PETA’s Unethical Treatment Of Human Beings

"You keep using that word, "ethics." I don't think it means what you think it does."

“You keep using that word, “ethics.” I don’t think it means what you think it does.”

From whence comes PETA’s compulsion to periodically make the organization look as unethical and/or deranged as possible? If I were not charitable by nature, I would say that it was because the leadership of the organization is constitutionally unethical, and nuts. I suspect that the real answer is close to that, but it’s not exactly right. I think that PETA’s concept of ethics begins and ends with “the ends justfy the means,” that they are so besotted with the rights of animals that they dehumanize people, and that arrested juveniles run the organization.

The latest jaw dropper from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is to use money to induce poor people in Detroit to comply with PETA’s vision of an ethical lifestyle. From the PETA website:

“With jobs in Detroit disappearing, many residents are struggling. As they’re forced to choose which bills to pay, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has chosen for them―shutting off water and leaving many people high and dry. The department put the shutoffs on a temporary hiatus, but people’s water bills are mounting. So with the help of a generous PETA member, we have come up with one small way to assist Detroit residents and save animals, too.Thanks to this donor, PETA will be able to pay off the water bills for 10 families who commit to going vegan for one month. We’ll also help them get started by giving each family a basket of healthy vegan foods and recipes.”

In other word, PETA is exploiting the most vulnerable citizens of the urban wasteland known as Detroit to turn them into human billboards for the group’s utopian vision of an animal-friendly world.

They have attempted this sort of thing before, as when they tried to bribe Octomom, a.k.a. Nadya Suleman, to put an actual billboard on her front lawn comparing her brood of babies to the result when you don’t spay your pets. For $5,000 and a month’s supply of veggie burgers and meatless hot dogs, Octomom briefly agreed to let PETA compare her to household pets and her children to a litter. She will allow the group to put a sign in her front yard proclaiming, “Don’t Let Your Dog or Cat Become an Octomom! Always Spay or Neuter!”

The Detroit stunt is far worse, because it goes beyond mere humiliation, coercion and exploitation to tampering with the health and lifestyle of others, including children. Vegan diets are not recommended for children, especially infants, and even for adults it comes with risks. The targets of the PETA campaign have a metaphorical gun at their heads, so PETA’s despicable donor is using his superior financial means to induce desperate Detroit residents to do something they would never choose to do otherwise, and if they have children, risk their well-being in the process. I bet he could get some of them to cut off their pinkies, if there was enough money in it.

PETA doesn’t care. PETA just wants publicity, as it proves every time it makes a ridiculous but media-pleasing announcement from Wacko World, like demanding that the Punxutawny groundhog be replaced by an audio-animatron, or claiming that Sea World’s killer whales were slaves in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. Those stunts were just silly; this one takes advantage of poor people and puts their health at risk, which demonstrates, one again, that the “ethics” in PETA’s name is an oxymoron.

In a 2011 post, I attempted to enlighten PETA with a list of five key ethical realities that it didn’t understand. I guess they missed reading the blog that day, so in the interest of enlightenment, let me re-publish it here;

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.

You’re welcome, PETA.

Now leave those poor people alone.


Pointer: Fred


28 thoughts on “PETA’s Unethical Treatment Of Human Beings

  1. Not being a vegan myself, I must disagree with that statement of a “vegan diet” being unhealthy for children.

    Our bodies have long intestines which is more indicative of a herbivore than of a carnivore. In fact, there are many more nutrients and vitamins in vegetables (before getting mashed through factories which sucks all the goodness out — aka… corn). We are naturaly Herbivores, however we are Omnivores by choice.

    Did you know, that to eat vegan, it essentially costs much more than it does to eat cheap meats and stuff. 2$ for an Orange, or $1.47 for a small pork chop — I would say it would be the supermarkets which are swaying the population to eating a particular diet by jacking the price of anything they don’t want you to eat — which leaves it for the few of us that can actually afford to eat well.

    With regards to your points of 1-5, I would have to disagree with #4 — in part. The descriptive I agree with, the bold point, I do not, and here is why: Animals and humans are equally “precious” as we all make up this giant fishbowl ecosystem. While humans are more adaptable (in most cases), we still depend on this delicate balance which we keep upsetting which comes back to us in many forms. One such animal off the top of my head that is nearing its end (which will completely f_ck us), is the Honey Bee. (yes, I know it is an insect, however it has also been regarded as an animal … oddly). The point is that Humans have a superiority complex and believe that their life is more valuable than the life of anyone/anything else. I wholly disagree, and state that all life is EQUAL …. truly equal ! No matter the feats, achievements, or lack thereof, all life ends. Anything in the middle done to shorten it, is just not very smart at all — which is what Humans are doing, by poisoning the food, and the rest of life on the planet (including ourselves) ….. and that makes Humans “not very smart at all”. In this regard, animals treat the environment they live in better than we do.

