PETA is a group I have always been fond of. Although they get some flack for their extreme campaigns I believe these measures are taken because animals are under extreme attack and more of us should be willing to fight against it. Remember that as humans we are also animals and more compassion is needed in our world for the ethical treatment of all animals, including ourselves. I have been looking forward to interviewing PETA for some time and I am very grateful they have taken time out from their busy schedule to sit down with us for a spell~
Q: Why do you think it is most important that we as humans should be aware of the torment many animals in this world are going through?
We can make a difference. We’re faced with a lot of circumstances that are out of our control such as genocide and natural disasters but this is violence and suffering that we can actually stop. There’s no difference between a pig or turkey than a dog or cat other than how we view them. Why do we feel that way? It’s the same as when some of us look at humans as inferior. It’s injustice and these are things that no one agrees with or supports. We need to educate ourselves and others about this and realize why it’s important to go vegan.
Q: What are some of ways you feel that PETA has made the biggest differences in the lives of animals?
By educating people about what happens to animals before they wind up on your plate. You can’t trust big companies like McDonalds and Hormel to educate consumers about their food. By going vegan you can save nearly 200 animals per year. It’s important to educate people about veganism and the positive impacts it has on our environment and on world hunger. There are so many negative things directly tied to meat consumption which is why PETA steps in to remind us of a healthy diet without using meat, eggs or dairy.
Q: What are your thoughts on medicines tested on animals not for cosmetic products but for saving human and animal lives?
It’s a common misconception that medicines tested on animals save human lives. Animals are not little men and women; their bodies do not work as human bodies do. 92% of the tests fail after using live animals to test human medicines. They are unreliable, unnecessary and cost the lives of over 100 million animals every year. In fact cancer was cured in mice 15 years ago and it has never even been used for humans. The reason these tests go on is to ensure grants that go to more animal testing. So much money is used to torture animals when it doesn’t give reliable results. There are no laws to protect animals from this horrendous treatment. They are deliberately starved because no experiment is illegal no matter how cruel it is to the live animal or how little it relates to helping humans. The workers in these test labs are subject to horrible and inhumane conditions as well. All medicines are actually tested on humans before they are even able to be used on humans. This is unjust testing for many reasons unrelated to saving human lives.
Q: Do you believe animals should be kept as pets if they are given the utmost love and care? Why or why not?
Sure. PETA supports and encourages everyone who has means to adopt and care for animals from their local shelter. Each year 6 to 8 million abandoned dogs and cats enter animal shelters and approximately 3 to 4 million cats and dogs—many of them healthy, young, and adoptable—must be euthanized in these shelters every year. We must put a stop to this by spaying and neutering our pets and by researching the amount of care an animal companion needs before adopting one.
Q: What are your thoughts on the euthanasia by PETA of unwanted animals and the misunderstanding about this by many online?
Many anti-PETA websites are run by consumer groups for the meat and dairy industries. The information they use is biased and inaccurate. PETA is open about the fact that we are forced to euthanize animals in some cases. The figures used by anti-PETA campaigners are deliberately chosen because they are just the euthanasia figures and do not include perspective—i.e., the more than 10,000 dogs and cats PETA provided with no-cost to low-cost spay and neuter surgeries and other veterinary services in the last 12 months alone, the hundreds of animals delivered to large high-traffic shelter facilities for adoption, the counseling and aid services that PETA provides in order to enable people to keep and properly care for their animals, and the animals we have put up for adoption, like the cat currently featured on our website, whom we nursed back to (almost) good health and who is still seeking a permanent home.
PETA’s Community Animal Project offers food and shelter for dogs in the poorest areas in Virginia and North Carolina, free vet services and food water and toys to animals who have never felt a kind touch in their lives. In some cases if we find an animal who has been in dire need of vet care euthanasia is the best option we can offer them. We have also offered families who cannot afford to get their pets proper vet care for long suffering animals to euthanize them which adds to the number online.
