PETA's desperation for attention hits an all time low.
August 30, 2001 11:00 PM   Subscribe

PETA's desperation for attention hits an all time low. (more inside)
posted by skallas (53 comments total)

 
Not only does this proposed billboard plainly mock an 8-year old shark attack victim it suggests that sharks are motivated by revenge. This is tasteless and stupid.

I don't know what side of the fence you are on the kitten video but who here thinks these are the people who should be making moral judgements on animals, let alone people? Can this group discredit itself more if it tried?

Right now, I picture your average PETA supporter and member as a misanthrope who has gone overboard on one popular issue. Sadly, more press usually equals more money, thus more people might contribute to and equate animal rights with PETA than a more behaved and intelligent organiztion like the humane society.
posted by skallas at 11:13 PM on August 30, 2001


very very very very tacky.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:20 PM on August 30, 2001


But accurate in a sense. Wasn't the arm bitten while helping a family member reel in the shark? To quantify that in human terms, I'd use the term "revenge" or "self defense."
posted by fleener at 11:27 PM on August 30, 2001


Billboard graphic here.

fleener, I wouldn't use revenge. Vengence is a planned act, and sharks just don't act like they do in the movies. Self-defense/attacking your enemies yeah that would be more fitting, but 3 years down the road that shark isn't going to comb the beaches looking for this kid's uncle.
posted by skallas at 11:32 PM on August 30, 2001


The arm was bitten while the boy was swimming.
posted by justgary at 11:34 PM on August 30, 2001


Only humans enact revenge.

Sharks act on instinct.

PETA acts on disgust.
posted by Down10 at 11:37 PM on August 30, 2001


PETA is so evil that it nearly hurts my brain to even think about it.
posted by davidmsc at 12:00 AM on August 31, 2001


Stupid, yes. Tacky, I dunno(see below). I side with the shark. But the "revenge" reference IS totally wrong as already pointed out.

I say, "Go, shark, go!"
If sharks suddenly grew legs and started parading around city streets, I can pretty much guarantee there would be a lot of dead landsharks in short order.
When we go splashing around in their waters, they have every right to take a bit out our asses.

When's the next installment of When Animals Attack coming on?
posted by Su at 12:04 AM on August 31, 2001


The best description I've heard for PETA is "Militant Vegan Fuckers". That seems to fit them.

Really, there's better ways to promote your causes than by pissing everyone off.
posted by Theiform at 12:05 AM on August 31, 2001


i think revenge here is used a bit loosely to signify the possibility that sharks are a little bit pissed off when so many of them are killed just for their fins or whatnot. now i'm no zoologist, but i have read about some animals, namely elephants, that have a keen memory, and if you killed a mother elephant's little baby, she will hunt you down forever, or so the story goes.

i'm not a supporter of extreme animal rights, nor am i too keen on being a vegetarian. but i would like to see the end of excessive fishing to a point where we're eliminating a species, and some sharks are endangered. and since nowadays, if people don't create a controversy, no one listens it seems, and so peta has to reply on some unconventional strategies, and that's what the spokesperson mentioned. if this billboard does bring these issues to some people, then it has done its job, and i have no problems with that.
posted by dai at 12:06 AM on August 31, 2001


but I would like to see the end of excessive fishing to a point where we're eliminating a species, and some sharks are endangered. and since nowadays, if people don't create a controversy, no one listens it

The billboard doesn't directly mention anything other than revenge. It doesn't say 'hey we're driving these animals to extinction do something about it.' The most telling part of the board is the 'GoVeg' part. I see it as saying sharks are attacking because meat-eaters are awful sinners and deserve to have their arms torn off - even kids!

I can't think of a worse way to promote animal rights and vegetarianism. How many vegetarians became that way because PETA told them too? To 'GoVeg' is a complex personal decision that has nothing to do with shark attacks.

