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PETA’s Got Beef With Southwest Airlines

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No stranger to controversy over its notoriously-naughty ads, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has turned its ire on Southwest Airlines after the airline deemed the animal rights group’s latest ad “too sexy” for its inflight magazine, Spirit. Pimping a vegan diet, the ad features a security scan of a woman in her underwear baring the slogan “Be Proud of Your Body Scan: Go Vegan.”

PETA chiefs are hot under the collar over the perceived snub and have called Southwest out on its own envelope-pushing campaigns and history of sexism in a bid to defend themselves. The group cites the hotpants that Southwest flight attendants wore in the carrier’s early years and a 2009 Southwest print ad promoting the airline’s no-hidden fees campaign that read “DON’T #$*!% ME OVER.”

“Our ad is less sensational than many of Southwest’s own promotions,” PETA senior vice president Dan Mathews remarked last week. “The airline may have canned it because the company is based in Dallas, the heart of the beef belt.”

“Recently, Southwest Airlines rejected this ad saying that it was ‘too provocative’ for their in-flight magazine, ‘due to the lack of clothing the woman is wearing.’ Can I get a ticket to Prudes-ville via Hypocrite City, please? The only thing revealing about this ad is the fact that going vegan is the best thing that you can do for your health, the environment, and animals. Personally, on my next flight I’d much rather see metal panties with a pertinent message than another passenger wearing sweatpants with the words ‘Bootylicious’ or ‘Juicy’ stamped across the butt.”

Here’s what Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis had to say about the airlines’ new beef with PETA:

“We are very sorry to hear that PETA is upset with the rejection of their ad — we want to ensure them that we certainly respect the right of anyone expressing their opinions or beliefs. Ultimately, our goal with Spirit Magazine is to produce a wide range of content that appeals to a wide variety of people. At the same time, we have the responsibility to determine what is appropriate for our publication and our Customers,” the statement continued. “Unfortunately, because of the illustration used, the specific ad was not a good fit for publication in our magazine. We can honestly say that it was not excluded for any reason other than the image used, and we are happy to consider other advertisement concepts from PETA in the future.”

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