by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Causes, Eats.

peta_whales

Attention overweight people everywhere: PETA would like you to know that it considers you to be a “whale”.

The animal rights organization is promoting vegetarian diets to overweight Americans (an estimated 64% of the population) by insulting them. I’m not sure that’s the best angle — but clearly, PETA is never shy about shooting straight from the, ahem, gut. Unfortunately, there are people out there facing obesity everyday — and not just because their diet is at fault. One woman wrote a dieting website to complain saying,

“My family was visiting, and I was planning on taking them to the beach to enjoy the beautiful day when i saw a billboard that made me want to cry. It says “Save the Whales,” with a picture of an overweight woman in the foreground.”

“We all sat there and stared at it for a minute and everyone in the car was silent. No one wanted to mention my weight. I laughed it off as usual, but it really had made me so embarrassed, so self conscious and so ashamed about my weight that I dropped off my family at the oceanfront and left to go home, making the excuse that I wasn’t feeling well.”

Following PETA’s logic, Deceiver put together a list of vegetarian/vegan foods that would definitely not contribute to a more slimmer you.

In my opinion, there are much better ways of helping people change their diets for the better without blatantly insulting them. This ad campaign just looks like another cruel taunt. Thoughts?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • VeggieTart

    I can assure the sexist, sizist jerks at PETA that there most certainly are skinny omnivores and fat vegans.

  • http://pompousvegan.blogspot.com Misty Snatchwrath

    PeTA once again proves that it is a pack of thoughtless morons. Totally inappropriate.

  • Adri

    Not the best approach, no. But the number of obese people in the US continues to grow, and it is a little annoying to see more and more money go into drugs to allow people to continue eating too much without absorbing the fat. How about putting money into more useful caloric restriction programs instead?

  • http://green.thefuntimesguide.com Jeffrey

    I agree with VeggieTart. I know PLENTY of fat vegetarians and vegans.

    I know PETA goes for all the shock factor and crap, but this isn’t just shocking, it’s not even close to accurate

  • hil

    I agree with VeggieTart there are def. fat vegans and skinny omnivores out there. Also I would argue that if a person that eats mostly processed carbs, dairy and meat were to cut out just the meat, they are probably going to gain weight as well. It’s all about balance, genetics, and exercise.

  • http://juliesrawambition.com JulieK

    I agree, this wasn’t the best approach.

    While I do support PeTA and believe they have moved some great mountains for the sake of innocent animals, some of their means of getting their point across can indeed be almost as cruel as the problem itself that they’re targeting.

    My heart goes out to that poor lady. Obesity doesn’t just go as far as eating meat. As VeggieTart said, there’s plenty of skinny omnivores as well as fat vegans! The problem is primarily with industrialized food culture, socio-economic ailments, and that many people can only afford and only understand how to buy fast food.

    PeTA, during this crucial crossroad of GMO’s and industrialized food vs. the organic, sustainable, ProFood movement going on in the US right now, it would be a perfect opportunity to address these sources creating the problem, not the unfortunate products of the problem.

    Love and education, not condemnation and ridicule.

    <3, Julie

  • Car

    I had a friend who lost about 25 pounds when he stopped eating vegetarian; mostly because he was eating a lot of bread, dairy and fried foods. I also met a vegan who was underweight and anemic because all she ate was bread and fruit. I think a lot of people switch to veganism or vegetarianism without doing the proper research on nutrition. They can easily gain or lose unhealthy amounts of weight. Not really a responsible thing to be promoting.

  • EmilyRose

    PETA has now officially been tossed in to my compost heap. First the insult of “clothing” naked women in lettuce (objectifying much?) to this…self-righteous bigoted morons…and yes, I am overweight and no, being vegan for 16 months has not caused me to lose an ounce. I AM Anemic now, tyvm…

  • Joel

    Why would you ever link to the Deceiver? They don’t deserve the attention.

