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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment. 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 fur trade, and in the entertainment industry. PETA 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 direct action.

Programs:   PETA receives complaints of cruelty to animals; works for the release of and obtains care for abused, neglected, and at-risk animals; investigates cruelty cases; gathers evidence of law violations; and takes action to ensure the enforcement of laws and regulations in an effort to protect the animals involved. Among other highlights of fiscal year 2009, we publicized the results of our undercover investigation into Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, where we documented workers beating and whipping elephants dozens of times in venues across the country. PETA’s undercover investigation showing workers kicking, beating, jabbing, and slamming piglets against the floor at an Iowa Hormel supplier resulted in 22 criminal charges, and our undercover footage of workers stomping, kicking, throwing, and inhumanely killing turkeys at Aviagen's factory farms in West Virginia resulted in 19 indictments for cruelty—the first time in U.S. history that factory-farm employees have faced felony cruelty-to-animals charges for abusing birds. We also aided in bringing many other animal abusers to justice, including a New York State Thoroughbred breeder accused of starving and neglecting 177 horses, and two Texas men charged with shooting and killing a dog.

We were victorious in a lawsuit to stop the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) from granting licenses to animal shelters that employ gas chambers, a cruel form of “euthanasia” used to kill cats and dogs, and were instrumental in having the Clay County Animal Control in Florida cited for performing an experiment in which a dog was left in a sweltering car to see if he would suffer from heatstroke. We worked with law enforcement officials to humanely euthanize a suffering “downed” cow; got help for 30 dogs who were being kept in mud-filled pens in South Carolina; and rescued a 140-year-old lobster who had been confined to a tank inside a New York City restaurant. We also operated our highly successful spay-and-neuter program, which makes surgeries available at little to no cost to disadvantaged animal guardians, preventing thousands of unwanted litters and providing relief to overburdened, government-run animal control offices and local animal shelters.

 

PETA conducts educational campaigns and publishes materials that are distributed to students, teachers, the general public, and supporters. Major publications include materials made available through our programs for younger children, high school and college students, and educators as well as publications such as factsheets, booklets, fliers, posters, and PETA’s magazine, Animal Times. Campaigns involve renowned celebrities, extensive media attention, interactive Web site features that reach millions of viewers, and public service announcements, which are typically placed for free in high-exposure outlets.

 

PETA organizes campaigns to inform the public about, among other things, how animals are abused in the food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment industries. Among other events in fiscal year 2009, PETA pressured Bolivia to enact their first animal protection regulation against horrific military training exercises; convinced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discontinue testing a sweetener derived from stevia on rats; prompted the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) to ban the use of anabolic steroids for all racehorses and "snapper" whips for harness racing;persuaded Zappos.com, JCPenney, and Urban Outfitters to go fur-free; persuaded the University of Connecticut Health Center, and a Florida medical conference to stop torturing and killing animals in outdated medical training e

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 VeganCookieMonster

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with PETA for over 5 years. This includes demonstrations, letter writing campaigns, veg outreach, vegan food giveaways, festival tabling, running a Half Marathon to raise funds for PETA's Investigations and Rescue Fund and marching with the PETA Veg Contingent in the SF Pride Parade. While some people may not approve of PETA's tactics, they are incredibly effective. No other organization has been as successful in bringing out change as PETA has. It has been an honor to volunteer for PETA and I am also proud to be a PETA donor/supporter. Whenever I'm asked to volunteer at an event for PETA, I always say, without hesitation, "anything for PETA". I truly mean that. Angry Bird Costume? You got it! Lettuce Suit? No problem! Handing out Veg Starter Kits at a busy farmers' market? Count me in! I look forward to future volunteer opportunities with this incredible organization.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I am appalled by PETA's policies and their methods.

PETA targets children for their campaigns, often ambushing them outside of schools with violent images that are not age-appropriate. They drive a wedge between children and their families with campaigns such as their "Mama kills" game and their "Daddy kills" comic book. This comic states that a father who fishes will torture the family dog. It is confusing and even utterly terrifying to a child.
http://features.peta.org/CookingMama/Index.asp
http://www.peta.org/features/your-daddy-kills-animals.aspx

In addition, PETA doesn't provide nutritional information to children who choose veganism after being traumatized by materials presented to them. Certain vitamins and amino acids can only be found in red meat. Reducing the amount of red meat consumed will have an profound positive effect on the environment, but total elimination of proteins, B12, Omega-3 EFAs and taurine can and does have deletorious effects including muscle wasting, mood and attention disorders, and cardiomyopathy. Attempts by the parents to supplement the child's diet are met with suspicion and only widen the rift.

PETA has many policies that are contradictory. While loudly protesting the annual Canadian slaughter of 70,000 harp seals or 1,400 whales every year, founder Ingrid Newkirk advocates killing up to 6M - millions! - of pets a year. PETA is actively fighting to enforce Pit Bull bans, to stop Trap-Neuter-Release of feral cats, and even has gone as far as equating No-Kill animal shelters with animal hoarders.

