In a much gentler, more humorous take on walking in our food’s hooves, PETA Asia gives us “Animals for the Ethical Treatment of People” (AETP).
Stay with us. We promise there are no cages, or trapped humans pumping gallons of goods for a greedy breastmilk-consuming cabal of cows.
Created by MullenLowe Singapore, the campaign instead features animals for “AETP” making speeches to their carnivorous comrades about how cruel their practices on humans are.
In the first, “100% Pure Woman’s Milk,” a cow (or bull?) explains the origins of the ubiquitous drink. “Millions of female humans are artificially inseminated the moment they’re old enough to conceive,” he says. “Why? Because they lactate for 10 months after giving birth. What happens after that? Oh, we inseminate them again, so we keep getting milk.”
The cow goes on to explain the uncomely treatment of these humans (“We force them to eat, walk and sleep knee-deep in their own dung”), and describes how genetic manipulation ensures we lactating ladies go on producing more milk than we normally would for our own babies.
“Like some twisted science fiction horror, we make each woman produce more than 20,000 pounds of milk a year!” he exclaims.
Next comes a gander, defending us from feathered fowls’ love of human foie gras, in “The Making of Foie Gras – A Story of Superhuman Effort.”
“I’ll tell you what’s disgusting,” the gander says. “Foie gras. Sick, swollen human liver.” He describes how tubes are pushed down our throats to forcibly feed us three times a day, from as young as eight weeks old—expanding livers to more than 10 times their size.
“No decent duck would put that on his bill,” he asserts.
Each ad ends with the same tagline, “They would never do it,” and drives traffic to AETP.world, a campaign website for Animals for the Ethical Treatment of People, a human-focused appropriation of PETA’s existing website.
“Sometimes a new perspective can provide the push that people need to make kinder choices that spare animals a lifetime of suffering, such as choosing soy or almond milk over cow’s milk,” writes PETA’s senior international media director, Ben Williamson. (Sidenote: His Twitter handle is @tofuhomeboy, which we find almost as adorable as this website.)
“The inspiration for the video series came from asking people how they’d feel if cows treated humans the way that we treat cows used by the dairy industry,” Williamson tells AdFreak. “And what if tubes were shoved down our throats to force-feed us so that other species could eat our enlarged, diseased livers? Once we try to put ourselves in the place of animals exploited for food, it’s easy to recognize how horrific their suffering is and why we should never eat them.”
It’s rare that we find ourselves appreciating PETA’s promotional efforts, which often ring not only distasteful but actively mean-spirited. This particular campaign hails from PETA Asia, which last year opened a “high-end leather” store with grisly surprises hiding inside the products.
It was still shocking and unpleasant, but it also triggered reflection. We love ourselves some leather shoes, but there’s merit to obliging people to come to terms with the fact that leather comes from living animals, whose often cruel treatment and otherwise pointless deaths are obscured by the abstractions of mass production cycles.
Was that approach better or worse than putting women in cages, or depicting carnivores as crappier at sex and more deserving of a random, comedic death? Maybe that metric is subjective.
The relief we find here is that “Animals for the Ethical Treatment of People” could have been a lot less pleasant to watch, but all the extreme stuff is saved for the facts—which are frankly grotesque, even coming out of the mouth of a mad cow. (Ha!)