  • vataxtrem

    PeTA misleads people…France is full of skinny, healthy, meat and cheese eating people.(And, I know, I know, they walk everywhere…but they do not jog everywhere and it all amounts to about 40 minutes of moderately-paced walking) I tried not to eat meat and even though I ate a well balanced diet full of whole grains, fruit and veg, beans, tofu and the like, I was hungry all of the time, could never really feel full. When I ate meat again, my hunger abated and I lost weight. I only buy meat, eggs and milk from a local butcher who raises and slaughters humanely. Being a vegan is not the end-all be-all of the world’s problems. Eat whole foods in smaller portions, and get moderate, *enjoyable* exercise.

    People stupidly believe everything they see on TV.

    And BTW, fat does not make you fat…getting most of your calories from hyper-processed foods does by never truly sating you and causing you to overeat, since your body does not recognize these products as food. This country has heard the low-fat/low-carb, coupled with the intense cardio dogma for over 30 years and surprise, surprise, we just get fatter and fatter. Did you that in the 1950′s, BEFORE the explosion of dependence on processed foods and BEFORE a low-fat/low-carb and intense cardio regime was recommended, the average weight of women ages 20-29 was 128 lbs? In 2000, AFTER all this “expert” advice was being dispensed, the average weight was 157 lbs? (Source: Then End of Overeating; Dr. David A. Kessler; copyright: 2009) And NO this has NOTHING to do with genetics….genetics does not cause overweight/obesity in 2/3 of our population, that defies all logical thinking, and the simple fact that people believe that shows our country’s ignorance when it comes to eating healthfully. The whole genetics thing is a cop-out.

    In countries where dieting is practically unheard of, the populations tend to be thinner and healthier. (France, Italy, Spain, Greece) REAL food in proper portions, coupled with an active lifestyle will get you there and that is what this country need to learn.

  • http://yosoyblog.blogspot.com ¡Yo Soy Liz!

    I realize my stance is not a popular one but: I find it a little irritating how oversensitive we are to the issue of being overweight and obese. The fact that 64% of Americans are overweight means that we have a MAJOR problem and maybe a little tough love isn’t the worst thing if it makes people think about their diets.

    If anyone watches The Biggest Loser, one of the most fascinating parts is the first episode when the contestants first weigh in–it’s shocking how many of them really had no idea how much of a weight problem they had. They all were in complete denial. Maybe seeing an ad like that one would be the kick in the pants they needed to confront their obesity.

    Yes, obviously there are plenty of overweight vegans and vegetarians and probably even more skinny omnivores, but I think most educated health practitioners would argue that when you do a plant-based diet right (i.e. get all your fruits and veggies, not just eating Morning Star Farms products) it is healthier than a meat-based diet.

    I feel for the woman who was embarrassed in front of her family, but maybe instead of letting the ad ruin her day, she could let it inspire her to make a change in her lifestyle. Yes, to a certain extent obesity can be genetic, but I find this is often an easy excuse to blame weight problems on instead of poor diet and lack of exercise.

    I realize this viewpoint will offend many people, but I just dont think America’s tendency to nurture, empathize, and even embrace being overweight is the best bet for us in the long run. I am no Skinny Minny myself (I’ve been struggling to lose 15 lbs for the past 7 years)so I am fully aware of how difficult weight loss can be.

  • hil

    “Tough love” doesn’t really help someone if they have an emotional reason for overeating. Our culture and its treatment of food has made many people lose the “food=fuel” connection and instead there is a much larger “emotional imbalance=overeat” connection here. So making overweight people feel bad is more likely going to cause them to want to eat more (to soothe the sting) than less. If you’ve never had a dysfunctional relationship with food, or never thought about your relationship with food long enough to determine if it is in fact dysfuntional then you may not be able to relate to this.

  • http://RawfoodsRetreat.com erin raw foods

    The French don’t eat nearly as much meat as we do. They eat less processed food and DO eat more fresh local organic veggies. My mother lives there so I do know how it works.

    They don’t just eat meat and cheese. And they eat small portions.

