By John Young
Updated April 22, 2010 at 09:20 PM EDT

Image Credit: PETAPETA published an anti-McDonald’s ad in Thursday’s Chicago Tribune that featured an image of the late actress Bea Arthur and this headline: “McCruelty: It’s enough to make Bea Arthur roll over in her grave.” According to PETA, the Golden Girls actress (who died nearly a year ago on April 25) left behind money for the animal rights organization in her will. PETA decided to use Arthur’s gift to mount a campaign against McDonald’s factory-farming practices. “We’re using it to pressure McDonald’s to switch to a less violent, USDA-approved chicken-slaughter method,” the ad reads. “With this new system, millions of birds would be spared broken legs and wings and being scaled to death in defeathering tanks.”

While Arthur was clearly a staunch supporter of PETA and the organization’s mission, I’m still slightly rubbed the wrong way by the use of a deceased person’s image in such an advertisement. Would Arthur have wanted her iconic glare juxtaposed with a photo of slaughtered chickens? Who knows? Perhaps it comes down to the specifics of the actress’ will. If Arthur had stipulated in her will that she’d allow PETA to use her image, then I really can’t criticize PETA for carrying out her wishes. However, if Arthur simply left behind money for PETA without any specific instructions, then I’m back on the fence.

PopWatchers, what do you think about PETA using Bea Arthur’s mug in its advertisement? Clever? Effective? Insensitive?