Another minority celebrity goes nude for PETA. The campaign brings some much needed press for celebrities while broadening the scope of who Americans associate with animal rights. The latest celeb to take advantage of PETA’s large audience by going nude is the lovely model Vida Guerra.

It seems as if our Puritan-based society still receives rouse whenever they see a naked body, so it makes marketing sense that PETA obliges any celebrity who feels the need to show their support for animals in that way.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the ads, but PETA stops short of contextualizing the ads within the broader suffering of all, humans and animals. Creating an us-versus-them paradigm serves PETA’s agenda, but in a society that normalizes violence against its own species, how does one expect these ads to reach people?

Raising awareness for the plight of animals in minority communities — where physical, psychological, and emotional suffering is a lamentably admissible reality — without addressing the sordid history of economic exploitation and materialism within those communities — which creates the need for an organization like PETA — misses the target and, frankly, reinforces the system.

PETA placed football players in its ads partly because of their celebrity, but mainly because of their phenomenal bodies. PETA almost always has a video companion where the endorsors explain why they support the animal rights organization. PETA, however, never asks these players whether or not there are any correlations between being exploited for dollars — much like horses and dogs — in a game that ruins their minds and bodies in the long run for short term glory in the NFL.

Even if humans pick there given profession, due to unprivileged circumstances, many choose their field out of limited choices. Specifically, poverty-stricken black and Latino entertainers mention that they really had no choice; it was either sell drugs or embrace your athleticism. And for women, the prospects are even grimmer.

So why not make the connection between the record company’s highly exploitative practices when it comes to women in music videos and other marketing campaigns and the hyper-materialism in disenfranchised communities. It may help start a conversation about the needless violence towards women that trickles down to minks who die for fashion. In fact, when women talk about animal exploitation in PETA’s videos, they eerily explain their own marginalization within their respective entertainment fields.

It may be a stretch to equate human suffering and capitalistic exploitation with animals losing their lives for fashion, but it is the unfortunate deadly extrapolation of what we do to ourselves. If there is to be a change in animal cruelty, it seems that the first step is to look at the mental and physical health of humans as it relates to our economic foundation. If we cannot treat each other with compassion and respect, then the abuse of animals will continue and become more ruthless.

We here at Frugivore applaud the celebrities that have come out in support of animals and PETA, but if they really want to make a difference they must raise the discourse.

Check out the Vida here!

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6 Comments

  1. I agree with the tone of the argument. I have an issue with PETA in general because they advocate environmental radicalism. We should all get along with each other and have civilized discussions about animal safety.

  2. I agree that there needs to be correlations drawn between animal and human mistreatment, however I am happy to see people of color in the ads. Animal activism isn’t just for Pam Anderson and white people and I think these ads show that people of color are engaged and care about the issues as well!

  3. PETA, agree with them or not, does not claim to be all things to all people – and the fact that you equate millionaire sports stars to the suffering of abandoned and tortured animals

    • Exploitation is exploitation, actually a pretty good read. I never really equated the two. Humans must heal themselves before any of us can even fathom how we are hurting animals that cannot speak our language.

      It reminds of how poor white people justified enslaving black Africans because they thought they didn’t have anything in common with them. Whites were living in deplorable working conditions and exploited by rich white men, just in a different manner, yet many couldn’t advocate for abolition of slavery because many thought we were animals (3/5 of human).

      We have such a hard time understanding the suffering of animals, hopefully by showing women and black athletes how they are being exploited they can connect with the highly exploited animals.

  4. Oh great talking about animal skin rights while they holding a leather ball in front of their balls. Oh the irony… rawhide laces and everything.

  5. Fine points but I think this is highly idealistic. Every organization can’t be everything to everyone but I would hope peta would understand that it’s more than about the animals. We are all in this together but I agree that humans have to cease all practices that harm animals for any reason.

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