Living a ‘green’ life has gone from being a political statement of a few to one of the fastest growing trends in the American lifestyle and business world today. Many retail stores tout their use of recycled materials and low emissions – Wal-Mart even announced yesterday they’re donating $1.5 million to research ‘green retailing.’ But as an individual, what can YOU do to live more green? According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, it isn’t the Hummer that you make your daily commute in that is the problem – it’s what you’re eating. PETA has started an advertising campaign based on the findings of the United Nations report from last November which reports that the “animals raised for food generate more greenhouse gases than all cars and trucks combined” Here is PETA’s latest print ad:
“Environmentalists are still pointing their fingers at Hummers and S.U.V.’s when they should be pointing at the dinner plate,” says Matt A. Prescott, who manages all vegan ad campaigns for PETA. Their target in the ad, Al Gore, was chosen because of his strong stance on global warming. PETA believes if he feels so strongly about the issue, he should take up and promote a vegetarian lifestyle – since that is, according the PETA, the single most effective way for an individual combat greenhouse gasses. “You just cannot be a meat-eating environmentalist,” says Prescott.
Perhaps the most interesting way of getting this message across will be a Hummer with the same “Too Chicken to Go Vegetarian?” slogan displayed largely on its side, being driven by someone in a Chicken suit. With Hummer being the notorious whipping boy of the automotive world when it comes to green issues, we were certainly surprised to see one being used in a campaign suggesting many environmental groups aren’t being green enough!
PETA isn’t the only one speaking up – the more conservative Humane Society of the United States is also running similar ads that focus more on personal choices rather than political attacks. They too cite the UN study, but also research out of the University of Chicago that suggests “switching to a plant-based diet does more to curb global warming than switching from an SUV to a Camry.”
As can be expected, the ad campaigns have their critics like Hank Stuart of Green Team Advertising who calls the global warming connection to vegetarianism ‘opportunistic.”
It will be interesting to see if this push will get mainstream traction. We don’t expect to see a rush on Hummer orders, but we wouldn’t be surprised if in the following year becoming vegetarian just as ‘green trendy’ as driving a Prius is now. But for most, it’s probably easier to give up an SUV than it is to give up steak for the rest of their life.
Source: New York Times