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IEET > Rights > Neuroethics > Contributors > Kris Notaro

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PETA Stays up to Date With the Latest Technologies in the Animal Food and Testing Industry


Kris Notaro
Kris Notaro
Ethical Technology

Posted: Oct 28, 2011

An interview with PETA shows that the group is helping with the destruction of current technologies contributing to the suffering of animals worldwide while embracing emerging technologies that will help the fight for animal rights.


Kris Notaro: What hormones are being used, how are they administered, and what kind of effects do they have on animals?

PETA:  Growth-promoting drugs are used in virtually every species of farmed animal, but hormones are a specific class of drugs that are given to sheep and cows raised for beef and milk, and they are typically administered by injection in the animal’s muscle tissue. Some of these drugs are known to contribute to foot injuries and lameness as well as painful udder infections in cows used for their milk.

KN: What other chemicals are used in factory farm conditions?

PETA: Another class of drugs—antibiotics—is fed to chickens and turkeys across the United States so that they will grow to massive proportions very quickly and can be slaughtered within weeks. Selective breeding, coupled with the wanton use of these drugs, causes these animals’ upper bodies to grow so large that many of them suffer from broken legs, painful arthritis, or heart attacks. In order to create as much meat, milk, and eggs as possible in a short amount of time, factory farm operators cram as many animals as possible into tiny spaces, which makes them a breeding ground for dangerous pathogens. As a result, antibiotics are also used to prevent and control disease outbreaks. This has been implicated in the development of “superbugs,” which pose a serious threat to human health. Eighty percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are given to animals raised for food, playing a major role in the deaths of the 70,000 Americans a year who are killed by drug-resistant infections.

KN: What corporations are mainly contributing the development of new technologies that play a role in scientific testing and suffering of animals?

PETA: Experiments on animals by chemical and drug companies, for example, are frequently performed to satisfy regulatory agencies’ requirements. Yet these tests do not reliably predict outcomes in humans. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) own figures state that 92 percent of drugs that are safe and effective in animal tests fail in humans because they are dangerous or don’t work. These tests also often cost companies huge amounts of money (a single animal test can be $500,000 to perform), and the public increasingly disapproves of animal testing. A 2011 Gallup poll found that 43 percent of the public is opposed to the practice.

Recognizing these limitations, a landmark 2007 National Academies of Science report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, advocated for a chemical testing paradigm that relies exclusively on modern non-animal methods. This spurred a large project entitled “Tox21,” which has brought together a number of participants—including the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and Environmental Protection Agency—to work toward the replacement of animal tests.

While some government agencies and companies are making significant efforts to develop modern methods that save animals, time, and money, others are complacent with the crude and cruel methods they currently use, and part of PETA’s work involves getting these organizations to the table—both publicly and privately—and urging them to modernize their testing methods.

PETA has also provided more than $1 million in donations to research laboratories to develop and validate more accurate, modern, and cost-effective alternatives to cruel animal-based testing methods. This funding rivals the contributions of many multibillion-dollar chemical and cosmetics companies that will benefit from these non-animal methods.

KN: Are there any new technologies that have been introduced that contribute to the suffering of these animals?

PETA: Genetic engineering is responsible for a skyrocketing increase in the numbers of animals used in laboratory experiments over the last 25 years. First, in developing a particular transgenic line, 90 to 99 percent of the animals are killed immediately because they do not incorporate the desired gene. Those who survive suffer from severe birth defects, degenerative joint disease, heart problems, liver and kidney diseases, pneumonia, and cancer. And yet animals can never be “humanized”—no matter how much genetic manipulation and wishful thinking is inflicted on them, a mouse cannot be turned into a tiny human being. There will always be thousands of important differences.  The emergent field of nanotechnology provides both challenges and opportunities regarding animal use. Regulations specifically requiring animal testing do not yet exist for nanomaterials, and most scientists acknowledge that the animal tests used in the past do an even worse job predicting the safety of nanomaterials than they have done for traditional chemicals and pharmaceuticals. MatTek, which has been a pioneer in developing three-dimensional human-based tissue cultures (skin, mucosa, lung, etc.), has shown that these methods can be used for nanomaterials. PETA is taking the opportunity offered by the field of nanotechnology to push for a new testing paradigm that does not rely on animal-based tests.

