PETA’s New Ad Campaign Features Bruised, Battered Women


Written by Dahlia Grossman-Heinz, Campus Progress

PETA recently unveiled a new advertising campaign that has left many wondering if it makes light of violence against women.

The centerpiece of the ad campaign features a woman wearing a coat, a bra and underwear, and a neck brace while walking down the street, clearly in pain. Through voiceover, the audience is told that “Jessica” is suffering from “BWVAKTBOOM” or “Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me,” which is “a painful condition that occurs when boyfriends go vegan and can suddenly bring it like a tantric porn star.”

After a close-up of Jessica walking up the stairs—so that we can see she’s not wearing any pants—Jessica walks into a bedroom where her vegan boyfriend is plastering a hole in the wall. She smiles and throws a bag of vegetables to him.

So this is PETA’s idea of promoting a vegan lifestyle—selling men on the idea that veganism is a way to prevent erectile dysfunction and increase their sexual stamina.

The campaign features a series of women complaining of concussions, sprained knees, bruising, and hip dysplasia while they have bandaged hands, Band-Aids on their faces, or are wearing a neck brace. While PETA is careful to ensure that the women make it clear they mostly enjoy the new prowess of their sexual partners, the idea is that the men just can’t help but hurt their girlfriends when they have sex.

The advertising gimmick is that going vegan makes men so sexually potent that they physically injure their partners. Well, their female partners.

One of the ten BWVAKTBOOM ads features a gay man whose boyfriend went vegan—but unlike the women, the gay man isn’t physically hurt and bandaged. This clip reveals the intrinsic sexist and misogynist ideology behind the ad campaign—that only injured women, not men, are funny.

PETA even has a website dedicated to the new campaign, which includes tips on how to sex-proof your new love life, like advising women to get a sex helmet that matches their hair:

Vegan sex can be more aggressive than Civilian Sex. Which is why we encourage wearing a helmet during intercourse. You need to protect yourself. But staring at a conventional helmet can ruin the moment. So get a helmet that matches your hairstyle. Or add some zest by changing things up. Then strap it down, hop in bed, and hold on tight.

PETA’s premise that going vegan (or even vegetarian) can lead to a healthier lifestyle is not a false one—but why focus a healthier sex life on pain rather than pleasure? Instead of making the point that going vegan can make men better lovers and partners, PETA thinks it’s funny to joke that being a vegan can make men so powerful that they hurt their partners. Doing so is making light of abuse against women, which is anything but funny.

PETA is no stranger to controversy; in fact, the group is often seems trying to be offensive (especially to women) to garner attention for their cause. One ad was banned from the Superbowl, for instance, because it depicted women about to have sex with vegetables.

Lindsay Rajt, PETA’s associate director of campaigns and outreach, said she sees the ad as “tongue-in-cheek” and not offensive.

“People who watch the ad all the way through see the woman has a mischievous smile. She’s happy to go back with him. It’s playful,” she says.

Since when does “playful” mean hitting your head so hard that you break through the wall and need a neck brace?

This post was originally published by Campus Progress.


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Photo: screenshot from above youtube video


Tania S.
Tania S5 years ago

PETA cares more for REACTION than ACTION (on their part).
Smells like a publicity stunt to me!
Reminds me of when they protested about "going naked opposed to wearing fur" they got more of a reaction because the women were naked instead of what the protest was about!

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

This is so not funny! PETA keeps going way too far in their ads and it only makes them look terrible, hindering their cause.

Neil A.
Neil A5 years ago

Generally I like Peta but this is strange/weird & not very clever, OWN goal???

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

PETA is disgusting. I think they're hiding behind Animal Rights, just like NAMBLA hides behind free speech. Abuse is abuse, and they use & abuse women to make their point.

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Well said, Christy! PETA should be charged with animal abuse themselves, and let's see, how about fraud, misappropriation of funds, extortion and the list goes on!

christy s.
christy s5 years ago

VICKY and ELLEN--I agree with you both about PETA. I am currently working on advocating for animals in high-kill facilities all over the country. There are some amazing rescue groups that will pull animals out of the "pounds" (that's what they are, not shelters) and get them any necessary medical care and more wonderful people who will help with transport to just about any part of the country. People offer to drive "legs", well, depending on how far the animal needs to go to get to her/his new forever home. I just offered to drive to a high-kill facility and pick up a dog myself. Sad stuff happens all over and it's hard when you don't personally know who you're dealing with. I applied to rescue & adopt a dog last week and it was all set. When the rescue people who had put a hold on him went to pick him up, they were told he'd "escaped". This was a tiny (6 lb) poodle mix who could never get out of that cage. Now I've learned that not only is this facility a high-kill one, they're also known for selling animals out the "back door" which is what they did apparently with this little guy the minute they learned someone was coming for him. They're also known to kill animals even when they know someone if coming to adopt or rescue them. A bit off-topic all around, but my time and what money I can spare, is going to no-kill facilities and groups that rescue animals from these facilities rather than PETA anymore.

colleen p.
colleen p5 years ago

vicky t. there is something here published about fructose and suger. you can "troooollllll" that with how your boyfriend gets sick on suger and is not diabetic but intolerant.

I guartee that someone will call you a troll and that is impossible.

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m5 years ago

I have no respect for PETA.
While they may get an occasional win for animals, they have a horrible track record when it comes to the animals under their direct care...their own euthanasia rates are through the roof!
And the people who want to be in their media spots are either trying to further their personal careers, or just your run of the mill media whores.

This latest offering from them has nothing in the least bit amusing about it, and whatever message they had wanted to get across has been lost once again by their horribly poor taste.

vicky t.
vicky T5 years ago

I suppose I snap too quickly when a man disrespects a woman, it's just wrong no matter what the circumstances are.

I support animal welfare but I donate to local non-kill shelters, never PETA. Wheelchairs for paralyzed dogs always feel more urgent than campaigns or sea kitten fossils! And as much as I tend to annoy people around me by preaching about veganism or reducing meat consumption, I do realize it can't suit everybody! For example, my boyfriend has high fructose intolerance, so he can't have fruits, nor (most) vegetables, nor tofu, nor the other zillion things that turn into fructose inside his body. If he went vegan, he'd starve. Others might have anemia. Others will thrive. It really depends on the person

Diane L.
Diane L5 years ago

Vicky, it would also be pertinent to take note of what "group" this discussion/article is within............WOMEN'S RIGHTS. PETA is disrespecting women by their portrayal in this ad, and it does nothing to promote animal welfare. To defend PETA for this behavior is just wrong, and Jane, of all people should realize that. Jane has, for the entire time I've encountered her in Care.2, been very open and vocal about women having the "right" to do anything they wish sexually, so to be "used" in this way by men is something I'd think she'd not condone.