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NostalgicChills's avatar

What are some bad things PetA has done?

Asked by NostalgicChills (2779points) June 24th, 2011

I’m against animal abuse, but I HATE PetA.
What are some things they have done which are to the extreme and hypocritical?

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69 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Ideas of ‘extreme’ are subjective, first of all. However, I do dislike their equating women’s naked bodies with animals (at times) and using same bodies in a sexist manner for animal rights. Read here. And they therefore contribute to attitudes like the one below.

_zen_'s avatar

They keep making these “naked” celebrity poster ads – but they are never really naked. Show us the boobs!

NostalgicChills's avatar

thats nice xD

zenvelo's avatar

They operate some animal shelters that euthanize strays. They are very upfront about why they euthanize.

I understand the necessity of putting animals down that have been so abused and injured they cannot have a pain free existence. But PeTA also murders animals that are adoptable. They are not a part of the “kill-free” shelter network.

SpatzieLover's avatar

PeTA takes no part in local publicity free animal activism. They only come around once the media is involved.

seekingwolf's avatar

As someone who does a lot of animal research, I find PETA offensive. They claim that all we scientists do is abuse animals….cutting them open while they are alive and awake, laughing and poking them, throwing them away like garbage. This bothers me. People who are not involved in animal labs see these lies and believe them. I think it turns people away from science and think that we are bad people.

I am a neuroscience major, I work with rats and mice, and I AM an animal lover. Yes, sometimes they do die in my work but I make sure that I follow procedures so that they are not in pain and I would never dream of abusing them.

PETA claims that we can just use “computers” to learn about the brain and not use animal models. Excuse me, but how on earth can I discover NEW things about brains and drugs with a computer and not a brain? That doesn’t work.

It would be far better for PETA to stop these lies and realise the legitimate need for animal research. It would be good if they could work WITH us to develop new technology and protocols to ensure that our animals are as pain-free as possible during labs.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I hadnt seem any of the ads before so I googled it and can agree with what your saying there. Though, I must say, this one is fucking hilarious :P

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@uberbatman Sure, because we are allowed to laugh at men’s bodies but only sexualize women’s…unless of course they’re fat, then we can laugh

gasman's avatar

They fight medical research using animals—even research subject to close oversight by ethics committees to insure humane treatment of the subjects. In this way PETA hurts us all by (potentially) denying progress towards improved quality of life and longevity.

One of their slogans is: “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” I can’t think of anything more screwed up than that. People should not cause animals to suffer, but that’s beside the point.

PhiNotPi's avatar

In my opinion, an animal’s life is worth a lot, but not nearly as much as a human’s. We cannot cancel animal research because that research would end up being preformed on a human, or not at all.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@PhiNotPi However, we can fight animal testing – a lot of ‘research’ using animals are for heartless and pointless reasons like developing make-up or shampoo.

YoBob's avatar

Well #1 on my PETA list is the picket lines outside of the circus making it impossible for one to take one’s child to see the greatest show on earth without having wade through a bunch of PETA activists doing their best to deliver the message to your kids that you are somehow evil for doing so.

Do I deny that animal handling practices in the past were less than ideal? Of course not. However, this is not the early 1900s where animals were considered beasts to be beaten into submission. Both the training practices and care of captive animals is quite regulated these days. In fact, I contend that in many cases the performing animals in the circus are treated more humanely than the human performers are.

seekingwolf's avatar


They will often use animals to determine how safe shampoo or make-up is and the various body reactions to it.

Would you rather they not test it, make a shampoo, have it run into someone’s eyes, and then have them be blinded or impaired because of it, since we didn’t test to see if that would happen?

There is no right answer here. Some say “yes, that’s fine with me.” and others say “no”.

King_Pariah's avatar

I remember this one time where the went to save all these bunnies from a lab and to get them out as fast as possible they tossed them out the window… the lab happened to be somewhere around the 10th floor of a building.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YoBob If you so contend, then you have no idea what’s going on in the circuses. I, as a parent, will not take my kids to see ‘the greatest show on earth’ because abused animals don’t need to exist for my kids’ smiles and giggles only. @seekingwolf I would rather them make products that aren’t made of chemicals that are potentially hazardous anyhow. It seems that beyond using animals for testing, people aren’t actually using items that are safe for them. In Europe, there are much more stringent regulations on substances in make-up for example and thousands of those substances that are considered carcinogenic are allowed here in the U.S. It all adds up to environmental causes of cancer.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@seekingwolf I’m certain if you study neuroscience, then you will understand why neuro-toxins or other cancer causing chemicals have no business that close to human brains as it is.

