honor of what they're thinking with. --maxanne
They state that they do not take a stand on defending women's right to choose, which in itself is bad enough. Recently, they had a campaign to recruit pro-lifes into their ranks. the motto was: "Pro-life? Go veg!", with a picture of chicks (baby chickens) and egg shells. Imagine if they were recruiting from other hate groups, what would the reaction be?

A high-ranking PeTA spokesman (forgot his name) was on the Art Bell show, and to millions of listeners stated that he was pro-life, and that being pro-life was consistent with PeTA's philosophy of non-cruelty. I called him and asked him whether he thought that forcing women to stay pregnant wasn't cruel. He said no.

I haven't heard anything about PeTA supporting single mothers, or restoring welfare, either. So it's a very juvenile conception of sex they have, ignoring women's reality of what can happen. They are also against birth control pills made from estrogen derived from animals. I'll bet they would be against developing new forms of birth control, since they involve animal experimentation...

So it's a very detached, porn view of sex, one without responsibilities to humans or helping women with real-life consequences.--Diana S.

My US Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention resarch, "Images of Children, Crime & Violence in Playboy, Penthouse and Huster" documented all three magazines as child pornographers--in photos, illustrations, cartoons and text, not casual or random crimes against children (all under 18 years of age). Of course, promoting bestiality has long been part of their MO SO PeTA is certainly advertising to a proper population. When Playboy sued --in Amsterdam -- challenging the fact that their magazine published child pornography and promoted incest, they lost. --Judith Reisman, Ph.D.
PeTA's New Campaign sickens me, but I am also sickened with one of the comments here....that men do not care about animals. I am extremely involved in animal rights, make every effort possible to help my fellow living things and the earth, and am a strict vegan. In Solidarity, No Compromise --Alex
More and more, PETA is turning to female nudity and objectification to get its message across. The problem is that the message at the forefront has nothing to do with animal cruelty; it has to do with the perpetuation of using women's bodies as chattel.

They are turning away many of their most ardent supporters, as many, many feminists are also vegetarians and vegans, not to mention animal lovers and protectors.

Their continuing campaign to save animals yet keep women at the status level of meat is backfiring. --Tina Coggins, Publisher, Expository Magazine

PeTA hate people who wear furs, but what they really hate is women who wear furs: the juxtaposition of cruelty and "glamour" plugs right into a misogynist stereotype (Cruella de Ville, anyone?) that they don't seem to be able to get enough of.

The women in these ads are being punished for not being tree-hugging earth-mothers, barefoot and pregnant and daubed with woad. They're on the wrong side of the nurturing-goddess / uppity-bitch divide, and as far as the folks at PeTA who buy into this dichotomy are concerned no doubt they're getting no better than they deserve. Harassed? Beaten? Turned into pornography? Your fault for failing to appease the PeTA gender cops.

I don't see any images of fur-clad male bear-trappers being clubbed for their coats. Something about that would no doubt offend the sensibilities of your average Playboy reader - after all, hunting and porn have always had a certain affinity. By targeting the female consumer of furs, and attacking her for her supposed lack of the appropriate feminine virtues - modesty, gentleness, love of small furry animals - PeTA show that they are more interested in policing women's behaviour than in challenging the commercial imperatives of those industries that profit from the unethical treatment of animals. It's easier to do, more fun, and you get to schmooze with Hef into the bargain! Can you say "sell-out"? --Dominic Fox

Hey Nikki, Im really glad you made this site. I'm really fed up with PeTA! I'm actually working on a piece about it for a zine. The word really needs to get out. It amazes me that people who think they're progressive because they're vegetarians can be so blind to the harm being done to women. Keep it up :) --Becca Pollard
PeTA has "bared" itself... and it's very sexist indeed. I don't really understand the point of their flashy/tasteless ads anyway. How do they expect to be taken seriously? I noticed a parenthetical comment that "the Afghani/Saudi men's sexism has nothing on [Hugh Hefner]" - Please don't be as glib as PeTA itself! --Erica
PeTA has (in their minds) adapted to the "sex sells" techniques in hopes that they can gain people's attention by subjecting women to tasteless advertising for a cause that used to cut, dry and to the point. My question is this, what exactly does PeTA seek to gain out of this? I honestly doubt that PeTA can pull off gaining a new breed of audience through use of their new style of advertisements. I thought that the pictures of skinned dead and dying animals good enough to gain attention and pursuade anyone who actually has a conscious. There is something seriously wrong with PeTA's advertising department. --Monzel Lesco