As far as getting results go, the ends do not justify the means. Never. Mocking a child who will never have even 10% use of that arm again is cruel. I can see how controversy and attention might be needed in some cases, but there's also tact and common human decency to consider first.
posted by skallas at 12:21 AM on August 31, 2001


su:

i think it's a bit silly that you would say "go shark go"; it seems out of place to discuss whether a shark has a right to "take a bit out our asses" when the shark has probably never thought that it ought not to do something because it hasn't a right to.

that said, i think PETA is in poor taste with this billboard graphic, and i think that they know it. skallas is right: this is a cheap publicity stunt. i suppose that PETA would rather have people actually hate them as opposed to simply laughing at them.

perhaps if PETA actually had an intelligent plan -- say, to increase education about the environment and the planet's ecosystems -- it would become more than a mere sinkhole for charity given by celebrities hoping to avoid a higher tax bracket.
posted by moz at 12:22 AM on August 31, 2001


I think it's funny that they are choosing to portray the perfectly natural carnivorous act of a shark as some sort of retaliation for our perfectly natural carnivorous acts. That said, though I'm certain sharks aren't out there thinking "gotta get those humans," we are putting a huge strain on the ocean ecosystem's ability to provide adequate sustenance to the predators at the top of the undersea food chain. That means hungry sharks who come in closer to shore looking for food.
posted by Nothing at 12:48 AM on August 31, 2001


The more I come across this group, the more annoyed I get. I'm definitely for the ethical treatment of animals but I'm definitely anti-PETA.

I can't wait to see what happens if that spokesperson gets her arm bitten off by a shark. Somehow, I don't think we'd get press releases saying how justified the shark was.
posted by jackiemcghee at 12:49 AM on August 31, 2001


PETA is all about cheap publicity stunts, with little taste or common sense.

My husband, who is a strict vegetarian for health reasons (and thus is very meticulous about making sure he =does= eat right), believes many of the PETA people have severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, thus resulting in such poor judgement. I think that's too kind, as we don't know how good their judgement was before becoming vegan (or if they were brought up vegan, how they would've functioned with a little red meat in them.)

Still, PETA people - eat your nutritional yeast! You need your B vitamins!
posted by meep at 1:01 AM on August 31, 2001


Christ, what is this, pile on PETA? Have they been this successful at pounding the little rubber hammer on all your kneecaps? Reflex! PETA evil! Reflex! PETA must be stopped! Reflex! Give PETA more attention just like they want!

who here thinks these are the people who should be making moral judgements on animals, let alone people?

Uh, I think the point is that each of us individually is making those moral judgements. Last time I checked the Constitution, PETA wasn't a branch of government. Overreact much?

fleener: You were taken in by a hoax chain e-mail that went around charging that the uncle was shark-fishing. It was wholly false. (As, by the way, is this unrelated concoction that should be on fipilele.)
posted by dhartung at 1:27 AM on August 31, 2001



"PETA is all about cheap publicity stunts, with little taste or common sense."


Thank you Meep. Nail on the target.
posted by tp3wen at 1:45 AM on August 31, 2001


gah! i'm a vegetarian, and a big supporter of animal rights causes, but PETA has always made me cringe. not only are they making themselves look bad (shock-value pamphlets and offensively pointed billboards will only turn people off of a cause), but they also do a wonderful job of making passive animal rights supporters look like a bunch of lunatics. all they do is give people like me a bad name, by misassociation.
posted by paultron at 1:57 AM on August 31, 2001


Uh, I think the point is that each of us individually is making those moral judgements. Last time I checked the Constitution, PETA wasn't a branch of government. Overreact much?

I was talking about PETA's rally against Stile, in that context their calls for censorship and possible lawsuits could put a chilling effect on web content.

In a larger context, if you read my post, I was asking rhetorical questions about ethics especially towards those who side with this organization over their dim view of the Kitty dinner video.

How is this overreacting? Its not like I'm telling everyone to murder a PETA member, just bringing to light their newest act of zealotry to counter their little PR win over the Kitty video. That's perfectly appropriate as the kitty video was two threads here at MeFi.
posted by skallas at 2:03 AM on August 31, 2001


Living near the accident...and it was just that, I can tell you that the boy was swimming off a public beach used by just about everyone. The shark was close to shore because it was following it's food source. The child looked like food because it was small and making quick movements. It took a bite to taste it, and took the whole arm off. Then it swam off. The uncle, hearing the screams, took to the water and dragged the thing up by the tail. A local cop shot the shark in the head, and they removed the arm which was still whole with a clean cut. There was no shark fishing in the area. The shark was doing what came natually, and the uncle only responded on instinct.