Jude's avatar

You’d never catch this chick at a circus. I don’t believe that the animals are treated well (from what I’ve read).

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Jude they aren’t…So says a much more reliable source than PeTA, too…SOURCE

MissAnthrope's avatar

Personal anecdote…

I attended WVU for my wildlife biology program. Within the department, the natural sciences people had a terrarium of turtles. PETA broke in one night, mid-February, and “freed” these turtles. Only, by “freeing” them, they took them out of a warm, safe, and comfy habitat to be released into a freezing cold toxic sludge of a river, the Monongahela. Mid-February, remember.

Bunch of blowhards full of shit. There is so much more if you go digging for it. I can’t stand PETA.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@MissAnthrope :( I find their guerrilla tactics disgraceful…they’ve done similar things here at our medical college. Many of the doctors/scientists cried for the losses of not only months of research, but also their beloved animal collegues

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir no, it has nothing to do with sex, David Cross is just fucking funny. If you put Jane Lynch ,for example, in that same pose id say its just as funny.

DominicX's avatar

As far as I know, PETA is an ineffective means of furthering the animal rights cause. They engage in acts of terrorism and fear-mongering and for the most part, these are not effective ways of changing people’s opinions, but rather serve to make people angry and disillusioned with the cause. It’s not fair, but I know people who hear “animal rights” and think paint-throwing eco-terrorist loonies and refuse to hear anything of it, despite the fact that there are much better animal rights groups out there. PETA likes media attention and their stunts certainly get them that, but as for actual effectiveness, I don’t believe it does much.

blueiiznh's avatar

blood throwing at people wearing furs.

seekingwolf's avatar

@SpatzieLover Of course. But there are irritants that may not be neurotoxic or carcinogenic that may be used in products. A couple of examples are acne creams.

Hey, if you want to use products fresh off the shelves that haven’t been subjected to testing, regardless of the materials in them, that’s fine with me. You just won’t see me buying them until I see what happens to the first timers, animals or humans. If we got rid of animal testing, that’s precisely what I would do.

tinyfaery's avatar

There are plenty of cosmetics and beauty products not tested on animals; I use them. Research on animals for such purposes is reprehensible.

The only person to post any sort of evidence to these claims is Simone. Where is your proof.

I’m no PETA lover, but they do positive work, such as exposing slaughter houses and such. I’m no hater, either.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@tinyfaery such as exposing slaughter houses and such Yes, they expose it but they have little follow through. How many Bills can PeTA claim they’ve gotten through the Senate on their own? Exposing is merely the beginning. Personally, I see little to no follow through.

HSUS makes certain that once they “expose” then they lobby for bills/laws to be passed as they did with this bill for USA horse slaughter

They are now working to ban horse slaughter for human consumption in Europe and other countries.

tinyfaery's avatar

PETA, due to tons of misinformation, has very little credibility in politics. Did the HSUS expose the slaughter? No. Someone had to. So PETA is not good on follow through. So what? They are good at exposure, and other animal groups are not. I give them credit where credit is due.

@blueiiznh They do not throw blood, they throw red paint. (More misinformation)

YoBob's avatar

Whether it is blood or read paint, any way you slice it, it’s still assault.

blueiiznh's avatar

@tinyfaery my bad…I left out “simulated” by mistake.
It is still bad

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SpatzieLover At least they do something. What do most people do? Nothing
@YoBob One can argue (and I do) that what is done to animals (for fur) is much much worse than assault.

YoBob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – You can argue all you want. But the fact remains that wearing fur is perfectly legal whereas assault is not.