KN: The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies has seen brain imaging and brain simulations on computers used more and more in the brain and biological sciences to gather info about the mind. What types of technologies have you seen used in neuroscience on animals? Is it getting better or worse because of the use of computer technology?

PETA: Unfortunately, with the brain sciences increasingly focusing on activity at the level of the neuron (and smaller), animals are often subjected to cruel experiments because they are readily available, are easy to handle, and can be used at experimenters’ convenience. Rats, cats, and monkeys have holes drilled into their skulls, their brains intentionally damaged, hardware screwed into their heads, and electrodes implanted inside their skulls in order to record brain activity. Instead of cutting into and damaging the brains of animals, progressive researchers who are interested in studying the human brain are using advanced human-based brain imaging and recording techniques such as MRI, fMRI, EEG, PET, and CT. These modern techniques allow the human brain to be safely studied even down to the level of a single neuron (as in the case of intracranial EEG), and researchers can even temporarily and reversibly induce brain disorders using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Not only do these techniques eliminate the use of animals and the obstacle of interspecies extrapolation, they also provide rich data about the human brain that could not be ascertained through the use of animals.

KN: What can people do to reduce the suffering of animals today and in the future?

PETA: The easiest and most effective way to help animals is to switch to a vegan diet. The way that animals are drugged and confined on factory farms and in laboratories is just the tip of the iceberg. In today’s industrialized meat and dairy industries, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they’re still conscious, piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without being given any painkillers, fish are suffocated or cut open while they’re still alive on the decks of fishing boats, and calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of birth. Anyone who’s interested in saving more than 100 animals every year and reducing their risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer should check out PETA’s vegan/vegetarian starter kit. Buying products that are not tested on animals is also an easy way to help stop animal suffering. You can see PETA’s list of companies that do and that don’t test on animals here

KN: What kind of food technologies are out there that can help low-income households maintain a vegetarian diet and receive the proper vitamins, minerals, and amino acids?

PETA: All the essential amino acids are available through a plant-based diet. The most important supplements for vegans to take are B12 and vegan DHA, both of which are available over the counter at very reasonable prices. Given the amount of money that many people spend on treating meat-associated diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, Americans can’t afford not to go vegan.

KN: Do you see a positive future where genetic engineering produces meat without brains?

PETA: Absolutely. In fact, it’s expected to happen in the next several years. But in the meantime, everyone can enjoy the many fabulous faux meats that have the taste without the cruelty. And vegan meats are free of artery-blocking cholesterol and have a fraction of the saturated fat, making them good for your heart in more ways than one!


Kris Notaro, a former IEET intern, now the IEET's Managing Director, earned his BS in Philosophy from Charter Oak State College in Connecticut. He is currently the Bertrand Russell Society’s Vice-President for Website Technology. He has worked with the Bertrand Russell A/V Project at Central Connecticut State University, producing multimedia materials related to philosophy and ethics for classroom use. His major passions are in the technological advances in the areas of neuroscience, consciousness, brain, and mind.
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COMMENTS


PETA should throw all of their support behind biological simulation and in vitro meat.

These two technologies will end animal testing and animal farming.





@iPan, check out this entire article on the subject of in vitro meat: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/notaro20111005





Yep, in vitro meat is exciting, and will be on shelves soon.

Here’s my perspective:

PETA: “Stop eating meat”

Public: “No”

So I invoke Ben Goertzel’s “Obsolete The Dilemma”.

Biological simulation will be the harder part, but if PETA wants to do something about it, if they want to do something serious rather than the ridiculous crap they’ve been doing, like vegan porn and other inane ideas, then they need to lobby for and donate to research that simulates biology, particularly the human body.

When we can simulate the human body to a certain degree, animal testing becomes obsolete.

