Sometimes I wonder if Peta and Freelee the Banana Girl exist solely for the excuse to be major jerks. Both these organizations/ personalities have acquired massive fame through bullying people into becoming vegan. Despite the fact that they both have strong ethical arguments against animal abuse due to our consumption of meat, these people are essentially the Jehovah Witnesses of the vegan community. And instead of constantly ringing your doorbell until you passively answer it, Peta and Freelee publicly shame individuals for eating meat and dairy products. For example, in order to promote their campaign, Peta threw a tofu pie at Anna Wintour for the promotion of fur in her magazine, and distributing “Un-Happy Meals” to children, featuring a knife-holding Ronald McDonald outside a McDonald’s Franchise.
In light of our advocacy campaign projects, I’ve decided to devote this blog to the crazy, horrific, and downright incorrect advocacy campaigns of both Peta and Freelee the Banana Girl.
Case #1: Peta- “Save the Whales. Loose the Blubber. Go Vegetarian” Billboard
Peta is notoriously known for their scantly-clad women in their “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” ad campaigns, while this ad depicts an overweight female in a tiny bikini. In my honest opinion, Peta has hit the nail on the head when it comes to objectifying women’s bodies and shaming the ones that don’t necessarily fit the mold of how a perfect woman should look. But that’s an argument for another day. Peta’s company is concerned with equal animal and human treatment, but this is a quality example of how Peta puts a vegan lifestyle before that of basic human decency towards their fellow humans. In a press release, Peta stated: “Anyone wishing to achieve a hot “beach bod” is reminded that studies show that vegetarians are, on average, about 10 to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters.” There are a lot of reasons people struggle with weight, and switching to a vegan-friendly lifestyle will not be able to fix every reason.
This is a quintessential example of how and advocacy campaign could potentially turn an individual away from an intended cause. One meat-eater slams Peta by saying “PETA, you have finally done it. You have made me change my mind about something. Congratulations. However, it won’t be to your liking. I’m going out right now get some Kobe Steak for dinner wearing my endangered species ocelot fur coat and if any one of your mink-releasing vegan followers dares to as much as sneer in my direction I’m making a hat out of their bony ass.” Although this statement is quite vulgar, it emphasizes the fact that attacking someones values without proper education will completely turn off a viewer from your intended message.
Case #2: Freelee the Banana Girl- “Trisha Pastas Stuffing Her Face: My Response”
Freelee is known for advocating the infamous “Raw till 4” vegan diet, in which one only eats raw/ uncooked fruits and vegetables until 4pm and after, they load up on carbohydrates like pastas and potatoes. She credits this high carb, low fat vegan diet to her major weight loss and also the curing of her skin disease and diabetes. She is notorious for saying vulgar quotes like “people should go to jail for eating animal products,” “a thigh gap is healthy for all women,” and “fat people are the scum of the earth.” In addition to her clickbait titles and tasteless quotes, Freelee is also notorious for posting videos that single out famous celebrities and Youtubers. No matter how many videos she makes shaming the diet of Kim Kardashian or Shane Dawson of Youtube, she always acclaims that the “Raw Til 4” diet will change their lifestyle.
In this video Freelee calls out Youtuber Blndsundoll4mj, or Trisha Paytas, for “stuffing” her face with KFC. Although this isn’t the most healthy meal (or portion size, for that matter), Freelee is way out of line to make a video as fat-shaming as this one. Like many other women and men, Trisha is no stranger to eating disorders and telling someone to “go vegan” is not going to fix all their mental and/or physical problems. In response, Trisha has made videos of her eating a great deal of hamburgers and other animal products, tagging Freelee in the downbar. Again, this shows that “finger-pointing advocacy” is not the right way to campaign the vegan lifestyle.
The reason why most people hate vegans is because they’re constantly shoving it down people’s throats. There, I said it. The right way to advocate for the vegan lifestyle is to educate your friends, family, and community and let them do what they want with the information as they will. At the end of the day, you can’t fight hate with hate (could you please send this message to Donald Trump as well), and advocating the vegan lifestyle comes out of love not only for the animals and yourself, but for the world around you.