    I think the ad is great. Being gentle doesn’t seem to work. Get off your fat ass (hence the reason why I own GetThinorDie.com url

    ;) E

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  • Georgina

    Well, wrong approach? Yes. But in the end it gets the attention, just look at this forum. Nobody does THAT better than PETA. And i agree with some posts here, they have done wonderful things for animals; so they still have my vote.

    I am a vegetarian, stopped eating meat out of love for animals, however, that does not mean i can stuff my face with just bread and fried foods because those do not qualify as meat. That is just a stupid urban legend. If you want to be healthy you need to be picky about what you put in your mouth.

    How about a balanced diet of fruits, grains, vegetables, pasta, AND bread?

    And true, being obese does not just have to do with what you put in your mouth, and many times it has to do with genetics, but it all starts in your own minds. Make a choice about the best stuff to eat.

    I have not dropped an ounce since i went veg, and that was not my purpose either, but my body feels energized and strong, and never felt like that when i was eating meat. I do not feel heavy after eating anymore.

    I am not giving away my weight, but do i love the way i feel now with my new diet? Heck yeah!

  • Fallopia Tuba

    I’d like to weigh in (no pun intended;) yes, this new “Save the Whales” campaign is tasteless and offensive. Yes, it gets attention. And there’s a grain of truth to it; when I first went vegan, I dropped weight quickly, amazing myself and others.

    This was over 7 years ago, before the renaissance of vegan food had begun; lately, I’m noticing more and more packaged vegan foods on the market, more vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants around, and lots more vegan junk food! It was much easier to watch your weight as a vegan seven years ago; also, though, I find whenever I’ve gone through a period of rapid weight loss (increase in activity level, change in eating, etc.) I’ve always leveled off eventually. This time is no different.

    Like Georgina, I love not feeling uncomfortably stuffed anymore after I eat; let me qualify that and say that even when I eat a [vegan] Thanksgiving dinner, if I feel stuffed at first, the feeling dissipates quickly. I love being vegan, and not being constipated—ever—anymore is great, too.

  • alex

    I think it’s great. Yes, we are a nation of “whales” if we take a look at any obesity stats (or just take a look around you), and it’s time to start eating healthy again. Go vegan – for you, for the planet, for the animals.

  • Jake

    To all the PETA apologists:
    PETA is not some happy hippy organization which loves your pets. If PETA had their way, your pet would be illegal, as would zoos, the doctors who are currently using animal models to cure MS, and pretty much any medicine that’s ever saved your life. PETA gives support to terrorists who support their agenda. They are an extremist organization and do not deserve your support. There may be problems in the food and cosmetics organizations, but PETA is not the solution. Also, let us note that PETA will find fault with animal shelters that cannot give away animals and are forced to put them to sleep, and then put animals to sleep themselves. They are hypocritical bastards.
    To the “Tough Love” people:
    “Vegetarian/Vegan” does not necessarily equal “Healthy”. There are plenty of healthy diets that include meat and dairy, and plenty of unhealthy diets that don’t. In fact, there is almost no comparision between the healthy and the vegetarian. It’s all about how much you eat, how many carbs and how many fats.

    I think it’s also important for everyone to remember two things.
    1 – PETA is a big boy organization with millions of dollars and does not need you to defend it.
    2 – PETA is not putting up that billboard with their goal of “well fat people could lose some weight…” No. PETA has that billboard up because it can help further their agenda and keep people from eating meat. They couldn’t care if the unhealthiest person in America lost an ounce.

  • Christine

    I love it!! PETA’s clever marketing strikes again. It’s def attention grabbing and hopefully will make people realize veg is the way to go (for mind, body, and earth).

  • deena

    Ha! If someone is offended and fat then they know it’s true.
    The truth hurts and it’s good when it smacks you in the face.
    Obesity is a drag on this society and I’m tired of all the whining.
    Get in shape, take care of your own health.
    Everything in moderation and take a freaking walk for heaven’s sake!

