Your Charmed Life

Your Charmed Life


PeTA save the whales

posted by Victoria Moran

You who read this blog know that I’m an animal rights supporter and a contributer to PeTA. I’ve defended them, wild tactics and all, publicly and even with members of my own family. The current “PeTA save the whales” campaign that includes a billboard implying that obese people are “whales” who can be “saved” by a vegetarian diet (the billboard is shown at the bottom of this post) is, however, appalling for a number of reasons:

(1) This shaming (and shameful) approach is cruel. PeTA’s very name includes the word “ethical.” They’re People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Human beings are animals and this is ugly, insulting, unethical, and unkind.
(2) It won’t work because shaming people always makes things worse. I know: I was shamed for nearly 30 years because of eating and weight. You know what I did every time it happened? I ate something!

(3) It won’t work because a diet — any diet — isn’t enough. I’ve kept off over 60 pounds for over twenty-five years eating vegan food. It’s a fabulous way to eat for health, weight loss, ethical considerations, and a sustainable planet, but people who are obese (and even up-and-down dieters who never make it to obesity) need more than another diet, even a good one. Until the empty hole inside is dealt with by a loving approach that takes the whole person into consideration, any kind of food plan is worthless in the long run. (For dealing with the empty hole, I recommend Overeaters Anonymous. There’s more in my books The Love-Powered DietFat, Broke & Lonely No Moreand Fit from Within.)
(4) It makes vegetarians — and that includes me — look heartless, and vicious, and like we really do only care only about 4-footed animals, bipeds be damned. Dedicated animal welfare and animal rights activists work diligently to let the rest of the world know that we are caring people — caring all ’round. Someone who works to help the blind is never faulted for not helping the deaf; it’s understood that people are called to different causes, different passions. We who are called to work for animals have to continually defend this choice. When someone puts up a billboard like this, it deletes a great deal of the work we’ve done.
PeTA: you’ve done so many wonderful things. You’ve made a genuine difference for non-human animals in my lifetime. You have mitigated suffering on this planet and that is a holy thing. But today: shame on you. This time, even for me, you really have gone too far. And that makes me sad, because I know your commitment, tenacity, and effectiveness. Those, combined with a dose of humane treatment for all — not the travesty shown below – really could change the world.
peta_whales.jpg
Someone who read this post suggested that I include PeTA’s contact info for people to voice their opinions. The main website is www.peta.org. The e-mail I have is info@peta.org. 


Advertisement
Comments read comments(26)
post a comment
Kelly

posted August 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm


I’ve been a member of OA for years and recently came across your book. Thank you for the work you are doing. I’m so glad you stood up for the bi-peds too.



report abuse
 

Victoria Moran

posted August 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm


Thanks for writing, Kelly. I appreciate your kind words. (That goes for everyone who writes in with kind words. Blessings, all.)



report abuse
 

Stephanie

posted August 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm


If this is indeed a true billboard, PETA has indeed gone too far. In the interests of fairness, Victoria, please print PETA’s contact info so that people interested in the ethical treatment of people can voice their opinions.



report abuse
 

Victoria Moran

posted August 18, 2009 at 3:37 pm


Stephanie — Great idea … I’ll put it in the post.



report abuse
 

Debbie

posted August 18, 2009 at 3:44 pm


Shame on PeTa.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 18, 2009 at 4:46 pm


I have a friend who has on her voicemail, “In the end only kindness matters.” I use that as an affirmation so many times before I speak or even think. Maybe PETA needs to use that for all. (the animal kingdom and humankind)



report abuse
 

Vicki

posted August 19, 2009 at 7:34 am


Thanks, Victoria, for posting this. I’m a very healthy person, and I eat well — lots of greens, fresh fruit, etc. I’ve been a vegan for 21 years and vegetarian for 10 years prior to that. I’m also overweight and have been most of my life. It’s a daily struggle. As you state, for many if not most people, excess weight is not lost permanently through mere diet alone. PETA’s hateful “Save the Whales” campaign undermines my own efforts at vegan outreach. Further, people who “go vegan” solely to become skinny will go back to eating animals if the vegan diet alone proves ineffective. The way to make lifelong vegans is to appeal to people’s innate sense of empathy, justice, fairness, decency, and yes, kindness. I will go to my grave a vegan not because it has made me thin (because it has not), but because I know it is not right for other sentient beings to suffer and die to provide me with sustenance I can obtain in healthier forms elsewhere. I hope your readers know that most vegans ARE kind and compassionate people who don’t like cynical bullying and name-calling tactics.