It’s not going to stop before then. And then, same thing with eating meat. The majority of meat eating peoples on this planet are not going to stop because PETA says so.

They will stop killing animals though, when in vitro meat is available.

Obsolete The Dilemma.





“They will stop killing animals though, when in vitro meat is available.”
That’s assuming if people actually warm up to the idea of eating it.  Personally I don’t think many people will find meat that is synthetically grown in laboratories appetizing.  It is understandable why people would not want to kill animals for food (though animals kill other animals all the time and many of them are known to cannibalize).  I’ve even heard before that there would be a lot more vegetarians if people had to kill their own meat.  I also certainly hope we soon find an alternative to animal testing like using artificial simulations of animals and people that play out different results base on the known anatomy and physiology of them. 

By the way, though it is a little off topic, do you guys think that by the later part of this century people will be eating flavored algae and jellyfishes (being an alternative for most seafood as their populations are exploding and they are beginning to fill the niches of large ocean predators)?





That’s assuming if people actually warm up to the idea of eating it. Personally I don’t think many people will find meat that is synthetically grown in laboratories appetizing.

Appeal to their pocket book. In vitro meat should be substantially cheaper, since you don’t need to grow an entire animal, just the part you want.

Even better, we could combine the in vitro meat process with 3D printing.

“Hey mom, print me out a steak, would ya?”

rofl

By the way, though it is a little off topic, do you guys think that by the later part of this century people will be eating flavored algae and jellyfishes

By mid century, you will no longer be a biological entity.





@ipan
“Appeal to their pocket book. In vitro meat should be substantially cheaper, since you don’t need to grow an entire animal, just the part you want.”

If people bought food solely because it appealed to their pocket book, they would be more welcoming to farm raise fishes and genetically modified fishes and food crops which is not necessarily the case.  Just because and idea sounds good does not mean it will be accepted.

“By mid century, you will no longer be a biological entity.”

I gave my reasons for why I don’t want to be a non-biological entity in my comments under the “Slate debates human enhancement” article that was posted on this website (which no one has responded to yet <[). I’ll provide the link so you can read my comments and I’ll post another comment on that page so you can find it under the comments section.  By the way, you don’t seem to take into account the people who would want to “transcend” their biology. Here’s the link <http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/munkittrick20110922>.  I also suggest reading the articles yourself.





In Vitro meat will take a little while for the public at large to get used to, maybe even 20 years, but it will in time most likely become the main form of meat consumption.  There are just too many benefits to the average meat consumer both economically and taste-wise. 

Also, given the option of cruelty-free meat, meat-eaters will probably take the cruelty of live meat into account in their food decisions.  Currently they have to block their conscience in order to eat meat without feeling guilty, but somewhere in their mind they repress the cruelty that they know is there. 

Once in vitro meat starts becoming popular, there will probably be a “natural-meat” movement much in the way there is an organic movement now in response to things like genetically engineered foods.  But it will makeup just a fraction of the market.  Ultimately, I really think economics will just be powerful a force.  In vitro meat requires so many less resources, and so will probably in time be way less expensive.  Grocery stores could potentially grow the meat themselves right on the shelf!





@ipan
“The majority of meat eating peoples on this planet are not going to stop because PETA says so.”

I agree that “Obsolete The Dilemma” can work, however PETA is not “telling” people to stop eating meat, but rather presents them with information on HOW to stop eating meat and why eating meat is wrong.

I live in Connecticut where we have lost power across the state on Oct 29 and 30 of 2011, this just shows the increasing evidence of global environmental change or “global warming”, because it is the worst snow storm in history of October on the east coast of the U.S.

We need to eliminate factory farms because they give off more greenhouse gasses than the global transportation sector.

Nicholas Genovese PhD shows the promise of in vitro meat “...cultured meat production, fresh water use would be reduced up to 96%, land requirements would be reduced up to 99% and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced up to 96%. Overall, energy requirements would be reduced as well. Land use is an especially critical consideration in ecologically sensitive regions where livestock operations encroach upon wilderness and endanger native biodiversity.”

