Friday, June 4, 2010

Fashion Friday: Controversial Messages

I generally choose shirts that gently bring people's attention to my causes. But, there are a lot of in-your-face shirts out there. Some activists prefer those because, well, extremes make big impressions. While you probably won't catch me in these shirts, I do find them to be humorous and many make a valid point. I hope you can also find the humor in some of these messages. Enjoy!

Don't be a Dick. [Helping Udders]

I only kiss vegan girls. [trashrags etsy]

Flesh is for Zombies. Go Veg. [PETA]

Fur is Fuc-ked. [Herbivore Clothing]

My body is not a graveyeard. [Herbivore Clothing]

Vegan because... [trashrags etsy]

Please don't eat babies. [tippitappi]

Vegetarians fart better. [PostPunk Kitchen]

Vegan or Die. [trashrags etsy]

Flesh is for Zombies [trashrags etsy]

(Some shirts are available in unisex, men's, women's, juniors, plus sizes, and children's sizes. I only display one shirt as a representative of the style. Please see the websites for available size and style/color options.)


Rikki Cupcake said...

ha! i have the asshole lamb shirt and everyone i encounter thinks it is hilarious!

Missantrhopics said...

I LOVE that asshole lamb shirt!

Kenike said...

I (not-so) secretly love it too. I just don't have the guts to wear most of these. Plus I try for the sugar rather than vinegar, as I know some people would take offense to that one!

Duke said...

These messages in general aren't really in support of a vegan lifestyle. They are attacking non-vegans by calling them monsters, murderers, rapists, and worse.

Substiture other words in the phrases and see how it looks. Would you wear a shirt saying "Christian or Die". How about "I am WHITE and do not support rape and murder" or Blacks are brain dead zombies?

If those shirts are horrible then maybe these are too. They simply substiture one group of people for another.

Kenike said...

Would I wear one? No. Would some people, yes.

I can understand that some people would feel attacked and insulted with these shirts. That is exactly why I called them controversial. They make a judgment on another person's behavior and they shove it in their face. Some people have life altering idea changes because of these kind of messages, but too many people get defensive and shut down. That is why I prefer positive messages.

But a small part of me also wishes I could make an impression on someone else so that they actually think about an make an impact so big it shakes them out of the complacence of the hurt and pain these animals go through. But I think we all feel that sometimes with our causes, that we just want to shake people to thinking about things a certain way, to make changes. And that's what these shirts do for me, give me that moment to fantasize about making that impression.

So I get why they might upset someone. I understand that.

But I also think you are looking at this in the opposite direction that most vegans do...they are raising the value of the non-human animal to the status of the human animal, so that they are equal. If you inserted human into these sentiments instead of "animal" is a whole different story that flows more with the intent of the shirts.

"What kind of asshole eats a human?"

"Zombies eat (human) flesh." And the follow-up question would be, so why are we eating flesh, humans are not zombies...

"Wearing dead human skin is fucked."

"Vegan or Die" is not a threat to others like it might sound, it is a take off of the phrase, Vegas or Die or whatever place people are trying to get to... Like I'd rather be dead than not be vegan. I tend to think of it also like "Give me liberty or give me death". I don't think it is wishing death on someone else. So even substituting Christian or Die, does not bother me. But while I considered it a harmless sentiment, I knew with the phrase, it was open to other interpretations which is why I labeled it controversial.

I don't know how the "Blacks are Brain Dead Zombies" example computes as an interpretation, because that example does not make sense to me.

The "I am vegan because I do not support rape or murder" makes sense to me. This is saying why someone chooses not to eat animals, because of the farm factory processes of what is done to animals. Extreme, yes, but these are the terms we would use if the animals involved were human. Your example of changing a group doesn't make sense to me on this one either. Vegan is a choice, race and ethnicity are not. I am vegan because I consider what is done to animals on factory farms to be rape and murder.

The "I Only Kiss Vegan Girls" is an elitist statement, sure. I don't agree with it, but I do think it is funny. You're right though, if we changed the group of girls to a different one, I wouldn't be happy with this one.

Rikki Cupcake said...

well you got your message across, job well done kenike! as i mentioned earlier, i wear these shirts and no meat eating human has jumped down my throat about it. if i can get teased daily by my friends and co-workers for my lifestyle i sure as hell have every right to wear these shirts and tease them about their lifestyle. um and who says, "blacks" what is this 1870? way to hold your own, you are WAY more polite that i am. to me, wearing these shirts is no different than wearing a breast cancer ribbon, or posting an american flag on your car. you are stating what you support, animal rights, and since human are animals...human rights. everyone needs to ease up and laugh at life. these shirts are funny, a few a bit preachy, but then again who isn't when it comes to their beliefs? (: have a good night love!

Duke said...

I understand your point kenike. I wasn't trying to start an argument but just wanted to mention those shirts weren't really a statement of vegan support because some (not all) were calling non-vegans monsters. Maybe they are intended to be jokes but if you saw a shirt calling all vegans a monster would it be equally as funny?

To me, vegans and non-vegans are both people and are equal. They both derserve to be treated with the same respect. You have the right to live your life as it suits you but they do too.

That's all I was saying. I wasn't being negative about the vegan lifestyle, which you know I'm not.

Kenike said...

Duke- Sadly, I've seen lots of shirts and heard lots of comments calling vegans all sorts of things. I'm more sad than offended because I know that is one more person who won't get the message.

I appreciate your point of view and willingness to share it because this blog is supposed to be for everyone (omnivore to vegan and everywhere inbetween) and if we can't have polite discussion here (which I think we were/are) about the differing viewpoints, where can/should we? I was taking your points to heart and examining them.

As vegan advocates we have to hear the arguments and challenges about our beliefs and methods so we can better improve them and educate others.

My goal is to talk about every aspect of a vegan's life and that includes the controversial bits. It's up to every individual person to choose how they want to incorporate that into their life and whether it works for them.

Cheers. :)

Imaginista said...

These are all good, but I think I must get me one of those "Vegetarians Fart Better" shirts. But of course, you probably could have guessed that, since you know me!