As if the first ad wasn't enough they had to go and make it worse! Just goes to show that women are free to be raped, killed, exploited, hyper-sexualized, beaten and abused as long as we don't hurt the poor little animals. What the fuck is so difficult for them to understand? --SassyRiot

*sigh* As a person who was involved in the animal rights community for quite some time, I ran into many problems with PeTA. Most of which revolved around their willingness to exploit both humans and animals for the gain of the animal rights movement (or so they claim).

Their blatant objectification of women at every opportunity possible to grab headlines is completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, most AR wingnuts are too stubborn to take criticism of ANY AR organization no matter how oppressive it is.

I would seriously hope that the animal rights community address the problems that it has with sexism/racism/classism and all of the other "ism"s that I am certainly leaving out. I am pessimistic, however, that it ever will. It just goes to show what happens when people spend all of their time and energy on single issues... They negate all other issues as being unimportant. It is time that we all start looking for (and destroying) the root of all oppression instead of pruning every branch that comes out of the tree. --*smashy smashy* Geoffrey

I too once supported peta but no longer. The images they use are not only disturbing but enough to make me want to vomit. No one is part of the revolution if they are dissing the sisters. Violence and explotation are the same on all corners. --stephanie
wow. this is really sad. i've supported peta for some time but never been exposed to any of these ads. i've flyered for them, tabled at shows, etc. but i never even noticed this. its sad that people can be so dedicated to one cause that they forget about the others. --erik
In your article you wrote: "PeTA's come out exorbitantly pro-war. Ingrid Newkirk is talking about how great the Armed Forces are, how "vegan" food is being dropped on Afghanistan, how the Army offers vegan options, and that PeTA had a link from their site. Wow! This is PeTA's idea of political success?"

Of course it is! PeTA wants people to be more concerned about the exploitation of animals. They could give a fuck about militarism, imperialism, etc. They are just like any single-issue political organization in that regard. All they are concerned about is their pet issue--if you'll pardon the pun. --by Single-Issue Politics

I think it is disgusting that animal rights groups are exploiting women as sex objects. And it is worse in Canada. You should see our fundraisers for the Toronto Humane Society. And I think it is disgusting that battered wife Pamela Anderson is a sex object for Peta. --Barbara

Very special appreciation to Megan Metzelaar who is about to do a bang up job on her exams next Wed. and Thurs. We are all going to be thinking of her!

PeTA Porno Chicks PeTA Porno Chicks
Ain't I an animal?
Where Only Women
Are Treated Like Meat
by Nikki Craft

Historically, sexual stereotyping, exploitation and objectification have harmed women. The women at PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have the right to use their bodies. Do they pose nude? No, they're fake nudes. Do they even portray liberating images of women and nudity? No. They work with Playboy Magazine where women are herded like cattle in limiting, stereotypical mass media presentations; or PeTA covers the body of the Go Go's cowering in shame behind well placed banners. These advertisement campaigns are not any expression of courage expressed by the Go Go's or by PeTA or any of their members, either.

PeTA Porno Chicks
PeTA Porno Chicks
PeTA Fake NudesPeTA Fake Nudes
PeTA Porno Chicks

Sure PeTA ought to be able to portray sexual images, though we hope they'd do a better job of it; and when they place one of the harem of pimp Hugh Hefner (the Afghani/Saudi men's sexism has nothing on him) in the public domain to promote their organization they will have to take responsibility for how it will impact all women.

Imagine instead their ad agency hunts up a "contrarian" African Amerikan to get on his knees before a white man, shine his shoes while shuckin' n jivin' with an Amos/Andy grin to make some message about vegetarianism. Should we be duped into taking such an advertisement seriously? Should we be expected to take it as "liberating" because it's framed as "protest" yet upon looking deeper it's just jacking up racial stereotypes and white privilege? Would we be expected to, could we take PeTA seriously? Yet some insist we ought to when they are jacking up sexual stereotypes, male privilege and conservative politics.

Another ad , PeTA claims they "deemed it too violent post-September 11" and banned it themselves. Would a network station even show this ad on television? Who knows.

