Thursday, March 26, 2009
PeTA
This is a post I've been putting off for a long time. You see, the breadth of the discussion is so wide, it is hard to fathom, but fuck it, here goes.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a waste of your charitable dollars and does more harm to society than good. There.

1. PeTA exploits women. They call themselves a feminist organization but they treat women like a means to an end. PeTA asserts that "Animals are not ours to use for entertainment." Oh, the irony. This from the organization that holds protests involving young women wearing nothing but underwear and nipple tape in a cage with the sign "Chicks Agree: Boycott KFC".

I have no patience for people who call themselves progressive but parade nude women for shock value or as one commentator wrote their message is, "Hey look over here! Boobies! And by the way, battery farming is bad!" Total FAIL.

2. They are hypocrites. PeTA's president, Ingrid Newkirk, will take insulin (tested on animals) but insist that:

Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, "We'd be against it." Vogue, September 1989

In addition, the following celebrities have been spokes persons for PETA despite their use or family members' use of medications that have been animal tested. Many of these celebs are also spokespersons for organizations that actively promote research on medications.

Gillian Anderson: Her brother suffers from Neurofibromatosis and she is Honorary Spokesperson Neurofibromatosis Association (U.K.). Gillian has also lobbied Congress for more research funding and education.

Pamela Anderson: Pamela has done charity work for Liver disease includes American Liver Foundation—Grand Marshal (10/27/02), S.O.S. ride aimed at combating hepatitis C, Canadian Liver Foundation—involved in ABC’s of Liver Disease: A National Conference on Viral Hepatitis

Christina Applegate: Christina has done charity work for Breast Cancer, including Lee National Denim Day—2003 Spokesperson (promotes breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment with Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation)

Rosanna Arquette: Rosanna has supported numerous causes including AIDS - Attended 2001 amFAR gala; Breast Cancer - Quilts of Inspiration—submitted quilt block for massive Komen Foundation quilt fundraiser

Alec Baldwin: Alec supports a number of charities for AIDS - More information; His mother is a survivor of Breast Cancer and Alec is Executive Vice President of Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund; He also attended gala for Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation to support Spinal Cord Injury charity work.

Jillian Barberie: Jillian supports AIDS research and care, attending “Karaoke Revolution” fundraiser for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; For the City of Hope was the Moderator, The Real Deal: A Celebration of Your Favorite Out & Proud Reality Show Stars (12/11/03)

Kim Basinger: Kim is a supporter of a number of AIDS chairities

Kevin Eubanks: Kevin volunteers to fight Pediatric Diseases and Disorders at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles with weekly visits with hospitalized pediatric cancer patients; He also spoke at fundraiser benefiting Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, devoted to hands-on research for the treatment and cure of children with cancer, leukemia, and AIDS

Edie Falco: Edie is a breast cancer patient and has benefited from the research PeTA opposes. She also participated in “Curtain Call for Carolers” fundraiser Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in 2004 (a service organization for AIDS patients)

Carrie Fisher: As a person with bipolar disorder, Carrie has benefited from research opposed by PeTA. She has also supported charities fighting AIDS as an attendee at the Art for AIDS Charity Auction and fighting Pediatric Diabetes attending the Carousel of Hope Gala.

Joan Jett: Joan supported T.J. Martell and Libby Ross Foundations by covering the Beatles’ “The Word” to support awareness of Breast Cancer research.

Shirley Jones: Shirley contributed to charity auction for Discovery Fund for Eye Research

David LaChapelle: David contributed artwork to Village Care of New York’s Network of AIDS Services “Who Do You Love? Art Exhibit and Sale” and charity auction for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. He was also was part of the Got Milk! campaign which contradicts his support for PeTA on so many other levels.

Bill Maher: Bill supports AIDS, Cystic Fibrosis & Cancer charities. He also attended “Rock & Soul to Erase MS” party; MORE

Rue McClanahan: As a breast cancer survivor and advocate, Rue has benefited from research which PeTA opposes.