However, we will not see cultured meat on the market for some time… therefore it is important for people to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet to help eliminate greenhouse gases… and the catastrophic risks which come along with the destruction of our ozone layer…





@Kris

Relinquishment doesn’t happen. The majority of meat eaters are not going to stop unless meat disappears - or a better alternative appears.

I think the reduced cost of in vitro meat will in fact be the number one driving force in making it popular. Personal finances are people’s biggest issue right now.

In vitro meat will have a number of other benefits as well - but these won’t become apparent for awhile - such as the ability to perfectly engineer the meat so that it is both nutritious and has perfect taste.

In any case, I think it won’t take very long at all to replace farm grown meat.

But at least we can all agree on it’s value cheese





7 Things You Didn’t Know About PETA

1) According to government documents, PETA employees have killed more than 19,200 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens since 1998. This behavior continues despite PETA’s moralizing about the “unethical” treatment of animals by farmers, scientists, restaurant owners, circuses, hunters, fishermen, zookeepers, and countless other Americans. PETA puts to death over 90 percent of the animals it accepts from members of the public who expect the group to make a reasonable attempt to find them adoptive homes. PETA holds absolutely no open-adoption shelter hours at its Norfolk, VA headquarters, choosing instead to spend part of its $32 million annual income on a contract with a crematory service to periodically empty hundreds of animal bodies from its large walk-in freezer.

2) PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group’s overall goal as “total animal liberation.” This means the complete abolition of meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, zoos, aquariums, circuses, wool, leather, fur, silk, hunting, fishing, and pet ownership. In a 2003 profile of Newkirk in The New Yorker, author Michael Specter wrote that Newkirk has had at least one seeing-eye dog taken away from its blind owner. PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals, including research aimed at curing AIDS and cancer.

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 Rodney Coronado, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) serial arsonist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. In his sentencing memorandum, a federal prosecutor implicated PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in that crime. PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich has also told an animal rights convention that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation,” adding, “Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.”

4) PETA activists regularly target children as young as six years old with anti-meat and anti-milk propaganda, even waiting outside their schools to intercept them without notifying their parents. One piece of kid-targeted PETA literature tells small children: “Your Mommy Kills Animals!” PETA brags that its messages reach over 1.2 million minor children, including 30,000 kids between the ages of 6 and 12, all contacted by e-mail without parental supervision. 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’s president has said that “even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.” And PETA has repeatedly attacked research foundations like the March of Dimes, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, solely because they support animal-based research aimed at curing life-threatening diseases and birth defects. And PETA helped to start and manage a quasi-medical front group, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, to attack medical research head-on.

6) PETA has compared Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust to farm animals and Jesus Christ to pigs. PETA’s religious campaigns include a website that claims—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 compared the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide to farm animals.

7) PETA frequently looks the other way when its celebrity spokespersons don’t practice what it preaches. As gossip bloggers and Hollywood journalists have noted, Pamela Anderson’s Dodge Viper (auctioned to benefit PETA) had a “luxurious leather interior”; Jenna Jameson was photographed fishing, slurping oysters, and wearing a leather jacket just weeks after launching an anti-leather campaign for PETA; Morrissey got an official “okay” from PETA after eating at a steakhouse; Dita von Teese has written about her love of furs and foie gras; Steve-O built a career out of abusing small animals on film; the officially “anti-fur” Eva Mendes often wears fur anyway; and Charlize Theron’s celebrated October 2007 Vogue cover shoot featured several suede garments. In 2008, “Baby Phat” designer Kimora Lee Simmons became a PETA spokesmodel despite working with fur and leather, after making a $20,000 donation to the animal rights group.

www.humanewatch.com
www.AnimalScam.com www.ActivistCash.com www.consumerfreedom.com





@ etbmfa
I hope those sources are valid and not just hate sites or anything like that.





Awesome.

This is the kind of crap I was referring to.

PETA needs to knock off the histrionics and focus on the only practical means to actually end animal suffering:

Biological simulation and in vitro meat.

The sooner we get these things, the sooner animal cruelty ends.