However, their claim is still disingenuous because anyone can see the PeTA movie on their website with the push of a button and the right software. They say, we banned this!! Click here to see it. They list the ad film credits and the "banned" advertisement can be e-mail.

This ad, in my opinion their worst yet, shows the depth of the misogyny within the organization and their advertising agency. In the PeTA movie a woman is being beaten to death with a bat in the subway. As the man rips her fur coat off PeTA asks "What if you were killed for your coat?"

Some say they are waiting to see men sexually objectified in the PeTA ads, but I am waiting for them to make a movie where they show a man being beaten to death for his coat while he squeals like a pig at slaughter. It's not going to happen because PeTA's hatred is aimed at women.

It's particularly unfortunate because PeTA may be using this approach for cultural approval (it's mainstream acceptable to exploit women) and money, but most of the volunteers at PeTA are women; most of the people who deeply care about the well being of animals are women. PeTA's course of action, their body of work, is demeaning to them too, as it is to the women who are funding PeTA. It's a problem too when PeTA's website has programs aimed at children and vegetarianism, and juxtaposes these films with numerous playmate pornstar films. What kind of message is this to aim at children?

Why sidetrack the debate with false arguments? No one is trying to censor PeTA's legal right to discredit their cause. However, it needs to be labeled what it is: Reactionary bigotry and the cooptation of an organization.

Another concern of particular importance at this time is using sexualized women draped in red white and blue in pro-war/government advertisement and propaganda campaigns are a particularly volatile and dangerous alignment with conservative patriotic fundamentalism. If you haven't checked in about how these forces are limiting people's civil rights lately you had better hurry up and do so? People are being slaughtered all over the world because of it.

PeTA's come out exorbitantly pro-war. Ingrid Newkirk is talking about how great the Armed Forces are, how "vegan" food is being dropped on Afghanistan, how the Army offers vegan options, and that PeTA had a link from their site. Wow! This is PeTA's idea of political success?

Using political critique and economic boycott to inform PeTA that transforming an Afghani into bloody pulp as long as you drop vegetarian dinner for his or her surviving family members doesn't pass for acceptable in our political analysis of world politics; and is, last I checked, not only our legal and political right, but if we feel strongly about it, our social responsibility.

It's long past time for true progressives, and I don't mean knee jerk mouth pieces for the pornography industry, to boycott this organization and tell them in no uncertain terms that even when it's done under the umbrella of animal rights that it's not okay to treat women like meat.

Lest our commitment to body acceptance be questioned, here protesters in front of the Santa Cruz police station (1981) challenging discriminatory nudity laws, making pro-nudity, body acceptance and women's rights statements. Note there are no coy smiles or beauty pageant contestant waving (except satirically), no porno poses, no pretentious crap, no carefully placed banners and these women weren't backed by the pornography industry, financially or otherwise.

santa cruz shirtfree rights demo at police station, 1981

[Photo: Nikki Craft (left rear) and Media Watch's Ann Simonton (3rd left rear), Media Watch initiated the boycott of PeTA back in 1991.]

Got an email that said had been raising hell while Peta was still eating meat and that my work for women show that I can get attention for a cause while not sacrificing content. This is my reply to that email: Fact is my modus operandi leaves room for similar criticism, but still thanks xxx for your kind words about my political work. It's hard do do controvesial actions, and I've made my share of mistakes, but I work to be consistent within my own political framework with as little compromising as possible.

My guess is that beyond the fact that PeTa doesn't seem to care much about women's rights, they are probably misogynistic towards women and malicious towards feminists in general. I also suspect they are heavily funded by the pornography industry, Playboy Magazine in particular; and coopted by all that star fucking they've been doing in Hollywood.

Money talks, but it silences, too, and the problem with that kind of money flow is that it makes it hard to decipher if their policies and practice reflect their own position on porn or if they're formulating their priorities because they've been coopted. Often if's a little of both, but in the case of PeTA I don't know them well enough yet to say for sure which it would be. However, they've become so consistent in their reliance on the sexual exploitation of women that it's hard not to consider them a part of the pornography industry.