    • 1. Well, you read the link. There is disagreement on the matter, and PETA is not a medical or nutritional expert. Vegan diets are hard, and if not managed with care, will lead to nutritional issues. Presumably you don’t dispute that.

      2. As for this, “The point is that Humans have a superiority complex and believe that their life is more valuable than the life of anyone/anything else. I wholly disagree, and state that all life is EQUAL …. truly equal ! No matter the feats, achievements, or lack thereof, all life ends”—you have a right to your opinion, but it’s batty. (EVEYTHING ends. Talk about a low bar for equality.) Humans have a superiority complex because they are superior, unless you know of any novels, inventions, medical advances or skyscrapers created by animals that you can cite. That doesn’t give human the right to abuse animals, but it does give us the right to be on the top of the food chain. Or, if we are equal, then we have no more obligation to avoid eating animals than lions, tigers, bears and killer whales. One reason we are superior is our capacity for ethics. Your argument is self-disproving.

      • 1. Yes, “if not managed with care” … essentially if you are a “bad” parent in the first place, which is not dependent on diet.

        2. The statement that nothing in the animal kingdom has read/written anything, or “built a skyscraper” leans towards my initial statement of the “superiority complex”. A cockroach has better survival skills than we do — does that make it “superior” to humans ? Moles and other critters build complex tunneling networks deep underground …. ant’s build “skyscrapers” that are proportionaly many times larger than anything “humans” can build — again… does this make them superior ?

        That being said, there any many creatures that have yet to even be discovered in the deepest darkest bowels of the oceans and the earth itself which humans have yet to gain the capacty to even venture. Life is equal, regardless of the individual capacity to build/remember/etc, and one must only look at how tiny and insignificant we truly are to realize this.

        And again …. the very essence that we are omnivores by choice (not the only species to do so, however we ARE the only species to alter our environment so that it is less and less habitable – waste, etc).

        Now if you feel that these statements are somehow have some hidden verbiage that self-destructs, you are most definitely entitled to your opinion. However I feel if you really understand what I am saying, then you will understand the point that I am making, and am not really against what you are saying, merely tweaking one element based on the science and theology involved. Facts are as follows :

        1. We are not “superior” to all species of life as we know it or beyond, although we believe we are as a collective.
        2. All life is equal regardless of size or variation in span. Once extinguished, there is no coming back or reversing that — yet.

        • you are welcome to your fantasies. Allen, as silly as they are. Yes, I’m sure that dung beetles would think they are superior too, if they could think.

          You are engaging in a particularly foolish and self-indulgent form of navel gazing. Superiority is power plus will and means. Mankind is superior. Among other things, we have the ability to make the rules and definitions of the what superiority means. You don’t have the authority to make up your own on anyone else’s behalf..

          • You sir draw an interesting parallel between fantasy and fact, and then try to justify using the same ignorance of which most are unaware. If the “brightest” scientific minds of our species can identify and come to terms that this is the reality we live in, I am sure that you can muster up the wisdom to google for it, or endeavor to seek out the answers to this question rather than assuming the glass bubble is the entire reality. I can not alter the way you think — nor do I wish to, however I did assume that you have the capacity for critical thinking (as your blog shows), which inherits the ability to question everything — even ones own beliefs.

            I too was among the many who thought homo-sapiens were in fact homo-superior, and there is no doubt we do fantastic things, however upon questioning the consistent idiocy that as a species – occurs, I found myself in a position questioning this very fact which I had held so dear while questioning everything else. It was during this time, when I did some research and found thousands of studies that have been done on various wildlife that we know of and the comparisons are astounding — with one BIG exception — animals do not pollute the planet or otherwise poison their very food supply. So if that makes us superior — then I will stand corrected among the bright scientists who did such studies showing otherwise. If you gauge superiority by means that we can communicate differently (aka… the written word), compare with the almost psychic bond that the bumblebee has. We are different, but I really have to disagree with this superiority complex. We aren’t even the dominant species, let alone superior. We are the most self-centered species, often lacking a view of the things around us unless we are curious enough to explore or have the wisdom to question. Are we superior because we question our existence ? Do you know for a fact that we are the only species capable of thoughts ? Emotions ? Do ethics begin and end with homo-superior ?

            I am rather curious about what insight you can shed on this.

            If I may, here is one such reference regarding scientific data by those who dared venture into the “are we really superior” question from .

