Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is preparing to put up what they call “faith-based billboards” before Easter, one of which features a photo of a pig and the caption, “He died for your sins – go vegetarian.”
PETA links pigs to Jesus in billboard campaign
PETA says the obvious reference to Jesus Christ’s crucifixion is meant to generate compassion for the countless animals killed in the meat-eating culture.
“We have a number of faith-based billboards,” PETA spokesman William Rivas-Rivas told WND. “We certainly plan on using [the pig ad] for the Easter period.”
Rivas-Rivas says there are people who “always voice their concern” about the group’s controversial billboards, but he wasn’t too worried about opposition.
“All our faith-based billboards are meant to promote compassion,” he said, “compassion for all God’s creatures.”
The spokesman claimed the organization always gets “huge spikes” in traffic at its vegetarian website, goveg.com, whenever the ads go up.
“I think it is having a success,” he said of the ads.
Rivas-Rivas wasn’t sure where the new billboards would be placed this year. Last year, PETA placed several religion-oriented ads in different communities, including the pig billboard.
Some outdoor-advertising firms declined to run the ad last year. According to PETA’s website, a representative from a Charlotte, N.C., company said at the time, “It makes it look like Jesus was a pig.”
Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s director of vegan outreach, countered: “Today’s factory farms and slaughterhouses are the embodiment of violence, bloodshed and exploitation. “Christians can extend the message ‘God is love’ to animals by not eating them.”
A spokesperson for the National Pork Producers Council called PETA’s billboard plans “just ludicrous.”
Said the organization’s Kara Flynn: “These billboards don’t lend credibility to what PETA is saying.”
Flynn commented if the group planned to post the billboards in Iowa, which is the nation’s largest pork-producing area, the ads would “fall flat.”
“[Iowans] have a great knowledge of the truth about what is done to ensure the welfare of animals,” she told WND. “Putting the billboards up in farm country is not very persuasive.”