PETA's agenda is three-fold and very specific. First, they advocate saving homeless pets from what is supposedly a wretched existence in the wild. Then they advocate killing pets who find their way into shelters. And finally they state that pets should be "phased out" in order to return them to their wild state. The effect of this deadly trinity will be to eliminate any animals within human reach altogether.

I regret every hour I spent volunteering with PETA, every dime I donated, and every lost pet harmed in order to reserve funds for the ghoulish publicity stunts I funded. Those stunts cost 15% of PETA's budget and do little more than traumatize children and bringing in more donations.
http://www.examiner.com/pets-in-kansas-city/peta-targets-our-children-with-violent-images

Please, if you want to protect animals, volunteer or donate to a local no-kill shelter.

Comments ( 1 )

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ScottV 10/14/2011

Regarding the comic book, the point of this campaign is to help mothers realize that they should not be wearing fur if they are too ashamed to tell their children where it comes from. Who would want to wear something that involves horrific treatment of animals too gruesome to tell their own son or daughter? Many of us here at PETA are parents ourselves and agree that we should be concerned about what our kids are exposed to. Because the violence in the fur industry is so extreme, and because this leaflet exposes that violence, we are not distributing this leaflet to children under 13. Instead, we are giving the leaflets directly to their fur-wearing mothers. For information that PETA provides free to teachers, parents, and youth, please see TeachKind.org

Review from CharityNavigator

6 Karen Horning

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Once upon a time I had a great deal of respect for PETA. I now am appalled by their support of BSL and attempts to ban and annhilate pit bulls. Punish the deed, not the breed and hold the irresponsible, cruel and abusive owners accountable for what they do.

Eradicating a breed doesn't do anything. Those horrific individuals who abuse the bullies would then only find another breed to expolit. One would assume the folks at PETA would understand this.

Comments ( 1 )

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ScottV 10/14/2011

Please see PETA's annual review at peta.org/annualreview or on Guidestar to note the number of free spay and neuter surgeries provided to pit bulls (which is key to helping this most abused of all breeds), as well as information on PETA's free doghouse program (many of the recipients are pit bulls) and anti-cruelty (including dogfighting) work.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I distributed a box of Go Veg Go Vegan magazines to healthy people whom would be interested in knowing about a healthy diet without animal products .We are a compassionate team that works for a end to the brutal industry of animal factory farms .I have protested at the meat is murder campaigns and the elephants shown at ringling circuses and have planned a March meat-out day for March 20,2011. We believe that animals are as holy as people can become and deserve a place on this Earth .

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a PETA member for more than twenty years. They are my heroes. They have educated me about animal cruelty everywhere and have given me the wonderful opportunity to work with them to stop animal abuse worldwide. If I were to see animal abuse I know I have only to let PETA know and they will take action. I cannot praise PETA enough. They work hard and no one truly cares about animals more than they do.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PETA is a phenomenal institution. It is the "ONLY" voice of animals in this world. Since, all other organisations that preach in favour of animal welfare, worldwide, are actually searching for ways to benefit themselves and their families. In this world, where humans don't show mercy towards other fellow human beings, PETA has emerged as an angel for the innocent and voiceless animals. It's objective are devine and somewhat relatable to the objectives of Asoka and Lord Buddha. No matter how extreme the cruelty maybe, PETA will take that extra step to see, that the cruelty ends. Of all the PETA organisations, the one situated in the United States, is the most efficient one. Further their staff is decent and understanding; unlike the staff of other animal organisations, which are rude, crass, sympathy-less and money hungry!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been very involved with PETA for a little over 2 years and it has been a great experience. I've seen them help backyard dogs..this is the kind of work that usually goes unnoticed in the media but PETA is on the frontline helping animals and responding to animal emergencies all over the nation.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For me, PETA is the only animal rights organization that honestly takes it all on. They care about speaking up for all animals, no matter how small or unpopular. They are a passionate group of dedicated people and that's why I relate to them and chose to be involved - and I haven't been disappointed yet. Whenever I've heard about something horrible that has happened to an animal, in every case I can think of, PETA was already aware and on the case. They never sleep! I appreciate that PETA is not afraid to tell the truth to educate us even if this may not win them fans all the time. They are an honest group with a huge mission but one who also has small victories every day - getting a donkey basketball game canceled or helping a business stop using glue traps. Over time, all of these small victories/changes will start to sink in and people will remember to make compassionate choices the next time and that's what matters to me and why I think PETA does a great job.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been helping with PETA's work for 2 years now. They are extremely organized and helpful when they as us volunteers to help. As far as I am concerned money given to them is money well spent. I know it is really going to the animals.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love peta2! They have the best leaflets, stickers, and posters to help save animals. I don't eat animals and neither should you.