7 Things You Didn’t Know About PETA
1) PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group’s overall goal as “total animal liberation.” This means no meat, no milk, no zoos, no circuses, no wool, no leather, no hunting, no fishing, and no pets (not even seeing-eye dogs). PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals.
2) Despite its constant moralizing about the “unethical” treatment of animals by restaurant owners, grocers, farmers, scientists, anglers, and countless other Americans, PETA has killed over 14,400 dogs and cats at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. During 2005, PETA put to death over 90 percent of the animals it collected from members of the public.
3) PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals. This includes a 2001 donation of $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an FBI-certified “domestic terrorist” group responsible for dozens of firebombs and death threats. During the 1990s, PETA paid $70,200 to an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. In his sentencing recommendation, a federal prosecutor implicated PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in that crime. And PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich told an animal rights convention in 2001 that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation.”
4) PETA activists regularly target children as young as six years old with anti-meat and anti-milk propaganda, often waiting outside their schools to intercept them as they walk to and from class-without notifying parents. One piece of kid-targeted PETA literature tells small children: “Your Mommy Kills Animals!” PETA brags that its messages reach over 2 million children every year, including thousands reached by e-mail without the permission of their parents. One PETA vice president told the Fox News Channel’s audience: “Our campaigns are always geared towards children, and they always will be.”
5) PETA has used a related organization, the PETA Foundation, to fund the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a deceptive animal rights group that promotes itself as an unbiased source of medical and nutritional information. PCRM’s president also serves as president of the PETA Foundation.
6) PETA runs campaigns seemingly calculated to offend religious believers. One entire PETA website is devoted to the claim-despite ample evidence to the contrary-that Jesus Christ was a vegetarian. PETA holds protests at houses of worship, even suing one church that tried to protect its members from Sunday-morning harassment. Its billboards taunt Christians with the message that hogs “died for their sins.” PETA insists, contrary to centuries of rabbinical teaching, that the Jewish ritual of kosher slaughter shouldn’t be allowed. And its infamous “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign crassly compares the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide with farm animals.
7) PETA has repeatedly attacked research foundations like the March of Dimes, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, because they support animal-based research that might uncover cures for birth defects and life-threatening diseases. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has said that “even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.”