You’re going to think twice about eating chicken wings after watching PETA’s new super bowl commercial, released online Wednesday.
In the controversial ad, religion meets animal rights activism, as renowned actor and longtime PETA supporter James Cromwell portrays a priest hearing the confession of a meat marketer in the spot titled “Redemption.”
The dark commercial’s plot revolves around a seemingly arrogant, excuse-making man who enters a confessional booth inside a church and boasts that he invented the term “humane meat.” Although he claims to be seeking forgiveness, his flippant tone disgusts Cromwell, who responds “There’s no forgiving you.”
“No Hail Mary can absolve someone for duping consumers into feeling good about buying ‘humane’ meat, a myth exploded by countless undercover exposés inside the businesses that produce it,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement. “PETA’s Super Bowl spot encourages meat-eaters to seek redemption by choosing the only truly humane meals: vegan wings, vegan hamburgers — vegan everything.”
A press release from the animal rights organization explains that the commercial is meant to call out the many myths associated with so-called “humane” farms. According to PETA, animals raised for consumption are often still “mutilated without painkillers, artificially inseminated, kept in crowded conditions without access to sunlight or fresh air, separated from their offspring, and shipped in the freezing cold or suffocating heat to the very same slaughterhouses used by every other meat producer.” In many cases, the animals are killed in front of each other while conscious and struggling to escape.
Proud vegan actor James Cromwell, beloved for his Oscar-nominated performance as Farmer Hoggett in the 1995 film Babe, stands alongside a bevy of professional football players — Bennie Fowler, Grady Jarrett, Arie Kouandjio, Kendall Langford, Brandon Mebane, Theo Riddick, Demaryius Thomas, Trent Williams — who have converted to vegan eating.
The last time PETA submitted a Super Bowl ad was in 2016. It was titled “Last Longer,” and it was deemed too racy by CBS.