Advertising Battle: Nudity, Catholicism & PETA

Joanna Krupa’s latest advert for PETA has the Catholic Church in a high rolling spin of naked proportions…and apparently some very misguided ones too.

The President of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue , told Fox411

“The fact is that cats and dogs are a lot safer in pet stores than they are in the hands of PETA employees. Moreover, pet stores don’t rip off Christian iconography and engage in cheap irreligious claims. PETA is a fraud. It also has a long and disgraceful record of exploiting Christian and Jewish themes to hawk its ugly services. Those who support this organization sorely need a reality check. They also need a course in Ethics 101.”

Before I go any further I’d like to point out a few things:-

  • PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
  • Animals are not safer in pet stores than in the hands of PETA, because we are talking about the same people that pour fake blood, ketchup, jello, paint etc. on the real furs that celebrities and models wear, outside of large events, when they protest.
  • We are also talking about the same PETA that got on President Obama’s back for swatting a fly earlier this year.
  • Just because a pet store doesn’t wear Christian iconography, or “rip them off” as Donohue said, doesn’t mean that they have sound and safe animal practices. Neither, have anything to do with the other one.
  • It can also go the other way around, just because someone works for PETA doesn’t mean that they are a saint. But on that same note, because PETA is an extremist organization for the welfare of animals — it’s highly doubtful that they would harm those they have sworn to protect.

In response to the statements made by the Catholic League, Krupa said,

“As a practicing Catholic, I am shocked that the Catholic League is speaking out against my PETA ads. I’m doing what the Catholic Church should be doing, working to stop senseless suffering of animals, the most defenseless of God’s creation.”

Joanna Krupa is a Polish American model and actress. She is signed with Elite Model Management and was in Season Nine of Dancing With The Stars. She was partnered with Derek Hough. This is also not her first advertisement with PETA and is in the same company as Khole Kardashian, Pamela Anderson, Eva Mendes, Alicia Silverstone and others who will go naked, rather than wear fur.

In my opinion, while I respect the Catholic religion, I have to agree with Krupa on this one. I just don’t believe, that a humane God would be against stopping the suffering of defenseless animals. After all, in the context of both arguments, we are all His children.

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the ‘Little Pink Book’ delivered to your Kindle.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments

  1. Great post, and a thinker!

    I will just say this… without passing judgment… organizations like PETA have to push the envelope to get to the front pages (nude celeb ads, blood on fur coats, naked and painted women in cages in time square, etc.)… so I'm not surprised, but i really think they need to stop this type of 'marketing' so that not to feed the stereotype (or not) of their org being perceived as fanatic and radical.

  2. I have to respectfully disagree with you on this post. While I disagree with the Catholic League's comments. I do feel that Joanna Krupa's picture is disrespectful. As a Christian and practicing Anglican I do not feel that sacred symbols should be used for ads and I would hope that she, a practicing Catholic, would see the blasphemous nature of the picture.

    Second, I do not like or respect PETA. They kill more animals than they save. As a owner of 6 rescued indoor and 2 outdoor cats, I can not respect a group that is more for shock than for helping. I donate to the Human Society who ensure that the animals that are rescued will truly be safe.

  3. Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for your comment. I understand where you are coming from. My comment at the end of my post, where I did agree with Krupa was in reference to her stating that she didn't think that God would be against saving defenseless animals.

    In terms of the picture itself, I'm not Catholic so I can't comment from that POV specifically. But I will say, that like Carrie Prejean, the choice is hers.

    I look at things like Madonna and the Cross Burning in the “Like a Prayer” video, or “Live to Tell” from her Confessions tour (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdU3fKbbbu0) and I think the debate on iconography is so interesting when it comes to it's proper use. Then again, Madonna is a person who put herself 'out there.'

    Why do you say, that PETA kills more animals than they save? That is news to me. Where did you see/hear that? Can you send me some links, I really want to read about that.

    I know PETA is really big in South Asia. Especially, with Bollywood actors and actresses because they are all vegetarians etc. I think John Abraham did a “rather go naked than wear fur” nude advert for them too. Or maybe he was wearing leaves? I can't remember.

    But yes! Please send me that info. I want to read about it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  4. Hi Alex!

    I think the debate is so interesting. PETA is known for so many things, especially pushing the limits on things.

    What I agree with is Joanna's motivation for doing the advert. She believes in God and believes that he would agree in saving defenseless animals.

    What I don't agree with, are the misconceptions from the Catholic League about the organization. Another commenter, below, said that PETA actually hurts animals. Now, I've never heard that before and now I'm very interested in finding out more about that particular piece of information.

