Skip to comments.Animal activists PETA raise corporate America's ire
Posted on 07/12/2005 8:23:20 PM PDT by hispanarepublicana
NORFOLK, Va.,, July 12 (Reuters) - With a cat snoozing on her desk and clad in a rumpled "Love Animals" T-shirt, Ingrid Newkirk hardly looks like a woman who could make corporate titans tremble.
As the founder and the passionate force behind People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Newkirk says her organization is made up simply of "kind people" who want only to end animal abuse and exploitation.
But try telling that to the corporate retail and food giants who have seen -- and felt -- PETA's claws.
Using tactics that sometime make even avid animal lovers squirm, and backed by nearly $30 million yearly in private contributions, PETA has become known worldwide as a radical but formidable foe of big retailers and food companies.
At a May protest at a KFC restaurant, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, PETA protesters dressed as Grim Reapers and carried a coffin with a human-sized chicken in it while decrying the fast food giant for "live scalding and painful debeaking" of the chickens it serves.
PETA has also run "McCruelty," "MurderKing" and "WickedWendy's" campaigns to assail fast food chains for the way animals used in their products are treated. The group has picketed the homes of executives, dispatched undercover investigators to videotape animal mistreatment at laboratories and on farms and run stomach-turning ad campaigns with bloody images of abuse and slaughter.
"Sometimes sadly, you have to look quite scary and carry a big stick," Newkirk says of the tactics.
Industry leaders say the campaigns are embarrassing but do little to deter customers. But few deny PETA campaigns were the catalysts behind a range of animal welfare reforms made in recent years by McDonald's Corp. , privately held Burger King Corp. and Wendy's International Inc. .
"They've got $29 million a year, you can do a lot of massaging of public opinion with that kind of money," said Rick Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, whose membership includes restaurant and food companies. "PETA is very good at attacking."
HOW TO KILL A CHICKEN
This summer, as PETA celebrates 25 years of largely successful campaigns, the group has set its sights on one of its toughest challenges yet as it seeks sweeping change in the $29 billion U.S. poultry industry.
PETA wants the estimated 9 billion chickens slaughtered each year in the United States to first receive a mixture of gas and oxygen to make them unconscious, a method used in Europe, but one that would require costly overhauls of U.S. poultry slaughterhouses.
Current U.S. systems shackle live chickens, hang them upside down and run them through electrified baths to stun them before their throats are slit and they are put into scalding defeathering tanks. PETA cited USDA reports as evidence that millions of chickens annually are conscious through most if not all of the process.
"I don't understand how anyone with a conscience can learn about the horrifically cruel conditions for chicken slaughter and not want to do anything about it," said PETA campaign director Bruce Friedrich.
Under pressure from PETA, McDonald's issued a report on June 30 saying it was studying the matter. Restaurant operator Applebee's International Inc. is also confronting the issue, thanks to PETA.
National Chicken Council spokesman Richard Lobb said the current slaughter system is both "effective and humane," and PETA's latest reform requests are efforts to drive up costs and put chicken companies out of business.
"They're just trying to come up with things that will be costly for food companies as part of their overall desire to move to a strictly vegan world," Lobb said.
Because of the issue, KFC, a subsidiary of YUM! Brands Inc., of Louisville, Kentucky, and one of the world's largest fast-food purveyors of chickens, is emerging as one of PETA's staunchest foes.
Having seen PETA protesters smear fake blood on its restaurant walls and smear the company name with gory undercover videos of alleged abuse at its suppliers, KFC officials have dubbed PETA's actions "corporate terrorism" and have cut off communications with PETA representatives.
KFC officials are loathe to discuss anything having to do with PETA publicly. But the Center for Consumer Freedom is backing KFC and its brethren and is running anti-PETA ads, including a billboard in New York's Times Square.
"We are taking the fight to PETA," said Berman. "They've hit a roadblock with the chicken industry." Critics accuse PETA of lying and other misdeeds including a range of deceit and misbehavior, including financially aiding acts of violence and unfairly claiming tax-exempt status
PETA officials say they have no intention of letting up on KFC, after staging 8,000 protests against the company so far.
Indeed, PETA's highly successful track record shows that some campaigns run for years, the longest, which put an animal trainer in Las Vegas out of business, lasted 16 years, according to Newkirk.
Other notches in PETA's belt include persuading General Motors to stop using animals in crash tests, convincing Abercrombie & Fitch and J. Crew Group Inc. clothing retailers to boycott Australian wool and pressuring Revlon , Avon Products Inc. and more than 500 other cosmetic companies to stop animal testing.
Over the 25 years since PETA was founded in Newkirk's suburban Maryland home, the organization has grown to include more than 800,000 members and about 200 employees with offices in the United Kingdom, India, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Wealthy benefactors help fund sophisticated multi-faceted marketing and secret investigations.
