On Sunday night, Lady GaGa turned heads, and stomachs, at the MTV Video Music Awards by donning a dress made entirely of real meat.
In an open letter sent to Lady GaGa at her Bel Air mansion, Mercy For Animals' Executive Director, Nathan Runkle, writes:
(A)s someone who has dedicated over half my life to advocating on behalf of animal rights, as well as gay rights, my heart sank Sunday night when you revealed "the meat dress." Although you explained that your intention was "not to offend vegetarians or vegans," the unintended consequence of this "fashion statement" was the promotion, and glamorization, of cruelty and violence toward animals.As a style icon, your attire has entertained and inspired countless fans. And, in such a position, I hope you would agree that fashion should be fun and creative, not fatal and cruel.Sadly, "the meat dress" crossed the line of being shocking, and entered the realm of simply being sickening. You see, meat is more than simply a "meal" or a "fabric," it's the rotting remains of a "someone."
The letter continues:
Eleven years ago, I founded Mercy For Animals, an organization that works to give a voice to farmed animals - perhaps the most abused and exploited creatures on the planet. Since then, MFA has worked diligently to expose the cruel plight faced by these nameless "someones" - the billions of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys unfortunate enough to be doomed to a life of suffering, simply to end up on the dinner table - or, in this case, your closet.Risking their safety, our investigators have gone undercover into the nation's factory farms, hatcheries, livestock auctions and slaughterhouses - uncovering the daily nightmare these sensitive, thinking and feeling animals endure before being processed and packaged as meat.Each time our investigators step foot into the factories where our nation's meat is produced, they find egregious and rampant abuse of animals. For example, the vast majority of today's breeding pigs spend their short, miserable lives locked inside metal stalls so small they cannot even turn around or lie down comfortably. In such factory farm conditions, these animals, whose intelligence surpasses that of dogs, are denied the simple ability to breathe fresh air, feel the sun on their backs, touch the grass, walk, run, play, bond with their loved ones or have even the most basic control over their lives.
The letter ends with:
It is clear that you are a caring and compassionate human being who believes that our society can and should work against injustices. The manner in which farmed animals are raised, killed and exploited is one of our society's darkest shames.As perhaps the world's most famous pop culture icon, you hold enormous power - and with it responsibility. I urge you to widen your circle of compassion, concern and empathy to include all animals - including farmed animals - by rejecting the cruel meat industry. Like other oppressed individuals, who are often marginalized and exploited, these animals deserve our respect and consideration.I hope you will consider shedding "the meat dress" and turning over a new leaf, not only by ditching meat from your closet, but also your refrigerator. I've enclosed a copy of our Vegetarian Starter Kit, packed full of quick and easy tips and recipes, which can aid in making the transition toward a healthy and compassionate plant-based diet.Simply by adopting a vegetarian diet, you can spare the lives of thousands of animals - and by encouraging others to join you, untold millions of animals could be spared the harsh and unrelenting cruelty of our nation's factory farms and slaughterhouses.
Click here to read the complete letter.
Then, click here to order your very own Vegetarian Starter Kit.