Through PETA’s long history, it is reasonable to assume that the movement must have employed all of the tactics and strategies listed above in some form or other in its campaigns and programs. The goal is to be able to look at the more current literature to identify exactly what tactics and strategies are relevant to PETA’s campaigns (Stewart, Smith and Denton 167-168; PETA; Tolhurst; Saul; Burns).In a most recent protest, PETA was reported to have laid in Trafalgar Square in piles as naked bodies drenched in blood. In that protest the protesters were all naked and acted as if they were butchered animals for food, and they were covered in gross blood to negate any connotation of spirituality. The pictures too present the protesters as having grim faces and holding placards urging the world to go vegan as a way to show compassion towards animals and to halt the worldwide slaughter of animals for food. The implication is clear, that the killing of animals constitute a kind of horror inflicted on a massive scale. People are animals too, and they can also be piled on top of each other in the middle of a prominent square, to be watched and covered by the international press. This one act of protest contains within it several tactics and strategies of persuasion. First, the sensational form that movement used to catch attention employed shock and obscenity in the form of nudity and the use of blood on a mass scale. From experience people can recall the use of nudity by one of two protesters allied with PETA, but in this one campaign a large contingent all went nude, and covered itself with blood to boot, to catch attention. Second, the campaign made use of posters and slogans. The poster said Choose Life: Choose Vegan. This poster/slogan is in reference to the way choosing meat is choosing death. This slogan too makes use of several other strategies of persuasion, and they include framing, polarization, identification, and the usurping of power rhetoric. Framing is used in the way the fight for animal rights is framed in terms of choosing death and life. Diet is framed in terms of making a choice between the two. By going naked and pretending to act like dead animals meanwhile, the group is making use of identification to persuade the world. In this instance it is appealing to the audience to identify with the protesters, who are themselves identified with the
Burns, Ashley. “PETA Is Taking One Direction To Task Over Using A Monkey In The ‘Steal My Girl’ Video”. UPROXX. 2014. Web. 2 November 2014. <http://uproxx.com/webculture/2014/10/peta-is-taking-one-direction-to-task-over-using-a-monkey-in-the-steal-my-girl-video/
PETA. “About PETA”. PETA.org. 2014. Web. 2 November 2014. <http://www.peta.org/about-peta/>
Saul, Heather. “World Vegan Day 2014: Naked Peta protesters lie covered in blood at Trafalgar Square”. The Independent. 2014. Web. 2 November 2014. <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/world-vegan-day-2014-naked-peta-protesters-lie-covered-in-blood-at-trafalgar-square-9833195.html>
Stewart, Charles, Craig Smith and Robert Denton. Persuasion and Social Movements. Waveland Press/Google Books. 2012.
Tolhurst, Alain. “Pile of naked bloody bodies in Trafalgar Square PETA Protest”. London24. 2014. Web. 2 November 2014. <http://www.london24.com/news/pile_of_naked_bloody_bodies_in_trafalgar_square_peta_protest_1_3830492>
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