Stray animals are given homes in PETA's headquarters, and cat-sized holes are cut into the bottoms of many office doors so the animals can move about freely.
Newkirk says PETA's ultimate goal is a world where humans don't eat, wear or exploit animals.
"We are the pit bulls of animal protection," Newkirk said in a recent interview. "Don't mess with us. We will win."
Ingrid Newkirk is a phony as is her PETA organization. It's all about MONEY!
Don't be fooled by the slick propaganda of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The organization may claim to champion the welfare of animals, as the many photos of cute puppies and kittens on its Web site suggest. But last week, two PETA employees were charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty each, after authorities found them dumping the dead bodies of 18 animals they had just picked up from a North Carolina animal shelter into a Dumpster. According to the Associated Press, 13 more dead animals were found in a van registered to PETA.' (San Francisco Chronicle)
PETA DEMANDS LIFETIME BAN ON ANIMAL OWNERSHIP
$30 freggin` million a year, yet never in my life have I ever seen a PETA animal shelter, hospital or even a freggin` zoo, or a PETA-ing zoo. But I`m sure as Dr. Evil would say, it would be an "evil petting zoo".
This is what happens in the modern world to people who have too much time on their hands and too little actual grey matter between their ears. Their focus on chickens will someday extend to cockroaches, flies and mosquitos. We will have to euthanize the bugs before we raid them.
Isn't she the diabetic who is dependent on insulin developed through research using animals? I believe she is.
I recall one time I was sitting in Outback Steakhouse reading an article about PETA and those militant vegetarians.
Calmly reading the article as I enjoyed my extremely rare steak.
Delicious (pun intended) irony.
A few years ago, the legislators from my area ( a big cotton growing area) introduced boll weevil eradication legislation (the boll weevil wiped out cotton production in east Texas decades ago, that's why it's now grown here). I don't have documentation, but I heard some of the pointy-headed Austin type legislators had a problem with the word "eradication". The animal has no predators that I know of and eats only cotton bolls.
Outback is my favorite, but the one here in Boise sucks.
(Newkirk says PETA's ultimate goal is a world where humans don't eat, wear or exploit animals.)
That's good enough to give credence to the corporations that say that all PETA carea about is to raise their cost. Any corporation appeasing PETA is a fool. Their only hope is to all of them stand up to PETA together.
I like to see them take my rottweiler. it's hard to liberate something that's biting your hand off.
Peta really needs to work on their mailing list, I receive at least one request for donation each year. I just stuff their propaganda back into the no postage required envelope and send it back. They keep sending it. I know it costs them around a dollar to pick it up. Oh well.....
Ingrid Newkirk is quoted saying: Even if animal tests produced a cure (for AIDS), wed be against it (qtd. in Marquardt 177).
PETAs own Ingrid Newkirk speaks out again this time in an article published in Harpers Magazine. She makes clear the ultimate intentions of PETA by stating:
Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship enjoyment at a distance (qtd. in Carnell).
Here again we see the director of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, quoted in the magazine Animals as saying:
The bottom line is that people dont have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats If people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek their own kind (qtd. in Bucciarelli).
PETAs own director of research and investigations Mary Beth Sweetland.
I am an insulin-dependant diabetic. Twice a day I take synthetically manufactured insulin that still contains some animal products and I have no qualms about it I dont see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals (qtd. in Marquardt).
Question to PeTA Outreach Coordinator Susan Rich: "If you were aboard a lifeboat with a baby and a dog, and the boat capsized, which would you rescue?"
Rich's answer: "I wouldn't know for sure...I might choose the human baby or I might choose the dog."
Steve Kane Show WIOD-AM Radio Miami, FL Feb, 23, 1989
DAN MATHEWS, Celebrity Recruiter for PeTA
"The fur industry will be the first domino to fall. Next in line are hunting, farming and biomedical research. So what if we put a few businesses under?"
-Dan Mathews, PeTA
INGRID NEWKIRK, FOUNDER, PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT
OF ANIMALS (PETA)
"The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats ... If people want toys they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship they should seek it with their own kind."
"In the end, I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether." (Newsday, Feb. 21, 1988)
"Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They're all mammals."
(Vogue, September, 1989)
"I wish we all would get up and go into the labs and take the animals out or burn them down."
( National Animal Rights Convention '97, June 27, 1997)
"As the surplus of cats and dogs declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we return to a more symbiotic relationship--enjoyment at a distance."--Ingrid Newkirk
"Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses."
(Washington Post, 1983)
"Humans have grown like a cancer. We're the biggest blight on the face of the earth." (Reader's Digest, June, 1990)
Meat eating is "primitive, barbaric, and arrogant."
