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Naked Protest

Updated: Aug 8, 2021

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Ongoing Worldwide Tactic

The naked human body has been used regularly throughout the modern animal rights movement, most notably by PETA. Topless and semi-naked demonstrations have been used to highlight many animal rights issues, such as fashion, food, entertainment and animal testing. In fashion, as seen in the video above, nudity is used to highlight the absence of another being's skin for clothing, demanding spectators to wear their 'own skin'. The use of the naked body adds a dimension of both shock and allure; shock at a taboo act of revealing body parts in public, allure to those who passers-by attracted to the naked body. The secondary dimension was recently played upon by female activists in Australia who wore lingerie, holding signs with pro animal rights and veganism.

It is notable that the majority of these protests are held by the archetype of a female, slim, white, shaved body. This is both criticised by members of the movement and celebrated (and harnessed) by others - with a special mention in the debate to The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams. The nudity also harks back to the 1960's sexual liberation movements, where body autonomy was celebrated and encouraged - this is carried on by many anti-oppressive movements to this day.


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