  • Jimbo Duggins

    Michael, are you really sure there are better ways to reach people? I mean the country is slipping into a HUGE obesity epidemic. It’s simply outrageous. Is the Biggest Loser the right approach? Is allowing companies like McDonald’s to advertise like kids the right approach. Someone needs to have the balls to speak out against the problems with our society – and nobody’s got bigger balls than PETA!

  • Lacey Matthews

    Obviously PETA was trying to get attention and it worked. Studies do show that vegetarians on average weight less than meat eaters. Yes, there are some fat vegans and vice versa, but the bottom line is that most vegetarian foods are lower in fat and calories than animal-based foods. Just compare the fat and calories in veggie sausage vs. pork sausage if you want an eye-opening example.

  • star

    good for PETA! it’s true. and it gets people talking. there is a reason why vegetarians are healthier!

  • Donna A

    It’s too bad that someone allows a billboard to ruin their vacation instead of causing them to pause and wonder why it offended them so much. A little too close to home, maybe? Hey, I’ve been veg for most of the 43 years I’ve been on this earth. And I’m a bit overweight, but I’d be a LOT more overweight if I indulged in all that fat and cholesterol-laden dead animal flesh. I exercise almost daily and have a blood pressure/cholesterol level that many skinny-minnies might very well kill for. I’m healthy, and I thank my vegetarian lifestyle for that. You don’t have to take PETA’s word for it. Look up the findings of veg vs meat/dairy diets in medical journals at your library.

  • sitadog

    reading this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/magazine/16FOB-wwln-t.html) in the nytimes over the weekend reminded me that obesity is not natural! PETA is definitely helping put that on the table…we cannot continue to ignore the elephant in the room…literally.

  • http://taramarie.tumblr.com/post/165219322/you-win-more-flies-with-honey-than-vinegar-peta Tara

    You win more flies with honey than vinegar, Peta. Also, you’re a little bit of a jerk.

    I’m not the skinniest person alive. I can’t run one mile without wanting to take a breather. When I weighed 120 lbs I couldn’t run a mile without wanting to hit my inhaler before I was at the halfway point. Some things never change.

    For the most part I don’t eat super unhealthy, I try to be very conscious of everything I eat. Not only is it better for me, but it’s part of my job, part of my loves, and just a part of my life. I’ve been super tiny before and you know what? I looked like a damn freak. I have curves. I have boobs that on that body made me look like Pamela Anderson, and you know what? Being called Baywatch isn’t very fun. I am who I am and I’ve never felt bad about myself. Why should I? I’m healthy. I’ve never had any serious health problems unless you count my need for my inhaler and a breathing machine every now and then. That’s not to say that I don’t care about trying to stay healthy; I go to the gym regularly and I recently stopped smoking and drinking cokes. But that’s not the point of this ad. The point of this ad is to attack a fear of being fat. If they wanted overweight people to eat healthier they would have shown the benefits of eating healthier via this ad. Instead they used words blubber and whale along with what they think is an imperfect body in a bikini. Had they researched this notion of vegetarians being healthier or skinnier they would have found that 40% of vegetarians, 29% of vegans, and 25% of lacto-vegetarians are overweight.

    Being a vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean skinny. It also doesn’t automatically mean healthy. Peta should really get its act together. Using fear against people doesn’t sway them to your side. However it can lead to eating disorders (which are already very prevalent in our society), lowering someone’s self esteem, and you feed into this idea that there’s a perfect body.

    Haven’t you learned that nothing’s perfect, Peta? No? Well maybe you should. Maybe you should also learn that loving yourself is the most important thing. If you love yourself at 200 lbs. you’ll radiate a lot more self confidence than someone who hates themselves and weighs 115 lbs.

  • http://youtube.com/veganseals RAINRA

    Why do all these organizations keep trying to push vegetarianism. Milk and eggs some of the worst cruelty out there. I hate seeing the well fare organizations pushing any else but a vegan diet. Yeah the add is good but people need to push veganism as normal not vegetarianism which I like your on the fence about veganism… I went from SAD diet to Veganism. I never had animals really as pets and never had a passion for animals. Now I do … so if can do it so can the rest of the world. Anything esle is just an excuse. We need to be more serious with this stuff animals are not property. End of story.