Your post reminds me of a writing on animal rights I wrote in the 1970's where I say the bad treatment of animals has "weighed heavily on my mind" since I was seven years old. It illustrates that I was in fact raising hell in behalf of animal rights in the mid 1950's. --Nikki

A little over a year ago (9.11.00) I found the essay printed below in some old school files. I wrote it in the early 70s when I was 22 or 23 for a creative writing class I took in Jr. College. The assignment was to write an essay about a religious topic of our choice. I remember about ten years ago I almost threw it away because I felt the writing was so bad that I was embarrassed by it.

However, I'm glad I kept it though because it reminds me of many of the views I've had about animals my whole life and that the bad treatment of animals has "weighed heavily on my mind" since I was seven years old. I don't know how typical this was or if others had these feelings and thoughts at that age and in those times, but it was long before I ever heard any discussion about animal rights and long before the existence of any related political groups or activities.

The paper was untitled because I couldn't think of a title for it at the time and writing was such a struggle for me to the point that I had "writers block" for many years. Though I would write about these experiences differently now I've left it as it was written at the time. --Nikki

by Nikki Craft
circa 1971

"A Robin redbreast in a cage
puts all heaven in a rage." William Blake

The treatment of animals by this society is a religious and social problem that has weighed heavily on my mind for the last fifteen years. It is unfortunate that very few people concern themselves with thoughts for animals beyond putting the cat food out in the morning or whenever they have time.

There are several personal experiences that have influenced my choice of the treatment of animals as a religious problem:

*In Sunday school class while I was in elementary school I was told (by the Sunday School teacher) that animals didn't have souls but people did. At school I was told by my history teacher that branding cattle didn't hurt because animals didn't have feelings. (This was my first argument with a teacher when I was in the third grade in Waterloo, Iowa.)

*When I was six years old my father took me out to Midland Texas hunting jack rabbits (an experience he felt was part of growing up). Half a day was spent running through tumble weed with my father and a friend standing in the jeep (while one of their friends drove) picking off rabbits indiscriminitly. It was just like a shooting gallery except these rabbits were real living creatures with real blood flowing through their bodies with real feelings. The purpose was *not* for food (they never even went back to see if they were killed or injured). The purpose was for fun. P.S. My father is a Christian.

*My cousin hanged a dog in his back yard. When his father was approached with this information he said, "Boys will be boys." P.S. My uncle is a Christian-so was my cousin.

Our treatment of animals is the result of our socialization about animals. As long as the church claims animals have no souls and no feelings why should it matter that seals are being skinned alive by the thousands to make coats for our rich Christians to wear to church? Why should it matter that Bulls are being stabbed to death unnecessarily to provide entertainment on Sunday afternoons for bored Christians and Catholics.

Why would it make any difference that in Dallas alone 100 dogs a day are being gassed and over 100 a day are scrapped up off the pavement because nobody but the SPCA seems to care about animal overpopulation. And if animals don't have feelings why should anyone even bother to stop their car to see if that bump in the street is dead or alive as the car tires roll an inch from it's head.

I do not know if animals (including us) have souls just as I don't know if there's a heaven or hell. However I sincerely hope that if there is a just heaven that there will be not one soul there that has maliciously killed one animal.

[My instructed made two comments about the writing: After the bullfight paragraph: "Does this imply Catholics are not Christians?" After the last paragraph wrote: "That is a right charitable attitude." One thing I didn't include in the article was that my father tried to force me up off the floor board where I cried and screamed until they left me alone. My mom defended my own right not to watch them kill more of the rabbits. It was the first time I remember hating my father. I also refused to cut open a frog in my seventh grade science class and left the classroom in 1965.]--End Nikki Craft

Playmates pose for PETA ad.
Julie McCullough
Teeny Weenie Lettuce Bikini!
June 28, 2001

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is teaming up with Playboy for an eyebrow-raising new vegetarianism ad, and ET was there for the fun-filled shoot!