John McEnroe: The John McEnroe Foundation has donated to Lenox Hill Hospital, Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Olivia Newton-John: Olivia has founded Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre (research & treatment) in Melbourne, Australia

Charlize Theron: Charlize supports Project Angel Food and AIDS charities in her native South Africa

3. Blackmail accusations were dismissed by PeTA president Ingrid Newkirk as "It doesn't matter" so long as "They are on board" (referring to PETA achieving its boycott goal).

4. PeTA's latest antics have included comparisons of the treatment of animals to slavery (12-panel display juxtaposing such images as noosed black men hanging from trees with photos of slaughtered cows) the KKK (dressing in full KKK garb outside the American Kennel Club) and the Holocaust (a display in Germany - banned this week - comparing slaughterhouse animals to concentration camp victims).

Their message has come across loud and clear but I don't think it's the message they wanted to send. They will do anything to cause you to feel guilt, which in turn will hopefully cause you to donate to their cause.

Notice, they are not actively asking you to give up your pets (part of the PeTA platform) nor are they asking the 20 year old men to give up manly meat and order tofu. That seems too much to ask and people might stop donating. And that's all that counts.

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19 Comments:

Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Well, to be honest, I never "got" the whole PETA thing. I mean, yeah, I love dogs and horses and unicorns and rainbows, but animal testing just seems like a necessary evil. Much like abortion, I wouldn't want to be in the position where I *have* to make a choice, but I know there should be a choice to make.

A slippery slope, and one better negotiated by more informed, intelligent people like you, who do their homework and don't base their opinions on gut instinct, like me, but it still makes me happy when the two methods agree...

Blogger Lynn in Tucson said...

Thank you, both for saying it and for backing it up so thoroughly.

Blogger Faith said...

Thanks to both of you. MG - that is an awesome position! I agree, I love it when my instinct and intellect agree!

Blogger Allison said...

I totally agree! Evan as a 14 year vegetarian, I've always thought PeTA was a shady operation. I can always count on you for the facts to back it up. Thanks for doing it so eloquently.

Blogger Pai said...

The thing most people don't realize, is that PETA is a death cult, not a true animal rights or animal welfare group. They believe all your pets/service animals should die, instead of suffering 'miserable' lives as the companions of humans. Their shelter has horrific kill rates (over 95% consistantly for years now) despite their millions of dollars in donation money and resources. They even refuse to publicize their criteria for euthanizing animals, which is a huge red flag. Oh that, and the fact that they ordered a giant walk-in meat locker because they have so many dead bodies to deal with there. It's horrific.

Blogger Agrado said...

Not to mention they have horrific kill rates for an animal-rights organization, hovering above 90%. So you can't use animals for food or research but if you find a stray or rescue dogs from puppy mills or fighting rings, well it's too damn expensive to keep them alive! God i hate PETA.

Blogger Pai said...

For a group that claims to see animals as exactly the same as humans and deserving of the same rights, the fact that they are so willing to kill nearly every one that comes into their hands is terrifying. There are KILL SHELTERS with higher adoption rates than PETA!

No wonder they have such a low opinion of women or GLBT folk. Even the animals that they claim to love so much are easily disposable to them.

Blogger Pai said...

As a comparison, here is the adoption rate of Tompkins County, NY's ASPCA shelter. It's almost the complete opposite... over 90% of all animals they take in are SAVED!

And they're doing it with a fraction of the money and publicity resources PETA has. What's PETA's excuse? Perhaps they're too busy thinking up more ways to parade around naked women or mock gay people to get attention, since it's clear they aren't trying very hard to actually rehome animals.

Blogger Indianafuji said...

Thank you for this coherent and fact-filled post, Faith. I love reading your stuff.

A while ago, one of the teenagers I worked with as a youth director told me that she felt conflicted because she thought she supported PETA's causes but she hated the way their woman-hating advertising made her feel. On one level, I was soooo glad she could express that. On the other, I was PISSED at PETA. I'm still pissed at PETA.

Blogger Dee Thompson said...