  • http://youtube.com/veganseals RAINRA

    I am not talking bitter but really why are we even trying to make things softer and light we need some serious approaches.

  • Who Knows

    Since when is Häagen-Dazs, funnel cake, Twinkies,cookies,cupcakes,doughnuts, brownies, soda, frappuccino, Cinnabon, potato chips and beer food? And the rest of her list is marginal…
    Is this the best she can come up with? No wonder sher is obese.

    Why didn’t she mention apples, pears, grapes, oranges, lemons, melons, bananas, mangos, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, and a hundred other life enhancing fruits? Why didn’t she mention broccoli, avacado, brussels sprout, lettuce, celery, spinich, corn, squash, lentil, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, olives, potatoes, tomatoes, and hundreds of other wonderful vegatables? Why did she forget pinto, white, black, kidney and garbonzo beans? Why not mention brown and wild rice, cous cous, amaranth, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and millet?

    Take a glance in the shopping carts of the obese…you will see pastries, pop, chips, proccesed foods, milk, meat, white breads, cookies, candy, and perhaps a head of iceberg lettuce.

    This isn’t a vegetarian issue, this is a epedemic of gluttony and ignorance. Society eats itself sick and health costs soar.

    Put down that candy bar doughhead, and awake!

  • http://arielveganfashion.blogspot.com ariel

    I completely agree with what Yo Soy Liz says on August 17th, 2009 at 2:35 pm
    obese people is oversensitive, we can’t say anything and they cry… But instead of crying and complaining, why don’t they change their lifestyle?

    Answering to Erin Raw Food…Here in Italy we think that French people eat a lot of meat and cheese! it’s not easy to survive in France if you are vegan, especially in the North, so maybe it depends on your mother, who is a clever person…
    If for you France is ok, I can’t imagine USA!!!

    P.S. Sorry for my English, I’m Italian

  • krissy

    Its annoying. I hate the sexist message in PETAs ads. If we actually ate whales maybe it be better… they should have had the ad about cows. If people are struggling with weight veggie is the way to go… but shame is the same tactic that causes compulsory shopping. eww

  • http://totallyveg.blogspot.com C

    While I support some actions of PETA, this is not their best idea. It is insulting to overweight people, and I guess it will only cause reactance. And, there are also overweight vegans out there.. because vegan junk food exists and weight is not merely determined by eating habits.

  • http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=9FD18926170ED901&search_query=earthlings Whoever…

    I’m all for shocking people with the ‘real’ truth but this ad accomplishes (in my point of view) very little, other than negative reactions towards Peta and consequently all Animal Rights activists.

    It’s just not the best way to do it… It’s by educating and enlightening people that we make them see the truth, not by personally insulting them – even if we believe they deserve it.

    Besides, I’ve never heard of any whale being fat :)

    I believe veg*ans, in general, are more evolved, sensitive, intelligent people than animal eaters. However, if we keep acting all superior they’ll only resist even more the possibility of giving veg*ism a chance!

    We can’t make them ‘come to us’. We can only educate them and when they’re ready, help them make the transition.

    This doesn’t include the defence of animal rights – in this case we have to be more active and tougher, no matter what!

    Regarding healthy diets, well, I’m a European and unfortunately the American food (very tasty but the unhealthiest in the world in my opinion) is invading our lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet, for instance, is (or was) one of the healthiest in the world… rich in vegetables and olive oil and low in meat, but now, in spite of all the efforts, that diet is ‘endangered’.

    Obviously, and there is no doubt whatsoever about this, a balanced veg*an diet is the healthiest of them all – for us and the planet! That’s the image it needs to be promoted.

    I think Peta (as so many other organizations) needs to change its tactics, and most importantly, the people in charge…

    Oh, and leave the whales alone ;)

  • Toast488

    PETA is just simply stating the fact how the U.S. is the most obese country in the world.

  • Parker

    My goodness. Who here can take a joke? No one? OK.

    Emotional reasons for overeating? Hilarious.

