PETA used to be just an acronym I associated with the protection of animals but in recent years I’ve been detecting echoes of disdain for the organisation who states on their website:
“Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any way.”
They also claim that they work “through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement and protest campaigns.”
PETA have millions of devoted supporters and regular donators over the world but…when you dig a little deeper you begin to see their squeaky clean image become dark and tainted.
For one, I’d always thought their use of women naked, as a form of deterring people from the viciousness of eating/killing/wearing animals in some shape or form was very and I have no issue with the naked female or male form. I just think it’s very misplaced and quite patronising for them to use sex to sell animal rights to the public. But for me and many others, that’s really the least of PETA’s missteps.
In 2009, PETA members stood dressed in the infamous KKK clothing (an image that would immediately trigger images of lynch mobs, racial hatred and segregation amongst other things) outside a Westminster Dog Show in New York City. They were protesting against the use of dogs that are bred as a ‘pure’ solely for the purpose of being show dogs. Their sign read “Welcome KKK Members…Purebreds Only.” Yeah…they did that. Seriously. Now I could go into deep analysis about how wrong this is but I can also just tell you that what this shows me is PETA will go to any length for their agenda and they simply don’t give a damn who they offend. In trying to be ironic and make people think (riiight) they are comparing the historical suffering and racial hatred imparted on black people for decades to being on the same level as dog breeding. A few people at the time on blog comment sections had some things to say in particular response to this campaign:
Kate 1988: “This group is a cult of crazy, ignorant idiots…I was all for PETA until I read some things on their site.”
Golden Grey: “Is PETA comparing African American people to pets?”
Alphabetgaga 87: “Put yourself in their position….it makes sense.”
PETA again struck publicity gold by crudely using Germany as the focal point to use an advert depicting Jewish war camp prisoners emaciated in rows, alongside a picture of caged chickens. Also, another awesome caption, ‘To animals all people are Nazi’s.’ Yeah. Again. They did.
They make more offensive and outlandish claims and marketing ploys using billboards and posters such as one which was eventually forced to be taken down showing an overweight woman in a bikini looking out at a beach, with the caption, ‘Save the whales, lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.’ Now, I don’t know about you…but for one there is no way a person can dictate the amount of body fat an individual should have or their body and that said body fat dictates their internal health. Secondly, I’ve known some pretty unhealthy vegetarians in my time and there is no way you can conclude eating meat makes a person fat and that is all I will say about that propaganda.
Another poster exclaims, ‘Feeding kids meat is child abuse,’ a photoshopped image of a young boy is used …come on guys. Seriously. I feel they are actually mocking child abuse.
When I dug into some other sources of information on PETA, I found articles in esteemed publications questioning the sincerity of the organisation. Also, sites such as ‘petakillsanimals.com’ and ‘anti-peta.tumblr.com,’ provide lots of information about some of the practices that PETA indulge in to get their point across to the public. They encourage people to trap feral cats because they say cats cannot survive outside by themselves but a lot of people disagree with this saying that if you happen to find a cat don’t take it to PETA as it will be euthanised.
This is in all actuality a very valid statement to make as when I researched into the statistics and data surrounding PETA I was shocked to find that in 2012 alone out of 1,843 dogs and cats received by PETA, only 19 were adopted, 130 transferred elsewhere and the remaining 1,647 were killed. When asked about these sorts of goings on, PETA said they could not afford to keep all the animals however in 2006 PETA received 31 million US dollars in revenue and still 2,981 cats and dogs were killed.
So what do we make of all this? What next? Well, PETA does do some great work to protect animals in some respect but as one user of a blog site condoning the donations to PETA he says, “This is precisely why I donate to HSUS but not PETA.” So if you want to make a change to the welfare of animals but feel disgusted about the way an organisation like PETA treats humans and some animals then the choice is yours, simply by being informed it can help you to understand ways in which you could do something small or big without necessarily donating money at all to anywhere.
Well, it seems it all began simply enough when the original founders of PETA “sought to give caring people something more that they could do.” All I can say about that today, is if PETA practised what they preached – and not at the cost of belittling and offending those same decent, caring human beings who might otherwise support their cause…sans the insensitive gimmicks they might have a lot less people shaking their heads at them in dismay.
Oh and FYI …eating meat doesn’t make you an evil person.