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Is PETA a Good Thing for Animal Rights

Updated on October 22, 2014

Does the end justify the means?

Keeping animals safe is one of the primary responsibilities of the organization.
Keeping animals safe is one of the primary responsibilities of the organization. | Source

Every group of people with something to say want to make sure they are heard

Being loud does not always guarantee you will be heard.

There are definitely times when being loud is necessary, but not always. Sometimes talking softly or silence is heard too.

Lots of people believe animal protection is necessary at any cost

Animals have been validated as part of our history as far back as paintings created on the walls of caves millions of years ago. They have evolved side by side with humans over the eras. In fact, they have gone from ruling over man to man ruling over them. At this time in our history organizations have been founded to protect them from harm for a brighter future. One such establishment launched is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or better known as PETA.

This is a group notorious for some of their bad behavior. The company slogan recognizes animals need our protection, but does the end justify the means?

A brief history of the group

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are an organization established in American over two decades ago. With over 3 million followers they have become an internationally recognized body of members devoted to animal protection.Documented founders are Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco.

Countless people recall their most renowned acts from the news such as throwing paint on fur coats and releasing caged animals used for scientific purposes. These are certainly true cases of actions performed by some members of the association, but not all. Catching the attention of the public in these brutal actions drew attention to the cause. In fact, the release of monkeys in cages being used for science experiments at a research facility put them on the map. This particular act of defiance tied up a court case for 10 years.

The argument was custody of the monkeys. Accusations of animal cruelty were documented and the researcher was charged with the offense and convicted. In the end it came down on the side of PETA with an amendment made to the Animal Welfare Act.

With annual revenue over 40 million and a staff of 300 they are an establishment with the money and resources to accomplish their goals. Headquartered in Virginia they have reached around the world to recruit followers and take action when they see the need.

What they stand for

The society has a primary focus to assure the safety and defense of all animals in farming, furriers, scientific testing and entertainment. Fishing and hunting is a definitely a no-no along with using them illegally in gambling, like dog fighting. Even animals killed for pest control are a working project for PETA.

Although crafted during the 1980s they are actually a spin off of a giant movement the United States made toward Veganism and Vegetarianism. Both lifestyles emerged in the 1970s and drew attention to the interaction of humans and animals in a way not seen before.

Disreputable behavior in the news

Animal rights activist have become infamous for negative public exploits created to attract attention in the press for their cause. The name PETA is certainly recognizable in the news spotlight. Information spread by television along with social networking capabilities of our time possible via the web allows millions to see and hear about them. This brings lots of discussion to the table about groups like PETA and how they are represented in the news.

Whenever anyone mentions this particular business the images coming to mind are always sensationalizing acts to save animals or embarrass humans hurting them. The techniques used are the type to bring scrutiny from law enforcement and strong personal opinions from people in all walks of life on the right or wrong way to get things done.

Actions bring results

Do the ends justify the means? Individuals running in the animal rights circles even disparage the group. Not necessarily for the results, but the methods used to make them happen. Getting an intended result is great, but what cost is too great?

They are certainly working toward protecting animals in all sorts of environments from harm. A few of the methods used are non-violent or passive, but they are admired by countless folks that love animals for the hard hitting ones acquired. Confrontations organized by the group make the headlines.

Some people claiming to be members condemn any mistreatment of animals by humans and feel change at any cost is all right. Even violence against people resulting in physical harm is acceptable if the action comes with necessary changes to increase animal protection. This has never been publically approved by the group. Though, there are a few cases of fringe members of a group or non-members tie themselves to a cause simply to commit violent acts.

Allegations of unlawful activity

One of the people criticizing acts made by the company includes US Senator Jim Inhofe. Claims of financial assistance in the form of grants for activists groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) were made as far back as 2005. At the time the FBI had the ALF on their list of domestic terrorists. Any involvement with these kinds of groups has been repeatedly denied by PETA. Ties to business entities accused of atrocities like terrorism is not something any company seeks. No legal action has been taken by the FBI against PETA based on this unconfirmed report.

Animal research facilities have worked with the Department of Agriculture to stop what they have termed terrorist like activities at their business locations by groups like PETA, ALF and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The Department of Agriculture went as far in 2009 as submitted questionnaire forms to these facilities about clashes with any of these groups since 2004. Unfortunately this type of bad publicity overshadows lots of the excellent achievements made by PETA.

Changes need to happen

The organization was created for a cause countless people identify with. Mistreatment of any animal is not acceptable. Great things have been accomplished by PETA to help reduce atrocities and illegal activity which has festered for years. Yet, in order to continue to do great things regarding the protection of animals, bad things need to be eliminated from the agenda. History has shown us nonviolent actions are also used to achieve great change.

When the scuttlebutt about the organization is all about unlawful, violent or criminal activity the wrong type of members are attracted. Sometimes followers come forth simply to do harm without any regard for the cause behind an organization. Even criminals will affiliate in order to further their own illegal activity agenda with the belief its okay to do so.

Additionally, a negative reputation is never good when an entity is attempting to raise funds, change laws or recruit followers powerful enough to make significant changes to how things are currently being done.

More positive press is definitely a step in the right direction. In fact, having the same viral coverage for constructive exploits making things better for animals is what needs to take place.

Increasing membership to include people who are ready and willing to stay within the law to build better lives for injured animals is another avenue to take.

In conclusion

On the whole people are interested in what PETA says they stand for and encourage them to continue upholding the rights of animals and protecting them from harm. Though, methods which are negative involving illegal means or violence are not tolerated as a rule for these same folks.

Continuing down a negative road is never a good thing and groups following this lead die a horrible death. Historically this has happened again and again. It would be detrimental for lots of animals if all of the good things possible were cut short because the means doesn’t justify the end in the case of PETA’s actions.

Where do you stand on how animal rights groups like PETA operate?

Do you feel some of PETA's practices go too far?

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© 2014 smcopywrite


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    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 3 years ago from all over the web

      Lots of people do agree with that assessment. Unfortunately, this type of method only gets you so far. Other tactics should be used more often. Of course they wont make the news as much, but get more done for a good cause.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      In my view PETA goes too far in trying to get their point across. They come across as fanatical lunatics.