PETA's 'Save the Whales' Billboard: Offensive or not?

Animal rights organization PETA has stirred up controversy again with their new Save the Whales billboard, which targets fat women and promotes vegetarianism. The illustration on the billboard depicts an overweight bikini-clad woman at the beach with the tag line "Save The Whales, Lose The Blubber: Go Vegetarian." 

While PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are known for its edgy tactics, a host of internet commenters and feminists say the Jacksonville, Florida billboard crosses the line, calling the message sexist and insulting to overweight people.

The PETA press release stated:

"A new PETA billboard campaign that was just launched in Jacksonville [Florida] reminds people who are struggling to lose weight -- and who want to have enough energy to chase a beach ball -- that going vegetarian can be an effective way to shed those extra pounds that keep them from looking good in a bikini. [....] Anyone wishing to achieve a hot "beach bod" is reminded that studies show that vegetarians are, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters. [...] "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."

A senior PETA campaigner said today, "If the billboard is shocking, hopefully it will get people's attention, and help them improve quality of life for themselves and their families.... it's designed to help people."

It's disappointing to see PETA throw overweight women under the bus for their cause, but the billboard has certainly acheived the publicity PETA seeks.

What do you think of the billboard and its message? Super offensive or definitely necessary?

5 comments
Posted by Yogalicious on November 16,2009 at 5:59 PM

All thoughtful comments. It seems this is becoming the zeitgeist of the century: Any Kind of Attention. It's hard to accept change without judging and I WANT to judge that poster, but I appreciate its ballsiness. This IS the age of information and we don't have much emotional protection from the information that we we see. It gets to us.

Posted by Tracey on September 15,2009 at 1:26 AM

So as long as we're nice to animals we can be rude to humans?  What a tacky and cheap campaign.  

Posted by Rich on August 26,2009 at 10:24 PM

I am sorry but I was with Peta's cause before but this is just tasteless. There are alot of overweight vegetarians I know.

Posted by Michael on August 20,2009 at 9:15 AM

Actually - eating meat is a great way to lose weight - as long as you catch it and kill it yourself!

Posted by GirlGoneGreen on August 19,2009 at 10:34 AM

I see the point PETA is trying to make, but it is somewhat rude to target overweight women specifically. Could have been a man in a speedo, could have been a chubby family. Either way, PETA is getting exactly what they want - media coverage. That's always been their M.O. Look at the campaigns they've run before - scantily clad models and celebs, playboy bunnies, etc.

Advertiser Links for animal rights