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You Can't Be A Fat Vegetarian!

Another stereotype perpetuated: PETA, no stranger to controversy, has launched a new billboard that essentially says one can't be a fat vegetarian.

The billboard, as you can see, is a none-too-flattering picture of a fat man's stomach - not unlike the sizist pap Time used recently. PETA's assumption that people will lose weight by going veg is another lame tactic; they'd be better off promoting the health benefits of changing one's diet, instead of playing the weight card.

The International Size Acceptance Association has responded to this incident of sizism. [Also, ISAA mirrored the image; PETA found it convenient to take the picture down from their site.]

Not So "Good in Bed" | Anorex and Other Fun Drugs

Kell September 5th, 2002 | Link | Funny, 'cuz I was a fat
Funny, 'cuz I was a fat vegetarian for over ten years. (I to subscribed to Vegetarian Times for about six years -- about 1.5 feet of shelf space -- and quit mid-year after they changed editors (early 90s?) and started fat bashing big time. What really bugs me is all the ego in this, and in the veg world generally. It's just another eating disorder (even if the food itself is healthy), if undertaken with those attitudes.
Kell September 5th, 2002 | Link | Note: Ladysmith Black
Note: Ladysmith Black Mombazo and Paul Simon are both featured in fund raiser auctions for Peta (along with the usual run of porn star pictures). I suggest writing to these performers' representatives informing them that they're images and autographs are being used to raise money for a sexist and fatphobic organization. Peta just keeps getting more and more slimy and more and more creepy.
john September 6th, 2002 | Link | I am going to have to agree
I am going to have to agree with BigFatBlog on this one. Being a Vegan or Vegeterain doesn't amount to a hill of beans (pardon the pun) when it comes to weight gain or maintenance. I have a very good friend of mine that have gone Vegan because he and his wife run a vegan business ( and they comment about how it makes no difference at all with regards to gaining or losing weight. The stereotype does exist though (that it helps you lose weight) which is shown by people bother my friend by saying he is "too big" to be a vegan. Ridiculous. What happened to truth in advertising? bleh
Emily September 6th, 2002 | Link | I gotta agree, too. I've
I gotta agree, too. I've known vegans of all sizes. And who says we all gain weight from eating meat? A salad bowl can be just as fattening as a burger when loaded with cheese, dressing, potato salad, etc. In some cases, a burger might even have fewer calories! Besides, there are various reasons for gaining weight. Food isn't always the culprit. Blaming weight gain on meat is the same thing as making the vegan lifestyle nothing more than a fad diet.
Jennifer Portnick September 6th, 2002 | Link | I have a bad feeling about
I have a bad feeling about PETA. This is the second time I've come across a blatantly fat phobic ad from them. And this time, in addition to the hatred, there's blatant misrepresentation, too. It's worth mentioning that I haven't had a hamburger, a steak, a pork chop, a piece of bacon, or other red meat on over twenty years. And oh, yeah, I weigh 230 lbs. Vegetarian does not equal thin anymore than meat eating equals fat. I wish someone at PETA would call me so we could get this straightened out....
Erika September 6th, 2002 | Link | Yep. I am a fat vegan. I did
Yep. I am a fat vegan. I did not adopt the vegan diet for weight loss reasons, or even for "health" reasons; my veganism is strictly ethical. I'm 5'7 and weigh 210...which is exactly what I weighed before I made the change in my lifestyle. PETA's tactics really bum me out. It seems that they've completely lost sight of their cause and are bent on alienating potential advocates by any means possible. It's incredibly stupid.
Bette Day September 6th, 2002 | Link | FAT = MEAT ?? Ha, ha, I
FAT = MEAT ?? Ha, ha, I don't think so! I am 52 years old and have never eaten meat, fowl, fish or even tasted them. I religiously check every item I purchase for vegetable shortening, vegetable mono & diglycerides. I don't do hard cheese because of renin, no jello, no marshmallows, the list is endless. My high weight was 486 in Feb 1993. I maintain between 390-405 and have done so for the past four years. The one thing I found recently is that my protein intake is low, however, with my doctors blessing, I now eat a Pure Protein Bar every morning. I feel better now and it also curbs my craving for candy. Eating habits are the cause of my weight and until I change and correct them, it will make no difference if I choose to eat meat or leave it from my diet. Just my two cents worth -- from experience.
