BARING IT ALL: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Dan Mathews was unabashed about his group’s fairly out-there tactics during Tuesday night’s “Naked Ambition: Extreme Marketing for a Cause” discussion at 92YTribeca. The activist told fellow panelists Cornelia Guest, The New York Times’ Stuart Elliott and Newsweek’s and The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, “Fortunately, PETA is not selling a product so it doesn’t matter if something falls flat.”
After the talk, Mathews let slip that PETA is teaming up with Stella McCartney for a special event that will coincide with New York Fashion Week in February. And the animal-friendly nonprofit is also cooking up an Alzheimer’s awareness campaign — “Eat Your Vegetables, Don’t Become One” — for next year.
While PETA is often still known to many for its blood-spattering demonstrative ways, Mathews noted that the group has become a bit more strategic, showing up at shareholders’ meetings (that it bought stock in purely for admittance) to introduce resolutions and being dressed accordingly if need be. “We bruise egos. We don’t bruise bones. We’re a trivial group,” he said.
These days, Mathews only gets locked up once or twice a year. Asked if he would ever like to join him, Grove said, “Sure, but only as an observer.”
When he mentioned how Mickey Rourke backed PETA’s “Have the Balls to Fix Your Dog” campaign, Guest piped up, “And he has a chihuahua.”
As the face of PETA’s current “I’d Rather Go Naked” ad campaign, Guest (who also has an animal-friendly handbag collection and a cookie label that helps benefit The Humane Society) said people are now more inclined to ask her about being a vegetarian. “People want to know what do I eat,” she said laughing. “I tell them that I don’t go foraging through the forest searching for nuts and berries.”