PETA: Taking 'Too Far' Even Further

I think the folks at PETA have gone too far this time.


Warning: Graphic images. Really.

PETA’s newest campaign.

Am I wrong on this? Does this sort of comparison actually have merit?

Not to plug, but I’ve written a brief call-to-action regarding this at a website I administrate, the Online Community of Jewish Professionals (

I certainly can’t deny that there are similarities. Yes, we do kill babies. Yes, we do slaughter by the thousands. Yes, sometimes the methods used can be inhumane.

But the difference between them is obvious: one was killing for killing sake, the other is killing for consumption, nutrition and survival. This difference outweighs any similarities, IMO.

In other words, to get Machiavellian on the debate, the ends do justify the means.

I often come into these threads and defend PETA.

Not this time.



You missed one difference.


Sure lambs and pigs and goats look cute and all, but there is a HUGE difference between eating animals (as a lot of other animals do) and killing millions of other people.

As a Jew, and a vegetarian, I’m absolutely disgusted by this ad. It’s shamefull, and I’m going to tell all my veggie friends about it.

PETA seems to be their own worst enemy. I wonder what they hoped to accomplish with this campaign. I sure don’t expect to see many people going “Oh wow, I’m never going to eat meat again!” However I do expect a lot of folks to go “What a bunch of jerks!”

I think you’re missing the point of the ads. The point (as I read them) is that they’re making a comparison between the treatment of Holocaust victims and the treatment of animals to be slaughtered. Emaciated person > emaciated cow. Overcrowded work camps > overcrowded animal pens. People transported in packed train freight cars > animals transported in packed freight train cars. The analogies can certainly be made, even to some degree of accuracy, as you pointed out. It’s not the ends these ads address, but the methods by which those ends are arrived at. None of which is to say that I find the ads appealing.

Even with the understanding of the ads I stated above, they aren’t all that effective, and in the end will likely be counterproductive to PETA’s goal. While these analogies are valid to a point, they fail in the end to make a solid point. PETA has a habit of trying to shock people into submission, and it does them little good. As a designer myself, I find the ads design sensibilities to be fairly low, and in very poor taste.

Perhaps the worst thing about them is that they belittle the Holocaust by making these comparisons. I would expect that Holocaust survivors and their families will have a great deal to say about this campaign, and none of it good. And when that shitstorm comes raining down, I hope PETA learns a solid lesson for once.

And dammit, they invoked Godwin’s Law, right out of the gate!

That is absolutely vile.

But I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Wonderful. Way to make vegetarians look like reasonable people, PETA. Nice job.

Yeah, that site was significantly less entertaining than last year’s “Jesus was a Vegetarian” ad blitz. Their ad agency must have bipolar disorder, or something. Thanks for the “graphic images” heads-up.

You just know that Newkirk et al. have been dying to run a nationwide ad campaign along these lines for years, but some last shred of sanity warned them that the comparison might go over badly. These, days, I’m guessing that they’ve woken up to the reality that their “wink-and-a-nod” attitude toward terrorism may have been a strategic misstep. Since their public credibility is pretty well shot already, they probably said, “hell with it,” and decided to just go ahead with the campaign before Ashcroft decides to really come after them.

Either that or they’re running a recruitment campaign aimed at flatworms. I can’t think of anyone else who would fall for the insinuation that ranchers routinely starve their cattle like concentration camp victims.

I would pull out my hair, but my “PETA slot” of hair has been depleted.

Wow, and just when I thought PETA couldn’t sink any lower. Way to exceed my expectations, guys!


Gee… if I just look at the right side panels, I found I got hungry.

I’ve seen many holocaust pictures. PETA is trying to associate the negative reaction we get from cruelty to humans to animals for mass consumption (would that be AMDs?) I find it laughable.
Its a cheap trick aimed at the weak-minded.

I love my steak, pork chops, fried chicken and roast turkey, plus the Atkins diet works. I belong to the group of People Eating Tasty Animals.

HAW HAW HAW! Brilliant! Bravo, good sir, for your stunning wordplay!

Oh, if only I’d thought of that.


The good part of PETA Godwinizing itself right out of gate is that it allows for this.

Unintentional humor. I backed up the URL to the homepage, found this press release.


Uh huh. I’m sure that Jewish organizations from coast to coast are lining up to have this display come to their town…

Umm… I’m at work here, and I’m not too interested in looking at gory or unpleasant pictures in any case; could somebody give me a brief, not-too-gory synopsis of what’s on that site?

Basically, they put pictures of the Holocaust side by side with pictures of slaughterhouses and huge factory farms.

And pictures from the slaughterhouse floor beside pictures of the concentration camp ovens.

Unfuckingbelieveable. (sorry, if anything calls for profanity, it’s this). A new low.

They aren’t going to win over any new supporters with this, and they’ll lose a few of their most supportive.

Way to trivialize the deaths of millions of people by saying they’re no better than mass bred farm animals for food consumption, PETA.

I guess they forgot that saying animals are equal to humans means they’re also saying humans are no better than cows, chickens and pigs. Sorry PETA. Humans are more valuable and important than animals, and their suffering at the hands of Hitler and cronies far outshadows what happened to the chicken that is now on my plate.

On that note, I think my fried chicken dinner is almost done.

Actually I don’t think they’re forgetting that. That assumption is exactly why they create ad campaigns like this one: they completely anthropomorphize animals.

And this is also exactly why people think they’re completely bonkers.

Although I think PETA is a very, very long way off-base, especially in the way of understanding the general audience, I don’t find it particularly difficult to understand why they feel and act the way they do.