What PETA is doing, alluding that the shark was avenging its kind and assigning human intentions to an animal, does more harm to the sharks then help. Cast as the villains already in movies and books, they need no extra help in being seen as the bad guys.
posted by FunkyHelix at 3:25 AM on August 31, 2001


I think it's about time for this one again.
posted by kvan at 3:42 AM on August 31, 2001


I'm going to eat some meat today in protest (I'm normally veggie*). I suggest all other vegetarians do the same. A world-wide meat-eating protest.

Now, bacon or salami..? (Could someone please post something else about PETA, then I could have both ;-)

(*) My justification is at self link - which I'm posting because I don't want to launh into my "vegetarians needn't be rabid totalitarians" rant here...
posted by andrew cooke at 3:50 AM on August 31, 2001


Do you think PETA realizes that they are the Jack Chicks of vegetarians?
posted by NortonDC at 4:21 AM on August 31, 2001


i think revenge here is used a bit loosely to signify the possibility that sharks are a little bit pissed off when so many of them are killed just for their fins or whatnot. now i'm no zoologist ...

No kidding. If life was a B-movie where sharks are capable of exacting revenge, every day at the beach would be a bloodbath. You have no idea how many of them are swimming with us off the coasts here in Florida.

The child looked like food because it was small and making quick movements. It took a bite to taste it, and took the whole arm off. Then it swam off.

That's not an accurate description of what happened. The shark still had the child in its mouth when the uncle grabbed it (source), and it had also bit the child's leg (source).
posted by rcade at 5:32 AM on August 31, 2001


In response to the story, one person at a site my husband frequents one person had this to say.

Indeed!
posted by soynuts at 5:57 AM on August 31, 2001


When PETA co-opted the Oklahoma City Bombing to get free publicity, I thought they couldn't sink any lower. Man was I wrong. Pass the porterhouse, I'm distancing myself as far as possible from these whackos.
posted by darren at 6:03 AM on August 31, 2001


In response to the story, one person at a site my husband frequents one person had this to say.

Indeed!
posted by soynuts at 6:03 AM on August 31, 2001


I don't think I've ever met a vegetarian that liked PETA.

Who the hell are these people? What kind of nuts become PETA members?
posted by bondcliff at 6:40 AM on August 31, 2001


Peta does their cause a great disservice. They give animal rights activists a bad name.
posted by Dr Gonzo at 6:45 AM on August 31, 2001


PETA is not so much pro-animal as anti-human.
posted by bondcliff at 6:47 AM on August 31, 2001


Who the hell are these people? What kind of nuts become PETA members?

My friend's mom is one, or at least she contributes. She's a lonely middle-age woman who's moody enough to be considered misanthropic half the time. She has a dog she doesn't walk and 4 cats. The animals shed everywhere, and the dog is huge (Alaskan) and is locked up in a tiny house all day.

I doubt she's the exception, I wouldn't be surprised if most contributors are emotionally obsessed with their pets in lieu of real human friendship.
posted by skallas at 7:03 AM on August 31, 2001


Living near the accident

New Jersey?
posted by justgary at 7:06 AM on August 31, 2001


All the hatred toward PETA in this discussion shows the downside of their tactics. And the worst part is that people for so-called animal rights, even not associated with PETA, get branded as lunatics, much like Christian fundamentalists are causing general animosity toward anyone with some religious beliefs. Hopefully, just because PETA is crazy doesn't mean that people in general will ignore animal rights issues in general.
posted by junkster at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2001


skallas , I said "in human terms." I understand sharks are not likely to comprehend concepts such as revenge.
posted by fleener at 9:12 AM on August 31, 2001


junkster, I second your thoughts completely. The worst part of PETA is that non-vegetarians tend to think PETA speaks for all of us, and that everything vegan or vegetarian is somehow PETA's doing. It's amazing what sorts of things people ascribe to PETA -- I've been told before in all seriousness (by a meat-eater, of course) that PETA was the legitimate face of the Animal Liberation Front. Even in this discussion, Theoform comments on how well he thinks the phrase 'Militant Vegan Fuckers' describes PETA. 'Militant'! PETA is about as militant as Cosmo. (Actually, it's like Cosmo in a lot of ways, now that I think about it.) PETA is the unradical radical group that eschews thinking and reduces all social problems to pithy one-liners.