Wearing nothing but strategically placed lettuce leaves, vegetarian Playboy centerfolds JULIE McCULLOUGH (formerly of TV's "Growing Pains") and REBEKKA ARMSTRONG, are posing while eating "Not Dogs" -- vegetarian hot dogs -- to make a healthy point. The head-turning ad featuring the all-natural veggie pin-ups will be used to promote the playmates' appearance on PETA's behalf at National Hot Dog Day in Washington, D.C

The July 18 event is the American Meat Institute's annual snouts-and-tails lunch, where all of Capitol Hill's politicians come to eat hot dogs. The PETA Playmates will be wearing their lettuce bikinis and handing out Not Dogs to promote a healthy and humane diet. Invitations have been mailed to each member of Congress explaining, "You would probably lose your lunch if you knew what actually went into a wiener -- a meat hot dog contains every imaginable part of abused animals, including pig stomach, snout, intestines, spleens, and yes, even lips." PETA advocates vegetarianism to help prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke, as well as to help end cruelty to animals on factory farms and slaughterhouses.

And the slogan for the ad? "Let Vegetarianism Grow on You." Go figure.


Peta's Flesh Peddling
NYPD Blue's Charlotte Ross as PeTA's Pet

Happy Valentine Day to PeTA from US.Gov

Merry Christmas PeTA From Playboy
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People who want to support the animal rights movement seriously need to realize the problems that come with blindly supporting an organization that cares about only about the liberation of one oppressed group while shitting on liberation movements of others. Lets hope that someday they do (although even hoping that way could be overly optimistic). Oh well, at least there are some people attempting to raise awareness. If you are interested in starting a campaign to get PeTA to, at the very least, reform its practices, let me know. I would be very interested in helping with such a campaign. --*smashy smashy* Geoffrey
I can't resist mentioning that men as well as women wear LEATHER coats, which last time I checked are made from the skins of animals. Is PETA not against leather coats as well as fur ones? --John Wason
I am fairly isolated from modern culture, don't watch TV, certainly don't read Playboy, haven't seen any of these PeTA ads, hadn't heard about them other than this site. I'm horrified and disgusted by them. PeTA has lost its soul. This is so painful to see. I am completely outraged, and will pass the URL to this site on to other folks that need to see it.

Also, I'll remind everyone else here, they can go to to donate to the good work here, because this site does such good work, and needs financial help to continue to do this good work.

Keep it up. -- Ruth Rinehart

While I have questions about bits and pieces of this article/argument, I have to agree with the overriding premise. PETA has degraded into a liberal bureaucracy. The most blatant display of this recently has been PETA's support of the bombing in Afghanistan. The organization is very single-issued. I suppose that is the natural course of an organization with a strict heirarchy and no democratic control. I had the sense that it was going that way back when they started using individuals in power positions for endorsements. In my opinion, there are more direct forms of action that can be organized to better democratize the human-animal relationship, and that have a systemic critique by not pandering to corporate dictators. --Deicide
Good for you! Hear, hear! It is damn time we stop selling sex as a tool of exploitation. I am especially appalled because this is a vegetarian group. I personally am not a vegetarian but I do support the ideas. This ad is just plain ridiculous and sick. --Chris Baden
Thoughts About Peta: Love how this response from PETA was written by a woman... claiming to be a feminist and her only argument is that some feminists like the ads. Uh... then why not use shocking nudity and real looking women instead of porno queens and shit, huh PETA??? Feel free to write this woman and tell her how YOU as a feminist DISAGREE!--Mandy


Subject: PETA
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 15:03:42 -0500

Thank you for sharing your concerns about PETA's tactics.

We appreciate your concern about portraying a woman's body to sell a product or--in this case-an idea. As an organization staffed largely by feminist women, we would never do something that we felt contributed to the very serious problems that women face. Unlike women who are paid to pose nude or scantily dressed to sell a product, our "naked" demonstrators and billboard models choose to participate in our actions because they want to do something to make people stop and pay attention to animal cruelty.

Our purpose is to stop animal suffering, and we rely on opportunities to reach millions of people with powerful messages. Frankly, people do pay more attention to our racier actions, and we consider the public's attention to be extremely important. Sometimes this requires tactics-like naked marches and colorful ad campaigns-that some people find outrageous or even "rude"; part of our job is to shake people up and, yes, shock them, in order to initiate discussion, debate, questioning of the status quo, and, of course, action. The situation for billions of animals is critical, and our goal is not to appease the public-we want them to think about the issues.

We certainly respect your right to disagree with our tactics, but we hope you'll recognize that there is no one final word on what offends women and what doesn't. Many of the feminist women here-and the women who have written in telling us they love our actions-have a different view.

Thank you again for allowing us to explain our thoughts on this matter.

Heather Moore
PETA Correspondent

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