PETA Says: We Resort to Naked-Women-Gimmickry Because It Works

Last week we wrote about PETA's latest campaign that features Olivia Munn in the buff, intended to bring attention to the cruel treatment of circus elephants. We questioned the ad's true effectiveness. PETA sent in a response to the post, expressing reasons why they feel the use of nudity works to further their cause.

Thanks for making some points about Ringling's cruelty to animals even though you don't like PETA's new anti-circus PSA featuring Olivia Munn. The fact that baby elephants are taken away from their mothers and beaten and tied down so that they can be taught stupid tricks and that these elephants will spend their entire lives on chains is horrific, and we're with you: If we could just tell the world about this abuse without resorting to gimmickry, that'd be great. However, we would like to address the criticisms raised in the blog about the use of nudity, which we know some people object to.

Click through to read the full letter.

First, please know that PETA isn't using women's bodies. Women are using their own bodies. The women who use their bodies as political tools do so willingly and gladly, and they don't like to be told to cover up by other women who don't agree with their choices. They feel that they have the right to express themselves in this way, and they don't want some women dictating and criticizing them for how much skin they wish to show any more than women who lived during the early days of feminism and before wanted men to tell them to cover up.

As for PETA, we recognize the simple fact that there's a lot of competition for consumers' attention, so we are creative and provocative in order to make sure that people do turn around and stare and then learn something about the cruel industries that we fight. Our activists and celebrity supporters gladly use their bodies as a sure-fire way to draw attention to how animals are exploited. The women are not exploited--they are happy to participate in a social cause. They show about as much flesh as you might see at the beach. They are proud to be able to use their bodies for a good purpose--to draw attention to the suffering of elephants who are beaten bloody and forced to live in chains and to the plight of other animals who endure torture, isolation, terror, and violent death. And it works--Olivia Munn's participation in our anti-circus campaign prompted more than 300 clothed people to participate in our protest against Ringling Bros. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last week.

As an organization headed and founded by a woman and staffed largely by feminist women, PETA knows about the serious problems that women face, both here in the U.S. and in countries where women are forced to cover up and shut up. Impassioned individuals have been "going naked" since Lady Godiva protested taxes. We believe that all people should be free to use their minds and bodies as political instruments.

If we might be of assistance in the future, please contact me directly anytime.


Heather Carlson
Communications Manager
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

More on PETA's Use of Human Nudity for Animal Rights
PETA Porn: Do PETA's Posters Hide the Meat of the Issue? (Slideshow)
PETA Has Pamela Anderson Stripping People at Airport (Video)
Veggie Post Coitus: PETA Reasons to Go Veg Video Omits Climate Change, Includes Impotence
Why is PETA Making Fun of Fat Women?

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