Meat and Nudity

Reacting to a story on the opening of a vegan strip club in Portland, Oregon Ann Friedman remarks:

This is definitely part of a trend -- starting with PETA ads -- in which women's bodies are used as a way of promoting veganism and vegetarianism. There's also L.A.'s Vegan Vixens, "sexy, trendy and fun loving women whose goal is to inspire men to live a longer and happier life, by making healthier decisions on what they consume." And now the vegan strip club.

One common thread here is that all of these efforts are aimed at making veganism appealing to men. The Maxim-like PETA ads, the Vegan Vixens, the strip club: All are saying it's okay to buck the stereotype of Real Men Eat Red Meat, because here are some naked ladies to reassure you that you're still a superhetero manly man! Almost as if they're saying, you won't even miss eating meat, because you'll get to look at so much of it! Or as Diablo puts it, “We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate.” It's a substitution. This trend seems to confirm much of what Carol Adams observed in the Sexual Politics of Meat -- and then turn it on its head.

I think this misreads the vegan strip club concept. Strip clubs in general aren't in the business of using sex to sell booze and food, they're using sex to sell sex. The vegan strip club isn't using strippers to sell veganism, it's using veganism to sell stripping to Portland-area guys with self-conceptions as liberal nice guys. After all, food quality is probably not a significant factor in strip club marketing.