PETA has announced a new exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. No stranger to controversial ads and campaigns, the organization is taking some heat for this too.
According to NBC, the exhibit will highlight “similarities between historic oppressions of human beings and the current exploitations of animals. The Natural History Museum’s depictions of slavery in the South are used as a comparison to animal cruelty and oppression.”
PETA has named the exhibit “Glass Walls,” from a quote by PETA-supporter and vegetarian Paul McCartney: “If slaughterhouses has glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” It is also the name of a video that McCartney recorded for the animal rights organization depicting graphic slaughterhouse scenes and urging viewers to switch to a vegetarian diet. The video plays at the new exhibit alongside large panels of images of animal and human cruelty.
“Child labor, human slavery, and the oppression of women all came to be opposed by our society, thanks to the passion and hard work of human rights activists,” said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. PETA has already reported that they are having success at the exhibit, with some viewers deciding to give up meat on the spot. They have also distributed DVDs and leaflets to thousands of people in the first month. “In the first month alone, more than 10,000 copies of “Glass Walls” were distributed, along with similar numbers of vegetarian/vegan starter kits, free stickers, and other resources to help people transition to a vegan diet. We expect to distribute more than 50,000 DVDs before summer’s end and change the minds and lives of thousands of people.” The exhibit is open through September 3rd and can be found across from the National History Museum.
PETA has often been criticized for their comparison of the treatment of animals to human slavery, as some people think they have gone too far. PETA argues that animals have the same capacity for suffering, and have stated that they “aren’t afraid to make the difficult comparisons, say the unpopular thing, or point out the uncomfortable truth, if it means that animals will benefit.”
What do you think? Has PETA gone too far, or is this an “uncomfortable truth” that we need to face? If you’re undecided, you can also check out the exhibit online: Animal Liberation Project.