MetadataShow full item record
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), arguably the most successful animal rights organization, encounters a tremendous obstacle in selling the animal rights message to a broad audience. Faced with the entrenched belief in the nature/culture, animal/human divide, they are forced to chip away at those divisions using a number of different rhetorical tactics. This project argues that PETA pulls from different threads of identity arguments that appeal to a wide range of individuals. In arguing against animal testing, they use dissociation to create a corrupted and an ethical science and invite a reassessment of our understanding of animal identity. In many of their visual campaigns, PETA encourages identity-questioning by blurring the lines between human and animal and emphasizing shared characteristics. Other campaigns use intertextuality to develop a story that highlights shared substance between human and animal by comparing animal and human atrocities. This project concludes that identity rhetoric is a vital part of contemporary social movements and rhetorical studies must account for this change.