People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA An Explanation

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This dog is ready to protest for his rights!

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1980. Its intent was and is to defend the rights of animals in the United States and abroad. In fact, this Virginia-based organization has affiliates as far away as India and Germany.

This group of people do not focus on the keeping of animals as pets. In fact, they do not officially endorse companion animals, and some of their people and employees claim that keeping animals as house pets is demeaning. Their philosophy involves the moral equivalence of animals, and it tends to focus much more on the use of animals in industry. Fur, food, cosmetics and clothing are the main commercial venues that PETA addresses.

These people do, however, rescue companion animals from cruel and inhumane situations. For example, PETA has conducted raids on puppy mills and research laboratories where companion animals were being treated cruelly. Some other things PETA has done include the following:

# In 1981, they conducted an ethical investigation into a laboratory that was abusing monkeys. This case was ground-breaking, resulting in criminal prosecution against an animal experimenter in the US – the first such case of its kind.

# They have successfully pioneered the banning of animal testing in the cosmetics industry.

# A well-known auto manufacturer used animals in its crash tests until they successfully negotiated with the company and uncovered their practices.

# They has fought for students’ rights to refuse to participate in classroom dissections.

# The circus has also been a target of this organization. In one ethical case, cruelly-treated polar bears were released from their confinement in a Mexican circus.

# Fur-traders have been indicted with animal cruelty charges after their investigations revealed cruel slaughtering practices.

# This group works with large food chains to prompt them to insist on the ethical treatment of their farmed animals.

They do not believe that animals are ours to use for entertainment, food, clothing, or experimentation. The area of companion animals is a bit sketchy with PETA, so if you are interested in becoming involved with the group, make sure this issue has been resolved to your satisfaction.

How You Can Get Involved

If this sounds like an organization you’d like to get involved with or support, there are ways to do that. For youth, there is an animal rights group called Peta2. Peta2 was founded in 2002 to appeal to the youth culture. Other ways people can get involved are:

* Become a member
* Become a fan on Facebook
* Donate money or time (PETA appreciates volunteers)
* Apply for employment with them
* Consider becoming an intern for them

We do not endorse or condemn PETA here at Green Planet Ethics, but believe this group of people has some extreme tactics and goals which sometimes go above and beyond the call of duty, and in some cases unethical. Whether it is a few rogue members or the entire group itself, we are not sure of, so we are not harsh on the organization as a whole. We did feel it is worth writing about, as we do, however, endorse the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals primary goal, and that is to use ethical means in our treatment of animals, in a fashion that represents us as the caretakers of the planet, not the destroyers, like we are currently doing.

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