    Defending fat people by calling PETA thoughtless morons? Even funnier.

    Lighten up, America. Get it? Lighten up? I know. So good, right?

  • Morena

    I think PETA made the message very clear. People are walking around overweight on the brink of developing heart diseases and instead of their family members helping them lose weight they let them get bigger and bigger. WAKE UP and do something about the obesity! Go veg, exercise, and live your life.

  • http://RawfoodsRetreat.com erin raw foods

    Jake

    Zoos ARE not good – have you seen how those animals are treated behind BARS? People should support animal sanctuaries instead (where often times abused zoo animals end up) ALSO there is NO CURE TO MS. My uncle has it and I’ve had to be tested for it a few times (just had an MRI this month) So when you say they’re cutting and drilling into animal’s heads (that’s what using animal models really means) to “CURE MS” sorry but there is no cure. You’ve drunk the Kool Aid Jake.

    They’ll keep taking your money and our tax dollars and say they’re going to cure it (Do your research on animal research – they get TONS of state and federal funding for these barbaric tests that don’t do any good. It’s all about politics and the pocket book. They don’t give a damn about people with MS and certainly not about the animals. WAKE up. I’ll send you some links or books about the subject if you like……….

    As for pets; I might disagree with PETA about this one. Though they’re probably right that these animals were not put here on this planet for us to OWN and have in our homes but I don’t think that is every going to change.

    But the zoo thing and cutting up animals to “cure ms” which they’re not are both wrong.

    Ariel- No problem with the language barrier. I understood you just fine ;) She lives in Lake Geneva so there are vegetarian choices (as there are in Paris when I travel there too) Now she does eat some locally caught fish and gets fresh raw milk from the farmer next door with his free roaming cows…. But there are tons of fresh local markets with plenty of produce so you can eat veg and even raw (vegs, fruits, nuts seeds) Not as easy as some places but I’ve traveled France (and Italy!) without eating meat. Italy is easy with the pasta (though now that I’m raw I don’t dare eat Pasta and find it very unhealthy (no offense to big bread/grain eaters ;)

    Bottom line, it is possible. And at least in much of Europe the produce is fresh and much even organic.

    I’m not denying the French eat lots of cheese or meat but you can do without it. And I think they still (obviously) eat much smaller portions than the US AND think that (until recently and even still) the meat is healthier and more likely to be organic than the factory farms here in the US. I’m not saying that makes it right but I believe most/much of the US meat is tainted not organic and not healthy.

    Erin

  • http://simplegoodandtasty.com Lee

    One of the problems with PETA is that they continue to use these sorts of “shock” tactics to get people’s attention. As a result, they continue to preach to their own choir rather than reaching the mainstream in a more meaningful way. Bummer to have mired a good point – go veg! – in another publicity stunt.

  • http://yosoyblog.blogspot.com ¡Yo Soy Liz!

    Just wanted to recommend a book for the people who said a well-balanced vegan diet is no healthier than a meat-based one. Please read “The China Study.” It is one of the only diet books out there that is actually based on decades of scientific research on diets by peer-reviewed scientists.

  • Pheas

    Unfortunately, most people in this country seem to care more about how they look than the harm they cause to animals. So, if taking a stab at body image saves lives and reduces suffering, I’d consider the campaign a success.

    “Whale” is only an insult if you don’t think whales are beautiful!

  • Kylo

    I agree with PETA. I don’t know if the ad is helpful to the cause, but I think fat people need to be reminded more of their weight and possibly shamed into doing something about it.

  • Elaine

    I’m a longtime PETA member. I don’t think the billboard is meant to “shame” overweight people, but rather to help them. We can’t just ignore America’s growing weight problems because it is a sensitive issue. Shocking tactics seem to be necessary to wake people up, helping them and animals too.

    Being vegan has helped me control my weight and stay healthy. It is easier to lose weigh on a vegan diet than a meat-based one, provided you’re not eating Oreos all day long–but that’s just common sense.