Budge September 6th, 2002 | Link | Peta is a horrible group.
Peta is a horrible group. Even feminists have protested against them because of misogynist ads. Im sorry any group that puts animals above the lives of human beings is mad. I am not surprised by this latest stupid ad.
Kell September 6th, 2002 | Link | It's even worse than I
It's even worse than I thought. Very, very creepy.
Jeani September 6th, 2002 | Link | When I was a fat vegetarian
When I was a fat vegetarian I decided not to become a member of PETA because of their mysogynistic ads. An organization called About Face monitors ad campaigns and publicly shames the ones that protray women in a negative light. The following link is to a letter that one woman wrote to PETA regarding an ad that portrayed a naked woman with writing on her as if she were a cow to divide into cuts of meat: You can find PETA's pitiful response to her letter by clicking on the link at the bottom of that page.
Emily September 7th, 2002 | Link | Wow. How dehumanizing can an
Wow. How dehumanizing can an organization get? Anyone who takes business classes at a university knows about the importance of ethics in business. Portraying women in such a manner is no less ethical than what the accountants at Enron did. And they think that shock tactics will sell their products? They need to wake up & smell the coffee! If they keep offending people this way, they're not going to have a target market left.
Jenne September 7th, 2002 | Link | PETA is crazy. I mean, that
PETA is crazy. I mean, that organization has fallen so far off the deep end that it can never be considered rational or ethical. They sent some of their skanky vegetable girls to my work one day and one of the girls was just nasty. It was like because she's a lettuce lady, she doesn't have to live within the bounds of human decency that most of us try to live within. There's more to life than being vegan. (They also oppose having pets. They also oppose the use of Seeing Eye dogs and other assistant animals because they believe disabled humans should have to rely on other humans for every little thing.)
newfie September 8th, 2002 | Link | I always joke to people that
I always joke to people that my vegetarianism helps keep me under three hundred. A naturopathy guy who has a program at my radio station once asked me if I was a vegetarian. He was getting ready to give me a sales pitch. "Yes", I said. "I'm mostly vegan and about 50% raw". "You don't look like a vegetarian" he says. Later on he comments on my big stomach (as some people do, regarding my protuberance as a public item), "you've got a problem with yeast". I've known this guy for ten years now and haven't asked him for help yet. : ) It's unfortunate that PETA has wasted donations on such ignorance.
Emily September 9th, 2002 | Link | Isn't PETA the ones who go
Isn't PETA the ones who go out & vandalize universities for animal testing? IIRC, a student at the University of MN was nearly killed because of them not too many years ago.
Terri September 16th, 2002 | Link | IMHO anyone--especially
IMHO anyone--especially celebrities--who associates themselves with PETA ought to have their heads examined. Or at the very least, become more enlightened about this organization's tactics. There ought to be a law against such sleazy dealings.
Rui Ribeiro October 31st, 2002 | Link | Being reading your comments,
Being reading your comments, and saying to myself: some of the people here is mistaking a vegan for a vegetarian. Being a vegan implies you don¥t eat cheese or drink milk. period. (well, along other things) Anyway, I¥ve been down the same road. I¥d been putting on a lot of weigth. I didn¥t eat meat, but I ate fish, crab, and other seafood. I also drank milk and ate cookies, bread and cakes like there was no tomorrow. Needless to say, I was getting fatter and fatter all the time. I¥ve switched to a strict vegan diet, and gave up all the cakes, cookies and the likes. Nowadays, I¥m weigthing 83kg, and I¥m still losing weigth. It looks like I¥m ten years younger, and I also don¥t have any more problems going up the stairs, or going on long strolls on foot. Needless to say, I intend to stick to my diet. Regards to all big people here, Rui Ribeiro
