Alicia Silverstone's naked PETA ad

Meat isn't just murder, says the animal rights group, it also causes global warming. Vegetarians, meanwhile, may be sexy.

By Andrew Leonard
September 19, 2007 9:43PM (UTC)
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As a confirmed meat eater, I have to confess I have been averting my eyes from the raging debate sparked off by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as to whether one can simultaneously be a carnivore and an environmentalist. Grist has been doing a great job of covering the frenzy, while I have done my best to avoid thinking about how much the burgers I'm grilling for my kids tonight (grass-fed beef! locally raised!) are contributing to global warming. I walk to the grocery store -- doesn't that count for something? Factory farming may be unsustainable and inhumane, but is a free-range roast chicken equally wrong?

Shades of gray. Shades of gray. My gut feeling is that PETA is not going to convert the masses with a message that will undoubtedly alienate the vast majority of the American population. The problem with campaigns such as PETA's is that they are by definition polarizing, and the world simply doesn't break down that way. Successful movements include people with a wide range of beliefs and practices.


That being said, I have nothing but respect for how effectively PETA ensures that its propaganda message is distributed.

Which brings us to more important questions. Are vegetarians sexier than meat eaters? Or should we simply be alarmed by the fact that Alicia Silverstone apparently wants to be the next Kim Basinger?

You decide. How the World Works has been intending to start embedding video into blog posts for a while now. This seems as good a place as any to start.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Environment Ethics Of Eating Global Warming Globalization How The World Works