4 Oct 2013

Preaching to the converted

From a media point of view, there was really only one story to write about this week but since it’s important that we treat all of our media owner partners equally and that I am likely to become profane it’s probably best if I don’t mention it. Suffice to say that when you find yourself on the side of Alistair Campbell then you know something in the world has gone seriously wrong.

So, instead I have decided to turn my gaze upon another institution that I really have an issue with and that is PETA.  In the interests of clarity I should define my stance on animals and animal rights etc. I don’t have any pets and in fact I don’t really understand why anybody does. I do eat meat and I do support the use of animals in medical testing - to a degree (it’s a bit of a grey area for me this one). I don’t however condone the use of animals in testing for cosmetics and I don’t agree with the wearing of fur. I don’t agree in the killing of animals purely for sport such as Bullfighting or Fox Hunting but I don’t take objection to people hunting animals that they go on to eat.

So, now that we have my politics on the issue clear I can outline why PETA annoy me so much. It is for the simple reason that I think their tactics both highly offensive and wrong (I don’t mind things being highly offensive I just don’t like people getting things wrong). While their continued use of highly graphic and sexualised imagery manages to keep PETA front of mind (which I’m sure they see as a core aim), one might argue that they should concentrate more on driving active support for their cause. This is where I think they are missing the point.

Whilst their current tactics may confirm their support amongst the hardened few I don’t believe that the more liberal people who may support their view, let alone the undecided, are convinced.  Putting up a poster in Germany, for example, with holocaust imagery and comparing it to battery farming goes beyond shock tactics and into grossly inappropriate and is only going to drive anger at PETA rather than help people make a positive decision to support the cause.

Much has been written on the effectiveness, or otherwise, of shock advertising but for it to have any chance of working it has to at least shock you into confronting the issue at hand rather than the body behind it. I genuinely feel that PETA is undermining what is a very worthwhile cause for the sake of its own fame, or infamy.  With no shortage of animal charities to support I’d rather get involved with an organisation who is trying to do something other than continue to highlight their own self –importance.