report abuse
 

Christina

posted August 19, 2009 at 10:01 am


Thank you for bringing this to our attention! It’s awful!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 19, 2009 at 10:51 am


I am overweight and will never be referred to as a whale. I am quite appalled at PETA’s reference to people as whales. Many people are overweight for different reasons, some medical, heredity etc… We have enough challenges and negativity from people and to compare humans to whales is just mean and mean spirited. If you want people to support your cause you will need to be more sensitive to the abuse we already suffer. I am not a vegen but if I wanted to try it for a while this poster is not the way to go about. I don’t like listening to anyones advise when they are so negative with there approach. Shame on PETA and your message against human being.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted August 19, 2009 at 11:57 am


I heard it said, and I believe, that being overweight is the last form of acceptable discrimination left in our society. I think Peta’s add brings that into focus for many who might have under the surface felt that way but never outwardly done anything about it their prejudice. While I am trying to see the bright side of this shameful add, there really is no excuse and I find this message, along with most of Peta’s outrageous behaviors, appalling. You don’t get people to join you by being mean. You get people to join you by education.



report abuse
 

Pam

posted August 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Pam

posted August 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm


get a clue you self centered, cry babies



report abuse
 

Catherine

posted August 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm


Thank you I appreciate your effort in this, Bless You for taking a stand.



report abuse
 

B. Adu

posted August 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm


Whales are amazing creatures. I don’t mind being compared to them at all, nor elephants, hippos or even pigs.
We must not be cruel to animals, but I’m not going to stop eating them.



report abuse
 

Buyaclue

posted August 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm


Peta is brave enough to bring to light a sad fact that most people are FAT. Do they do anything about it? NO…they always have some sort of excuse for why they are FAT. This ad should shame the overweight. They cost more to insure and are responsible for supporting the fast food industry that will only make more people FAT. If you are offended by this billboard…you are probably FAT…do something about it and quit whining and making excuses.



report abuse
 

Buyaclue

posted August 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm


I think some FATTY VEGAN just deleted my post….the main message is that if you are offended by this ad you are fat and should do something about it.



report abuse
 

Ilyssa Trussel

posted August 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm


Action News is doing a story about this billboard for our newscast. Would you be willing to do an on camera interview?



report abuse
 

Ashlee

posted August 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm


This billboard is most offensive to me for reasons not a lot of people know about. You can be overweight through no fault of your own. I know not a lot of people know this but it is true. I have been a vegan for the past 7 years. I am also an avid runner, running up to 5 miles a day. I was at the weight of 118 for many years until suddenly I started gaining weight despite no change in my diet of exercise. I saw many doctors who couldn’t explain what was happening to me at all. I weighed 213 at my highest weight and was mortified that nothing I was doing was working. Then I found out I had Cushing’s disease. It means your body makes too much cortisol because there is a tumor on my pituitary gland in my brain. It makes your body unable to lose weight and makes you gain weight rapidly despite anything you do. I have since had surgery to remove the tumor and now weigh 139. When I was heavy it occurred to me just how un-caring and insensitive people can be. Not everyone who is fat eats meat. Not everyone who is fat eats cakes, and pies all the time. Sometimes it is a medical problem that we cannot control. We are still people though and we deserve to be treated as such. This add is a slap in the face. Thank you for writing this article.



report abuse
 

Victoria Moran

posted August 19, 2009 at 7:04 pm


Thanks to everyone who posted comments. The person who said that overweight is the last acceptable discrimination is so correct. And to Alyssa from Action News, I’d love to be interviewed if it’s not too late.



report abuse
 

Mordred08

posted August 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Pam, in the comments for that video you linked to, I saw references to pig farmers as “uneducated, inbred rednecks” and Nazis, as well as death threats against anyone who would dare to eat pork. If you were trying to portray vegetarians/vegans/etc. in a positive light, you didn’t do a very good job.