They should donate their resources towards this research.





1. What is the alternative? I want you to answer this question? I have friends with the same concern about 1, if true… What would you do and where is the proof?

2. I have a Vegan friend with AIDS who is against animal testing, how do you explain that?

3. Good for PETA, if you really care about the way animals suffer sometimes you need to take direct action (do I believe in violence? NO!, but sometimes direct action is the only way to get people’s attention and direct action comes in different forms for different people.

4. A vegetarian diet is better for both kids and adults.

5. As stated in this article: “Experiments on animals by chemical and drug companies, for example, are frequently performed to satisfy regulatory agencies’ requirements. Yet these tests do not reliably predict outcomes in humans. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) own figures state that 92 percent of drugs that are safe and effective in animal tests fail in humans because they are dangerous or don’t work.” Also refer to my answer #2.

6. There is NO scientific evidence for “Gods” existence. Animals therefor where not put on this planet purely to be food for people. Think about it, we evolved FROM animals, we are animals, but we have human reason that tells us that it is immoral to cause pain to a massive amount of animals that clearly feel pain.  Also, think about the impact that factory farms have on the environment!

7. People are not perfect. And I certainly never heard of Morrissey eating meat!

Please refer to these two links before you criticize PETA:
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/global-warming.aspx

The Crusade for a Cultured Alternative to Animal Meat: An Interview with Nicholas Genovese, PhD





I think PETA probably would do well to take less confrontational or “shock-value” tactics.  I don’t think it’s particularly effective.  Their moral anger is understandable as well as the desire to “do whatever it takes”.  But the end result is that PETA is viewed by the public at large as being sort of “fringe” or radical - or just a plain nuisance.  I suppose their nudity campaign is a better turn then their former anger campaign in terms of effectiveness - but it’s ultimately not going to be a great solution.  It might be in the right direction - by trying to make vegetarianism appealing rather than trying to attack meat-eating - but I don’t think that hardcore pornography is going to be the best political tactic in the long-run.





@ etbmfa, christian corralejo, and Jeremy

PETA uses many tactics to get the public’s attention, including funding you would rarely hear of like cultured meat and alternatives to testing on animals.

Take a look at these links:

Modern Alternatives to Dissection

The Crusade for a Cultured Alternative to Animal Meat: An Interview with Nicholas Genovese, PhD PETA

Alternatives to Animal Testing

Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint

Animal Testing in Depth

Animals Used for Experimentation Factsheets





Let’s cut to the chase.

“Obsoleting The Dilemma”

http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/goertzel20100406

It’s all very well to enunciate lovely-sounding values like Joy, Growth and Choice ... but in real life we’re faced with difficult decisions. We’re faced with choosing one being’s joy over another’s, or choosing joy versus growth in a given situation, and so forth.

There’s no perfect, one-size-fits-all solution to such dilemmas.

But Cosmism does provide one valuable principle, that is very frequently appropriate for beings in the phase of evolution that humans currently occupy.

This is the principle of obsoleting the dilemma.

Is the only solution.

If PETA grew up, they’d realize this.





@iPan, I agree that cell, body, and brain simulations would decrease the amount of animals being tested on… however, as PETA points out, there are laws that require a company to test on animals first… Those laws have got to go, so really the FDA needs to get top of their stuff as do many government agencies and NGOs.

I personally think that cultured healthy meat is one of the answers to ending the torture and then killing of animals on factory farms, absolutely!

@etbmfa, your “facts” came from a corrupt lobbyist group known as Center for Consumer Freedom. From wikipedia:

CCF was set up in 1995 by Richard Berman, executive director of the public affairs firm Berman and Company, with $600,000 from the Philip Morris tobacco company. Berman told The Washington Post that CCF is now funded by a coalition of restaurant and food companies as well as some individuals;[2] according to the group’s website it is supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers.[1] Sponsors are reported to include Brinker International, RTM Restaurant Group (the owner of Arby’s), Tyson Foods, HMSHost Corp, and Wendy’s.[2]

