No matter who you are, whether you identify as a vegan or World’s Greatest Carnivore, you’ve probably seen a PETA advertisement at some point in your lifetime. PETA is a nonprofit organization that speaks for animals’ rights and denounces animal cruelty. In their mission statement, PETA claims they focus their attention on “the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry.” PETA is an avid supporter of veganism, whether it be in diets, fashion, or makeup products.
Of course, veganism should be unequivocally supported and animal cruelty is a doleful wrongdoing that needs to be stopped once and for all. However, the question at hand is this: is PETA right to be trusted?
Suffice to say, the answer is no. PETA, underneath the guise of animal liberation, promotes racism, misogyny, fat shaming, queerphobia, antisemitism…you name it. Any prejudice idea you can think of has probably been used in a PETA ad at some point in time.
To further demonstrate PETA’s immoralities, let’s look at some examples of their incredulous advertisements. In 2003, PETA hung antisemitic posters with side-by-side pictures comparing the injustice of slaughtering pigs to the Holocaust. In 2015, a PETA billboard became infamous on the internet for fat shaming; the billboard showed a picture of a larger woman in a bikini and read, “Save the whales. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian.” Possibly worst of all, when PETA once organized a protest against the AKC (American Kennel Club), they held up signs that said “Welcome AKC Members!” This would be okay, except for the fact that they then crossed out the letters AKC, replaced them with KKK, and dressed head to toe in KKK garments.
Despite the uprisings against PETA, it doesn’t look like they’re planning to halt their harmfulness anytime soon. Just today (March 31, 2016), they released a video against chicken consumption titled “Eating Chicken Can Make Your Kid’s Dick Small.” As painful as that title is to read, the video is even worse. It is a short slideshow, which along with pictures of chickens, shows pictures of children and babies crying. The ad was overall unnecessary and disgusting. It was received incredibly poorly, being taken by many people as a sexualization of children.
Now, you may be thinking it can’t get any worse than that. Let me tell you, you’re in for a real treat. To add to all of the hate and prejudice, PETA is extremely hypocritical. This is in the sense that they kill the majority of the animals in their care. They call these “mercy killings” claiming most of the animals are on their deathbed anyways. This, however, has been invalidated. Since they began operating in 1998, PETA has killed more than 34,000 innocent animals. Ninety-seven percent of the animals in their care were killed in the span of one year. So, not only does PETA have no moral standards, but they also refuse to practice what they preach. More details on PETA’s cruelty toward animals can be found at the well-known anti-PETA website www.petakillsanimals.com—though be warned that the site contains very sensitive material.
There are many ways to help animals. Buy vegan brushes. Eat brussels sprouts. And, of course, make sure you are supporting the right nonprofits along the way, not ones that are irrefutably detrimental (cough, cough, PETA).