PETA has completely missed the mark once again when it comes to advocating for animal rights. The American animal rights nonprofit has a slogan of “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.” The organization focuses on ending factory farming, fur farming, animal testing and animals being abused in any situation.
In PETA’s Super Bowl commercial, a range of animals take a knee and bow their heads together while “The Star-Spangled Banner” is hummed by the animals in the video. The video then ends with the quote “respect is the right of every living being” and the hashtag #EndSpeciesism. According to PETA, the NFL pressured FOX to reject the commercial.
PETA responded to NFL’s blocking of their video on FOX by releasing the commercial through their website. They shared an explanation as to why they chose to create a video inspired by Colin Kaepernick’s activism on the field in 2016.
The organization stated that they worked with “a talented group of advertisers and artists who came up with the idea for our beautiful ad.” They also wrote that “positively acknowledged by Kaepernick himself, this project pays homage to all movements that remind us to open our hearts and minds and reject all forms of injustice, including sexism, ableism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and speciesism.”
People took to Twitter to explain their concern with comparing police brutality to “speciesism,” which PETA defines as a “supremacist worldview.” They claim that speciesism allows humans to disrespect other living, feeling beings and to treat their interests as unimportant.” The main concern with the commercial was PETA’s usage of kneeling, an important symbol of the fight against police brutality, as a way to spark conversation over animal rights.
Given PETA’s history of appropriating symbols of black social & political struggle, I guess I shouldn’t be shocked by this.
But I’ll admit it. I didn’t see “Super Bowl commercial where a grizzly bear takes a knee” coming. https://t.co/Hbr5wSWDZT
— Dr. Joshua Bennett (@SirJoshBennett) January 31, 2020
“Whoa, #AllLivesMatter is such a crass erasure of anti-black racism and institutionalized violence, it’s hard to imagine anyone topping it when it comes to cultural tone-deafness”
PETA: Hold our kombucha https://t.co/htG44kOAco
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) January 31, 2020
A History of Controversy
This is not the first time PETA has used problematic methods in order to share their message. PETA has previously linked the consumption of cow milk to autism and even used a murder victim who was brutally killed in order to share their agenda.
It’s great that there are people who care about animals and want to protect them. However, it’s hard to take PETA and its supporters seriously. This is especially true after considering how PETA has killed animals in order to falsify data and donated to criminals like Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who tortured the prisoners and forced them on a no-meat diet in order to cut costs.
PETA has once again tried to appear as if they care about all living things. The organization disregards the fact that they participate in murder and downplay human issues. They have shown in the past that they are not about rejecting forms of injustice. PETA is the one who enforces injustice and promotes it. They compare the murders of black people or the diagnosis of a disability to the consumption of animals.
It’s important to question if PETA even considers human rights when thinking about the importance of animal rights. We must ask why PETA constantly uses minority issues to be relatable or to spread false information. Animal rights are incredibly important, but PETA’s method of bringing the issue to attention is yet again distasteful.
Featured Image: PETA Headlines