Top Ten Interesting Facts About PETA
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Top Ten Interesting Facts About PETA

What is PETA? What does PETA stand for? What does PETA do? Who started PETA? What are some of the good things PETA has done to help save animals? Does PETA kill pets that are surrendered to them? Why does PETA use extreme tactics to get their message across. How many people support PETA?

Most people know that PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but what are some other interesting facts about PETA?

1.  PETA was founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. Newkirks pivotal moment may have came in 1969 when she took a litter of kittens to an animal shelter and was disgusted by the conditions, she went to work as an animal protection officer, being frequently horrified by the lack of compassion being given to shelter pets during and after euthanasia. Pacheco had worked with the Sea Sheppard Conservation Society, and was a political major when he met Newkirk. He has since left PETA.

2.  The first public battle PETA was involved in was the Silver Springs Monkeys, which exposed to the world 16 wild monkeys, and one that was purchased as a day old baby, that were used in experiments.  Since then they have also encouraged McDonalds to provide better care to its livestock animals, encouraged many oil companies to cover their stacks to prevent killing millions of birds and bats every year, exposed horrific abuse on some farms (including a pig being skinned a live) leading to the first ever felony indictments of farm employees.  PETA has encouraged PETCO to treat their animals better, and for some cosmetic companies to stop testing on animals.

photo source - note the open area on this monkey's arm.

3.  PETA is an animal rights group (not to be confused with animal welfare groups), whose motto is “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment”.

4.  PETA's four main areas of focus are on stopping cruelty in: Factory farms, the clothing industry, laboratories, and the entertainment industry.

5.  Although many people accuse PETA of being too extreme, those involved with other animal rights groups often criticize them for not being extreme enough. Many PETA supporters own pets; pet ownership is something that most animal rights supporters object to.

6.  PETA has more than 3 million members and 300 employees.  They are an international charity with their base is in Norfolk, Virginia.

7.  One of PETA's largest, and best known, campaigns is against killing animals for fur. They featured ads that typically had a naked celebrity and the caption “I'd rather go naked than wear fur”. These ads mostly featured women, but Steve-O was one of the men who posed naked for their ads.

8.  Numerous websites have been set up against PETA, including some pointing out that PETA does euthanize animals surrendered to them. In PETA's defense, they are not an animal welfare group, and it should be noted that in the USA alone more than 4 million pets are euthanized by other animal shelters (as reported by the Humane Society). The problem is not PETA, it is lack of homes for animals and the fact that not enough people are spaying or neutering their pets.

9.  PETA defends there often criticized controversial tactics because they are one way to get attention to their causes. This is especially true when one realizes PETA stands up against some billion dollar companies and industries.

10.  Some of PETA's views include:

  • Disagreeing with keeping pet birds in cages.
  • Catch and Release fishing is cruel, not a harmless pastime.
  • Keeping dogs on chains in the backyard is cruel.
  • Owning pets is alright, but buying them from pet stores is wrong, as is breeding more pets. PETA encourages adopting pets and actually suggests adopting 2 so they can be companions. This of course assumes that they are going to be well cared for, and are spayed or neutered.
  • Against keeping animals zoos.
  • Vegetarian lifestyles help end animal suffering.

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Comments (9)

Great information!

great to know what PETA is all about

Great info. I agree with most of the PETA view points you mention apart from the opposition to zoos. Many zoos are leaders in the conservation and protection of animals in the wild, and If not for zoos many endangered animal species would already be extincted.

interesting facts

Most enlightening facts about PETA, thanks.

The photo is simply heartbreaking. I don't agree with every PETA awareness campaign, but I do agree with the compassion towards animals behind those efforts. Very good piece.

Even  more top interesting facts about PETA

- PETA has killed over 10,000 dogs and cats at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters.- PETA killed over 85% of the animals it took in during 2003, in which they said they would be adopting out.- PETA has spent tens of thousands of dollars defending arsonists and other violent extremists.- 2 PETA employees were arrested in Virginia, July 05 on animal cruelty charges b/c they were caught dumping dead animals in a grocery store garbage container.  They found 18 dead dogs in the container and 13 animals’ carcasses in a van that was registered to PETA.  There was also a “death kit” found in the van, which was filled with syringes and two drugs that only licensed vets can have.

Outside the movement, the confrontational nature of PETA\'s campaigns has caused concern, as has the estimated 85% of animals it euthanizes.[7] PETA was further criticized in 2005 by United States Senator Jim Inhofe for having given grants several years earlier to Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) activists, two groups that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has identified as agents of domestic terrorism.

Thanks for your comment d w. PETA does not claim to be an animal welfare group but I do not know about proof that people were told that there pets were going to be adopted out.  Clearly if these pets were being surrended and the people were told it was \"no-kill\" then this might be an issue, but most open admission shelters do not give any such guarantee.  The problem here is not PETA alone but lack of homes - if PETA did not euthanize the pets they would have been in another shelter and that shelter would have had to do it all the same because most no-kills are full and turn away pets when full and open admission shelters do not have unlimited space.

Actually PETA hates animal ownership. They claim that euthanizing an animal is better than owning one and animal ownership should be banned. I just talked to a PETA supporter who shamed me for adopting a cat from a no kill shelter. PETA is a useless peace of crap that does nothing.