Guest post by Ashley Fruno
I’m one of the many PETA members who have chosen to go “naked” in order to call attention to cruelty to animals. I’ve been featured at demonstrations wearing little more than bodypaint, and I’ve appeared in public in lingerie. I’ve worn a skimpy bikini made of only lettuce to promote vegetarian eating in places such as Bangalore, India, and Guangzhou, China.
This suits me just fine. I’m as comfortable wearing a bikini at a PETA event as I am at the beach, and I’m proud to show my skin to help save animals’ skin. I know that colourful, eye-catching actions are often necessary to make people think about difficult, disheartening issues that they’d otherwise prefer not to consider.
Like all the other women – and men – who go “naked” for PETA, I choose to do so because I believe in the cause and want to take action to help animals. I have empathy for all the mother cows who are viewed as milk machines by the dairy industry and the chicks who are treated as little more than breasts, legs and thighs by meat producers. It’s empowering to know that my actions often attract nationwide attention and prompt people to make more compassionate choices.
When the media report on PETA’s activities, people flock to order our free vegetarian/vegan starter kits. I’m proud that I’m helping animals, and it offends me when people imply that I should cover up, as if I’m not capable of making my own decisions.
I consider myself to be a feminist. A big part of feminism, for me, is the freedom of women – and men – to use their bodies in whatever way they so choose, without judgement or shame. Nudity is liberating, and no woman or man has the right to tell me not to show my body for any reason.
PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk discusses the intersection of women’s rights, animal rights, and the fight for equality for all.
All of PETA’s “naked” demonstrations and advertisements are intended to underscore an important message, whether it’s to emphasise the health benefits of vegan foods, to call attention to the vulnerability of animals used in laboratories or circuses or to say, “I’d rather go naked than wear fur”.
Model Rosanna Davison, who has degrees in biomedicine and naturopathic nutrition, chose to pose naked for a “Vegans Are Red Hot” ad because her body has really benefited from wholesome plant-based foods and she wanted to promote healthy vegan living. To learn more, read her commentary “Why I Posed Naked for a Cause I Believe In”.
Hip-hop artist 360 stripped down to his tattoos to make a difference for animals who are used for their fur, as have many other famous men and women around the globe.
I’m happy to be one of the many people who helps call attention to cruelty to animals by participating in PETA’s more eye-opening campaigns, and I invite you to join us.
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