  • Elaine

    This is going a bit far, I have been a vegetarian for over two years now but due to a back surgery and lengthy recovery I am overweight. I am in the process of losing the weight but if I saw this sign, I, too, would feel bad. I am a PETA member and often think that the shock tactics are a bit much, oftentimes alienating the very people they might attract.

  • Cassandra

    This is too funny. The only reason people are getting worked up is because they know it’s true. Sure, not every veg person is going to be skinny, but it’s a fact that vegetarians on average weigh less than meat eaters. PETA making whale references isn’t going to hurt anyone, but the heart attack caused by years of eating hamburgers sure will.

  • linda

    I found this ad to be really offensive,since i,ve been battling weight problems for years due to knee injuries. On the thinner side for the moment but it doesnt come easy since i have a lack of mobility. Not every over weight person shoves hamburgers in there mouth to put on the pounds. If peta wanted to make a message about a healthier lifestyle they should do it in a better way than to hurt people that have no control over their weight due to lack of exercise from being disabled and other health issues.

  • http://elainevigneault.com Elaine Vigneault

    Weird how many Elaine’s there are here. Hmmm…

    I left my comments at PETA’s blog when this first came out, but figured I’d leave more here. My thoughts are:

    PETA should focus more on the health and less on the appearance of obesity. Fat-shaming billboards like the one above are MEAN SPIRITED.

  • Emily

    Geez, it’s a billboard that promotes healthy/compassionate eating and gets attention – I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s a heck of a lot better than promoting dangerous weightloss drugs.

  • heh

    Such an ignorant ad campaign has once again reminded me of the fact that vegetarians and vegans are some of the most pretentious and sanctimonious; yet ignorant people that have ever walked this earth. Here’s a lil hole in their logic….I lost over 120+ lbs in a year and a half, and meat consists of most of my diet. There are also obese and overweight vegetarians. Explain that please.

  • http://arielveganfashion.blogspot.com ariel

    To say the truth, I don’t meet all these fat vegans in my everyday life, instead it’s plenty of obese omnivourous people everywhere
    surely there are someone somewhere but it’s not so frequent as for the meat-eaters

    at least in Italy, maybe in Usa it’s different

  • BO

    WHAT!! Are there no fat whale men??
    SEXIST!
    DISCRIMINATORY!
    CONGRATULATIONS PETA! YOU ARE DEFINITELY THE BEST AT WHAT YOU DO!
    HATE PROLIFERATION!

  • pam
  • Tom

    I lost weight eating portion size meat, carbs, and proper exercising. So I disagree with Petas advertisement. I respect peta for their opinion on saving animals but I love chicken and will continue eating chicken.

  • Marian

    I’m just a poor meat eating fat lady, so help me out here – is being a smug, self-righteous jerk actually a requirement for vegetarians and PETA members, or is it just strongly recommended?

  • Whale

    I think this billboard is fine. And what was mentioned earlier, PETA often bluntly says what is on their minds, and this is no different. Why should we remain quite about the “fat” people out there? They know they are fat and this billboard is promoting loosing weight and possibly saving animals too! Well done PETA…well done.

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  • LN

    Ok, lets all take a deep breath and repeat after me… PETA is *not* synonymous with vegetarian.

    Being a vegetarian means you don’t eat meat, in many cases because of health concerns, and a desire to eat healthier.

    Being a member of PETA apparently means you’re a sanctimonious douche-bag who likes slamming other people for the hell of it.

    Don’t slam vegetarians just because PETA happens to advocate a vegetarian diet to support their own agenda.

    • bunnie

      i agree with you alot i may be only 16 but this sign is so wrong i cant belive they did this i mean i love whales but it doesnt mean you have to diss overweight people

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  • Stephanie

    Trying to convince people to go veg simply out of health concerns or losing weight is not the way to go. Most people who go to veg to loose weight do not stick with it. Ethical veg*ns are most likely to stick with it. Why not some billboards and advertisements that show animals suffering and with messages about what happens to those animals instead of naked chicks or anti-fat advertisements?

