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.
PETA, the animal rights organization known for its provocative tactics, has once again stirred controversy with a billboard campaign in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
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 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.
Compassion for ALL Animals
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.”
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,” before claiming.
“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 campaign’s comparison between eating fish and eating a cat faced swift backlash and criticism, with some online users questioning the approach.
“Food For Thought”
One Twitter user didn’t hold back, telling the organization, “Nobody is repulsed about eating cats yet everyone is repulsed by vegans nonsense.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received numerous complaints, raising concerns about the billboard’s appropriateness and potential to cause distress.
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.”
People were just as upset about the location of the billboard, which was placed just outside a local fish and chip shop.
Highlighting Moral and Environmental Harm
PETA responded to concerns, clarifying that the image was thoughtfully designed to minimize distress while still conveying the message effectively.
The organization 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.
“Neither Gruesome, Nor Shocking”
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.
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.”
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.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / fotogenicstudio