5 Things PETA Doesn’t Understand About Ethics

Stay classy, PETA.

PETA—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals— has announced that it is starting a porn website to attract attention to the plight of animals. Over on his Business Ethics Blog, Chris McDonald asks whether this means that PETA has “jumped the shark.” More so than offering Octomom money to put a billboard on her lawn advocating spaying pets so they won’t have litters like hers? More so than complaining that Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog of Groundhog Day fame, should be replaced by a robot? I don’t think so. Besides, jumping a shark would be cruel to the shark.

The tunnel-visioned organization, well on its way to becoming a joke to the detriment of its abused animal constituency, has registered the domain name peta.xxx and plans to launch a pornography website in December that “draws attention to the plight of animals.” How will it do that, you ask? By using images of naked women performing  sex acts on men to attract viewers, and then making the audience observe graphic videos of animal abuse for the privilege of watching the graphic sex. “We try to use absolutely every outlet to stick up for animals,” says PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt, who adds that the organization wouldn’t use its “flashier tactics if we didn’t know they worked.”

Let’s put that right at the top of this list, entitled “5 Things PETA Doesn’t Understand About Ethics.”

The list:

1. The ends don’t always justify the means. PETA’s “by any means necessary” approach to its mission has included such unethical tactics as humiliating desperate human beings, like Octomom, and putting Michelle Obama into their ads without her permission.

2. An advocate for an important cause has a duty to maintain its own credibility. PETA has constantly undermined its ability to persuade by stunts that make it appear flaky and incapable of perspective.

3. Linking an organization to activities many people believe are wrong, immoral or exploitive—like pornography— reduce respect, regard, and good will for both the organization and its objectives. This is how cognitive dissonance works, and is part of the values assignment process that determines how humans rank people, organizations and conduct. If the primary advocate for a cause aligns itself with unethical or repulsive activities and views, the cause is dragged down by its association with them.

4. Human life is more precious than animal life. PETA clearly doesn’t think so, and is willing to objectify women and support the porn industry, which exploits women, in defense of animals. It is an unethical trade-off.

5. Integrity. An organization with “ethical” in its name has to take care that it behaves ethically and demonstrates an understanding of ethical principles.

[Thanks to The Business Ethics Blog for the tip.]

15 thoughts on “5 Things PETA Doesn’t Understand About Ethics

    • Your comment is rich with irony. PETA, which will literally do anything for its pro-animal cause, has slaughtered thousands of dogs and cats every year. If they will do that,and clearly care more about animals than humans, I have no doubt that slaughtering one or many humans wouldn’t faze them at all. That’s enough for me.

      Hypocritical, incompetent and nuts is no way to go through life, to paraphrase Dean Wormer.

  1. OK, I found corroboration for your statement. Here are two statements from PETA regarding no-kill shelters and euthanasia.
    http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/no-kill-shelters.aspx
    http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/euthanasia.aspx

    I still stand with PETA because they do so many good things. I agree they go overboard, and yet, they sure as hell haven’t used any bullhooks on humans like humans use them on elephants. THIS makes me mad, and puts me firmly in the PETA corner.
    http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/circuses.aspx

    But, if you want the best animal friends organization around, join Best Friends Animal Society, of which I am also a member.
    http://www.bestfriends.org/

  2. ‘I still stand with PETA because they do so many good things.’
    How much bad do they have to do, before you’d stop supporting them? I wouldn’t give them one cent after I heard about them killing dogs….who are they to decide it’s more ‘humane’ to kill dogs than for them to live in ‘slavery’ to humans? Ridiculous, presumptuous logic.

    Some of their other campaigns have been downright dishonest-their war on Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example. They claim that KFC ‘tortures’ and ‘abuses’ chickens in the making of their food. The truth of the matter is that KFC does not kill it’s own chickens, but buys chicken pre-processed from the same suppliers that provide chicken to many fast food chains. It wouldn’t get PETA as much attention or time in the spotlight though, would it, to launch a huge fight against some chicken supplier that no one’s ever heard of, and so they lie. There’s no reason I can think of to support such dishonest activism.

  3. I would like to add that PeTA doesn’t even value animal life: they euthanise countless pets: sometimes stealing them from people’s yards, because they think domestic animals should go extinct.

    And yes, humans are more valuable than animals. But cruelty against a family’s beloved pet equals heartbreak for that family.

  4. I had to block PETA’S website from my internet, because I couldn’t stand the unsettling behavior of this organization.

  5. Completely agree. PETA should read PUTA. I fully support the RSPCA in the UK and urge others to support similar hard-working, ethical organisations.

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