People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Except for the gay activist group ACT UP, few activist groups are more extreme in their tactics than the animal rights’ activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). PETA was founded in 1980 and its underlying principle is simple: “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment” (History 1). PETA’s tactics are considered extreme by most, but they are also effective. Their actions have had an enormous impact on various industries like the cosmetics and fur industries. The group has no qualms about using undercover videos, photographs, and investigators to expose those who abuse animals.
PETA is often responsible for tactics that draw media attention and disrupt public events. Take for example their recent actions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which were designed to stop the abuse of horses whose urine was being used for hormone extracts “Wearing gas masks and lab coats and carrying canisters of urine, PETA plans to strike again today. The target: a Philadelphia company named Wyeth-Ayerst, producers of Premarin, a hormone replacement drug made from the urine of pregnant mares. PETA claims that to collect the specimens, horses are separated from foals, confined with rubber sacks on their groins and kept dehydrated so their urine is more concentrated” (Oldenburg 01). In this case, as with many, PETA claims they know about the abuse from a series of undercover investigations.
From wearing furs on a fashion show runway to cooking lobsters on live TV, PETA has used similar to tactics to prevent cruelty and abuse to animals. PETA not only uses outrageous tactics to promote their advocacy, but they also enlist the assistance of celebrity and big-name spokespeople to help their cause. Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley have recently become spokespeople speaking out in PETA’s behalf against animal testing in the cosmetic ...