Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has brought a range of scratch and sniff patches to market in an effort to help deter consumers from animal products.
The new patches, designed to be worn as would a nicotine patch, are available in six scents. These include ‘Rotting Flesh’, which “smells like the decomposing corpse of an animal who felt pain and fear and didn’t want to die”, and ‘Charred Bodies’, which PETA says “smells like the burned wildlife victims of forest fires, which are on the rise because of catastrophic climate change – for which the meat industry is largely responsible”.
Other scents include ‘Soured on Cream’, ‘Early Death’, ‘Open-Heart Surgery’, and ‘Something Fishy’.
According to PETA, the patches take advantage of the strong connection between our sense of smell and our brain by developing negative associations in the mind with the rotten aromas of meat and dairy.
The patches are inspired by the work of University of Oxford’s professor of experimental psychology, Charles Spence. The professor’s research suggests that experiencing food-related cues could lead us to imagine the act of eating that food.
It was this research that influenced the development of UK plant-based brand Strong Roots’ ‘meat patch’. “We wanted to explore whether having the smell of bacon on a patch while eating might help consumers imagine eating meat, help them feel sated and manage their cravings,” a Strong Roots spokesperson told us earlier this year.
Conversely, PETA’s approach aims to disgust consumers – and in particular, those ‘wanting a few reminders of why it’s important to go vegan’. The animal rights group is also marketing the product as ‘a great gift for someone who needs a kick in the pants to make the switch’.
“Between the COVID-19 outbreak, the Amazon wildfires and the fires in Australia, and the cruelty associated with the meat, egg, and dairy industries…it’s never been more crucial for the world to go vegan,” noted the campaigner organisation.
“And thanks to PETA’s ‘Go Vegan’ Patch Pack as well as the countless flesh-free meat, vegan egg, and dairy-free cheese and milk products available today, it’s never been easier to go vegan, either.”