Another Random Rant: Why I Hate PETA and Why They are Horrible Advocates for Their Own Cause

September 26, 2010

As you might know, I love Glee and the actors who play Rachel and Finn(Lea Michele and Cory Monteith respectively), but one thing that has been bothering me lately is Lea Michele’s support of PETA. My issue with PETA(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is that they are horrible advocates for animal rights. Personally I think a better organization to support if you are into animal rights is the Humane Society. I’ll start a little by stating my position on animal rights. I consider myself pro-animal rights and while I am not a vegetarian or vegan, I certainly understand people who choose that lifestyle. I would like to think I like most other people do think that animals do deserve to do free from cruelty and suffering. I do not however think that all animals are should be treated equally, I believe we should allot rights to animals based on their cognitive abilities. I feel that it is perfectly justifiable to eat fish, bivalves(oysters, calms, mussels, etc.), and chicken. I also believe it is generally fine to test medicines and medical procedures on animals as long as they are treated humanely and that the no alternative can be found.
I will start with PETA’s tactics, I feel that they are usually tasteless and insensitive. If they are neither tasteless or insensitive then they just seem like a joke. I’ll start with a joke; in September 2008 they suggested to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to use human breast milk instead of cow’s milk. First I would like to defend PETA a little bit before I criticize their suggestion. It is would be perfectly fine to drink or consume human milk, if you can drink cow’s milk. Logically there’s no real significant chemical difference between the two, both have calcium and fat etc, etc. The problem with their suggestion (as the cast of the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe have pointed out) is that it is simply not feasible to use human milk instead of cow’s milk. First of all, a single dairy cow could produce a lot more milk than a woman could. Second, does PETA really assume there are thousands of women out there willing to milk themselves? If their suggestion was not serious, then I have to ask “Don’t you have better ways to reach out to people without being seen as ridiculous lunatics?”. Moving on to my other criticism of PETA’s publicity tactics is that they can be very insensitive, offensive and sometimes borderline racist. In February 2009, PETA protesters stood outside Madison Square Garden in white hoods looking like the KKK. They say the American Kennel Club was trying to create “master race”. In May 2009, to protest the Canadian seal hunt they called for a boycott of Canadian maple syrup. I would agree with the blogger I linked to and say that that stunt borderlines on being racist. Another insensitive stunt of theirs was to use the murder of a doctor who provided abortions to start an ad campaign! Does PETA have no tact?
My next issue with PETA is the facts they use bad scientific facts to support their point of view. A prime example is their “Got Autism” ad campaign. As neurologist Steven Novella pointed in the podcast I linked to milk doesn’t cause autism. Also, PETA what’s with your “Got Zits?” campaign? It is far from conclusive that milk causes acne. PETA, don’t just go looking for any evidence to support your point of view.
All I ask of PETA is to stop using shock value to promote your cause. You are just doing more harm than good to the animal rights movement. I love Lea Michele, Drew Barrymore, and Paul McCartney and the work they do, but can you guys distance yourselves from PETA a little please? I would hope some of you would put your support behind the Humane Society, instead of PETA. I hope that at the very least people who support animals rights apply more critical thinking skills when they consider supporting PETA.


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