PETA antics: first paint throwing, now ‘sea kittens’ and sexy veggies

By Megan Kutulis
February 19, 2009

Shannon Keough

I’ve never really been big into fur, but I can pretty much guarantee that if I was, a bucket of red paint all over a jacket I probably paid a semester’s worth of tuition for would get me pretty heated. This is why I sympathize with victims of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals red paint protests.

PETA is the largest animal rights group in the world, and probably one of the most controversial.

Although PETA has been around for quite a while, its controversial ad campaigns and technically peaceful protests have started to push the envelope.

“Paint throwers,” PETA’s most supposedly “devoted” members, have become notorious for protesting leather and fur by throwing cans of red paint at unsuspecting passer-bys to remind them of the blood shed on behalf of their wardrobe.

I get the symbolism, but I don’t really believe that PETA members can honestly see this as a legitimate way to change people’s minds. Next time I see a smoker, I’ll be sure to shower them in tobacco. That’ll teach ’em.

The most recent PETA effort has been directed at fish. In an attempt to change people’s view, the organization has suggested that fish be called “sea kittens” instead.

I know there is no way I’m the only one who sees anything weird about this. Sea kittens sound like some sketchy video game character that you have to beat on level one before you get to the real stuff.

Furthermore, unless they plan on de-sliming and de-stinking these sea kittens, I doubt they’ll get a different reaction than fish did.

PETA’s commercials have been known to raise a few eyebrows, too. Past clips have included Pamela Anderson and Alicia Silverstone preferring to “go naked rather than wear fur,” and, most recently, their ad was pulled from the anticipated Super Bowl commercial lineup for being too scandalous. The ad is still posted on the organization’s Web site, but let’s just say I can see why it was pulled.

Still, I have to give PETA some credit. Its ads have come a long way from the whole look-where-your-chicken-nuggets-came-from documentaries, and they’ve managed to get people talking, no matter what the reason. And no one ends up drenched in paint, which is a plus.

I think PETA has a good thing going, and their work for animal rights is something that’s affected plenty of people. But when it comes to convincing the general public that what they’re doing is right, they’ve got a long way to go.

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Megan Kutulis

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