Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hurting Your Cause

Activists: it's nice to have principles and believe in something, but do you have to be such a prick about it?

This thought of the day was inspired by two recent news stories.

Although I'm vegetarian-friendly and support animal-rights causes, the people at PETA just fucking annoy me. And apparently I'm not the only one.

Their latest obnoxious grab for attention is a web ad that claims vegans make better lovers. To illustrate this point, the ad shows a bruised woman limping down the street.

Actual screenshot from the ad

She suffers from "Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me." Her boyfriend banged her so hard last night she's all beat up. Ha. Ha. Rough sex and domestic violence is hilarious.

This article, from the British newspaper The Guardian, does a good job of taking the ad to task: Peta's vegan sex ad shows it has tofu for brains.

It's obvious to see what PETA is trying to do. They're trying to use shock value to get people to talk about them. They're like an adolescent who will do or say any shocking thing to get attention.

Grow up, PETA.

What PETA doesn't understand is that their obnoxious and offensive shock-value ads are only going to turn people off. I mean, seriously, what borderline vegan is going to see this ad and think, "Oh, cool, I want to join THAT group!" They're getting attention, but is it the right kind of attention?

I'm sure all the activists at PETA think these ads are brilliantly funny and creative. My personal theory is that they only hang out with other like-minded people who think eating animal products is akin to genocide, so they convince themselves that any attention justifies the means. They have no idea what kind of appeals would actually win over centrists to their position.

It's not only centrists that PETA offends, though. One commenter wrote on a blog:
I’m a vegetarian and I can’t stand PETA.
They’re the Christian Right of the animal rights movement.
Most of the other comments had similar opinions.

Ironically, that same week The Daily Show did a story about another PETA publicity stunt: SeaWorld of Pain. (Sorry, video won't embed.)

PETA, you're doing more harm than good.


I had the same reaction when I heard a story on NPR last week. Some gay activists are "glitter bombing" Republican candidates for president: Glitter Bombing a Sparkly Weapon of Disapproval on the Campaign Trail.

Glitter bombing involves running up to a candidate and throwing a bucket of glitter on him. In the NPR story, the glitterbomber then shouts:
"Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics! It's dividing our country and it's not fixing our economy."
The moron behind the Newt glitter bomb

Seriously, does anyone think this kind of thing will work? That is will convince one person on the other side that gays deserve equal treatment under the law? By throwing fucking glitter on someone?!?
"It's a harmless but sensational way to bring attention to serious issues,"

No, it's not. It's an obnoxious stunt that will only make people hate you and your cause even more. And since this is a cause I believe in, your immature antics piss me off. You're making a mockery out of the "serious issues."

What was most galling was how the NPR correspondent treated the glitter bomber as a harmless prankster, and not as a total nutjob who's ultimately hurting his own cause. You could hear the chuckling elbows-in-the-ribs tone as they interviewed the glitter bomber.

Hey, I like "sparkly weapons of disapproval" as much as the next guy. I'm not made of stone. But keep those things among friends who already agree with you. You're not winning anyone over with these stupid pranks.

No comments: