The last time we mentioned the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals here on TVFF, they were parading a giant lobster around outside the Food Network studios in New York. They're back, and this time they're issuing nastygram press releases about the fact that Food Network (and a couple of other channels, including MTV) refused to run a commercial illustrating (and I mean illustrating) the less-than-pleasant way animals become meat. Or, as they put it, CASEY AFFLECK VEGETARIAN AD BANNED BY NATIONAL TV NETWORKS.
For those of you not up on your Affleck trivia, Casey is not the one who went out with J. Lo. or who is now with Jennifer Garner (pictured, at left...why? BECAUSE IT'S MY BLOG!). But still, he's an Affleck and he's been in a few movies, so he does qualify as celebrity. He recounts the reasons that he is a vegetarian, including concerns about animal treatment and the cleanliness of the slaughtering process. You can check out the video at the PETA site GoVeg.com, but I'm going to go ahead and warn you that it is not for the squeamish. Seriously, you've been warned.
And so, that brings us to the issue with running the commercial. According to their press release, they took the spot to the Food Network. Amazingly, the network that makes its money by getting people excited about eating must have had a problem or two with showing stomach-turning images of cattle, pigs and chickens. Of course, PETA would tell you that the fact that the images were so repulsive was the point, but you can see where the Purdue commercial that would run right after it might not appreciate it.
According to PETA:
In a bid to show Food Network viewers what happens to animals before they’re fried, filleted, and fricasseed on TV, PETA tried to buy time during the network’s cooking programs for its 30-second ad, but advertising execs didn’t have the stomach for it.
I wasn't able to track down any responses by the Food Network, but I think one viewing of the spot will pretty much explain why they didn't accept it.
Obviously, the message that PETA (and others) is putting out there is getting through to some in the food industry. According to a Reuters story, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is making significant and animal-friendly changes to the menus at his restaurants, including eliminating foie gras and meat from "crated" animals.
Labels: Food Network