report abuse
 

Michelle

posted August 20, 2009 at 8:26 am


I think it finally comes down to compassion. If you are a vegan that doesn’t have compassion for other human beings you are no better than the people that have no compassion for animals. And even though obesity is a problem in this country it doesn’t mean obese people are insensitive or should be treated with any less compassion than any other living creatures.



report abuse
 

Dash

posted August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am


As I watch an elderly friend wither away in hospice “care” I am looking at comments by Buyaclue. My friend looks more gaunt than some I’ve seen in pictures of WW2 death camps. Because she signed a DNR statement asking for “no heroic efforts” to spare her life, my friend is being deprived of even water (to keep her muscles from cramping)so that she “doesn’t choke on it”. This is being done with the full support of my friend’s family. My friend is not “thin” by her own choice. PETA’s “compassion” for those who are overweight reminds me of the “compassion” being shown my friend who only asked to (when it was time) die with some dignity. As I believe the way one uses one’s power defines one’s ethics, I think that Buyaclue might learn something by being treated to the “compassion” being shown to my friend and shown by PETA.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted August 20, 2009 at 11:11 am


I’ve never liked PETA’s tactics – they subvert all the good things they try to accomplish when they treat people in such contemptuous fashion. People who want to support organizations that stand up for animals should look into other organizations, such as the Humane Society or Doris Day’s organization.



report abuse
 

Kathie

posted August 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm


Actually I agree with the comparison between pig farmers and Nazis – it has been found that pigs are actually at least as intelligent as dolphins, yet its okay to slaughter them. I wish every time someone had themselves some ham for Eater they got to see a video first of how that ham came to be on their table, from its birth to its death.



report abuse
 

Ryan

posted August 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm


Great post. Wow.



report abuse
 

Mordred08

posted August 20, 2009 at 7:56 pm


Kathie:
“Actually I agree with the comparison between pig farmers and Nazis”
Sigh…
“it has been found that pigs are actually at least as intelligent as dolphins, yet its okay to slaughter them”
So pig=dolphin=…Jew?
“I wish every time someone had themselves some ham for Eater they got to see a video first of how that ham came to be on their table, from its birth to its death.”
…I could handle that. Just so long as vegetarians/vegans were made to watch “Schindler’s List” everytime they invoked Godwin’s Law on the Internet.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Tomorrow is my swan song ...
Hi, friends -- I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would be giving up this blog at the end of my contract period. It's not an easy parting, since I look forward to our chats, but I haven't been able to figure out how to blog every day, have something worth reading every day, and still keep enou

posted 5:53:10pm Dec. 14, 2009 | read full post »

My top 10 favorite posts of 2009
As my career as a daily blogger ends, I've looked back over the year and pulled out my favorite posts, the ones that meant the most to me, or that I had the most fun writing. I hope you'll enjoy reading (or rereading) these. It's been a privilege to share my thoughts with you.Victoria's Victorious B

posted 7:08:45am Dec. 14, 2009 | read full post »

Preparing for Christmas
I took a class on mysticism the other night at The NY Open Center. The instructor was Jon Mundy, Ph.D., who publishes Miracles magazine. He had copies available -- it's wonderful -- and one tiny article caught my eye. I reproduce it here for your Yuletide pondering:Did You Know?from Miracles, N

posted 8:35:03am Dec. 11, 2009 | read full post »

Peace on Earth ... but maybe not quiet ...
I just visited The Writers Room. It is a wonderful place where serious writers write lots and lots of real books: the evidence is on shelves when you walk in. I'm grateful that three professional contacts wrote me glowing recommendations and thrilled that I've been invited to join. But I don't think

posted 5:03:59pm Dec. 10, 2009 | read full post »

Do You Use the Guest Towels? -- a guest blog from Elizabeth Grant
Do You Use the Guest Towels?  by Elizabeth A. Grant One of the greatest obstacles I see with clients is that people have trouble valuing themselves highly. Somewhere along the line, they took on a belief that they aren't worth much. A friend of mine is an artist, and she's really struggling wit

posted 10:40:34am Dec. 09, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.