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Controversial ‘Save the Whales’ Billboard Swap

Written by PETA | August 24, 2009

Our controversial “Save the Whales” billboard caused quite a stir after it was erected in Jacksonville, Florida. Now it’s being replaced with the following billboard:


Gone Billboard


Ever since placing our original ad, which showed a woman whose “blubber” was spilling out of her swimsuit, we’ve been inundated with calls and e-mails of support from people who want to take our 30-day Pledge to Be Veg. Oregon mom-of-six Ali Bond-Smith is one of the many motivated people, and here’s what she has to say:

Many feel the billboards were cruel to the obese and uncalled for on PETA’s part. I think what happens in the lives of ‘meat animals’ is cruel. … I’m ready to take your 30-day no-meat challenge. … I’d be willing to weigh in before and after a month of no meat and indeed see if losing the meat has helped me begin to lose the blubber.

Since it has been proved that vegetarians weigh about 10 to 20 pounds less than meat eaters do and that a vegetarian diet can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a slew of other ailments, Ali’s going to make an enormous impact on her health, as well as on the lives of animals.

We can’t wait to be there with her each step of the way.

Stay tuned for updates on Ali’s progress. In the meantime, those of you who would like to follow Ali’s lead can take our 30-day Pledge to Be Veg now. Please also try out these low-fat vegetarian recipes and contact us for support and guidance.

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Karen says:

    I went veg last year and would never go back to eating meatharming animals. I look and feel 100 healthier plus like the billboard states lost 20 pounds without even trying.

  • GIJoe says:

    I think this idea of veg being healthier is a bit off the mark. There are plenty of meat eaters out there that are very healthy. It’s all about moderation and variety. You always hear about eating a “well balanced” diet. If you are eating properly you shouldn’t need suppliments such as B12 nor should you be gorging on meat all the time. I’m sure most of you have heard of the Food Pyramid created by the USDA. Meats are included on this and as long as they are I will continue to include a “balanced” amount of meat in my diet as well as plenty of fruits and vegetables.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    While there will always be some overweight vegetarians or vegans on average vegheads are less likely to be overweight. To believe otherwise is to be ignorant of the facts whether genuinely or wilfully so. “A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition included 55459 healthy middleaged and older women who were surveyed about their eating habits weight and other health and lifestyle factors. A small percentage identified themselves as vegan or vegetarian. Overall vegans had the lowest average body mass index BMI a measure of weight in relation to height followed by vegetarians then meateaters. While 40 percent of meateaters were overweight or obese only 25 to 29 percent of vegetarians and vegans were Newby and her colleagues report.”

  • Mike says:

    vegetarian?gross dairy is disgustingeven YOU say so why on earth do you promote it????weird..and also lame dairy is just as unhealthy just as unethical just as immoral as eating meat what is up PETA?? ! aggravated Mike

  • Edward says:

    Pat Moby Dick understanding FAIL. The whole point of the book is that you can’t take revenge on something like an animal and not “save the whales” propaganda though they both are good morales to live by.

  • Pam Iacone says:

    Thank you for changing the “whale” billboard. I am a vegan and thought it was a little harsh glad you found a way to get the message across in a nicer manner. Thanks Go Veg!

  • Lynn says:

    Thank you for changing the billboard. It is somewhat better. Thank you from all of the women who suffer from eating disorders. It is hard enough to get by day to day when we are bombarded by the ‘ideal’ figure. Having PETA flaunt that even for a good cause perpetuates the problem for the many women who suffer from these disorders. Although the billboard was about not eating meat it was insensitive to that other group of people.

  • pat ciochetto says:

    did we not learn anything from Moby Dick

  • KImberly Dowling says:

    Great Billboard! I see the obesity problem as a PUBLIC health problem that is equal to certain things like smoking in that it causes health problems that in the end raise EVERYONE’S insurance costs among other things. It’s a public issue that requires public attention just like PETA did. I’m so happy for all of the people who have lost weight and feel better after going vegetarian! Take a look at the Macrobiotic diet…

  • Mary Baker says:

    Not me. After seeing the vile way PETA treats human female animals I want nothing to do with PETA’s policies or programs. I was hoping for an apology from PETA but instead there is nothing but smugness. I am MORE likely to eat meat now that I know what kind of people promote vegetarianism… jerks.