            PS. It’s “Alan” not “Allen” 🙂

            • People with names like Alan, Steven and Catherine should lobby for spelling consistency. Drives me nuts. It’s “Jakque,’ by the way.
              You obviously feel strongly about this quirk of yours, and I’ll accord that some modicum of respect, but again, this is silly ideological clap-trap:

              “I too was among the many who thought homo-sapiens were in fact homo-superior, and there is no doubt we do fantastic things, however upon questioning the consistent idiocy that as a species – occurs, I found myself in a position questioning this very fact which I had held so dear while questioning everything else. It was during this time, when I did some research and found thousands of studies that have been done on various wildlife that we know of and the comparisons are astounding — with one BIG exception — animals do not pollute the planet or otherwise poison their very food supply. So if that makes us superior — then I will stand corrected among the bright scientists who did such studies showing otherwise.”

              Humans do things, advance their species, seek truth and advancement. To those, like you, who think the best state is a world that remains stagnant and unchanged until it burns up forever, I can only say: what a boring and and unambitious view of life. I note that you cite human scientists, not bumble bees. That tells me something, but apparently you’ve missed it.

              • I cite human scientists as I do not understand a bumble-bee’s language. 🙂 …. As with most names, I agree, there are so many different ways to spell names and I suppose the variations themselves are derived from ones wish to be “unique” and to give a better sense of self — no idea, just speculation on the history of names and their “evolution”.

            • I didn’t add this in my initial response, but should have, though I would think it would be obvious. This is an ethics blog, and thus it should not amaze you that I believe that a measure of superiority is the ability to distinguish right from wrong, and calibrate that species’ conduct accordingly. Humans are the only species that think about ethics or have the ability to do so, and indeed we invented the concept—appropriate, because this is the only species with the power to alter the environment to its specifications.

              • That was assumed without having to restate. I suppose the point in ethics I am trying to make is that the claim of superiority does not subvert the duty to treat all life as equally precious – regardless of species. Secondary to that, the complexity of species on this planet, there is no way to determine 100% that no other species has a system like or of ethics in place – or that they don’t feel, can’t think, etc. Further, at no point did I state or imply that the world should remain stagnant and unchanged — on the contrary. I just do not agree with doing this in a way that causes harm to ourselves or in a way that hurts others en-mass. Second to this, the only thing that keeps us on top of the food chain is that we create technology that is very destructive — but that doesn’t make us better or superior. I think that we are both taking a different take on the term superior. I am arguing it under the pretense of the definition: having or showing an overly high opinion of oneself; supercilious., and of high standard or quality. If you are using the terms definition : greater in size or power. — then I can agree on the “power” portion. Size (as many as we have according to census’s), most definitely not.

                I do find it rather amazing our survival skills given we really don’t have any aside from building things that can destroy (or heal). Most of our greatest technological achievements have come from wars — the wheel, fire, jet engines, even computers; but that doesn’t disregard those advancements … just the “ends justifies the means” doesn’t sit well. While we do great things (like this blog), it is a constant struggle to bring our species as a whole to a position where we can achieve those things, but without the destruction — and discussions like this are most definitely a step forward out of the caveman mind.

                Even in PETA, they have a vision of humans and animals co-existing peacefully, however you are correct in pointing out their vision has been tainted by members who are still working with the caveman brain. So while the point they originally are trying to make is valid — the measures being taken on the road to getting there are on the slippery slope which is thus creating a dissonance towards the organization as a whole. I agree that we should take better care of our environment and all the critters that we share this rock with — I don’t see cows as hamburgers on legs, although I do eat. There is a difference between killing for survival, and slaughtering for greed — and as a member of a species that is capable of empathy, a sense of right/wrong, and ethics — this screams at me.

                I do not know the motives behind the PETA pledge to selected Detroit members, however they have done things in the past (like the “Octomom” campaign) which are distasteful at the least. Spending money on community gardens to grow food would likely be a better contribution in my opinion rather than a fast buck for those desperate — which can be considered exploitation of the poverty stricken at the least. A Vegan diet is most definitely not for those on a budget (or can’t afford to pay their usual bills). I feel PETA needs to reorganize, weed out the corrupt, and re-focus on the root cause without causing further harm to their own species — as we too, are part of the animal kingdom.

                PS. I think this needs to be said to clarify as up to now it was presumed – I have a deep respect for your blog (hence why I keep visiting), and feel that ethics, honor, integrity, etc — is something that is is very short supply. It is like a breath of fresh air to come here and see someone else articulating their belief of right and wrong — and the ability to back it up, as well as the capacity to grow, and think critical when challenged. I find that debates are one of the best ways to advance as it adds perspective.

      • “Human life is more precious than animal life” must be argued, not assumed.

        if a more intelligent, more technologically advanced species arrives from space with the intention of eating us (and using us in myriad ways), we could find several ways to rebut their claim that their concerns outweigh ours.

    • “Our bodies have long intestines which is more indicative of a herbivore than of a carnivore. …”

      Actually, I read a study comparing intestinal length in proportion to body length. Carnivores had a consistently low proportion and herbivores had a consistently high proportion.

