Articles PETA

Throwing the Baby Out With the Bathwater

Where criticism of PETA gets it right and wrong.


This is Maya, playing with her human. PETA is being sued for stealing and killing her. PETA originally denied taking the dog, but surveillance video proved otherwise. PETA was forced to admit that they took the dog and killed her that very day. The only penalty PETA received was a $500 fine, a mere slap on the wrist for an organization which takes in over $50 million annually.

This is not the first time PETA has been accused of taking animals from people under false pretenses and putting the animals to death. Rescuers, private individuals, shelters, and veterinarians have stated that they turned over animals to PETA after PETA promised to find homes only to learn that PETA killed the animals, in some cases within minutes of taking them. Nor is Maya’s story the first time that PETA employees have been arrested over their taking and killing of animals. In a 2007 criminal trial against two PETA employees in North Carolina, jurors heard similar testimony.

None of this should be a surprise. PETA kills over 90% of the animals they seek out, while only adopting out 1%. They advocate for the round up and killing of community cats, defend abusive shelters, fight against reforming them, call for the mass execution of all pit bulls, admit that they do not believe in “right to life for animals,” and they steal and kill people’s companion animals. They may be little more than a political death cult.

The problem, however, is that a lot of the criticism of PETA focuses not only on all they get wrong, but on the ideal that most people wrongly believe PETA exists to promote: animal rights. You will typically read articles that righteously take them to task for the mass killing of companion animals, but then go after them for advocating a vegan diet, dismissing them as a “radical animal rights organization.” This is a disservice, not only because there is nothing wrong with advocating a vegan diet (not only does a vegan diet prevent cruelty and killing, but even the United Nations has indicated that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, poverty and the worst impacts of climate change), not only because animals deserve legal rights, but also because it allows PETA, and those who blindly support them, to dismiss the criticism as pro-Agribusiness propaganda. But PETA’s killing, its defense of killing, its misrepresentation of the killing, its theft and killing, and its defense of abusive shelters are not propaganda. They are all well documented for anyone who wants to take the time to weigh the evidence for themselves. The problem is that most people will stop reading when they see the criticism focused on those things they support: an end to the raising, abuse, and slaughter of animals for food.

And certainly my criticism of PETA is not fueled by a defense of agribusiness. Quite the opposite, as I have dedicated my life to the animal rights movement. I have worked not just on companion animal issues, but those relating to “farmed” animals, wildlife, anti-vivisection, and more. Perhaps more importantly, I have been an ethical vegan for 25 years, write a vegan blog, have a vegan cookbook, and am a former PETA volunteer (until I learned the truth).

Nor am I alone in coming forward to expose PETA. Others have, too: A veterinarian who gave PETA healthy kittens after they promised to find them homes only to kill them immediately in the back of a van; a former member of PETA’s inner circle who found a healthy dog but would not give the dog to PETA because experience had taught her that they would have killed him; a former staff member who was fired for openly disagreeing about the killing of healthy animals; another employee who quit because of PETA’s killing; and a former intern who also quit in disgust after he saw healthy puppies and kittens in the PETA “kill room.”

I am also joined by countless animals lovers, animal rights activists, and vegans who will not accept the hypocrisy that it is wrong to kill chickens and cows but ok to kill dogs and cats. We criticize PETA not because it advocates for the rights of animals, but precisely because it does not; and because like many other cleverly disguised death cults in history which likewise hid their true and nefarious agenda behind a facade of “good works” that discouraged greater scrutiny and accountability among the public, the media and law enforcement officials, PETA uses its false public perception as a “radical animal rights group” to obscure what is in fact a black and white issue: for decades, PETA has systematically sought out thousands of animals a year for the sole purpose of executing them. And that is conduct that only those who love the identity PETA gives them more than they love the animals can ignore.

The evidence against PETA:




For further reading:

The (Death) Cult of PETA

Rescued by Black Boy

The Killing of Maya



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