Russian animal rights group takes a page from PETA

Posted at 10:52 AM Aug 21, 2009

By Andrea Grimes

That's rich.

I was trying to decide what to eat for lunch today, and when I read on Sociological Images that Alliance for Animals in Russia has taken a page from PETA and decided not only to objectify women but to simulate gory violence against them in their campaign for animal rights, I figured I'd have a hamburger on principle. (But not one from Whole Foods!) And then I saw the actual photos and I realized I wasn't hungry for anything, animal or vegetable.

Sadly, this is nothing we haven't seen before. And S.I.'s Lisa says that's kind of the point, with "repertoires of contention," which are the available options for activists based on past activism:

Repertoires of contention are shared and they pass from one social movement to another.   The sit-in, for example, was invented by civil rights activists, but all types of activists use sit-ins today. Sidney Tarrow calls this kind of tactic "modular." It can be borrowed from one kind of activism and applied to many different causes.  Similarly, protest tactics can in one country can be borrowed and applied in another, so long as the conditions for activism are similar.
So really, you're welcome, women of Russia! Thanks to Western animal activism, you too get to be reverse-anthropomorphized via sex and violence!

If anything deserved a trigger warning, it's these atrocious photos.

First, a man shoots some scantily clad women wearing animal masks:


And then, they are dead.


Oh look! They also killed the one guy in the bunch.


On the follow-up, the Onion, with a "news" report that is just about too spot-on to be funny:

Advocacy Group Decries PETA's Inhumane Treatment Of Women


Berry said:

"Objectification" is the point... duh. Seriously, it amazes me that it seems so hard for people to get it. The message is loud and clear, treating living beings like things (objectification) and violence are bad. But hey, as long as you don't see it in your face, it's all good, right? Except that in this case, unlike with animal cruelty, both objectification and violence are fake. These women have chosen to use their bodies to stand for a cause, and honestly, that's much more meaningful than using your body as a burger dumpster "on principle".

Mjx said:

I come from a family of vegetarians who made this choice for ethical reasons, so I can certainly respect the point of view that all species have the right to not suffer. But there's just no getting away from the fact that this kind of 'use' of women to protect other species from cruelty is self-defeating, and makes it's strongest appeal to the sort of person who is 'being vegan/vegetarian/an animal rights activist' as a sort of phase, which they usually outgrow, and mock in retrospect.
The point could have been made without using worn-out, would-be shock tactics, and more effectively and enduringly, at that.

Some said:

So it's okay to objectify whomever just to get your point across?

BorgQueen said:

Two wrongs don't make a right and attempting to right one "wrong" (meat eating in this case) with another (objectification of women, however "fake") just makes the message here disappear.

If you want to encourage others to adopt a meat/cruelty free lifestyle then there are better ways to go about doing it. Educate the public on the cruel practices taking place within the meat industry, educate the public on how fur is horrible and unnecessary, but when you put naked women in the middle of the street dressed as bunnies and smeared with blood, people only see the T & A and the message gets lost. It becomes a stunt rather than an opportunity to inform.

amarygma said:

The thing is these kinds of hyperbolic comparisons undermine the validity of the protestation.

It was like when people would spout "Bush is Hitler" or now "Obama is Hitler" or if you hear someone say something like "That man is the Devil!" "My teacher is a Nazi!" All it does is prove that you're too angry/emotional to think, and is a weak persuasive technique.

I think the use of likening the gay community's struggles to that of African Americans is part of what set so many blacks' votes against them in the prop 8 business in CA.

You can't just think of something universally horrible and propose things you are against are exactly like that as an effective tactic. People disagreeing with your tactic find themselves defending the thing you're against, whether or not they were/are for it.

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