Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have been dying to say this for a long, long time - PETA exploits sexuality in the guise of animal activism! I am so glad women's organisations have finally woken up to the sly trick and have demanded action against some of the more offensive ads. Getting celebrities to strip for a 'good cause' (bah!), is the cheapest trick in the book. What is all that nonsense about models wearing cabbage leaves and not much else, or lying under a bed of red clad in palak patta loincloths ( (langots) and similar costumes, supposedly to draw attention to the pathetic plight of bakris, ghodas, kuttas, billies and other four- legged creatures. Now, don't get me wrong. I love animals. I love them more than I love most people. But I don't love the PETA ads, nor do I approve of their methods. Protests are one thing, but shoving opinions down people's throats ,quite another. I hate the way they behave like they alone are the true custodians of kindness, that they are the real bleeding hearts who care about dumb animals, that they are the sole saviours left on earth who can protect those helpless creatures.... come on.... there are ways and ways to raise consciousness\awareness.Ignorant folks can be sensitised in a manner that doesn't require nudity from the models, nor spray cans to ruin fur coats worn by celebs on the red carpet. PETA needs to rethink its strategy. Jesse Randhawa dressed as a slinky serpent is fun to ogle. But what precise purpose is she serving?? Jawab do...


ek-ladki-anjaani-si said...

I am jawaabl-ess. I never understood them either...and have always wondered why people are not disgusted by them yet.

Logically though, I see it as the age old recipe of marketing. Any kind of publicity is good publicity. When folks like yourself get disgusted by such ads, they write about it - which brings it to the sight of the masses. Then, it gets perhaps more attention. Negative or Positive, tis' all about getting the point across to ignorant folks who otherwise would not pay much attention to them.

Now that you have mentioned it, many will go and look at the ads, just because YOU said it. That itself is a domino effect. Now as far as those who are in those skimpy clothes... how better to get attention than to be NAKEY for their own career enhancement? Zimble Na?

Anonymous said...

I do not approve nor disapprove. But Yes I say :
"Attention" of larger audience may be the motive behind ads.
How much they succeed ?
They only know.
Re.: Purpose
We(snake) dont have ears to listen, dont you(snake-charmers) know that...

*Aham* said...

ohh like we have a kodak moment... this is like a safola moment Tere Dil Ki Baat Mein Jaanu... I am with you in your views, there needs to be something creative in what the designers are doing. being dressed nanga-punga with some sidey caption doesnt serve the purpose.. last i had seen shilpa shetty as a tiger, she looked like a malnourished monkey...

I love animals over humans too. And i am veggie planning to turn vegan, but i will not feel offended or upset with you too if you speak about chicken tandoori... theres a time and mood for every message, if you post about vegetarianism, thn id key in my views, not otherwise.

Besides, I can see you as a complete animal lover even if you eat them. yes, if one needs to educate someone about vegetarianism, you need to have a concept thats on the face... not some chikni girl looking as if she is on heat.

Need some creative ideas, where teh focus is not on beauty, but on teh apathy...

Said that, i respect the stars who have given their time for the cause. I dont want to sound like what every organization does "bitch about the other organization" and simply complain... I support peta in their views... but dont quite agree with the way they exercise it.

Kush said...

Shobha, you are raising an important issue of women's sexuality here. And when I say women's sexuality, I don't mean it in the narrower sense of sexual orientation alone. Like you, I am of the opinion that issues around women's sexuality need to address ways in which women are discriminated against in the context of health care, education and the media. However, not all organizations understand this. And a few like PETA sometimes just don’t get it.

But Shobha does that mean you flag something like “PETA exploits sexuality in the guise of animal activism?” I think not; for its like rubbishing all the good work that PETA has done so far and replacing it with a slogan that reads no different from rants and raves of a drama queen (Is Ms. Banerjee listening?)

There are other questions of deeper significance. And these are “How are women’s bodies regulated? What controls do women have on their own bodies? How do women experience regulation? ” These are more central to any discussion on women’s sexuality than a “Jesse Randhawa dressed as a slinky serpent”.

Models strip – whether they do that “willfully” on the ramp, in a cage, as an act on stage, in a film or in their bedroom are of little significance from the point of view of human rights. But if they are “made to strip” that is where the problem arises. And I am certain; PETA is no authoritative regime that is “making” some of its models strip. So why single out PETA?

Anonymous said...

Methinks you are getting a bit carried away.....
PETA is trying to make it "oh-so-inappropriate" to wear fur.
If anyone is seen in fur,the most likely reaction is- how many animals did you kill for this jacket?
I think they have created awareness where none existed, and attached so much negativity to wearing fur that few celebs dare to wear it!
I say hats, nay, clothes off to them!!
Btw, I am NOT an animal lover...

Arjun said...

those advts are intended as attention grabbers... i dunno if they increase the number of vegetarians in the country though!!
taking off one's clothes to promote a noble cause....methinks the cause gets forgotten....

sanjuayyar said...

as an advertising professional, i can say for sure that the PETA ads leave me bewildered.
Nudity can never compensate for the lack of a brilliant idea.
Great communication ideas will be remembered forever.
Nudity, well, it only titillates, does not communicate.

Vman said...

