I’ve wanted to write something about PETA for the longest time, but I could never think of a constructive way to talk about this from a fair angle.
PETA is undeniably the most aggressive animal rights group, known for their in-your-face campaigns. For those who support PETA such as myself, I believe in the organization’s intense passion in their work towards a better world for animals, yet I sympathize with those who oppose PETA’s tactics, which can be construed as extremist and annoying. So don’t call me a PETA lover, I’m just trying to understand just as much as you do.
While I find it questionable when PETA splashes red paint (fake-blood) in anti-fur rallies as a way to bring awareness to people about the issue, I wouldn’t want my friends or their kids get caught in the middle. I certainly wouldn’t do that myself, or teach my future children to conduct in this manner. But you have to ask why PETA do the things they do—unlike other animal organizations that also do important work, PETA’s approach is to stir you up, make you think and annoy you enough in hopes to get you to SEE the grave conditions in which animals of the world live and die. There is always one kid in a class who stands out who does outrageous things to get your attention, whether you like him or not, and PETA is that kid.
I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss PETA based on their tactics, however, we are entitled to have strong feelings about them. There are sites out there dedicated to defeating PETA and its work. I don’t know enough about either sides’ convictions to make judgement on who is right or wrong. However, I know that PETA stand up for important causes and have made tremendous, victorious progress to diminish the suffering of animals. Like them, I hope for change, for the end of fur, cruel and unnecessary animal testing, for Canada to stop hunting baby harp seals for profit, and for dogs and cats to stop being abused, tortured and killed for no good reasons.
In close, PETA may still be a worthy cause to stand behind, though I wish they would think of more ways to promote advocacy. But actions speak louder than words, and we’ve left this to PETA to advocate. If you don’t condone the way in which they advocate for a better world for animals, at least stand behind them in spirit, or simply support another organization that cares for animals.
Update 7/1/2008: I visited PetaKillsAnimals.com and learned about some pretty nauseating things about what PETA does, so now I have another point of view. There are some good arguments about their tactics and why PETA is doing more harm than good. If they are really using only a miniscule portion of our donations to actually HELP animals, then I might just rethink this. I’m an animal lover in every way, and will continue to look into both sides of the fence. If you’re interested in what this site has to say, visit PetaKillsAnimals.com