PETA are easily the best-known animal rights charity in the world, which makes them the target of some extremely unsavory people and groups. It seems like everyone has been exposed to extreme forms of disinformation regarding PETA, either via social media or word of mouth. Let us address the more common ones:
OMG PETA is the worst! They kill millions of animals a year!!!
PETA does not operate an animal shelter and the animals relinquished to PETA were not intended to be adopted. PETA “provides free euthanasia services for local residents who have very sick, critically injured, or geriatric companions but can’t afford to take them to a veterinarian.”
PETA also euthanizes animals for shelters in North Carolina, which “has the second-highest kill rate per capita in the country, approx. 35 animals killed annually for every 1,000 residents, and most do not die a humane death. When we step in to properly euthanize animals (at no cost to the participating shelters) as we do in this instance, our involvement prevents animals from being shot to death with a .22 caliber firearm, gassed to death in an rusty metal box, or injected with a paralytic that causes slow suffocation without loss of consciousness. ”
For more information, see Why We Euthanize.
What about PETA stealing pets then killing them? It was on the news!!!
This is the story you probably read about.
Please note that the story is far more complicated than the media initially reported but that it was an accident, even if the owners were somewhat negligent.
Now, let me introduce you to someone…
Center for Consumer Freedom / Center for Organizational Research and Education
The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) (formerly called the “Guest Choice Network (GCN)”) is a front group run by Rick Berman’s PR firm Berman & Co. for the restaurant, alcohol, tobacco and other industries.
It changed its name to the Center for Organizational Research and Education in early 2014. It runs media campaigns that oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, animal advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.'”
tl;dr – most, if not ALL, of the misinformation regarding PETA, and similar animal rights groups, comes from one single man, paid for by the animal agriculture industry, among others.
tl;dr – Richard “Rick” Berman is a longtime Washington, D.C. public relations specialist whose lobbying and consulting firm, Berman and Company, Inc., advocates for special interests and powerful industries. Berman and Co. wages deceptive campaigns against industry foes including labor unions; public-health advocates; and consumer, safety, animal welfare, and environmental groups.
If you dislike PETA’s PR tactics, please let PETA President and founder, Ingrid Newkirk, explain their approach!
Finally, the story of how PETA came to be is really something. You’ll see why they’re such targets of misinformation from paid lobbyists worldwide!
Dislaimer: this blog is not connected to PETA in any way.