To PETA or not to PETA?


Madison Casteele, Author

PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, seems like a good organization. They don’t support animal testing, the use of animals in show business, or the use of animals in the food industry. They spend most of their time educating people on the mistreatment of animals. So, what’s not to love about them? 

Well, a lot of things.  

PETA was founded in March 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco to spread awareness about the mistreatment of animals. Unfortunately, over the years, PETA has done some shady business. 

In 2008, PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Barne wrote a letter to Ben and Jerry’s asking them to use human breast milk in their ice cream instead of cow’s milk. Yes, I promise, you read that correctly. 

“We’re aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the same time, it’s pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows,” she said.  

It just gets more bizarre from there.  

In 2016 PETA came under fire again for pretending to barbeque a man at Ribfest. Of course, the grill wasn’t lit, but it was a shocking site to see for people attending.  

They’ve also stepped out against public figures like Michael Jackson and Steve Irwin. They took to Twitter in February 2019 to bash a Steve Irwin Google doodle, which shows that they’re starting to lose sight of the educational values of their own foundation. Steve Irwin was a world renowned animal activist who tragically died in 2006 after a sting ray pierced his heart, leaving behind several children. But that didn’t seem to stop PETA.  

“Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile and wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business. Todays Google Doodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.” they wrote on their Twitter page 

What PETA fails to mention in this tweet and well, literally ever, is the fact that they’re responsible for thousands of animal deaths.  

They’ve euthanized an overwhelming majority of animals held at their own shelters. In 2011, they adopted 19 dogs and euthanized 713. That same year, 5 cats were adopted and 1,198 were euthanized. They also euthanized 54 other companion animals. That’s a total of 1,965 animals euthanized. 

In 2014, PETA killed 2,324 of the 2,626 animals they took in. In the last 12 years, they’ve killed 31,250 animals.  

Despite PETA’s thirst for saving animals, they managed to kill more than some shelters in America.  

comment about those numbers from Amanda Schinke received by James McWilliams in 2012 says that “euthanasia is a product of love for animals who have no one to love them.”  

In a December 2, 2008, interview with George Stroumboulopoulos of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Stroumboulopoulos asked Newkirk, “Do you euthanize those pets, the adoptable ones, if you get them?” to which Newkirk responded, “If we get them, if we cannot find a home, absolutely.” 

Not to mention that some members of PETA have allegedly taken animals from families’ property, and those pets ended up being euthanized.  

They also could use a few lessons in protesting. Aside from street-side protesting at various animal entertainment industries, protestors rarely get near these places.  

Unless, of course, you’re a certain type of protester who pays to enter the parks and then temporarily slows things down only to be banned and thrown out about five minutes into your protest. James Cromwell has been arrested quite a few times for temporarily stopping orca shows by paying to get into the park and then holding a teeny sign up in front of the gigantic orca tank like it’s going to get him somewhere other than jail.  

PETA isn’t the foundation they want you so badly to believe they are. They have some dark skeletons they’ve swept under the rug over the last few years. I understand where they’re coming from because animal testing and animal entertainment industries are awful, but they’re spreading “awareness” and “educating” in the wrong way.