    I told the other commenter below, Ashley, that I know in South Asia, where a lot of Hindu people live who are vegetarian, PETA is giant organization because they protect animals etc. Incidentally, a lot of Bollywood actors and actresses have posed in numerous campaigns for them. The one that comes nearest to my mind is John Abraham, because I believe his might have been nude and in a cage? I don't remember. But I do remember seeing that a little while ago.

    I think, like with the scare tactics for the AIDS campaigns (http://sashahalima.com/blog/?p=6247), this type of marketing is unnecessary.

    I think that if you do your research well, there is a better way to reach your target audiences and attract new ones, without involving scare/shock tactics.

    Thanks Alex! :)

  5. I do not have much knowledge PETA in South Asia but as for the US I found a couple articles.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/cele

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/134549

    http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_resea

  6. Thank you so much for the links Ashley, I'm going to read them now.

    Maybe another blog post topic will be discovered :)

  7. hmm, this is so sad, but it does make a lot of sense, at least to me — from the Telegraph article, btw:-

    ###

    “We are doing the dirty work that others won't,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, vice-president for cruelty investigations. “We are proud to be a shelter of last resort that takes in old broken animals and gives them a humane end.

    Chrissie Hynde, former lead singer of The Pretenders and a Peta supporter, said: “It's curious that the meat and tobacco industries, who destroy innumerable human lives with their 'goods', and billions of animals producing them, try to incite public outrage by throwing stones at a charity who's very existence is to promote the welfare of animals and offer to put suffering animals out of their misery.”

    Patrick Holden, director of UK organic farming body the Soil Association, said: “The difficulty for Peta is that where animals are kept as pets or farm animals, their eventual death is inevitable.

    “The moral question for society is whether we have a right to take the life of animals. Some say we do not, and I respect that, but we have a different position: if an animal life is taken, we have an obligation to respect and look after the animal during its life to the highest standards.

    “Perhaps this is an example of how, in the real world, it is impossible to escape the responsibility that one sometimes has to take the life of an animal. There is an apparent contradiction in Peta's philosophy.”

    ###

    That's crazy. But then I wonder how much of it really goes on? And also, how badly off the animals were. That one guy from Friends For Animals said that there were a lot of healthy looking animals.

    I don't know. I want to research and read more about this.

    Thanks for sending me the first few links, I really appreciate it!

  8. stephenspiewak says:

    “I just don’t believe, that a humane God would be against stopping the suffering of defenseless animals. After all, in the context of both arguments, we are all His children.”

    Who said God was against stopping the suffering of animals? Just because the Catholic Church thinks it's vulgar to use a cross covering up a woman's chest/crotch as a message against animal cruelty certainly doesn't mean the Church is implying that God supports abuse of animals. IMO, that's a huge jump in logic, and not very fair to the Church's position.

    I also think if PETA made an ad that was offensive to other religions/cultures, there'd be a much larger uproar. In many ways, I think anti-Catholic biases in the media are accepted. When something offends Catholics, the issue is often portrayed as the Church stifling artistic creativity/freedom of expression. When something offends other groups, it's often deemed poor taste/hateful/offensive, and there's a grounswell to shut it down.

    I also had trouble with your line about a “humane God” wanting to stop the suffering of animals. This may be a bit off-topic, but obviously, animals are not humans. While I admire the work that people do to prevent cruelty and abuse to animals, for me, there's a much stronger moral obligation to prevent cruelty and abuse of humans, who live/are treated like animals in many parts of the world.

    Animals are certainly a part of God's creation, and they should be respected. However, I'd sacrifice the life of my dog (who I have a great relationship with and care about very much) if it meant protecting/saving the life of any person, even someone I did not know.

    Do you think animals should be treated humanely? Do you think their rights, and our responsibilities to them, are on the same footing as those of humans?

  9. Oh I most certainly agree with you about stopping the terrible things done
    to humans who are treated like animals. I think sex trafficking is the worst
    of the set. Recently, I went to the Women's Conference in CA and I was
    stunned, in awe and absolutely just amazed when I heard the story of Somaly
    Mam. Have you heard of her?

    My goodness, it's terrible the things that go on in the world. This is her
    website: http://www.somaly.org/. Also, after the conference, I researched
    her online and found these really insightful articles from TIME (
    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/arti…)
    and this one from Glamour (
    http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2006/07/global-…).

    I've actually been meaning to do a {Heal the World} article here on the Pink
    Book on her. But I haven't had the chance yet.

