From Plants to Zombies: PETA Catches Flak Over Unconventional Approach To Promoting Veganism At KLCC
Animal rights organisation PETA is renowned for its contentious methods of advancing veganism and animal welfare. This was evident when they conducted their most recent campaign in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), wherein members of the group were dressed as zombies.
The campaign sought to increase public awareness of both the benefits of a plant-based diet and the suffering endured by animals used for meat production. Malaysians’ reactions to the campaign were, however, split, with some applauding the group’s efforts and others criticising them for disregarding Malaysian culture.
In an effort to shock people into reconsidering their dietary patterns, the campaign used zombies, a common theme in horror films. The PETA members distributed pamphlets promoting vegetarianism and carried signs that read “Meat is Murder” and “Go Vegan.”
According to reports, the initiative was intended to target younger people, who are more prone to adopt veganism and plant-based diets.
Several Malaysians found the use of zombie costumes offensive and insensitive, thus they took issue with it. Using Halloween-themed costumes in a campaign to promote a serious message also offended some, and PETA was accused of being irreverent to Malaysian culture.
The use of shock tactics, according to the campaign’s detractors, may alienate certain segments of society in Malaysia, a multicultural nation with a diversified population. They claimed that veganism should be promoted in a more sensitive and courteous way that takes into account the cultural and religious practises of different societies.
In spite of the criticism, PETA defended the initiative and stated that their goal was to raise awareness of the harm caused by the meat industry to animals. They also emphasised the fact that numerous businesses all around the world employ shock tactics, which are a well-known marketing strategy.
However some contend that although PETA’s campaign in Malaysia was divisive, it was successful in spreading awareness of animal welfare and the advantages of a plant-based diet. Although using zombies as a marketing strategy was novel, the controversy indirectly helped PETA reach a larger audience and led to significant conversations regarding the issue.
They noted that ultimately, it is up to each person to choose whether or not to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, but initiatives like this can undoubtedly aid in raising awareness of the problem and influencing people to make more compassionate decisions.
What do you think? Bold move or cultural insensitivity?