CCF has campaigned against a number of organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and maintains several websites devoted to criticizing them.[2] The CCF state that “despite their innocent-sounding names, many of these organizations are financial Goliaths that use junk science, intimidation tactics, and even threats of violence to push their radical agenda”.[2] Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has responded “If you are in the business of putting veal or beef on the tables of America, and slaughtering more than a million animals per hour, and making an awful lot of money at it, you are going to try to neutralize PETA or other animal-rights groups”[3]

The CCF has drawn harsh criticism for having taken its startup funding from the Philip Morris tobacco company and for lobbying on behalf of the fast food, meat, and tobacco industries while representing consumers.[2][38][39][40][41]

According to The Washington Post, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a watchdog group, asked the Internal Revenue Service in 2005 to revoke CCF’s tax-exempt status, alleging that Berman and his company had used CCF to direct over $7 million charitable money to himself and his company since 1997, an allegation Berman rejects.[2]

Some groups the CCF has targeted have questioned its ethics and legitimacy. The president of the American Federation of Teachers referred to the CCF’s leader as “a shameless lobbyist who has shilled for pesticide, alcohol and tobacco companies.” [28] A USA Today journalist said that they should change the name of their website to FatForProfit.com.[42] Michael Pollan writes in his New York Times blog that the CCF is an astroturf organization that works on behalf of large food companies to protect their ability to sell junk food.[43] It has also been criticized for its efforts to portray groups such as the Humane Society of the United States as “violent” and “extreme,” and for its opposition to banning the use of trans fats.[44][45][46][47][48] The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has also campaigned against the CCF’s validity as a non-profit tax exempt charitable organization, filing an IRS complaint in 2004 attacking the CCF’s states that its advocacy campaigns were “educational” in nature.[2][49][50]

Some corporations, including PepsiCo and Kraft Foods, have declined to work with the CCF, saying they disagree with some of the group’s arguments or with its approach to advocacy.[36]

Following a CCF call for a retraction of a New York Times story about mercury levels in sushi as “bad science,” Newsweek senior editor Sharon Begley has criticized the CCF’s interpretation of EPA statistics and implications of FDA restrictions on tuna and other fish.[51]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Consumer_Freedom

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Consumer_Freedom

Even though I believe in the promise of genetic engineering, this is also a good read:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/organic/anti_organic_consumer_group.cfm





IEET

Really needs to update itself to a real-time forum.

I’m losing interest in here precisely due to the moderator approved post only format.

Get with the times.

Let us have a forum.





@etbmfa

7 Things YOU Didn’t Know about PETA:

1) They don’t run a shelter. They take the animals who no one else will take—the severely injured, sick, and unadoptable animals—and if they are unable to find them homes, they give them a peaceful way out. Comparing their euthanasia numbers with a traditional shelter’s is like comparing the survival rates of a hospice with a hospital.

2) PETA is against animal research because it is cruel and counter-productive. Human diseases need human models. Time and again, treatments that are shown to work on animals do not work on humans.

3) PETA has repeatedly stated that they didn’t realize the arsonist was lying to them about his activities when they supported him, and immediately withdrew their support upon uncovering this information.

4) PETA reaches out to children because they are natural animal-lovers who don’t want to see animals abused for their food. Considering that the American Dietetic Association states that vegetarian and vegan diets are healthy for kids, and that eschewing meat, dairy and eggs helps protect a child from cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity, if PETA is doing something wrong, so are the teachers who teach their students to eat their fruits and veggies. Health education is a help, not a harm.

5) PETA doesn’t support charities that test on animals because, as stated above, the “research” is cruel and counter-productive. PETA works hard to promote alternatives to animal research.

6) PETA is not the first to compare the treatment of animals to the holocaust: holocaust victims and their families were. Consider Isaac B. Singer’s sentiment:  “In relation to [animals], all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka.”

7) PETA can’t micromanage what each of its supporters do. In a world where animal abuse is rampant, PETA utilizes the help of compassionate people who are willing to use their names and reputations to bring attention to animal abuse—of ANY kind.