PETA’s spay and neuter program has several mobile units that spay and neuter dogs and cats for low cost or free. Thus far we have sterilized 80,000 animals in the last 10 years. PETA does a lot of preventative local work but does offer euthanasia for extremely abused animals and to relieve animals from suffering. Yes we euthanize but so do many other shelters in this country, 3-4 million animals are euthanized every year in our country because of the purchase of unwanted animals, breeding animals and owners not spaying and neutering their pets. The core issue here is that people are not spaying and neutering their pets so please encourage others to do so.
Q: A few readers who are not on board with PETA have made the assumption that you care more for animals than for people; do you have a response for this?
That’s really funny. We are unapologetically an animal rights group. Humans are animals.
For example, it takes 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. I believe everyone needs to think about how much grain they would throw away to get one pound of meat and how many people die everyday (25,000 people) from starvation because they don’t get enough to eat. Factory farming contributes to world hunger and climate change. Many think meat is vital for our health but it is not the case anymore. Meat consumption is linked to many of our biggest health risks such as cancer and heart disease. We are not only supporting animals but also human health and the earth we share.
Q: Who are the top unfriendly to animals businesses or products that should not be supported?
There are many but some major campaigns we currently have are:
Ringling Bros. Animals are beaten, hit, poked, prodded, and jabbed with sharp hooks, sometimes until they are bloody.
McCruelty In the slaughterhouses of McDonald’s U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers, birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Please sign our petition and boycott McDonald’s until they can make more positive changes for animals.
UW-Madison They abuse and decapitate cats to study in their labs tortured for results that are never mentioned or used.
Whose skin are you in? Every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry—all in the name of fashion. Rabbits in China are slaughtered for their fur while living.
Canadian Seal Slaughter During Canada’s annual war on seals, hundreds of thousands of seals are slaughtered for their skin. Baby seals are clubbed to death on the ice which is an off-season money venture for fisherman. This isn’t about the native people, this is just about money making for off-season fisherman.
Down Feathers Birds used for down feathers are live plucked until red, bleeding and terrified. Try down alternatives using man-made fibers.
Q: Who are the top friendly to animals businesses that should be supported?
Gardeen These vegan meat-alternative products that you can find at whole food groceries and even target are more healthy than traditional meat products.
Daiya Use these cheeses for anything you would use cheese for, it melts.
Urban Decay One of my favorite makeup brands. They were thinking of selling products in China which means they could be tested on animals which is mandatory for some products but PETA reached out to them and they decided to pull back. This company makes a huge statement by selling all vegan products.
Cirque de Soliel A circus that doesn’t use or abuse animals. They only use performers that choose to perform.
Q: Do you have any advice for those teetering on the edge of becoming an animal advocate?
Start educating yourself and become a knowledgable consumer. We all have values and ethics that we live by and every time we pay for a product we’re making a decision to support a practice or an industry. I think it’s important for consumers to know what they are supporting and promoting and for people to educate themselves and do more research before spending. We cannot expect companies to be honest outright when they have an opportunity to make money. Start questioning everything you buy and find out ways you can make a difference. Find out if the money you spend is going to companies you support. There are simple things you can do everyday that make an impact on animals, our environment and our own health and people need to look into it more.
Q: It’s so nice to have been able to sit down and get to know your wonderful organization and all of the ways that you help animals and their humans to live more positive lives. I do have one last question for you for the time being.. do you consider PETA to hold Miseducated values (Weaving a world of colorful and whimsical lifestyle inspiration.) to heart while promoting and ensuring the ethical treatment of animals?
Of course. There are always new ways to promote the ethical treatment of animals in our world and we appreciate the many ways there are to do it. We are very thankful to Miseducated for showing us a unique, colorful and whimsical way and we look forward to working together much more in the future. Thank you!
Thank you again, PETA! Miseducated is very excited to have teamed up with you and to be collaborating on more projects in the future. We adore you, what you do for us and most of all for our furry soul mates! XOX
Visit PETA online for more information about how you can support animals.