You might also do well to remember that self-defense is also legal as is the carrying of concealed firearms by those who obtain the proper license for protection against assault in many (most) states. Further, when it comes time to face the grand jury the statement is going to go something like this: “Well, your honor. We were walking into the theater when out of nowhere a deranged looking person appeared and flung something at my wife. I heard her scream and saw what appeared to be blood all over her. I saw her attacker holding something that appeared to be a weapon in his/her hand and believing that grave bodily injury had already been done and fearing for the safety of others in the immediate vicinity I emptied my firearm directly into the center of mass of the assailant in order to stop them from harming anyone else.”

“Case dismissed…”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YoBob Oh yeah, because all things that are legal are therefore moral and I follow all the laws instead of thinking. And all things that are illegal (gay marriage or what have you) are automatically wrong. Yeah Right! And this is so not the thread to bait me with pro-gun stories.

YoBob's avatar

Well @Simone_De_Beauvoir you are perfectly within your rights to follow any course of legal political activism in an attempt to change laws you find immoral. You cannot, however, assault people because they don’t share your world view.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YoBob I figure people who assault others are well aware of this. I also figure that trigger happy feel-right-about killing animals for my every whim theatre-goers are also within their rights to defend themselves. This is one war I’m fine with.

YoBob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Personally, I would prefer such “wars” be fought in the civilized forum of public discourse and on occasion in the courtroom. To each their own, I suppose.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Peta are a bunch of nutcases who rely on misinformation and outright lies to persuade people to behave the way they want them to. They support terrorist groups such as ALF. By the way, if anyone ever throws paint on me. They will regret it.

seekingwolf's avatar


I agree with you. You just can’t assault people because they are doing something that you don’t like.

There are a lot of things I don’t like:
anti-choice people, overly vocal Christians who bash others, PETA people, etc.

But I cannot and will not assault them. That doesn’t help MY position at all. It doesn’t accomplish anything other some self gratification. It just makes them more angry with you and less willing to actually sit down and work out a constructive solution.

gasman's avatar

People sometimes forget that “animal rights” is not a universally valid concept.

My view is that only humans have “rights” of any kind, by virtue our self-awareness, sentience, and socialization. Though animals have no rights, humans are still obligated to prevent animals from suffering, especially higher vertebrates with better-developed nervous systems. In this view the humane treatment of animals becomes a human moral issue—not derived from any inherent rights of animals to be so-treated.

In the wild I wouldn’t presume to interfere with a lion attacking a gazelle—both species may benefit.

Also, this is a secular view distinct from the principle of human “dominion” over nature, adhered to by Christian fundamentalists and other biblical literalists.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@YoBob Perhaps. But to each battle (and mine have been fought in other matters), there are multiple fronts. Going the ‘legal way’ isn’t always the best option. Just, again, look at gay marriage – all that making gay marriage legal is doing is extending the benefits of this institutions to gays rather than having people look at what’s wrong with making benefits come attached with this piece of paper – the way it normalizes the nuclear family, excluding other partnerships, etc (I’m a Foucaultian, everything is about biopower and exploitation). So for those of us in the queer community that have ears close to the ground, we support those who battle through the courts but our work with those of color and those who are trans and homeless have a lot more to do with illegal means of survival and supporting those that have been abandoned (on purpose) by the ‘civilized world’ and the supposed system of justice.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I would have more respect for PeTA if they showed up at Buffalo Chip in Sturgis and started throwing paint at the folks wearing leather.

It just makes me mad when a 20 year old with an agenda picks on 80 year old ladies instead of the able bodied 20 year olds instead.

tinyfaery's avatar

@WestRiverrat Thank you for that. You are the only one not sighting rhetoric as proof. But really, one newspaper article is hardly proof of anything.

crisw's avatar

I am no real fan of PeTA, surprisingly enough.

In its early days, back in the 80s, PeTA was a grassroots organization that supported local animal groups. I was on the board of our local branch, and Wayne Pacelle even stayed at my house once.

But, once PeTA dropped the grassroots framework, they lost touch with local activists and went more for publicity. I think this was a mistake. They have done some very stupid things, in my opinion; their advertising, for example, has alienated many people.

However, I must say that many of the things described in this thread are not things that PeTA has ever done. They are either entirely urban legends (throwing rabbits out the window) things that are primarily legends (throwing blood on fur-wearers) or acts that may have been committed by individuals with no ties to PeTA.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Just generally, I also want to know what the purpose of this question is, if anyone can enlighten me, please

crisw's avatar


Out of curiosity, do you believe that humans who are not self-aware or well-socialized or fully sentient lack rights as well?

