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A breakdown of everything wrong with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Animals are not ours to eat. Animals are not ours to wear. Animals are not ours to experiment on. Animals are not ours to use for entertainment. Animals are not ours to abuse in any way. This is the official slogan of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA is an animal rights group that calls for “total animal liberation.” Total animal liberation. That means no milk, no meat, no zoos, no circuses, no wool, no leather, no hunting, no fishing, and no pets of any kind. I think that it should pointed out that PETA’s president uses a photo of herself hugging a chicken on sites that require her picture; maybe they should add “no using animals in cheesy photos to make yourself look good” to their definition of total animal liberation.

I wonder does anyone else think that their goals are a little extreme. I’m all for animal rights, I don’t think people should unnecessarily torture their pets, and they should be punished for that, but rightfully, an appropriate line has been drawn on what constitutes cruelty to animals and what doesn’t. PETA obviously doesn’t know where to draw their line.

The first line in their slogan is hypocritical to everything that they claim to stand for. Eating animals is not abuse. If all species are equal and should be afforded the same rights, why are other animals allowed to eat meat and it’s wrong for humans to be afforded that same luxury.

They say that humans have a choice, that there are meat alternatives like soy sausages. That’s an oxymoron; if it’s soy, it can’t be a sausage. There is no substitute for meat, if it didn’t have parents, it can’t be a substitute.

PETA also uses some very questionable methods to promote their values. At an animal rights convention in 2001, PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator, Bruce Friedrich, issued a statement saying that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows is a great way to bring about animal liberation.” It’s been reported that PETA has given thousands of dollars to other organizations such as Animal Liberation Front, which is known for using terrorism, and deemed a special threat by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It may be hard to believe that an organization would openly promote vandalism and what is essentially terrorism but I personally signed up for a website that PETA uses to target young people, peta2.com. On this website, PETA offers awards and legal assistance to students who vandalize buildings and cause disruptions at school or other places in the name of animal rights; in 2000 and again 2002, PETA started a campaign encouraging students to drink beer instead of milk, claiming that milk caused a variety of health problems, from acne to cancer. Substituting beer for milk may be ok for students at Ole Miss but not for high school students. Their brainwashing of America’s youth starts much earlier than junior high and high school.

PETA uses colorfully illustrated pamphlets to target children as young as six years old. I came across two pamphlets that were really disturbing, one titled, “Your Daddy Kills Animals,” features a very graphic illustration of a man gutting a fish on the cover. A second similar pamphlet depicted a woman ramming a knife into a rabbit that is clearly still alive. Both pamphlets encourage children to disobey their parents by saying things like, “Since your daddy is teaching you the wrong lessons about right and wrong, you should teach him fishing is killing.” They’ll go on to say something like, “Until your daddy learns it’s not fun to kill, keep your doggies and kitties away from him. He’s so hooked on killing defenseless animals, they could be next.”

Another common method PETA uses in an attempt to get their point across is naked or nearly women. Their posters often show completely nude women with a caption that says something along the lines of “I’d rather go naked that wear fur.” Now, I’m all for naked women, but it does seem a little wrong to exploit one group while you’re fighting for the rights of another.

They also use the aptly named “lettuce ladies,” women dressed in bikinis made of lettuce who pass out pamphlets to promote veganism. And in a parody of the Running of the Bulls, PETA activists also annually run naked through the streets of Pamplona, Spain.

By far the most disturbing campaigns PETA have launched have to be their campaigns which compare tragic human suffering to animals. Their KFC tortures chickens: Holocaust on Your Plate and Are Animals the New Slaves campaigns were horrendously insensitive. More offensive than Don Imus, Michael Richards, or any N-word using Ku Klux Klan member or Neo-Nazi could ever be. How insensitive does someone have to be to compare an animal whose only purpose for living was to make its way to a KFC box at the second window of the drive-thru, or an animal performing in the circus to the Holocaust where six million innocent people were killed and the millions of minorities that were snatched from their homes and forced to believe that they were inferior just because of their heritage.

PETA garnered a lot of national attention this summer during the Michael Vick dog fighting controversy, but I think they need to take a long look at themselves before protesting anything else. Michael Vick allegedly killed 8 dogs, PETA kills, they say euthanize to make it sound nice, 80 percent of the animals they receive, only a relatively small number are ever adopted. They reportedly “euthanized” over 14,000 animals from 1998 to 2005 alone. With their constant protesting, PETA had brought themselves back into the public eye where they can be exposed for what they really are, an organization more evil that dog fighting can ever be.