Ross December 1st, 2002 | Link | Just an addon to Rui's
Just an addon to Rui's comment. I believe that particularly pertains to Emily's comment about saying a salad bowl can be as bad as a hamburger when adding things like dressing, cheese, and potato salad. Typically, every one of those additions is not vegan.
Alexis December 12th, 2002 | Link | reading all this stuff you
reading all this stuff you guys posted about PETA, i feel kinda disgusted. With PETA that is. Somehow i feel a little let down that PETA is trying to promote the Vegan way of life as a way to stay 'thin and beautiful'. The whole idea of veganism is to promote a more humane way of life. with an ad like this PETA has really seem to have lost sight of it's goal. And the while thing about 'shock tatics' is rubbish. There are better shock tatics than that.
chelsea February 4th, 2003 | Link | no kidding! I guy went so
no kidding! I guy went so far as to ask me once, if you're a vegetarian, how come you're so chubby? Um, hello, my weight has nothing to do with my consumption of meat, or lack there of!
BabySeal February 15th, 2006 | Link | "Peta just keeps getting
"Peta just keeps getting more and more slimy and more and more creepy" Amen to this! While everything that promotes knowledge about animal cruelty has some value in my book, I must say that I am thoroughly disgusted by Peta's sizeist approach and by the atmosphere on its discussion boards. I was there for a while but I had to quit. It was insane. Instead of joining force in a constructive way, most people were there just to bash each other and play "I'm better than you". Vegans bashing vegetarians, vegetarians bashing meat-eaters, it was bedlam. Decidedly something I learnt something valuable from - namely, how *not* to behave and how *not* to squander energy - but something that had to come to an emd pretty quickly. And all this sizism on top of it... not my cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination.
fatthought February 15th, 2006 | Link | PETA is slimy,
PETA is slimy, around-the-bend, even, and being a vegetarian or even vegan has nothing to do with one's weight. I was a vegetarian for a year, and my weight stayed the same. My friend, who has been a vegetarian since she was 18 and is about thirty years older now, has maintained the same range of weights for more than 15 years. But I think that people commenting here should read the rules for posts. No dieting talk of any kind is allowed. I do hope people will read the rules and fashion their comments accordingly.
fatthought February 15th, 2006 | Link | Whoops..I just saw that the
Whoops..I just saw that the comments which mentioned diet/weight loss were rather old. Sorry, everyone.
QitelRemel February 24th, 2006 | Link | Newfie:  PETA sinking to
Newfie:  PETA sinking to such depths is nothing new.  They've been encouraging the fat panic by promoting veganism as a weight loss strategy for quite some time now.  (And if you look at that billboard, you'll see that they're effectively supporting Southwest's rotten policy.) Add to that their attitude on pit bulls...and, well, let's just say that it's no wonder that quite a few veg*s are just as disgusted with them as everyone else is.
Nina February 24th, 2006 | Link | New 'round here, but: I was
New 'round here, but: I was raised vegetarian, and I've noticed that vegans have been pretty active in finding inventive ways to make cookies, cakes, pizza, brownies.... but anyway. PETA has always made me uneasy, but I lost all respect for them two years ago when they staged a protest at my university which equated treatment of animals for slaughter with treatment of Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't be offended by that, and I can't imagine how they thought it would help them.... Still gives me the creeps. On a lighter note, I have a friend who refers to those who go vegetarian for weight reasons and then start discovering loopholes as "pizza vegetarians" (I've been there and it's a good way to go...)
QitelRemel February 28th, 2006 | Link | I've heard it said that PETA
I've heard it said that PETA "cares more about animals than about humans."  Whoever came up with that statement has forgotten that humans are animals.  But so has PETA. And on that note:  It seems to me that PETA cares more about shaming one particular species of animal than about their alleged goal of protecting other species.

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