    Re: the other things — I'm not siding with what PETA did, I'm beginning to
    think I need to clarify my statement above, I was agreeing with Krupa's
    motivation behind WHY she agreed to do it. I think a humane God, is God,
    nonetheless, and animal or human — he would NOT approve of either
    suffering.

    I don't think it's fair when some people group animals and people together
    and compare them, like you did.

    I think living creatures all deserve the right to be healthy and happy in
    their own right. There are exceptions to everything of course. For example,
    I won't harp on about the native people in the arctics of Finland killing
    animals to use their fur to survive. But I will harp on about game killing,
    etc. In my personal opinion, it's wrong and inhumane on so many levels.

    So what I meant above — is that I don't think anything is wrong with
    Joanna's motivation behind why she posed for the advertisement. But I also
    think, that someone from the church besides the Catholic League should have
    made a statement. Because if you go to the Fox 411 article, you'll see that
    the BD's statements are misinformed and he passes judgements and makes
    assumptions about pet stores, inferring puppy mills, which are absolutely
    wrong and actually go against what the church teaches; what any religion
    would teach for that matter.

    Life is life. We should embrace it.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment Stephen, I appreciate you lending
    your insight and thoughts to my blog.

    I hope you have a great Thursday!
    Best wishes,

    Sasha

  10. stephenspiewak says:

    “I just don’t believe, that a humane God would be against stopping the suffering of defenseless animals. After all, in the context of both arguments, we are all His children.”

    Who said God was against stopping the suffering of animals? Just because the Catholic Church thinks it's vulgar to use a cross covering up a woman's chest/crotch as a message against animal cruelty certainly doesn't mean the Church is implying that God supports abuse of animals. IMO, that's a huge jump in logic, and not very fair to the Church's position.

    I also think if PETA made an ad that was offensive to other religions/cultures, there'd be a much larger uproar. In many ways, I think anti-Catholic biases in the media are accepted. When something offends Catholics, the issue is often portrayed as the Church stifling artistic creativity/freedom of expression. When something offends other groups, it's often deemed poor taste/hateful/offensive, and there's a grounswell to shut it down.

    I also had trouble with your line about a “humane God” wanting to stop the suffering of animals. This may be a bit off-topic, but obviously, animals are not humans. While I admire the work that people do to prevent cruelty and abuse to animals, for me, there's a much stronger moral obligation to prevent cruelty and abuse of humans, who live/are treated like animals in many parts of the world.

    Animals are certainly a part of God's creation, and they should be respected. However, I'd sacrifice the life of my dog (who I have a great relationship with and care about very much) if it meant protecting/saving the life of any person, even someone I did not know.

    Do you think animals should be treated humanely? Do you think their rights, and our responsibilities to them, are on the same footing as those of humans?

  11. Oh I most certainly agree with you about stopping the terrible things done

    to humans who are treated like animals. I think sex trafficking is the worst

    of the set. Recently, I went to the Women's Conference in CA and I was

    stunned, in awe and absolutely just amazed when I heard the story of Somaly

    Mam. Have you heard of her?

    My goodness, it's terrible the things that go on in the world. This is her

    website: http://www.somaly.org/. Also, after the conference, I researched

    her online and found these really insightful articles from TIME (

    http://www.time.com/time/speci…)

    and this one from Glamour (

    http://www.glamour.com/magazin…).

    I've actually been meaning to do a {Heal the World} article here on the Pink

    Book on her. But I haven't had the chance yet.

    Re: the other things — I'm not siding with what PETA did, I'm beginning to

    think I need to clarify my statement above, I was agreeing with Krupa's

    motivation behind WHY she agreed to do it. I think a humane God, is God,

    nonetheless, and animal or human — he would NOT approve of either

    suffering.

    I don't think it's fair when some people group animals and people together

    and compare them, like you did.

    I think living creatures all deserve the right to be healthy and happy in

    their own right. There are exceptions to everything of course. For example,

    I won't harp on about the native people in the arctics of Finland killing

    animals to use their fur to survive. But I will harp on about game killing,

    etc. In my personal opinion, it's wrong and inhumane on so many levels.

    So what I meant above — is that I don't think anything is wrong with

    Joanna's motivation behind why she posed for the advertisement. But I also

    think, that someone from the church besides the Catholic League should have

    made a statement. Because if you go to the Fox 411 article, you'll see that

    the BD's statements are misinformed and he passes judgements and makes

    assumptions about pet stores, inferring puppy mills, which are absolutely

    wrong and actually go against what the church teaches; what any religion

    would teach for that matter.

    Life is life. We should embrace it.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment Stephen, I appreciate you lending

    your insight and thoughts to my blog.

    I hope you have a great Thursday!

    Best wishes,

    Sasha

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