What do you think about PETA? Do you think it is militant and or what they are doing is just?I have decided to join PETA and pledged to be a vegetarian for 30 days.  The reason for this is because...

What do you think about PETA? Do you think it is militant and or what they are doing is just?

I have decided to join PETA and pledged to be a vegetarian for 30 days.  The reason for this is because I feel that the meat industry has taken advantage of their "power" and treat the animals cruelly and unjustly.

Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't doubt they do a lot of good work, but I can not condone the methods they choose to use.  For example, as a college student, I worked as a seasonal employee at SeaWorld of Orlando.  I was a tour guide back in the day when we actually manned the animal habitats and milled among the crowds answering questions and giving spiels (they have since gone with a Disney approach--push this button and hear about said display).  At any rate, I digress. 

One summer day at our morning meeting, we tour guides were given a warning that PETA was to be in the park that day.  We were warned to be especially vigilant at the animal habitats.  Sure enough, at the sea lion habitat and the manatee habitat, someone from PETA threw poison in the water.  Their stance was that a dead animal was better than a caged animal.  Ludicrous.  I will never understand how they can point the accusing "animal cruelty" finger at SeaWorld employees who care for animals born in captivity (and have never known life in the wild, therefore endangering their existence if set free) when they actively poison the animals resulting a much more cruel, horribly painful death for the creature.  Severe lack of reasoning on their part, I think. 

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree. As a vegan, many think I am automatically a member of PETA, or that I condone all of their actions. While I think they have done much to bring the truth about animal production (for that is what it has become, an assembly line production of living creatures) to the mainstream public, I also feel that they are self-defeating in their righteous ways. The above poster is absolutely correct in saying "Calling non-vegetarianism unethical is unjust to a large section of humankind." It is the methods by which we achieve this that must considered and debated, not the act itself. You will never have a completely vegetarian society, and lobbying for that only alienates those who may otherwise be sympathetic to your cause.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oh I am all about animals and their rights, but the PETA people are more like the NYC Guardian Angels these days and have gone a bit too rad. I plan to live as a vegan when I hit my 40's and I want to remain so until my last day of life, but I am not planning to push my choices onto anyone else. I am not even going to suggest it to my son unless he has questions of his own. If I find a benefit to it, I will convey the information as what it is: MY personal feelings and emotions about veganism. Therefore, PETA is cool with me but they have GOT to cool down with attacking with the red ink and all that stuff.

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that PETA is so militant in their approach that they have alienated many mainstream people who might otherwise be willing to listen to their arguments. Throwing red paint on people wearing fur and some of the outlandish protests they make doesn't gain them the sympathy they need to reach a wider audience.

The meat industry definitely could stand to be reformed and changed to become more humane. I am not a vegetarian and I enjoy a good steak as much as anyone, but I don't want for animals to suffer unnecessarily in order for me to be able to eat meat.

joe30pl eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, this is a tricky question, eh? While I am a firm believer in animal rights, I just disagree with too many of PETA's methods. Their actions of late, especially the use of celebrities strikes me as more attention grabbing than doing anything useful. It also seems that for every one decent act they do, there are at least five unbelievably stupid blunders to counter it. Of course, that's just my opinion.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

PETA does a lot of good work. There are many abuses by various industries that use animals, and PETA helps bring those abuses to light. I think when you have a group of people that are very passionate about their cause, some of them will do things that can be perceived as militant. That does not mean that the organization itself is.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I do think PETA alienates some people. They are so dedicated that they push beyond what people are comfortable with. Some people are so passionate that they don't realize that what they do is counterproductive. I love animals and am a vegetarian. I don't judge people who eat meat, but I don't condone cruelty to animals.
krishna-agrawala | Student

I am a vegetarian by my culture and choice, but I have no quarrel with non-vegetarians. I have no quarrel with PETA (People or Ethical Treatment for Animals) either. But when it comes to supporting an organization, I would rather support an organization which will call itself PET (People for Ethical Treatment). Human being are also entitled to ethical treatment.

In this world there are many animals eating many animals. This is the nature's way. Calling non-vegetarianism unethical is unjust to a large section of humankind.


epollock | Student

I think PETA is not a militant organization, but when it comes to civil disobedience to highlight their causes, I usually hope that they don't choose the militant choice. As an option for them, if they feel that that is the only way that their voices can be heard, and if they are willing to accept the consequences for their actions, them they have the obligation to resort to any means they feel that would expedite their cause.