"All Animals Have the Same Parts" Campaign

This campaign could be decoded as being much more progressive than other PETA campaigns but there is no indication that this was PETA's intent upon the encoding/production of the ads. The image of Pamela Anderson in a swimsuit and diagramed into pieces of meat is supposed to allude to a cultural knowledge that they expect the view to have, at some point, seen a image of a cow like the one picture above, divided up in to different parts of beef with dotted lines. The goal of the ad in relation to animal rights is anchored by the title that reminds viewers, "all animals have the same parts" but we don't call Pamela Anderson's butt a rump or her thighs, rounds.

Whether intentional or not, the ad can also be read as a self-critique of PETA's own ads that objectify women and present them as a piece of meat. If the diagram parts were missing, this image of Pamela Anderson posed in a bikini and displaying her body would have much greater polysemy. It could be an anti-fur ad or could say "I'm Pamela Anderson and I'm a vegetarian" as another line of ads that features celebrities declares that they are vegetarian or vegan. The point is, Pamela Anderson's pose is quite typical of a PETA ad, which some viewers could encode as PETA poking fun at themselves and their controversial ads.

The above images are of a protest that I will refer to as "Human Meat." For the protest, PETA doused volunteers and interns in fake blood, put them on large Styrofoam trays like grocery store meat, and wrapped them in cellophane. This protest was staged in many places including Times Square, Hollywood, and even Austin. If a viewer were to take an oppositional reading of the previous Pamela Anderson ad and see it as PETA poking fun and themselves and responding to common critiques, they could see the same in this protest that stages women as meat in physical representation. The female bodies packaged as meat are an example of what Cathryn Bailey addresses as "the general similarities [seen by feminist vegetarianism] between the condition of animals and women under patriarchy" (40).

Works Cited

Bailey, Cathryn. "We Are What We Eat: Feminist Vegetarianism and the Reproduction of Racial Identity." Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22.2 (2007): 39-59. Print.

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