Aside from wardrobe malfunctions, commercials have become one of the more notable parts of the NFL’s annual Super Bowl game. But not everyone that applies for one of the coveted (and extremely expensive) 30-second spots can afford the steep price tag. This year, the going price for a Super Bowl ad is reportedly around $5 million. Depending on who you believe, the extreme animal rights organization PETA was either unwilling to pay that much to air its latest advertisement, or NBC and the NFL rejected it. Either way, the commercial will not air on national television during the big game.
That’s definitely a good thing.
The advertisement shows a man enter a Catholic Church and go straight to the confessional. He confesses to the priest that he is part of the “meat industry,” and he is the guy that came up with the term “free-range.” He admits that is a lie because, despite what the word depicts, the animals are just stuffed into large warehouses instead. The priest tells him to stop lying and say a few Hail Mary’s.
But then the man also admits he’s the one that coined the terms “sustainable” and “humanely raised” in an effort to trick people into thinking the animals they’re eating haven’t been abused and died bloody, horrific deaths. He admits that all those animals “cannot get from farm to plate without doing some really doing some really shady sh… stuff.” At this point, the priest tells him there is no forgiveness for such things because the church has to draw a line somewhere.
Honestly, I hope the NFL and NBC did tell PETA they wouldn’t run the commercial because it is so inappropriate.
Consider for just a second what message PETA is actually trying to get across. If the meat industry’s marketing guy is damned just because he coined some misleading advertising terms, what about the farmers actually raising and caring for those animals? Such a message is not at all appropriate for primetime television (or, really, anywhere for that matter). No family should have to explain to their children why mommy and daddy are going to Hell because they are farmers.
Nor is it right for an activist group to accuse farmers of such things. I consider many animal farmers my friends. I have seen firsthand how much they care for and about their animals. For them, these animals are not just about the bottom line or some quick cash. Every single day these family farmers devote their time, energy, and passion into treating these animals correctly.
Furthermore, as a person of faith, it really bothers me. It is a mockery of theology and a manipulation of a sacrament to support an activist agenda. Maybe if it was sincere it wouldn’t be so bad, but obviously nothing is sacred to these people. Just like those that would use half-truths and misleading statements to sell their product, PETA preys on faith to sell its agenda.
Honestly, I wish there was more outcry about it from the general public. There should be more outrage and condemnation for such an advertisement. I would love to see more people stand up and speak out in support of hardworking family farmers. Don’t get me wrong: This is a victory for agriculture and meat eaters everywhere, but it could be better.
If PETA wants to discuss animal welfare or the benefits of forgoing meat products, then it should come to the table ready to have a reasonable discussion. Of course, throwing red paint on models wearing fur and celebrities posing naked creates more excitement and brings in more dollars.
So, whether the NFL and NBC made the commendable decision not to air the commercial, or whether PETA couldn’t cough up the $5 million, we should all celebrate this weekend that PETA won’t be part of the party.
Amanda Zaluckyj blogs under the name The Farmer’s Daughter USA. Her goal is to promote farmers and tackle the misinformation swirling around the U.S. food industry.