People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals NGO
(Redirected from PeTA)
- AKA: PeTA.
- See: Bullfighting, Animal Welfare, Anti-Fur, Animal Rights.
- (Wikipedia, 2015) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_for_the_Ethical_Treatment_of_Animals Retrieved:2015-11-16.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA (); stylized PeTA) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A nonprofit corporation with 300 employees, it claims that it has 3 million members and supporters and is the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way."  Founded in March 1980, by Newkirk and fellow animal rights activist Alex Pacheco, the organization first caught the public's attention in the summer of 1981 during what became known as the Silver Spring monkeys case, a widely publicized dispute about experiments conducted on 17 macaque monkeys inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. The case lasted ten years, involved the only police raid on an animal laboratory in the United States, triggered an amendment in 1985, to that country's Animal Welfare Act, and established PETA as an internationally known organization. Today it focuses on four core issues — opposition to factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment. It also campaigns against eating meat, fishing, the killing of animals regarded as pests, the keeping of chained backyard dogs, cock fighting, dog fighting, and bullfighting. The group has been the focus of controversy, both inside and outside the animal rights movement. Newkirk and, formerly, Pacheco are seen as the leading exporters of animal rights to the more traditional animal-protection groups in the United States, but sections of the movement nonetheless say that PETA is not radical enough—law professor Gary Francione lists the group among what he calls "the new welfarists", arguing that its work with industries to achieve reform, which continues in the tradition of Henry Spira, makes it an animal welfare group, not an animal rights group.  Newkirk told Salon in 2001 that PETA works toward the ideal but tries in the meantime to provide carrot-and-stick incentives.  There has also been criticism from feminists within the movement about the use of scantily clad women in PETA's anti-fur campaigns and others, but as Norm Phelps notes, "Newkirk has been consistent in her response. No one, she says, is being exploited. Everyone … is an uncoerced volunteer. Sexual attraction is a fact of life, and if it can advance the animals' cause, she makes no apologies for using it." Also, Phelps notes that some activists believe that the group's media stunts trivialize animal rights, but he qualifies this by saying, "it's hard to argue with success and PETA is far and away the most successful cutting-edge animal rights organization in the world." Newkirk's view is that PETA has a duty to be "press sluts". She argues, "It is our obligation. We would be worthless if we were just polite and didn't make any waves." 
- For its focus and claim to be the largest AR group in the world, see "PETA's mission statement", PETA, accessed May 1, 2013 *For the number of employees, see Galkin, Matthew. "I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA", HBO, 2007.
- Schwartz, Jeffrey M. and Begley, Sharon. The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, Regan Books, 2002, p. 161ff. *Pacheco, Alex and Francione, Anna. The Silver Spring Monkeys, in Peter Singer (ed.) In Defense of Animals, Basil Blackwell 1985, pp. 135–147.
- "PETA's mission statement", PETA, accessed July 3, 2010.
- For Newkirk and Pacheco being the leading exporters of AR, see Garner, Robert. Animals, politics, and morality. Manchester University Press, 1993; this edition 2004, p. 70. *For Francione's criticism, see Francione, Gary. Rain without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement. Temple University Press, 1996, pp. 67–77.
- Brandt, Peter. "PETA's Ingrid Newkirk", Salon, April 30, 2001. The full quote:
"What I say to myself all the time is that we have our heads in the clouds looking for Utopia, but we have our feet firmly planted on the ground dealing with reality. We make no bones about the fact that we want an end to all cruelty to animals. But I think the meat industry and the leather industry and the experimenters understand, especially if we're fighting them, that we will back off if they move society and their industry a step forward. We're not going to stop everything overnight, so while we work for the ideal we certainly wish to provide the carrot-and-stick incentives to move along toward that goal.
"Animals are going to die by the millions today in all sorts of ugly ways for all sorts of ridiculous, insupportable reasons. If one animal who is lying in a battery egg farm cage could have the extra room to stretch her wing today because of something you've done, I think she would choose to have that happen."
- For the feminist criticism, see Adams, Carole J. Neither Man nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1995, pp. 135, 228. Also see Garner, Robert. The political theory of animal rights. Manchester University Press, 2005, p. 144. *For the argument that PETA trivializes animal rights and the way Phelps responds to it, see Phelps, Norm. The longest struggle: animal advocacy from Pythagoras to PETA". Lantern Books, 2007, p. 242. *For Newkirk's response, see Specter, Michael. "The Extremist: The woman behind the most successful radical group in America", The New Yorker, April 4, 2003.