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PETA prances out playmates, but is anyone influenced to go vegetarian?

Veggie dogs

Members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals surely have their hearts in the right place, but do their sexy stunts really influence people like me, a proud carnivore? Not in the slightest.

As a single, meat-eating man, I am probably their target audience when they strut sexy models and celebrities in lettuce-wrap bikinis to attract attention to their vegetarian causes. But here's the problem: Most men like me see absolutely no relation between sex and eating. They are simply two things that rank high in things we like to think about and do. And until the sex stops in our lives because of the food we ingest, we will continue to patronize fast food drive-thrus and have barbecues and eat all-beef hot dogs at sporting events.

Likewise, when PETA recruits models like 2008's Playboy Cyber Girl of the Year Jo Garcia and 2008's Playboy Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole, I will accept their free veggie dogs, like the ones they handed out on Capitol Hill this week, but will I resist the desire to wrap them in bacon? Probably not. In fact, I'd go a step further and secretly hope that vegetarianism never fully takes off so that PETA will be forced to continue to use such male-friendly marketing approaches.

Shower Here's what PETA should realize: Men can change their ways, and yes, women could be the impetus that could lead us toward healthier diet, which in turn could also lead to a better world. But attractive, mostly naked women, in public places, doing weird and wild things, are feeding into male fantasies, as opposed to repulsing our animalistic impulses.

If anything, these women are making us salivate while making us think about food. How on earth is that supposed to prevent us from wanting a Double-Double at In-N-Out?

The German women to the right have an approach that I can get behind. Although this banner says "Wash your conscience clean -- become vegetarian," a different sign from the same demonstration in Frankfurt this week claimed that it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of ground beef. While studies vary as to exactly how much water is needed for cattle, a regularly quoted Newsweek line claims that "the water that goes into a 1,000-pound steer would float a destroyer."

At the risk of alienating myself from the rest of my bachelor brotherhood, I have to say that this sort of logic actually speaks to me: "Before you order that chili burger from Tommy's or that steak at Ruth's Chris, think about what it took to create that delicious dish, and in the case of beef, it took lots and lots and lots of water. Water that could be used for more important things than the red meat that will please your palate but will rot your intestines."


Meanwhile, do I think KFC tortures chickens? Do I think about most of the food that ends up in my TV dinner? Do I spend any time whatsoever concerning myself with ideas about animals having souls or what their place is in the social ladder of life on Earth?

Of course not. If I did I wouldn't eat veal at my favorite Los Feliz Italian restaurant, nor would I dine on raw fish at my favorite secret sushi haunt in Westchester. PETA is clearly targeting men with their nudish stunts, but as a man I can tell you that we don't think when we eat, which is one reason why you can find sizes larger than XXL at Wal-Mart.

Although their demonstrations are fascinating, and their posters and protests are somewhat titilating, PETA should ask itself "what made us become vegan and vegetarian?" Odds are it wasn't some stunt held in the middle of a town square as photographers clicked away. Something tells me that their eating habits were either formed at a young age or changed after something traumatic happened. 


Babes in lettuce bikinis are traumatic to no one and only influence creative fashion designers, not carnivores.

-- Tony Pierce

Photos, from top: Playmates Jayde Nicole and Jo Garcia hand out vegetarian hot dogs at PETA's Annual Capitol Hill Veggie-Dog Lunch in Washington; two women shower behind a banner reading "Wash your conscience clean --  become vegetarian" in Frankfurt, Germany; a PETA demonstration outside the American Veterinary Medical Assn. conference this month in Seattle; another angle on the veggie-dog giveaway on Capitol Hill.

Photo credits, from top: Kris Connor / Getty Images;
Mario Vedder / AFP/Getty Images; Kevin P. Casey / Associated Press; Kris Connor / Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (9)

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I think it's a fun way to bring attention to a some very serious issues like human health and animal cruelty.

You, Mr. Pierce have a right to ignore animal suffering but it actually bothers the vast majority of people. Bravo to the beautiful lettuce ladies!

I can tell from the phalanx of press people in the photo that the stunt achieved its desired ends - to get the PETA name and cause in front of people. There's a good chance that PETA had something to do with everyone who's become a vegetarian for ethical reasons in the past 20 years, whether through a pamphlet, a video, or some other form of grassroots outreach. As much as people like to criticize them, they still get the conversation moving; meanwhile their undercover investigations and corporate pressure campaigns get results.

If you do not give a damn about animal rights, then no matter what campaign makes, it will not affect you. You are not their target.

On other campaign, Peta asks for taxing meat. Maybe this will make you eat less animals.

Wonder what size boat the water being wasted on the nude "conscience" bathers would float? Besides, most of the water they claim is being used in the production of the beef one eats is the rainwater that falls on the corn that is fed to the beef. And while I can't cite scientific figures, I would think that a large percentage of that water is recycled through a nifty non-government program called evaporation. Get my point??

Calling PETA "well-meaning" is like calling Hitler "misguided".

They don't give two fat damns about animals. Their sole goal is to force their wingnut lifestyle choices down the throats of the entire world through a combination of terror tactics, misinformation, and draconian food laws enacted by stupid, paid-off politicians.

Oh, and for the record? They hate women. Women, after all, are the ones who have babies, and they hate human babies even more than they hate women. (Why do you suppose they always objectify and demean only women with their ugly little stunts?).

Little by little, these small displays bring big press to the vegetarian/vegan cause. Even if you will not change your ways, perhaps there is another man out there that will. Perhaps the information about sinking the destroyer will be the last push for one person to finally take the leap and forgo animal products and there they (PETA) will have a result. Change comes slowly. I'm glad for them to be out on the streets because obviously, the large agricultural lobbies won't let this information be freely spread to the public on advertisements. Maybe soon though.

Re: BADKarma's response...It sounds as if (s)he took their comment straight from Penn & Teller's "BS" PETA special. That rhetoric is boring and unfounded. Sure it's one thing to like the taste of meat, but why would anyone condone the meat industry as it is currently? You either have to be ignorant of the animal and worker conditions or a shareholder in the company.

Jayde Nicole is an amazing girl who spends a bunch of her time speaking out for thoses who cant. I cant get enuf of this woman! Great effort by both women! Her tweets speak for themselves as she talks about animals quite a bit!

They are doing a GREAT thing by exposing the horror of factory farming or even animal farming and introducing a much healthier lifestyle.

I'm a strong, healthy, 6'4" and I'm 98% vegetarian and I'm vegetarian most days of the week. In other words I'm healthier than 98% of the country and I'm sure the lettuce ladies would admire that.


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