Well I think its a very simple marketing strategy that says SEX SELLS!! Period. Be it bollywood or hollywood,products with this marketing style have recieved tremendous success. So whats wrong in showing off your bod to get a message across through dumb minds?

Kris Bass said...

I like naked women in PETA ads. I don't really have a problem that it gets the attention.

Sabarish Chandrasekharan said...

PETA is trying to reach to more people through these kind of ad's. But its illogical if they dont convey the true message as well. The "Silver Spring Monkey on Vivisection" an Ad of that kind would be an eye opener, but sheer nudity(almost) is baseless. Kids might not even understand what PETA is it will be like "woh bina kapde waala ad aa gaya".

Anil P said...

I agree.

It is strange how often one gets things wrong because we trusted less our own feelings as in a straightforward communication and instead relied on creatively scripting one to fit our idea of what the media can 'sell' best!

Public perception of what sells in the media will drive public communication, in the end achieving neither. If you cannot get your perception of the medium right there's little chance you'll ever be able to craft an effective communication.

Double Seven said...

"SEX SELLS"- VMAN... Right on vman... I think though- Pamela Anderson sells more than any "sex"...
The most erotic video on youtube I ever saw was of Pamela covering her private parts with something fur-like I think it was in Vegas! But what happened in Vegas that time never stayed there and spread across the globe... well tt was better to watch that particular video than to watch porn because it didn't contain any nudity. And where there's no nudity BUT "almost-nude" moments then people like me feel better-aroused... but one thing did change in me though- from that day onwards I have stopped thinking about buying any animal skin-related products.

And I am a vegetarian (except for Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Subway Sandwich sold just outside my Uni's Subway and only there!).

Then I am not a vegetarian?? Who cares! Ignore vegetarianism; adore "chic"kism!... Ohhhhhhh...... aaahhhh.... Chikkkan!!

Yeah but you are probably right- those ads are over-the-top R rated and PG-13 in some cases. And they more likely serve the purpose for satisfying a man's need than both men and women.

regarding what you thought about the boy-cut model Jesse Randhawa I didn't quite get you.... Sorry.

De now you take care... Adios amigos.
Mein chala cricket khelne mere Pakistani buddies ke saath...


MSS said...

But then also suggest some creative ways of protests. Critisizing PETA's ads is one thing, what then Shoba, what do you think they can do? Your suggestions would make an interesting read

Parv Kaushik said...

kind of agree with you...

they aint no sole crusaders here...

Sanjay Sharma said...


I am so glad you and others have noticed PETA's ads. That means PETA's gambit of using celebrities works. It's a simple fact - they take the help of celebrities to further the cause of animals. When a celebrity talks, people listen. Every time a celebrity speaks out for a cause, be it for animal abuse in circuses, or their conditions in captivity in zoos, or the suffering in factory farms, a lot of compassionate people come forward to find out how they can help PETA. The main reason to use a celeb is to bring about awareness on a particular topic. They are doing it for a cause, to help bring about awareness for a suffering animal or a suffering human being.

I cannot understand what is unethical about their most recent ad showing Shamita Singha covered in chillies lying on a bed of chillies? She is wearing a bikini and they have just covered the bikini with chilies. How does that constitute exploitation of women, what about the very famous calendar by Kingfisher which comes out every year featuring women in bikinis? Why do people not comment on that? Whats the difference?

Its really strange that people say they love animals if they don't get the reason why PETA uses ads that are shocking or different. Do they you mean they love animals so much that they eat them??? And what about leather? Do you wear shoes and carry bags made from the dead skin of animals? Have you ever bothered to realize that the animal whose skin you are wearing or carrying on your arm did not want to die? He wanted to live just as much as you do but he would have been dragged by the tail or beaten till he collapsed and then his throat would have been slit all the time while he was struggling to get up and run away. He would have been terrified Shobha, have you ever even taken time out from your social life to even consider the way animals are killed or treated by us humans?

This is how animals are killed for leather

To see some more about what they do, please see the following links:

Here is a report they have compiled on the dairy industry of India

Do you drink milk? Do you eat cheese? Read how you contribute to the misery faced by animals raised and killed for milk.

Here is a report of the chicken industry of India

Did you know that chickens are probably the worst treated animals who are killed for food? Have you ever looked into the eye of a chicken just before she is killed? Or maybe you dont care?

This is how animals suffer in laboratories

What cosmetics do you use? Was it tested on an animal? Or do you not care?

This is why everyone should turn vegetarian

This is the condition of zoos in India

Check out and see how animals are treated before you make fun of an organization that is working so hard to bring the issue of animal rights in the forefront, and you must realize that they are working against all odds in a country like ours where human rights are also not accorded the importance. But PETA has succeeded by making people aware that animals too feel pain, and can suffer and would like nothing better than to be left with their families just like all of us.

PETA works very hard for animals who are incarecerated in zoos and circuses, in laboratories, killed in slaughterhouses, skinned alive for their skin and kept in captivity. Everyone should join their fight for the rights of animals, and if they cannot because they themselves are abusing animals in some ways, then they should start to see the light. A socialite like you should lead the way for animals since you say you love them, not make fun of the very people who are fighting for them. Shame on you.

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