(City Paper, Feb. 1990)
"I am not a morose person, but I would rather not be here. I don't have any reverence for life, only for the entities themselves. I would rather see a blank space where I am. This will sound like fruitcake stuff again but at least I wouldn't be harming anything."
(Washington Post, November 13, 1983)
"Probably everything we do is a publicity stunt...We are not here to gather members, to please, to placate, to make friends. We're here to hold the radical line."
(USA Today, September 3, 1991)
"Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it."
(Vogue, September, 1989)
"If my father had a heart attack, it would give me no solace at all to know his treatment was first tried on a dog."
(Washington Post, Nov. 13, 1983)
"I know it's illegal [trespassing], but I don't think it's wrong."
(Montgomery County, MD, Journal Feb. 16, 1988)
"When we build an atrractive home, we raze land on which animals have already built their homes. They have nowhere to go."
(Reason, June 1990
"I don't use the word 'pet.' I think it's speciest language. I prefer 'companion animal.' We would no longer allow... pet shops... Eventually companion animals would be phased out." (Harper's Magazine, Aug. 1988)
"Even painless research is fascism, supremacism, because the act of confinement is traumatizing in itself."
(Washingtonian Magazine, August 1986)
"It (animal research) is immoral even if it's essential."
(Washington Post, May 30, 1989)
"Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation."
(Washingtonian Magazine, August, 1986)
"When I hear of anyone walking into a lab and walking out with animals, my heart sings." ("To Market, To Market," Los Angeles Times Magazine, March 22, 1992, in which Newkirk condones law-breaking Animal Liberation Front actions and promotes her soon-to-be-published History of the ALF.)
"You don't have to own squirrels and starlings to get enjoyment from them....One day, we would like an end to pet shops and the breeding of animals. [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild....They would have full lives, not wasting at home for someone to come home in the evening and pet them and then sit there and watch TV."
("Where Would We Be Without Animals?", Chicago Daily Herald, March 1, 1990)
"If Vice President Al Gore advocated killing rabbits to see if women are pregnant and called it a step forward for science, we'd all think he'd gone 'round the bend. We don't need to do that sort of thing anymore, we'd say. We have better, kinder ways." - Ingrid Newkirk in The Washington Times August 29, 1999
ALEX PACHECO, CHAIRMAN, PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT
OF ANIMALS (PETA)
"Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are 'acceptable crimes' when used for the animal cause."
(Gazette Mail, Charleston, WV, January 15, 1989)
"We feel that animals have the same rights as a retarded human child"
(New York Times, January 14, 1989)
You ought to stuff the reply envelope with the most recent solicitation you got from Omaha steaks.
When ALF member Roger Troen was convicted of burglary and arson at the University of Oregon, in which $36,000 in damage was inflicted, PeTA paid Troen's $27.000 legal fees and his $34,900 fine. Gary Thorud testified under oath that "we were illegally funding this individual with money solicited for other causes, and Ingrid was using that money, bragging to
the staff that she had spent $25,000 on the case."
Deposition of Gary Thorud, Berosini v. PeTA, at 49-50.
A PeTA consultant won control of the Toronto Humane Society, endowed with $14 million, last fall through a proxy fight. One of her employees recently was arrested for possession of explosives and weapons, and vandalizing a restaurant that served chicken ...
David Arnold, "Fight Looms over Animal Rights Group," Boston Globe, April 10, 1987, p. 23.
PeTA has a paid staff of more than eighty people and claims to have 400,000 members, but actually has only three. In 1987, PeTA's three-member board of directors (Newkirk, Pacheco, and Kim Stallwood) voted themselves the only "members" of the organization. By doing so, they converted their "members" into customer/contributors and themselves into a multimillion-dollar partnership.
The group reported an annual budget of $10.5 million in 1991, with more than $9 million coming from contributions and most of the rest from sale of PeTA merchandise. That's enough money to save an awful lot of animals. But PeTA does not use one single cent of its money to purchase wildlife habitat, find homes for strays, spay and neuter pets, or research alternative biomedical or wildlife management techniques.
Rodney Coronado, a member of the Animal Liberation Front, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 57 months in prison for the destruction of an animal diagnostics research lab at the University of California, Davis in April, 1987 (total damage estimates: $4.5 million). PETA sent $ 45,200 to Coronado's 'support committee,' which was a sum 15 times greater
than what PETA spent on animal shelters nationwide in all of that year.
Bruce Fredrich of PeTA was given 8 months of prison time for violating probation. Bruce, who is also a Peace activist, was originally convicted for trying to disarm a F-15 fighter plane at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. He was sentenced to 15 months and three years probation. During probation he was arrested for animal rights activities. (Animal Liberation Front)
Love it. Great idea.
As Homer Simpson says, "If God didn't want us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?"
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