Non-veggies: please realize that many of us wacko vegans and vegetarians think that PETA is dumber and more annoying than you do. More importantly, realize that their stupid slogans don't justify you in dismissing vegetarianism.


posted by jacobm at 9:34 AM on August 31, 2001


Pro-PETA: Once good thing about these extreme groups (PETA, ELF, Earth First!) is that they make other environmental groups look moderate by comparison. Remember when Greenpeace was considered "radical" ...

Ah what the heck, here's another anti-PETA: ... on the other hand, these extreme groups (PETA, ELF, Earth First!) sure do give critics of environmental causes an awfully big target.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:42 AM on August 31, 2001


!? Hey! What happened to the first half of my post?
-----
Anti-PETA: This billboard is pretty dumb. I especially like how the left half is, like, "Go shark go! You're a carnivore and, dude, yer totally justified in biting that kid!" And the right half urges us -- humans, also carnivores (or omnivore, at least) -- to "GoVeg". Which is it, people: are animals biting other animals good or bad?

Pro-PETA: Once good thing ... [see above]
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:43 AM on August 31, 2001


Well meaning but inept groups like PETA negate their own effectiveness with their tactics. They must surely realise they turn as many people off with their tactics as they turn on. Sloganism is a pathetic replacement for a valid argument. I find it hard to align with anti-whatever groups, because people don't tend to buy a negative reaction as an ethos. Why don't they accentuate a positive message as to the benefits of vegetarianism instead of guilt tripping people who don't give a fuck....nah, that would be dull and soooo not radical. Hey, why don't they show the Kitty video to drum up support?
posted by boneybaloney at 11:03 AM on August 31, 2001


In my experience (I was a bit of a Earth First!er in my college years), groups like PETA want to negate their own effectiveness. And, oh yes, they most certainly realize they turn as many people off with their tactics as they turn on -- that's the whole point.

These guys are philosophical elitists. In order to remain fringe (i.e. cool), it's crucial that they maintain an image that is intentionally out-of-step with the rest of the world. The last thing these guys want to do is actually sway a lot of people to their cause, because then those people would join them and their group would suck (because, as you know, popular = lame). So they have to walk this fine line between promoting their supposed message while making themselves as unpalatable as possible so that their elitist-ranks don't get diluted by middle-American rabble. If they ever discovered that they were succeeding in getting the public to agree with their message, they would just stake out a new one outside of the newly-revised "mainstream".

That said, I like PETA for the reasons stated above: radical groups make moderate groups (i.e. groups who are sincere in their desire for change) fighting for the same cause seem reasonable. As an environmentalist myself (and a vegetarian for environmental reasons), I say more power to 'em.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 11:51 AM on August 31, 2001


PETA is like Fred Phelps and the people who picket the homes of abortion providers. They don't care what you say about them as long as you say it -- for every 95 people who are offended by PETA's strident idiocy, there are 5 who are receptive to the group. PETA has been the subject of seven different threads on MetaFilter to date.
posted by rcade at 12:15 PM on August 31, 2001


I support PETA's actions. All of them.

With money. Lots of it.

Yeah, including this latest action, which boldly makes a point about human animals hunting other sentient beings close to extinction for such immensely important ends as trophies, fashion apparel, gourmet soup and aphrodisiacs.

Unpopular causes need lots of publicity. Thanks to skallas et al for publicizing this one even more.

Let's see...shark tastes child. I doubt Mr. Jaws thought much about "revenge" (PETA knows this). I guess Mack just thought the child would "taste good".

Why, gosh, that's the reason humans eat meat, right? Sounds like big Jaws is at exactly the same stage of moral development as you anti-PETA-ites, and without even the benefit of much of a cerebral cortex.

Spineless too, in a sense. All cartilage.

Calm yourself folks. Really, you sound just like the whining, self-righteous slave-traders of old, denounced from the pulpit of emancipation. How dare PETA throw our immorality right in our very faces? Why, our entire economy will be ruined if not for these slaves of ours. Whatever will our children eat? And they are, after all, "lesser" beings than ourselves, aren't they?

AREN'T THEY?!

>chuckle<

By the way, and this is important, was Stiles able to get a video of the munched child-arm while it was still spurting? I mean, he is a well known activist against violence and not just a sensationalist/profiteer, right? I mean, he isn't just out to make a buck, right? The violent images posted on Stiles about women really are a protest, right?

