I’ve never liked PETA, which is ironic, because I love animals. Unfortunately, I also like tasty meat. Is there a disconnect between loving animals and eating meat? Probably, but when I bite into a juicy hamburger, I’m not thinking cooked cow flesh. Plus, seriously, God told Peter that it was acceptable to eat meat (Acts 10: 10-16). If an individual chooses to become a vegetarian, I have no problem with it. Just don’t try to guilt me into doing the same.
PETA has been known to throw paint on fur coats, go topless, and now they’re trying to save the whales. But by whales, they mean fat people. The group has launched a new billboard campaign in Florida featuring a fat girl in an itty bitty polka dot bikini. The sign reads, “Save the whales. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.” (Full story.)
PETA spokeswoman Ashley Byrne defended the ad, “Vegetarians look and feel better than meat eaters. This is a life-saving message.” (Source: ChattahBox.com). According to the organization, vegetarians are, on average, 10-20 pounds lighter than their omnivorous counterparts. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean the vegetarians are any healthier; they’re just skinnier.
I’ve been pretty open with readers about my own battle of the bulge. This billboard doesn’t make me want to give up meat; it just makes me mad. And it makes me feel ashamed. Unlike an alcoholic, a drug user, a shopaholic, or another person with a bad habit, I wear my weight like a big ol’ chubby scarlet letter. Sometimes I think it’s OK for guys to snicker at me or have people mutter comments under their breath about me because I’m fat. But it’s not OK. I am a human being and I deserve ethical treatment. Something that PETA seems to know little about when it comes to their fellow humans.
Seriously, who said it’s OK to call the fat guy sunning on the pool a “beached whale”? Or a lady with big legs “thunder thighs”? I could go on and on with fat insults, many of which have been directed at me personally. Yet if I were to use a racist term against an individual who wasn’t white, I would be a horrible, terrible, no-good person. I’m not advocating the use of racist insults–an insult is an insult no matter who the target. My point is that some insults seem weightier (pardon the pun) than others. It seems socially acceptable to mock the 300-pound lady at the grocery store, yet it’s not. We need to stand up for each other and try to make it through this life together. Just because we have “freedom of speech” in this country doesn’t mean we need to use our “freedom” to call each other names. Isn’t that type of behavior supposed to end in elementary school?
You can’t shame people into changing their habits, and it’s a pretty terrible public relations campaign, too. Perhaps PETA should learn a bit about the ethical treatment of people, not just the welfare of animals.