Alicia Silverstone's naked PETA ad
As a confirmed meat eater, I have to confess I have been averting my eyes from the raging debate sparked off by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as to whether one can simultaneously be a carnivore and an environmentalist. Grist has been doing a great job of covering the frenzy, while I have done my best to avoid thinking about how much the burgers I'm grilling for my kids tonight (grass-fed beef! locally raised!) are contributing to global warming. I walk to the grocery store -- doesn't that count for something? Factory farming may be unsustainable and inhumane, but is a free-range roast chicken equally wrong?
Shades of gray. Shades of gray. My gut feeling is that PETA is not going to convert the masses with a message that will undoubtedly alienate the vast majority of the American population. The problem with campaigns such as PETA's is that they are by definition polarizing, and the world simply doesn't break down that way. Successful movements include people with a wide range of beliefs and practices.
That being said, I have nothing but respect for how effectively PETA ensures that its propaganda message is distributed.
Which brings us to more important questions. Are vegetarians sexier than meat eaters? Or should we simply be alarmed by the fact that Alicia Silverstone apparently wants to be the next Kim Basinger?
You decide. How the World Works has been intending to start embedding video into blog posts for a while now. This seems as good a place as any to start.
Alicia Silverstone has become the latest Hollywood starlet to bare all in the name of animal protection, appearing a new campaign to encourage people to become vegetarians.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has featured a naked Silverstone - star of movies such as Clueless and Batman and Robin - in its latest internet and television campaign.
"Like most people, I wasn't always a vegetarian, but I've always loved animals," Silverstone says on the PETA website.
"If you ever have a chance to meet a cow, pig, turkey, or goat, you will see that they are just as cute and funny as your dogs and cats and that they, too, want to live and feel love.
"They don't like pain.
"Now when I see a steak, it makes me feel sad and sick because right away, I see my dog or the amazing cows I met at a sanctuary."
Silverstone, who said she had been a vegan for 10 years, reckoned it had been the single-most important and helpful decision she had made in her life.
"Physically, the effect has been amazing. Once I went vegan, I lost the weight I wanted to lose, my nails were stronger, and my skin was glowing. I feel great, and I look better now than I did 11 years ago.
"Being vegan truly is the secret to my life's joy and peace. I feel physically and spiritually better than I could have ever imagined knowing that I am doing everything I can to reduce animal suffering with
simple lifestyle choices like being vegan, never wearing any products made from animals (like wool and leather), and buying only from companies that never test their products or ingredients on animals."