Ingrid Newkirk & In Vitro (Sh)meat on The Colbert Report

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Last night’s episode of The Colbert Report included a segment on PETA’s $1 million reward for the successful development and marketing of in vitro meat.
 

 
Though The Colbert Report is usually animal-friendly in its coverage, I was more than a little disappointed by this particular segment. Throughout the report, Stephen appears to be mocking the idea of in vitro meat as both disgusting and infeasible, rather than mocking, say, meat-eaters who might think cultured meat is disgusting and infeasible – when, in reality, the “meat” on their plates is cobbled together from the parts of many previously living animals, crowded together in filthy factory farms and pumped full of antibiotics, then slaughtered, sometimes while fully conscious, by the billions, and that such a system is environmentally destructive and unsustainable. Instead, the ick factor is reserved for the “bloody egg yolk,” without any sort of follow-up “gotcha!” moment aimed at the meat-eating culture Stephen introduces the segment with. Or am I missing something? Thoughts?

On the plus side, the Mr. noticed a “chill” come over the crowd when a slaughterhouse worker was shown “shaving” (for lack of a better word) the top layer of skin (fat?) from a raw, hanging animal corpse. Perhaps Stephen managed to convert a new vegetarian?

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Dear Ms. Newkirk,

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

A “real” feminist wouldn’t employ such a silly argument in defense of PETA’s campaigns, whether sexist or not:

MJ: One question I did have. I really do appreciate the work PETA has done but it has gotten a lot of criticism for using women in some of its ads. A lot of times in bikinis, or scantily clad, I think there was a striptease campaign that came online recently. What do you say to people who criticize PETA and say that it’s not women-friendly, that it denigrates women?

IN: Well, it’s rubbish because the organization is run by a woman, who is me. I marched in the earliest of rallies, I am an adamant feminist, but I’m not a prude and I think you can go to the beach and see people who are in less than you can in a PETA ad.

Let me guess: you also have a Black Friend ™, such that none of PETA’s campaigns could possibly be racist, either?

Seriously, this is such a ridiculous argument that I need only two words to refute it: Ann Coulter. Women are not immune from misogyny, you see. Sometimes, they’re even more vicious in their hatred of other women than are their male peers; because of the common (mis)perception that “women cannot be sexist,” women are oftentimes granted license to act in an even more misogynistic manner than their male counterparts. It’s not often that you hear a man argue that women’s suffrage was a mistake – yet Ann Coulter has posited as much, and she still manages to get speaking gigs.

You go on to say:

Our people are all volunteers, no one has asked a woman to take off her clothes. I’ve done it myself, we’ve all marched naked if we want to, and I think that it’s very restrictive and in fact wrong. I would expect someone in, say, Iran to tell us that we should cover up, but I don’t expect women or men in this country to criticize women who wish to use their bodies in a form of political statement, to tell them, you need to cover yourself up. There’s this idea of ‘naughty bits’ and I just think it’s funny more than anything else. It’s not sexist, it may be sexual, but no. No woman has ever been paid to strip. She has decided to use her body as a political instrument. That’s her prerogative and I think it is anti-feminist to dare to tell her that she needs to put her clothes back on.

Certainly, I agree that it’s “anti-feminist to dare to tell [a woman] that she needs to put her clothes back on”; however, there’s a difference between allowing your supporters to use their naked bodies as “political instrument[s]” and taking advantage of your [female] supporters’ willingness to get naked for the animals by playing into cultural stereotypes regarding gender roles, beauty, sex, class, race, etc. As I noted in my defense of your “Breast is Best” campaign, PETA does have a despicable habit of pornifying women in their photo/print campaigns while simultaneously portraying men as full human beings, complete with agency and personalities.

In PETA’s world, women are more likely to pose in the nude than men; and, if you were to objectively compare the PETA print campaigns which feature nude men and women, you’d see that the portrayals are drastically different. Strip away PETA’s logo and slogans, and the women’s photos look like they were pulled straight out of a recent edition of Playboy. Young, white, thin, feminine, (conventionally) attractive women are displayed on all fours, backs arched, gazes vacant, faces and torsos turned away from the camera, submissive in posture, ready for a good fuckin’. In contrast, the men’s shots are fun, funny, inspiring, humorous, and full of personality.

Yes, you can be sexual without being sexist; just look at these campaigns featuring naked men as proof:

PETA (Steve O 1)

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Ingrid Newkirk on The Colbert Report, 2/28/08 (Eat me!)

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Here’s the video, in case ya missed it:

I thought it went swimmingly, with nary a boo to be heard. I mean, I know Dr. Colbert’s crowd is fairly liberal, but even most libs poo-poo vegetarianism.

Videos in this post

The Colbert Report, Thursday, February 28, 2008
Ingrid Newkirk
Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, had a revelation about being eaten. (5:56)

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Tagged:

Ingrid Newkirk Is An Animal

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of PETA, is the subject of Matthew Galkin’s documentary I Am An Animal. The film won the Hamptons International Film Festival’s Golden Starfish for Documentary Feature. Before accepting the award, filmmaker and subject spoke with Plum.

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Tagged:

DawnWatch: Newkirk interview, plus holiday book recommendations — 12/5/06

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Dec 6, 2006 2:36 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Newkirk interview, plus holiday book recommendations — 12/5/06

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was interviewed on December 5, by “These Days” host Tom Fudge, on the San Diego NPR affiliate KPBS. The 17 minute interview is warm and informative, and well worth listening to while you work at your computer. It is on line at http://www.kpbs.org/radio/programs/these_days?id=6713.

If you listen, please tell the station you heard it, and thank them for airing it. The “Audience Services” email address is members [at] kpbs.org.

Feedback matters!

Newkirk talked a little about her new book, “50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals.” It is a terrific holiday present for kids aged 8-13 who care about animals. You can learn more about it, and purchase it from PETA here or on Amazon here.

At this time of year, as we start to think about gifts, I will make a few personal recommendations:

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