@ Kris

I don’t deny that PETA is doing good scholarly work and effective political lobbying.  Thank you for the links.  However, these aspects of their organization are not what is being presented to the world in terms of their image or PR campaign. 

What was being presented to the world formerly were people throwing buckets of red paint on fur coats and people handing out fliers of unwanted material (because of their rightly disturbing content) in a way that made them akin to Jehovah’s witness in the way the public felt about them.  These were not effective tactics that marginalized them in the public eye.

Now PETA has switched PR tactics to “sex-sells”.  The idea of a hardcore porn site that pushes veganism is semi-absurd and can only be justified on the basis that while absurd, it might be more effective then the previous tactics.  But it is not going to overall be the best tactic for the organization.

What PETA needs to do is shape themselves in the public eye as an organization doing serious work.  Perhaps there are some high-profile lawsuits they might be able to pursue against egregious offenders of animal rights (if there are any).  I don’t know what would be the most effective for making them appear to be a serious organization that people take seriously - I just don’t think that the porn route is overall going to be the most effective campaign for achieving their goals.

I see the idea of trying to make veganism/ vegetarianism sexy.  Interesting, sure - but porn is perhaps exploitative and over the top.  What might be more effective is to make meat-eating look real ugly and unhealthful.  This was effective in curbing smoking in America big time.  Smoking became uncool and unattractive, which was the opposite of its former perception.  Perhaps a giant billboard of good-looking men and women eating a dead cow carcass?  I dunno =)  But something to make meat-eating look ugly. 

How about a series of TV ads benefiting the health benefits of not eating meat and the harms to health of eating meat - there are plenty.  People are very health-conscious these days - that could be effective even if people are changing their diets for practical and not moral reasons - who cares if the end goal is animals saved.

But hardcore pornography?  It’s not going to be the most effective means.





@Jeremy, reviewing the front page of PETA’s website shows no sign of over-the-top material.

http://krisnotaro.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/1.jpg





@Kris - only PETA members go to the PETA website for the most part. Their website is not really their public outreach program.  The way the mainstream hears about PETA are most famously three things 1) paint on fur coats - not effective 2) flier handouts on the street - not effective and now… 3) naked people with upcoming hardcore porn site.  Not going to be the best route.





@Jeremy,

Critical thinking leads one to adopt iPans strategy in ending the suffering of animals:

“PETA should throw all of their support behind biological simulation and in vitro meat.
These two technologies will end animal testing and animal farming. “

However “street teams”, fliers, and campaigns against fur coats can work, or PETA would not be as large as they are. Nude people taking showers in the street with signs that clearly read “1 LB of meat = 6 months of showers” and “clean your conscience: go vegetarian” provides a fun way to get a good message out.

I don’t know about the hardcore porn site (but porn without any message ranks in $13 billion a year), but when it comes to nude people we have to remember that in our society nudity is a social construct - it draws attention.

The “Id rather go naked than wear fur” campaign reminds me of when i was in USAS doing campaigns “Id rather wear nothing at all than sweatshop clothes”. Again, it draws attention to your organization. Bringing attention to your organization using taboos and social constructs is an interesting strategy - hopefully you change the mind of some people, and some may even go to their website to look up data about how animal products are cruel and wasteful.

Take a look at my two articles about PETA for example- they are about technology and cultured meat. Two very serious topics, and two topics that PETA took seriously. They are actually funding research into cultured meat, and they are willing to do interviews about technology. I think they are doing just fine.





@Kris The “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign ain’t bad.  It’s fun and draws attention.  But I think their plans for a porn site are a bad idea.





@Jeremy,

“But hold on - they won’t actually feature porn, but they will launch a new web domain — a domain intended for sites with adult content. PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt says they expect to launch PETA.XXX before Christmas with a whole new line of original content.”

PETA’s
New Campaign Gives Veggie Lifestyle An ‘XXX’ Factor: <span class=“st”>National
Public Radio
</span>





As a vegetarian and a lover of all animals i would greatly appreciate if you could furnish me with a list of cosmetics and body products including household cleansers that have not been tested on animals.





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