_zen_'s avatar

The OP hates Peta and says why. I agree, and expained it’s because they don’t show enough skin in their ads. Next question.

Allie's avatar

[mod says:] Before anyone says anything too hurtful, I’d like to remind everyone to keep things civil. You can disagree and debate with eachother without starting in with personal attacks. Please keep this in mind.

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gasman's avatar

@crisw Good question! Does a fetus have rights? A zygote (one hour after conception, say)? An anencephalic baby (born lacking most of its brain and doomed to die)? How about a boy “raised by wolves” in the absence of other humans? Which of these has rights? Tough calls—you’ve certainly identified slippery-slope territory.~ My feeling is that human rights should apply to anything we agree is human.

Even more ambiguous would be, say, a young chimpanzee or gorilla or elephant or dolphin lovingly raised by humans.

Perhaps some day we’ll have to consider the rights of self-aware computers as well. But for now I’m fine with kicking my old HP down the stairs…

crisw's avatar


I have an HP ProLiant G7 server that you are welcome to execute in any gory fashion that you wish after I’ve spent three days trying to troubleshoot the !&^&% thing…

As to the rights issue- not wanting to derail this conversation, I’ll be brief. I see sentiency as a continuum with no really obvious cutoff point. Personally, I feel that if a being has preference autonomy (has a welfare that can go better or worse for him or her, suffers pain and feels pleasure, and makes choices of preferred and non-preferred things) then that being deserves basic rights. If we we are to be consistent, then at least those animals who are as sentient as the least sentient humans to which we would grant rights should also be granted rights.

incendiary_dan's avatar

On top of the rampant sexism, PETA is pretty well known in anti-racist circles as being supremely racist. In particular, their racially tinged ethnocentrism towards Africans and indigenous peoples bothers me.

My biggest problem is the promotion by many with ties or directly involved in PETA of the idea that to be an environmentalist one has to be vegan, which is not only incorrect but they often also promote environmentally destructive actions simply because they meet their agenda. As with any lifestylists that oversimplifiy an issue, I consider their approach dangerous in that it effectively disarms the movement by promoting falsehoods and half-truths. Eco-feminist activist and writer Lierre Keith does a better job of explaining (the video isn’t specifically about PETA, but contains criticisms of behaviors I’ve observed from PETA).

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@incendiary_dan I agree about them being racist. Have you seen the ‘Holocaust on your plate’ campaign? Fucking stupid.

jlelandg's avatar

there are some smart smart people in the first 10 or so answers on this thread. I’ve never handed out so many GA’s. Let’s recap: media whores (check) hypocrites (check) cockteases (check)

_zen_'s avatar

@Michael_Huntington Thanks. Now I see them differently.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

PETA is full of hypocrites, not to mention that they are killing animals themselves. They are raising money, but it doesn’t go to helping animals, it goes in their pockets. They have a huge meat freezer, why would PETA need a huge meat freezer?

They were also arrested for killing animals and dumping them unlawfully. Not to mention I heard a story from a woman who called them for help and they had this service where they said they’d help find her cat a home. She was looking to get rid of it. So they came in a van, promised not to kill her cat and before they even left her driveway they euthanized her cat in the van. She found this out later from someone who worked there.

Not to mention that they don’t actually know anything about animals. They don’t know the proper habitats for animals and then wage war on certain places calling out abuse.

tko7800's avatar

I’m a strong supporter of animal rights and welfare issues and yet I despise PETA. I think they’ve reduced the cause to a joke and I hate it when the media runs to them first regarding any animal welfare issue. I would bet most other groups feel the same way. Take their stance on Michael Vick’s dogs. They wanted them put down because they thought they were unsaveable. Fortunately rescue groups like Best Friends Animal Society won out and proved them wrong by rehabilitating and rehoming most of the dogs.

They are a group that believes any publicity is good publicity no matter how distasteful it is. I remember when they ran a campaign mocking Mayor Giuliani’s prostate cancer by giving him a milk mustache with a caption underneath saying “got prostate cancer?” Even as a New Yorker that despises Giuliani, I thought it was way below the belt and couldn’t fathom how they thought that would get anyone to see their side.

