PETA's Latest Ad Goes One Step Too Far

thingiePhoto: Courtesy of PETA.
It's no secret that PETA has become increasingly radical in the last few years — not just in its goals to protect the rights of animals, but rather, in its methods of spreading said message. Its ads have often been accused of exploiting women for shock value, and when you see some of the ridiculous things on this list, it's hard to disagree. That said, going for controversy to draw attention to a noble cause is certainly a widely used marketing strategy. PETA's not the first to do it, and it won't be the last. But the latest ad is a bit much, even by going-for-shock-value standards.
The ads feature musician Samia Najimy Finnerty with the tagline "Vegans Go All The Way." Thankfully, she's not nude (like most PETA spokespeople tend to), but at only 16 years old, this seems pretty ridiculous. Of course, by "go all the way," PETA meant going vegan rather than just vegetarian, but the double entendre isn't lost on anyone. The organization addressed the ads in a post on their website, opening with the following semi-unbelievable sentence: "PETA normally waits until people turn 18 before asking them to star in a "provocative" campaign, but not this time." Um, pardon us?
Of course, Ms. Finnerty clearly has strong opinions on animal rights and veganism — and we're not saying that, as an underage girl, she doesn't have the agency or the ability to make choices about what she endorses and how. But PETA, as a public and highly visible organization, has a responsibility to curtail its exploitation of female bodies at some point. Particularly when those bodies belong to children. Hopefully, this time, the outrage won't land on deaf ears. We tend to think that supporting animal rights while buying into some of the more unfortunate representations of women in media for no apparent reason (other than the lazy cliché that "sex sells") feels like one step forward and two steps backward — but tell us, what do you think about the whole debacle?

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