On 3/2/12 11:06 AM, Nicole Perrot wrote:
I also wrote and told them I would not be donating this year, and
that they need to do some serious soul searching. They have
sullied our movement and values, discredited animal rights as a
social justice cause that stands against all forms of abuse, and
confused many people about the integrity of animal activists. I
got this form letter in reply; it's pretty weak:
Thank you for contacting PETA about our BWVAKTBOOM website and videos (http://www.bwvaktboom.com) that encourage both men and women to go vegan. We welcome discussion about—and even criticism of—our ads and campaigns because we know that getting people talking is the first step in raising awareness.
PETA promotes healthy vegan living in many ways, including by distributing free copies of our vegetarian/vegan starter kit, hosting free public food tastings, offering meal plans and thousands of meat-free recipes at http://www.PETA.org/living/vegetarian-living/default.aspx, and educating people about the meat industry’s disregard for animal welfare (http://www.PETA.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/default.aspx) and its devastating effect on the environment (http://www.PETA.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/meat-and-environment.aspx).
We also do “shocking” things like the BWVAKTBOOM project. PETA’s job is to draw attention to animal suffering, and we have found that provocative tactics yield more results than the facts alone. We use all available opportunities to reach millions of people with powerful messages, and we often take a humorous, risqué approach to educating people about serious issues. Making people laugh is a great way to open them up to receiving more somber information. The situation is critical for billions of animals who are suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, and our goal is to make the public think. Sometimes this requires tactics, such as naked marches and colorful ad campaigns, that some people find outrageous or offensive.
The BWVAKTBOOM project was designed to catch the eye of people who have not yet gone vegan, and it has done that. If you are already vegan, we congratulate you on your compassionate choice and we encourage you to think about what led you to make it. We have found—and your message confirms—that people do pay more attention to our racier, more graphic actions, whether those are undercover videos of animals as they are mutilated at a slaughterhouse or a lighthearted ad that gets tongues wagging and pundits pointing fingers. Judging by the spike in visits to our websites generated by BWVAKTBOOM, this tactic is working, and more people than ever before are learning and thinking about going vegan. Billboards, print ads, and TV and radio airtime can cost millions of dollars, so PETA tries hard to think creatively about how to bring the animals’ message to the public. Our website and videos get the word out on the airwaves and in the public eye in ways that no amount of money spent on t
raditional advertising methods ever could. The proof is in the numbers: To date, the BWVAKTBOOM YouTube video has nearly 2.6 million views, and BWVAKTBOOM.com received more than 300,000 hits in just its first two days online. And the biggest indicator of our success is that PETA received more than 2,500 vegetarian/vegan starter kit orders in only two days. Those are 2,500 people we may never have reached using more traditional methods who are now learning about making a positive change to improve their own health and, of course, save animals’ lives.
As an organization staffed largely by feminist women, we would not do something that we felt exacerbated the very serious problems that women face. We abhor domestic violence and work to educate the public about how animal abusers often move on to human victims (http://www.PETA.org/issues/Companion-Animals/animal-abuse-and-human-abuse-partners-in-crime.aspx). However, BWVAKTBOOM is not about domestic violence—it’s a public service announcement–style, tongue-in-cheek “warning” about the side effects of vegans’ healthy sex lives! We believe that no topic is taboo—including the benefits one reaps with a vegan in the bedroom.
Medical evidence indicates that meat and dairy products can lead to impotence because they clog the arteries that go to all organs, not just the heart. Consuming meat and dairy products is also linked to numerous other health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Doctors and nutritionists will tell you that the best way to prevent artery blockage and other conditions that cause impotence is to avoid meat and dairy products and to eat a diet high in fiber, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—in other words, a healthy, plant-based diet. To learn more about the link between eating meat and impotence, please visit http://www.PETA.org/living/vegetarian-living/Impotence.aspx.
To learn more about going vegan, order a vegetarian/vegan starter kit, or browse through meat-free recipes, visit http://www.PETA.org/living/vegetarian-living/default.aspx.
To learn how you can get active to help animals, please go to http://www.PETA.org/action/default.aspx.
Thank you again for writing and for sharing your thoughts with us.
The PETA Staff
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