  • s

    I AM A FAT VEGETARIAN. and i can tell pee-ta exactly where to put their sign…

  • Tracey

    I think that what some people miss are the BMI guidelines are not the end and be all of things. Have you ever wondered where someone like Serna Williams falls on that chart? Overweight is not always that big nor is obese. People that fall into these categories are not always people who do not eat correctly and exercise. Some just aren’t in a lower calore intake than calories burned state right now. That does not mean that they are inhaling burgers at every turn.
    You don’t know a person’s history in order to assume that the state that they are in is automatically an unhealthy one.For all you know that person was even bigger and has reduced their risks by changing their lifestyle so get off yoru high horse about just wanting people to be healthy. You’re not so worried about that size 2 chick who eats almost nothing, gets no nutrients, and lives off of coffee and cigarettes so don’t tell me that your anger and hate comes from wanting to see people be healthy or less stress on insurance companies. If that were true you’d be mad at every person who went into McDonald’s, buys Fritos, or picks up a 2 liter not just those who happen to show their bad eating habits on the outside.

  • Joshua Mikael

    I don’t agree with insulting your target audience on issues like this, especially when the goal is to change minds.

    However, “we must not avoid with our eyes what they endure with their bodies”.

    The saddness an overweight person feels is not more valuable than the pain an animal feels during slaughter, and therefore does not move me to sympathize with an overweight human more than an animal whose fate is sealed by inhumane and unethical systems entrenched in our society.

    It’s probably quite difficult to live an obese life in modern society–I would not be able to adequately express the trials and tribulations an obese person faces because I am not obese–but it’s significantly more painful to be an animal in our society. That’s the bottom line.

    But when attempting to shift someone’s mindset on hot-button issues, insults don’t generally work.

  • kb

    The majority of the people responding are insensitive jerks. There are many reasons people are overweight — some are lazy and have no excercise and poor diet — others have chemical imbalances that cause weight gain and make it hard to lose weight. I have never met an overweight person who is HAPPY that they are overweight. I think this ad is completely insensitive and really lowers my opinion of PETA. They can do great things to help animals – but this is not a way to get support.

  • Shelley

    I can’t believe people allow others to influence their lives like a drug. Are you SERIOUS???? Listen, women, men and children…if your embarassed over something you have no control over…?>then you, I and anyone else out there may as well, go outside with our stanley shovel, dig a hole, jump in and have someone bury us. Get real. We are no less anything else other than what God created us to be. Your life is maybe just for one person to come to realize the truth. And THAT will set them free. Cry over a billboard??? Lose a day to spend with family and friends because you mis-interpreted a billboard>??? complain of “rights?”…because PETA tries to show us that animals are killed for human pleasure? Think about it…how many men or women do you know who hunt deer, or moose, or bear, or rabbit and take it home, skin it, then eat it? Are they really that poor that they “have to” go and hunt for food? I don’t think so. There are other means of protein available to us. God intended men to hunt when it was necessary to eat. We live in an abundant country where no one needs to hunt unless your living off the land. And in that, even a cow would do, that they don’t have to go hunt deer, moose, bear or buffalo. Get a grip on your own life and stop caring so much about what one other person may think of you and think on how much you think of yourself. How dare you, beautiful woman…let another person or entity smack you down to their size.???
    May God bless us all.

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  • ababababab

    HAHAHAHHAHAHA well what a coincidence, my friend and I call these fat girls at school whales :)

  • Hfhhsh

    For once I agree with PETA. You people need to stop feeling sorry for yourselves and do something about your weight. I have been vegetarian for 9 years and it saved my life and made me start paying more attention to what I eat and turned me off of crap food that is convenient. you are all going to have heart attacks if you don’t accept you have a problem. It is not fair for your families and your kids that are adapting the same eating habits and lifestyles as you. Obesity is an epidemic and I think the government should start putting warnings on food like they do on cigarette cartons. I’m not saying that cutting meat out of your diet will help you, but stop seeking pity when at the end of the day you have dug your own grave. Do something about it. This is the wake up call you need.