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PETA Campaign Analysis

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PETA, an animal rights organization, constantly receives national attention and a certain shock value using powerful and distinct images to expose their messages of animal suffering. Starting in 1980, many of their campaigns have attempted to use powerful visuals with the use of celebrities to address the issue of animal cruelty and to persuade people to convert to an animal friendly lifestyle. Their campaign, I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur, is PETA’s most recognized yet controversial anti-fur campaign. This campaign is an individual behavior change campaign that tries to change and promote behaviors that lead to improved individual or social well-being. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign’s ability to convey effective messages on animal rights to the public using powerful visuals and celebrity icons. Two theories that can be used to successfully analyze this campaign are the theory of planned behavior and the social cognitive theory.

Literature Review

There was a combination of different literature found that easily pertains to the issue addressed in this paper. This broadly classified literature includes the history and background of PETA’s organization, an analysis of the use of celebrity icons in the anti-fur campaign and the different perspectives and criticism depicted in their messages.

Historical resources

A large amount of information relating to animal rights disseminates from the many websites PETA is associated with. These websites are a key factor to attract supporters and publish information that will help advance its activism. These two PETA websites that were very useful for researching this paper are www.peta.org and www.furisdead.com. These websites ...

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...social controversy over fur. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 80(3), 249-276.

Pace, L. (2005). Image events and PETA’s Anti-fur campaign. Women & Language, 28(2), 33-41.

Ruben, R. (2006). Speak softly or carry a big stick? Comparing the approaches of the Humane Society of the United States and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Communication, Culture and Technology (GT-ETD), DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/1961/3731

Simonson, P. (2001). Social noise and segmented rhythms: News, entertainment, and celebrity in the crusade for animal rights. The Communication Review, 4, 399- 420.

Specter, M. (April 14, 2003). The extremist: The woman behind the most successful radical group in America. The New Yorker, 14, 52-67.

Vogelaar, A. (2007). The rhetoric of graphic display: PETA’s virtual reproduction of pain. Conference Papers - National Communication Association, 1-29.