On Wednesday, the New York Times ran a photo of a raw chicken in the food section with a story on the appeal of chicken skin– the crispy, savory kind. The chicken was posed for the photo in what could be seen as a seductive pose with crossed drumsticks and a wing resting gently on its thigh. The raw chicken bared its breast for the photo which read, “Chicken’s attraction is truly skin deep.” PETA has been very vocal about criticizing the editor of The New York Times for running the photo of the sexy chicken.
PETA’s founder and president, Ingrid Newkirk, told The Atlantic Wire, “When I saw it I just couldn’t believe that an editor of ‘The New York Times’ would find it acceptable. It’s downright offensive, not just to people who care about animals but almost to everyone. It’s plucked, beheaded, young chicken in a young pose.” Newkirk then called the photo necrophilia adding, “It’s not amusing. It’s just ghastly and sickly. It’s not fitting for The New York Times.”
Necrophilia is the sexual attraction to corpses, for those who might be unfamiliar with the term.
What is rather surprising is how offensive the animal-rights group finds the picture. After all, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have used sexual innuendo for years in their campaigns. The organizations most recent campaign shows Angela Simmons representing a biblical Eve in all her naked glory wearing only her hair and ivy with the slogan,”Eating Meat is a Sin: Go Vegetarian.”
PETA’s ads and campaigns have often come under criticism for being vulgar (shark with a swimmer’s leg coming out its mouth), sexually explicit (PETA’s banned superbowl commercial), and provocative. It is ironic that the group which has no trouble using the sex appeal of animals (ie. humans) has problems when the New York Times uses sex appeal with animals (ie. chickens).
Perhaps it is as Piper Weiss of Yahoo! Shine points out, “Maybe she’s mad that the Times stole a signature PETA move. For years, their print and commercial campaigns have relied on sex, particularly naked women, to attract media attention.”
PETA is still planning to use sex to get out their animal rights message. The group plans to launch a porn site in the near future.
One could argue that PETA’s use of live animals in ad campaigns with naked men and women might be seen as beastiality, but that claim would be outrageous just like Newkirks comparing the New York Times photo of the chicken to necrophilia is.