      Humans fell perfectly in the middle, suggesting we are true omnivores, suited well for neither an all meat nor all vegetable diet, but a mixture of both.

  2. So for the benefit of a water bill they get to give up meat? Vegan alternatives are more expensive than the usual meat versions and we won’t go into the cost and oil needed to transport things like quinoa. I think these ten families are just plain more likely to cheat, they don’t have the knowledge and experience to fulfill a major diet change. A few recipes won’t make up for the increased food cost. When you’re struggling so much you can’t afford your water bill, PETA is nattering about things at a totally different level on Maslow’s Hierachy. Detroit is a pocket of third world eight now, and first world issues are meaningless in these families’ struggles.

    And the other aspect is ten families? Why not 100 Ooh, how generous. How much do they spend nationally on ads? I’m sure that dwarfs the water bills of ten households even on just a monthly basis, and they will spend far more on publicizing their generosity that what the water bills cost.

    • Exactly. The campaign is likely to offer to those considering or already on a vegan diet and are trying to afford both the diet and water bill — food comes first.

      Eating healthy most definitely costs much more than eating garbage. For example — chicken wings used to be thrown in the trash as it was considered the “garbage” part, akin to the bones, etc. Then someone decided to throw some sauce on em and… well… you know the rest from there. I think people are encouraged to eat bad by the price which definitely sways ones decision making when buying food on a budget, which the food itself has a terrible effect on people. One jar of plain Ragu spaghetti sauce contains more sodium than the maximum daily recommended intake — for 99 cents — versus making the sauce with 0 salt from tomatoes that costs 4.99 /lb. Which one do you think people will buy, and the likelihood of hypertension upon a diet consisting of garbage like that — which at a glance, one could consider healthy.

  3. Growing up we had neighbors who were originally from Sweden.
    They had four kids and the kids had been raised as strict vegetarians since birth.
    They did consume eggs and dairy, but in much lesser quantities as most American families.
    They were all perfectly healthy.
    So, in theory vegetarianism works and I’ve seen the results in reality.

    Veganism, on the other hand, is not appropriate for growing children.
    It is an extreme diet that usually requires supplements.
    It lacks essential protein and calcium, esp.
    How are you going to explain to your child when he is an adult riddled with health problems that Veganism is a cool phase you went through right after the Occupy Movement? @@
    No one can really say for sure that a Vegan diet is OK for children.
    What sort of person takes that kind of chance ?

    As far as the latest PETA stunt, if I was too poor to pay my water bill, my family and I would be eating the vegan diet for a month.
    Consider it a life lesson.

    • Yes. Thinking on this, i should take pictures of “healthy” food, food that people think is “healthy”, and “bad” food. And show the price difference. Generally speaking, “name brand” contains less crap than no-name or budget brand items. For example, you would pay much more for pure jam that only contains real fruit and natural fruit pectin, than you would for jam that was mostly additives like sucralose, guar gum, etc. The real fruit jam would also yield much more nutrition than the garbage budget jam. Generally speaking… it would be “better” for you. There are some exceptions like potato chips — depends. Just have to really watch the ingredients list which is so friggen small it can take like 10 minutes to decipher what the hell it says. I imagine it is so small because when you put 95 ingredients into a jam jar, and are required to list them if more than a certain amount is inside, and your jar is small, no other way than to print in tiny font, put some sort of healthy slogan on the main ad front-side like (50% less sugar) to hide the use of aspartame + sucralose. And most people simply do not care until they are sick with something and have no idea why their body is failing them — then maybe they will look at the poisons they have been ingesting — if they can still see.

  4. PETA and its acolytes do not actually care about animals. They care about being seen as caring about animals, which is why their self-promotion budget dwarfs any kind of budget they might have for actually taking care of animals.

    PETA takes “animal rights” to the extreme for the same reasons Mormons decry coffee and Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse blood transfusions- sanctimony. A hook to hang substitute morality on, and thereby feel better about oneself.

    If you can convince one misguided animal lover to wash his hands of PETA and divert that money to the ASPCA, you have done a great service.

    • Putting Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses in the same category as PETA reveals your bias against religion. There are many reasons, sanctimony among them perhaps, but far from the only reason, why religions have dietary and health rules.

      PETA not caring about animals is in a different category. PETA belongs with the new puritans on the left who declare that women are being denied birth control because the companies employing them refuse to pay for abortifactants or that LGBT are denied happiness if they can’t have marriage. They take only the extreme positions and dare people to call them on it at the risk of being shunned.

  5. Religious groups bring food, housing, and medicine to developing countries all over the world (and poor communities here in the US) — as long as the recipients listen to their religious message and some even require that the beneficiaries adopt it. Would you agree that this is just as ethical — or unethical — as what PETA is doing?

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