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?