An animal rights charity took a bold move by placing a billboard containing an image of a dead cat outside the worst place possible, in a shocking attempt to convince people to go vegan.
Unveiling PETA’s Bold Move
PETA, the animal rights organisation known for its provocative tactics, has once again stirred controversy with a billboard campaign in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
A Shocking Message
The billboard featured an image that suggested “eating a fish is like eating a cat,” making the reader think about the difference between the animals and why society doesn’t eat cats.
The Last Thing People Want to See
The most disturbing part of the holographic image was the picture of a fish in a woman’s hands that changed into the image of a dead cat depending on the angle you view the billboard.
A Disturbing Comparison
The charity’s message was reinforced by a tweet saying, “Repulsed by the prospect of eating cat flesh? Extend that compassion to fish and ALL other animals.”
Explaining Their Idea
PETA told the public, “From one angle, you may see a smiling fishmonger holding a dead fish, but from another, she is holding a dead cat.”
Urging to Go Vegan
“Fish – like cats and other animals – are intelligent, sensitive individuals. If you wouldn’t eat your animal companion, go vegan and don’t eat sea life,” the charity said.
The Initial Backlash
The campaign’s comparison between eating fish and eating a cat faced swift backlash and criticism, with some online users questioning the approach.
Blasted as “Vegan Nonsense”
One Twitter user didn’t hold back, telling the organisation, “Nobody is repulsed about eating cats yet everyone is repulsed by vegans nonsense.”
Complaints to ASA
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received numerous complaints, raising concerns about the billboard’s appropriateness and potential to cause distress.
Defending the Intent
PETA defended its campaign strategy, saying that its aim was to challenge societal views on animal consumption and compassion toward various species, “This unsettling sight has been erected by Peta to provide locals with food for thought.”
Wrong Place at the Wrong Time?
People were just as upset about the location of the billboard, which was placed just outside a local fish and chip shop.
Addressing the Distress
PETA responded to concerns, clarifying that the image was thoughtfully designed to minimise distress, while still conveying the message effectively.
A Necessary Shock
The organisation argued that using these shocking tactics was necessary because of the “urgency with which society ought to address the moral and environmental harms linked to commercial fishing.”
PETA pointed out that children often encounter images of animals in various contexts, including supermarkets.
The billboard’s owner, Global, consulted with the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) to ensure compliance with advertising standards.
After evaluating complaints and the campaign’s content, the ASA concluded that the portrayal of the dead cat was unlikely to cause excessive distress or offense.
Letting it Slide
The ASA revealed, “We considered that the cat’s depiction was neither gruesome, nor shocking, and was unlikely to be considered particularly realistic by most viewers.”
A Message of Compassion
PETA’s campaign, reinforced by its tweet, ultimately aims to inspire compassion for all animals and encourage viewers to reflect on their dietary choices.
While the campaign received mixed reactions, it succeeded in spreading its messaging by using shocking tactics.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / CineCam. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.