It is a shame though because they do have so much potential to do good. I think the way they have exposed the way elephants are treated in circuses for example – and yes they are horribly mistreated – should be applauded. But unfortunately they have done too much wrong to do undo whatever good they have done.

seekingwolf's avatar


You’re right, the “typical” “legal” way may not always be best.

But I’ll tell you, the way that PETA and even the LGBT community have sometimes gone about promoting themselves does not help their cause. Sorry, but you’re not going to win over people by having parades filled with people who are drinking, partying, and wearing undies in public. You’re also not going to win people over by splashing paint on strangers’ clothes.

As someone who is a long-time closet bisexual, I am ashamed of the LGBT community at my college. You wouldn’t catch me dead with them with the stuff that they pull at my school. I do believe in marriage equality but I must admit, I’m glad that it just passed in my state (NY) because now I finally don’t have to hear them scream and piss on people anymore.

Be loud and brash and rude enough with your beliefs and people will do anything just to appease and shut you up.

I’ve done that with LGBT. I can’t do that with PETA because they are actually causing harm with what they want to do.

windex's avatar and

I think the internet is slowly taking care of evil people. (note the girl that tossed puppies into a river, the marine that tossed a dog off of a cliff, that new cat dude) these people are being punished, and hopefully we’ll learn as a species, and not repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again.

gasman's avatar

@crisw Then there’s Douglas Hofstadter’s Huneker scale for measuring the “soul level” of different brains—a continuum such as you suggest. Yet I see “rights” as an all-or-none thing.

blueiiznh's avatar

Are all peta backers vegetarian or vegan?

crisw's avatar


I had a hard time getting through Godel, Escher, Bach but that one has been on my reading list for awhile- might have to move it up some.

Rights may be an all-or-none proposition in that you either “qualify for” basic rights or you don’t. But I think it’s very difficult to set consistent, non-tautological and logical qualifications that include all humans but exclude all non-human animals.

gasman's avatar

The thing about rights is that they are granted (or acknowledged) by humans—the concept is human to the core. To me it makes no sense to speak of a dog’s rights, much less a mosquito’s, because a dog can’t possibly be aware of its rights.

Of course there are standards of moral behavior towards animals, but it is we humans who formulate, agree on, and abide by those morals. The animals are mere objects in this process and not really autonomous agents. I base my view on what seems to be a cognitive threshold, routinely surpassed by humans yet never reached by even the most intelligent animals, associated with a higher level of self-awareness and socialization.

For better or worse, that makes us humans special. “Species-ism” is okay here.

crisw's avatar


“The thing about rights is that they are granted (or acknowledged) by humans—the concept is human to the core. ”

Agreed. However, another aspect of all valid rights systems is consistency. Arbitrary rights systems are unsupportable. Morally similar beings should be treated in equivalent ways- this is why racism is wrong, for example- there is no ethically relevant difference between the races to justify racism.

I also agree that animals are “moral patients” as opposed to “moral agents.” They cannot themselves formulate or abide by complex moral codes. Yet this, in and of itself, does not exclude them from rights possession, if we are to be consistent, as many humans (such as infants, the senile, and the mentally handicapped) are in the same position.

In addition, a high level of intelligence is not necessarily correlated with those aspects of a being that make its life worthy of consideration. As I mentioned above, all beings with preference autonomy seek to find pleasure and avoid pain. It’s hard to support a theory that the pleasures and pains of more intelligent humans are “worth more” than less intelligent humans. It’s also difficult to formulate a theory as to why a high level of intelligence would be necessary for this.

So my position is that, to be consistent, if all humans are seen as having at least some basic rights, then at least some animals do as well.

NostalgicChills's avatar

It doesn’t matter anyways, no one is giving me the answer I needed three days ago.
Just opinions.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@NostalgicChills some of us did give you the answers, As well as opinions.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@NostalgicChills “It doesn’t matter anyways, no one is giving me the answer I needed three days ago. Just opinions”

odd that the question was only asked yesterday. It also seems that quite a few people gave actual answers….

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

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