AlterPolitics New Post

Why PETA’s Turkey Commercial Should Not Be Banned

by on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 1:11 pm EDT in Life

PETA’s new Thanksgiving commercial features a large family gathered around the dining room table upon which a man places a big juicy turkey, and asks his little daughter to say Grace.  She agrees and then what follows provokes uncomfortable gestures from everyone around the table.  What is it the little girl said that drew such a response?  She merely spoke about what had happened to the turkey they were about to eat.

Here’s the thirty second ad:


PETA submitted the commercial to be run on NBC during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  PETA states:

the station asked us to give more information about the cruelty behind turkey slaughter to back up the statements made in the ad. But even after we sent the network this New York Times article chronicling the grisly facts about turkey factory farming, it nixed the ad, claiming that “this commercial does not meet NBC Universal standards.”

Former Beatle Paul McCartney got it right when he said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.”

What this controversy is really all about is the dark, disturbing reality that lurks behind a seemingly “wholesome” tradition — a tradition which, would appear, can only be enjoyed with eyes wide shut.  If people have no moral reservations about eating meat, then they should be able to confront the realities inherent in supporting their diets.  If they become upset and disturbed when confronted with those realities — well, then that speaks volumes.

My own personal belief system goes something like this: I want the facts before me — I want the whole truth; the uncensored, unbridled TRUTH.  If I find that the truth somehow conflicts with my traditions, my lifestyle, or my belief system, then those things must evolve.  When humanity turns a blind eye to reality — to the facts and evidence before them — to shield their fragile traditions and beliefs they are essentially throwing their logical reasoning and moral compass to the wind.  It’s the same sort of willful blindness that has given birth to all sorts of unspeakable crimes in the world.

That little girl’s Thanksgiving prayer revealed unspeakable cruelty to animals which upsets me on moral grounds, and for that reason I’ll be eating lasagna this Thanksgiving.  Anyone bothered by that commercial should be doing exactly the same.

NBC should not be attempting to shield its viewers from the realities inherent in our diets.  They should be doing the very opposite: presenting the facts, and allowing the people to make informed choices for themselves.  Their censorship is an outrage.