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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to animal rights. It was founded in 1980, and its current president is Ingrid Newkirk[?].

PETA is well known for aggressive media campaigns and public demonstrations for animal rights. Reception of the group's actions is sharply polarized. Critics often claim that PETA is deceptive and uses immoral means to achieve its ends. Adrian R. Morrison of the University of Pennsylvania, for example, claims that the group has "cleverly edited" 60 hours of video tape stolen from his laboratory by the Animal Liberation Front[?] into a damning 30-minute segment, that they cooperated with radical groups, and that they used questionable tactics to silence, discredit and smear their opponents. He writes:

Two of the attempts to ruin my reputation were particularly despicable, but, fortunately, they were unsuccessful. PETA sent a letter with a copy of The Village Voice article to my neighbors, informing them that I was an animal abuser. My neighbors ignored or openly rejected the letter: one builds up credibility as the local Scoutmaster. A series of scurrilous articles on my contributions to science that were commissioned by the American Anti-Vivisection Society were laughed at by my colleagues. That society later protested publicly when the American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded me their Academic Freedom and Responsibility Award just a year after the raid.

Their supporters, however, believe the group's actions to be justified to combat what they see as avoidable cruelty. They also claim that critics fail to address their fundamental belief that animals deserve some kind of moral consideration.

In June 2000, a federal judge ordered the owner of www.peta.org, a parody web site called "People Eating Tasty Animals", to give up its domain name to PETA for trademark reasons. This web address is now PETA's main web site.

PETA has many famous members and supporters, including Pamela Anderson and Paul McCartney.

See also: animal rights, animal rights group

External Links


Morrison, A.R. (2001). Personal Reflections on the “Animal-Rights” Phenomenon (http://www.responsiblewildlifemanagement.org/A_R_Morrison_1.htm). In Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, vol 44:1, pp. 62-75. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

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