PETA is an acronym for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. On the surface, they have a noble cause worth fighting for, but over the years, they have created a reputation for resorting to outrageous, insensitive and crass campaigns & publicity stunts to get their message across. Below is a list of PETA’s ten most unbelievably shocking campaigns …
PETA Founder Wants to be a Human Barbecue:
There are a few things that people like more than eating delicious BBQ meat, and PETA decided to use that fact to generate even more publicity for themselves. So in 2009, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk posted her unique will on the group’s website. She listed the following as what she wanted to happen to her body after she passed away:
-That the “meat” of my body, or a portion thereof, be used for a human barbecue, to remind the world that the meat of a corpse is all flesh, regardless of whether it comes from a human being or another animal, and that flesh foods are not needed.
– That my skin, or a portion thereof, be removed and made into leather products, such as purses, to remind the world that human skin and the skin of other animals is the same and that neither is “fabric” nor needed.
– That her feet be removed and umbrella stands or other ornamentation be made from them in remembrance of elephant-foot umbrellas stands and tiger rugs she saw in India.
PETA’s “Fur is Dead” Coffin Stunt
PETA once again proved how skilled they were in making the headlines when they staged a shocking campaign against luxury fashion brand Armani in Australia in 2012. PETA activists went to a busy street in Sydney with coffins labeled with the bold message “Armani: Fur Is Dead.” The intrepid PETA activists covered themselves in body paint, laid down in the coffins and covered themselves with flowers. It was a bold statement protesting Armani’s use of animal furs for fashion, and of course, the elaborate stunt gathered tons of coverage in the media.
PETA creates an XXX Site
One of PETA’s most common headlines-grabbing tactics is using nudity to lure peoples’ attention and interest for their anti-cruelty to animals messages. But a few years ago, they went all out and actually created a X-rated domain name and website: www.PETA.xxx. Although the site wasn’t as raunchy and lewd as most internet adult sites, it did contain some explicit adult content, well-known porn stars like Jenna Jameson and some very graphic images of animals. There is no doubt about it – if you’re looking for a way to gain attention for anything, sex is always a sure bet.
PETA’s Distasteful Tombstone targeting KFC
Often times, some of the campaigns that PETA undertakes really cross the line of good taste and can be described as downright crass. In 2008, they took on the popular fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken because of their “unethical treatment of birds.” They bought a tombstone in the adjoining graveyard of the original burial place of KFC founder, Colonel Harland David Sanders. There was a tribute inscribed on the tombstone, and the bright letters running down the left side of the poem spelt “KFC Tortures Birds.” Subtlety is something PETA doesn’t particularly care for or excel in.
This wasn’t the only time they targeted a popular fast food chain. A year later, a PETA activist in Des Moines stepped into a large aquarium filled with red water to protest McDonalds and how the company kills chickens for the consumption of their customers. The image was quite jarring especially with the unsettling red paint simulating blood smeared all over the activist’s body.
PETA sues SeaWorld in Orlando, FL
PETA proved their ultimate imagination and wanton creativity in 2012 when they filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld. In the lawsuit, they asked a federal court to grant constitutional rights to five killer whales who were being enslaved against their will. They added that these performer whales were being held under abusive conditions that violated the 13th Amendment ban on slavery. Their lawsuit didn’t lead to the emancipation of these adorable killer whales, but it definitely succeeded in thrusting PETA into the limelight yet again.
They followed up this stunt in 2013 by setting up water tanks at Macy’s filled with PETA activists in whale costumes. They did this to protest Macy’s decision to include a SeaWorld float in their 2013 Thanksgiving Day Parade.
PETA’s Veggie Sex Superbowl Commercial
It’s a known fact that in the United States that if you went to get your company or brand to be seen by the most viewers at once, the easiest way is to buy a commercial during the hugely popular NFL Superbowl every year. PETA knows this too, but the fact is that most of the ads they submit end up being too racy to air on network television. Some of them include sexy models having some salacious veggie fun and even a X-rated clip which claims that eating meat can cause impotence. You can find these videos on YouTube if you’d like to see them for yourselves.
PETA launches Got Autism campaign:
This is another campaign that PETA executed that truly went beyond the pale. It seems that within this organization, there are no boundaries or limits for how far they will go. Earlier this year, they put out a totally classless ad called ‘Got Autism” – which linked the occurrence of Autism in human babies to drinking cow’s milk. It’s not even certain whether they used any legitimate scientific data to make this claim. But for them to use a serious condition like Autism that so many parents have to deal with and suffer through is just wicked and endlessly insensitive. PETA, you guys went too far with this one.
PETA Octomom Campaign:
You guys remember the Octomom right? Her name is Nadya Suleman, and she gave birth to eight kids at once. She later made the news again for starring in an adult flick to earn money to support all her 14 kids. Well, this story was just too juicy for PETA to pass up, and they reached out to her to appear in a sponsored “spaying and neutering” campaign. She received a paycheck of $5,000 and she had to keep the sign in her garden until city officials finally had her take it down for not having proper permits.
PETA’s “Meat Is Murder” Stunt in Times Square:
The people at PETA are masters at creating shock value and they were up to their old tricks again in 2010 with their gruesome meat tray stunt. For this one, PETA activists mimicked the way animal meat is sold in supermarkets by having people covered in red body paint lay down in styrofoam trays wrapped in plastic. The visual impact was powerful and harrowing, and they picked the perfect location of NYC’s Times Square to pull this stunt. For the faint of heart, this image is enough to give you nightmares for days.
PETA wears KKK outfits:
This may be one of the most outrageous, mean-hearted and culturally insensitive campaigns ever executed by the KKK. In 2009, they turned up to protest the Westminster Dog Show dressed in KKK outfits while handing out propaganda pamphlets. They claimed that the American Kennel Club (AKC) which governs the Dog Show believes that all dogs in their competition should have “pure bloodlines” which is a similar belief of the Ku Klux Klan. Their reasoning is porous at best, and dressing as a hateful racist group that caused so much death, violence and heartache is quite unforgiveable.