And, again, posting child pornography without comment is really about stopping child pornography, right?

And let's see...PETA folk just must be "misanthropes" or, god forbid, even "vitamin deficient" to have such wild ideas about eliminating suffering. Well, on the other hand, I reckon one could say that these nice anti-PETA folk are probably just suffering from that nasty cerebral vessel atherosclerosis. Animal fat, you know. Vegetarians are all oh so much healthier, you know...live longer, better educated, etc. And damn it all, the meateaters I know all live in trailer parks, drink cheap American beer in cans, and shoot each other in the back during hunting season.

>wink<
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:26 PM on August 31, 2001


Hey, it's your money; if you want to give it to a bunch of buffoons, that's your business. You might not want to brag about it so much, though.
posted by kindall at 1:19 PM on August 31, 2001


fold_and_mutilate--your satire might have an edge if not for the fact that this thread is brimming with vegetarians just as disdainful of PETA as the omninivores.

Shadowkeeper--insightful post, and all the more reason to look down one's nose at PETA, whether you meant for it to be that way or not.
posted by NortonDC at 1:27 PM on August 31, 2001


Sounds like a slogan for JAWS 19. Coming soon, to a theater near you...
posted by kevspace at 2:11 PM on August 31, 2001


My friend's mom is one, or at least she contributes. She's a lonely middle-age woman

Curiously, when there was a fuss here (UK) last year(?) about transporting animals, with people blocking roads etc, the TV pictures showed an awful lot of middle-aged (and older) women.
posted by andrew cooke at 3:34 PM on August 31, 2001


Several years ago, before we knew much about 'em, my then-girlfriend-now-wife gave like 10 bucks to PETA because they had a table set up at some concert we went to and it seemed like a good thing to support. After that moment of poor judgement, we got massively assaulted by a tidal wave of PETA junk mail, telling us all sorts of horror stories and asking for more money -- they needed to buy more postage, I guess. After a few "Uh, thanks fellas, we get the message, now would you kindly fuck-off" phone calls from us they eventually stopped. The only thing they convinced us of was that they are a bunch of idiots not worth supporting. Our donations now go to the Humane Society.
posted by spilon at 3:43 PM on August 31, 2001


justgary: Yes...that's my main home, but I have a great deal of family in Florida I stay with, and they all have shark stories.

PETA runs a booth at the local college during the volunteer fair. However, the animal friendly booths that get the most attention are the people-friendly ones like the local shelters and the WWF. They offer less rethoric and aren't so rabid. You also get more out of helping area animals, than handing out flyers and yelling little old women in fur coats into heart attacks.

PETA...VHEMT? I suddenly have a craving for steak.
posted by FunkyHelix at 4:31 PM on August 31, 2001


My home is pensacola. I'll be swimming at the same beach this weekend.

Wish me luck...
posted by justgary at 4:48 PM on August 31, 2001


so why is it that PETA thinks pictures of a child attacked by a shark is witty and informative, but a kitten attacked by a frycook is mean and disgusting?

because the child isn't cute and cuddly?

* D O U B L E - S T A N D A R D ' D *
posted by jcterminal at 5:07 PM on August 31, 2001


It's a well known fact that PETA does more to hurt their cause than help it. That's why they're fools.

GO MEATATARIAN
posted by kingmissile at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2001


To paraphrase George Carlin, name six ways humans are better than sharks...see, you can't.

Actually, this very thread itself provides a nifty reductio ad absurdum of the claim that homo sapiens are worth preserving as a species. It's gotten to the point where more insights can be gleaned from shark noises than human chatter (supposedly our greatest talent).

I think we can all agree that this whole "human reproduction" thing has gotten way out of hand, and I'm personally thankful to see the sharks finally stepping in. Go sharks go.

[uh oh, that wasn't very PC, somebody better start a meta-etiquette thread!]
posted by johnb at 1:21 AM on September 1, 2001


Humans rule! Dophins can suck it. ( a free squishee for anyone who can name that reference).
posted by dig_duggler at 10:14 PM on September 1, 2001


THE UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE SAID THAT.

Now give me my Squishee, dig_duggler :)
posted by kingmissile at 2:56 PM on February 28, 2002


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