by JUSTIN LEE AND VARUN SARABUDLA / TB 7 / 4/27/15
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with more than two million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. Founded in 1980, PETA is dedicated to establishing and defending the rights of all animals. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds and other pests, and the abuse of backyard dogs. PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns. -Taken from the website Charity Navigator
What is the cause that PETA supports?
People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an organization that focuses on giving all animals human rights. Directly stating on their website, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way.” Although their goal hasn’t been reached, they are still striving to stop animal testing and make minor impacts around the world. Animal rights implemented would mean that animals would be unable to be used for food, clothing, entertainment, and experimentation. Stated in a book by Lisa Trumbauer, “PETA often points out the mistreatment of animals when animals are being used for a specific purpose, such as clothing.” Although general animal cruelty is still a practice that PETA is trying to end, it focuses on more specific forms of abuse that have a better chance of being stopped.
Animal rights activists also believe that animal research is ineffective, outdated, and that it is unethical. Cruelty towards animals and animal research is global, and can even be closer to where you live than you expect. Also stated on mspca.org is,”Who is affected by animal cruelty? Everyone. In some parts of the world, it’s become commonplace to see starving, feral dogs wander the streets in search of food scraps.” The same website again states, “By raising awareness about animal cruelty, remembering to always do so in a respectful and appropriate manner, we can teach each other about the reality of animal abuse.” Doing exactly that, PETA is trying to teach everyone about the reality of animal research.
How did the organization begin to grow into what it is now?
PETA has been growing dramatically for the past thirty to forty years. As said on their website it was founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk. She was born in the United Kingdom, but raised in India generally surrounded by farm animals. On the milestone section of PETA’s website it states “1980-Peta is formed and organizes the first World Day for Laboratory Animals Protest in the U.S.” PETA is mostly stationed, and was founded in the U.S. but they are a worldwide organization. This organization was founded to prevent animal abuse and to create laws for animal rights. Their slogan is “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or abuse in any other way.” which is in the title of their website.
Every organization has an initial goal or purpose to start with. For PETA it was to exterminate the use of animals in laboratories. On their website they stated “They wanted to protest loudly and publicly against cruelty to animals in all its forms, and they want to expose what really went behind the very thick, soundproof walls of animal laboratories.” PETA had the objective of exposing animal testing labs to show people how cruel testing can be. Their objective, however, did alter since the beginning. Not only wanting to stop animal usage in labs, they expanded and want to end animal abuse and use once and for all. They showed all of the investigations that have gone underway and they also show how each one affected their overall goal.
What does your chosen charity do for the community?
The organization, again mainly fights for animals and to get them better rights in the current world. The charity headquarters is located in Norfolk, Virginia in a large complex which houses most of their plans. You can report animal cruelty to PETA, and rescue workers are available indefinitely. If living close to the headquarters, you can also volunteer in PETA’s promotional events, protests, and rallies. Generally offering many ways for supporters to participate, it does a huge amount for people who want to take part in promoting animal rights.
Continually protesting and investigating labs and farms to expose animal cruelty, they essentially want to stop it. Also making an effort to stop products that have been animal-tested, many laws have been made due to PETA’s influence. An example of this is when India banned the import of animal-tested cosmetics, due to PETA’s everlasting protest. Quoted from PETA’s website, “No experiment is illegal no matter how cruel, irrelevant to human health, redundant, or painful.” This is not what PETA wants, as they are looking to erase that law once and for all. With no doubt, PETA is one of the major components for all animal rights communities.
How effective is this charity in accomplishing its goals?
PETA has an interesting reputation amongst different groups of people. The group that doesn’t care too much about animal rights, like doctors and the casual eater, have a mixed view on PETA and ending animal abuse. However, on the vegan side of the equation they are crazy about this organization mostly because PETA promotes becoming vegan. Even Joan Jett, a rock star, and some other celebrities agree with PETA in the article “Joan Jett Hits SeaWorld With a Cease-and-Desist Order”. 95.2% of its funding is from Grants, Gifts and Contributions. They only get 2.2% from fundraising and 2.6% from federated campaigns. The organization gets most of their funding from government grants.
PETA spends their funding efficiently on things that are most important to them. As said on their website “88.87% of our operating expenses went directly to our programs fighting animal exploitation”. Then there is 10.07% on membership development and 1.06% on management and General Operations. PETA can be considered an efficient organization because it makes a difference in the community. They boast more than 3 million members and supporters which makes it the largest animal welfare organization in the world. Also since 1980 they have launched more than 80 successful or ongoing campaigns. Some of which are the shutdown of Angel’s Gate and removing a scene of a chimpanzee from Gordon Ramsay’s show.
Charity Navigator. "Charity Navigator Rating - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals." Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, 2015. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
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