Good for you for taking a stand here! I detest PETA people, altough I love animals. I saw your comment on the Pioneer Woman site and wanted to check out your blog. Look forward to reading more!

Blogger hayley said...

faith I could not agree with you more. I've been a vegetarian for 10 years but their woman hating/fat hating/slavery comparisons are just outrageous.

love h.x

Blogger hayley said...

me again...

I just remembered the campaign they did against giving children milk to drink. did they put forward a moral argument about the problems of the dairy industry? they did not, they distributed leaflets telling children that milk would make them fat and spotty. idiots.

h.x

Blogger Penny said...

Here's some summaries of their $s:

charity navigator

Blogger Kay said...

PETA reminds me of the Pro-Life people with the posters of dead babies in front of schools.

-le sigh-

Grat post!

Blogger geogrrl said...

I'm a supporter of the SPCA and of no-kill shelters. I cannot STAND PETA... either their real agenda or their tactics.

Although I haven't done so yet, I would contribute to Greenpeace long before I'd contribute to PETA.

In the meantime, there are other causes, closer to home, that I prefer to contribute to when I can, such as food banks, homeless shelters, and Planned Parenthood.

Blogger Melissa said...

Great post & comments! PETA is indeed a "death cult" as Pai mentioned.

I detest PETA.

Signed, Very vegetarian.

Blogger jers said...

It is not Ingrid Newkirk's fault that the law requires all medications to be animal tested. PETA is against this, too. If it were up to PETA, medications would be tested without the use of animals. That she uses insulin is not a sign of hypocrisy, but common sense. Serious devotees of Jainism are the only people in the world who avoid all forms of hypocrisy. As soon as the author of this blog converts to Jainism, I will take this article more seriously.

Anyway, I am both gay and pure vegetarian. The idea that all sentient life is sacred may sound radical to those who have grown up being taught that eating meat is healthy (lie), being told that hunting is an ecological necessity (lie), and being told that animal testing is a necessary evil (another lie). At one time, I too thought PETA was radical, but once I took the time to understand the implications of recognizing all sentient life forms as having inherent value, not just valuing them for what they could give to humans, it was very liberating to realize that there is a richness and beauty to life that cannot be reduced to extending the length of one's existence (or penis), or, yes, finding a cure for AIDS.

...and as for the boobies, PETA is an American based organization. I don't see men dropping their subscriptions to GQ because of the scantily clad women, or boycotting the beach. As far as I'm concerned, the only reason I even care if people around me wear clothes is so that I can sit down after them...

So, yeah, big PETA supporter here, and compassionate to ALL forms of sentient life, human and non-human...

And, by the way, PETA didn't say it first. Here are some quotes by some names you might recognize:

"I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence." M.K. Gandhi

"I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further."
Mark Twain

No "gut instinct" here. I follow a cohesive philosophy that has been around since before the time of Pythagoras. Thanks.

Blogger hayley said...

sorry in advance faith, but I couldn't let this go;

I don't have a problem with peta's understanding (or right to promote their understanding) of morality based around human and animal coexistence, it is their inability to engage with human on human morality that is so horrifying.

Their ad campaign which compared factory farming to the holocaust isn't offensive because it is "radical" it is offensive because it is stupid, cruel, exploitative and repellently reductive . As for the "boobies" (way to summarize a logical, hard fought feminist argument), I don't understand your point, of course misogynistic men don't boycott GQ, but that's not an argument against a desire to stop women being objectified. I wouldn't attempt to invite people into a discussion about gender politics with a fucking meat raffle either.... a moral life is necessarily complicated, difficult and expands into all sections of life; it is not a case of believing in one narrow set of relational politics or another.

and just to be clear, it is hard to imagine anything less radical than promoting fat hatred or misogyny. The radical thing would be to look past the status quo ("PETA is an American based organization") and attempt to engage distinct people (not ;fatties/horny guys/kitten hugging women) in complicated, difficult and nuanced arguments that don't fit on bumper stickers.

h.x

Blogger Faith said...

Hayley - absolutely no need to apologize!!! You, my dear, rock.

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