  • Amanda says:

    What all the responders are ignoring that there is indeed fat vegans and veg the same way there are chubby people who work out and are healthy! I think that a meat free diet is much better for all concerned but i’m not digging the connection that is being made between being “bad” and being “fat.” Thanks for listening w the billboard. Animal rights human rights Justice and Respect for all.

  • Field says:

    Take control over your body and the future of the planet by making an informed choice. Friends beef is NOT what’s for dinner.

  • Amanda says:

    I actually gained 55lbs duringafter my pregnancy w my daughter… my dear friend and I spent a vegan week together she is a vegan and I continued being a vegan after we parted.. I have lost all but 15 lbs… I feel physically and emotionally wonderful… MEATFAT A

  • Caitlin says:

    Love the billboard! I’ve been struggling to lose weight for over five years. I tried many diets but they simply don’t work because when you go on a diet you don’t usually make it a life long committment. One month ago I decided to become a vegan for life and I’ve already lost 10lbs and gained so much energy. I am still losing weight at a healthy rate and even my skin looks better. Do something for yourself and for the animals go veg! It’s a total natural high.

  • simara says:

    sure wish this said Vegan and not “Vegetarian” being vegetarian you are still contributing and supporting the murder of thousands of animals plus diary is vile and puts on massive weight as well as gives zits… this campaign is giving the wrong messagego VEGAN

  • Star808 says:

    OMG are you kidding … You took it down?? Really … I swear people really need to pull there heads out of there …

  • roudamour says:

    Meat isn’t responsible for obesity people are. Junk food overeating globally a wrong diet can cause obesity. You’re not just going to magically lose weight if you “go veg”.

  • Kathy says:

    I thought the billboard was awesome! Hey…it speaks the truth and sometimes people just can’t handle the truth. But nevertheless it was a nice billboard!

  • Kim says:

    I started a diet 4 weeks ago to lose weight and eat healthier. by default I found myself only eating veg and cutting out meat. I decided to take the plunge and become a vegetarian for real. It is true that veg people are thinner. I feel so much healthier.

  • Kelsey says:

    You know what sickens me about this… I see controversial billboards every day of my life no matter what you are always going to have the people who don’t agree with what you’re saying and the people who do. I wish I could have all of the McDonalds billboards taken down. I guess people just can’t handle the truth…that their beloved McDonald is a killer.

  • SLC David! says:

    Like the original this billboard is absolutely brilliant! The only change I’d make is to scratch the word “vegetarian” for “vegan”! Yes the pledge refers to dairy as well vegetarian really refers to a vegan diet when not used with a qualifier such as “lactoovo” or some such statement that implies it’s ok to consume the maternal discharge of tortured animals but most people viewing the billboard will only think it refers to abstaining from animal flesh rather than dairy eggs which are actually much more fattening than flesh. Often when people abstain only from flesh their consumption of cow breast milk increases. I knew a long time lactoovo vegetarian woman who actually died form obesity. This issue is very close to my heart as I lost my father who died of morbid obesity when I was 18 it set me down the road to my eventual veganism activism. Thanks for continuing to shake things up PETA!

  • Shelly says:

    Bravo PETA! Brilliant…just brilliant! I hope people will see this for what it is a tool that empowers each individual to take their health in their own hands and stop making excuses. The original billboard wasn’t offensive offensive is my health care costs tripling because of obesity our beautiful planet being destroyed because of factory farming and millions of animals being tortured and killed every hour! Being healthy trim and compassionate why wouldn’t you be veg?

  • Angelina says:

    So what does PETA expect to happen when people try a vegetarian diet and don’t lose weight? Despite what PETA may think there are plenty of fat vegetarians and vegans.

  • anonymous says:

    all the selfcentered whiners who had a problem with this billboard should check out some undercover videos of the horrors of farm factories..then they’ll understand…then they’ll turn veg like I did.

  • Pamela Ernest says:

    The marketing campaign was brilliant as usual from Peta. I bet the women who complained will at least have little voice in the back of their mind saying “I think I’ll pass on the meat tonight” I love the way Peta shakes things up like 1960’s radicals. We need more of it. Peta is my new religion.