Save the animals, exploit the women

Once more, PETA places politics above humanity.

Published June 19, 2008 3:23PM (EDT)

As a staunch vegetarian who sobs over Pedigree commercials and makes a mean tofu salad, I sympathize with PETA's dismay over people who make light of animal cruelty, though I personally won't harp on meat eaters as long as they don't make fun of me for bringing veggie burgers to their barbecue. But PETA's questionable advertising tactics have given me and others at Broadsheet some indigestion in the past, as it sometimes confuses "nobly campaigning for animal rights" with "exploiting the ladies."

When celeb gossip sites circulated pictures of Jessica Simpson sporting a tee that snottily declared, "Real Girls Eat Meat," my first thoughts were "Ugh," then "Get your mind out of the gutter" and, finally, "How long will it take PETA to formulate a petty, anti-woman response to a petty, anti-vegetarian statement?"

And PETA did not disappoint. Its official blog fired back with the headline "Top Five Reasons Only Stupid Girls Brag About Eating Meat." Four of the reasons are informative and topical, but No. 4 gets my ethically raised goat:

"4. Meat will make you fat. All the saturated fat and cholesterol in chicken wings, pork chops, and steak eventually leads to flabby thighs and love handles. I hope the upcoming 'Jessica Simpson's Intimates' line comes in plus sizes!"

Hmm, that voice sounds so familiar. "Skinny Bitch," is that you? Wow, how've you been? Yeah, you must be busy. Promoting animal rights at the expense of women's self-esteem sounds like a pretty full-time gig -- so many meat-eating women to call fat and stupid, so little time. By the way, did you ever read those studies that found women are more than twice as likely to become vegetarians than men? So maybe name-calling and bitchy superiority aren't the best way to recruit.

By Annsley Chapman

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