Opinion Please: PETA Tactics - Morally Offensive or Not?

First, you’ll have to go to this website:


Now - is this morally offensive to you or not?

I was morally offended by the comparison of humans to animals (on many different levels) and said as much to a friend in an email discussion. (I actually said that it was “morally wrong to compare the treatment and killing of Holocaust victims to the treatment and killing of animals”).

He said that my reasoning was “stupid and absurd” and that PETA was just “doing what they do” and that morality wasn’t involved.

Am I stupid and absurd to think that there is a difference between animals and humans and that to be morally offended at the suggestion that the Holocaust just isn’t on the same level as the slaughter of animals?

I need some opinions - quickly - because I want to respond with more than self-righteous indignation.



Yeah, I’ve heard of it and I think they could’ve come up with something better. It bothers me.

(BTW, this might be more fitting for IMHO.)

I think you’ll want to look at this thread in GD.

Or this one in the Pit.

Thanks, folks - more than enough ammo from those threads (I know - now - that I should search the MESSAGE boards rather than just the ARCHIVES before I post.

Thanks - many thanks - again,


Moderator’s Note: As a rule of thumb, any thread whose title starts with “Opinion Please” belongs in the “In My Humble Opinion” forum, not in General Questions (which is for questions with factual answers, not opinion polls).

Moving from GQ to IMHO.

This thread will be closed.


Ah well, Nostradamus was crap at predicting, too. I’m in good company.


Using the force correctly you weren’t.


MeBuckner,… this thread will be closed now

You don’t want me to close this thread.

Of course it’s offensive.
Animal rights is all fine and dandy, but PETA is an extremist group.
They go WAYYY over the line many times.

Yes. Damned offensive.

Is there a “not” crowd amongst non-members anywhere?

As someone treading the line between animal welfare and animal rights, I’ll say that it’s very offensive.

And ironic. If the folks who designed this campaign are serious, then they’re horrible people. After all, if you lived under Nazi Germany, and you knew about the death camps, would you consider it sufficient to make up posters protesting the death camps?

My guess is that they’re cynical, self-righteous, and jaded.


Ultimately, it’s just plain stupid.

It’s not going to convince a single person to join their movement, and will turn off potential supporters. PETA has a great propensity of discrediting itself. They are pretty much a joke at this point.

I will point out this:

Threads with “PETA” in the title in the last six months: 11.

Threads with “HSUS” or “Humane Society” in the title in the last six months: 1.

PETA may be offensive, sensationalistic, and dishonest, but they usually know what they’re doing. People talk about them a lot more than they talk about less in-your-face animal organizations, and they spark discussions.

Whether that’s good or bad is another matter, but I do think they know what they’re doing, and when you give them attention, you’re doing just what they want.


What’s sad is that I showed this site to a friend and he agreed with them [PETA]…

PETA wants to help animals, and stop people from treating animals in ways that are cruel. But they’re going about it the wrong way.

If you want to promote an ethical stance and get other people to adopt it, being a good advertiser is just as important as if you were trying to sell a product or get people to vote for you. Good advertising means, ideally, that (a) people will notice you, and (b) more than half the people who notice will be convinced by your argument.

The second point is important, and PETA fails miserably. If more than half the people who notice you end up disliking you, your tactics are counterproductive. You end up closing people’s minds to your ideas, even if the ideas have merit independent of the way you present them.

Sadly, a lot of people are too stupid to separate the message from the messenger; they will say they hate the animal-welfare movement, even if they are not cruel people and don’t wish any harm on animals, when what they mean is that they hate extremist proponents of it. The only thing PETA is effectively promoting is a negative stereotype of people who ‘like animals’, to the point where people get edgy and defensive when they discover a vegetarian in their midst. (It’s a bit like the ‘man-hating’ stereotype of feminists.)

My personal stance is that many of the animals that we use (for food, entertainment, research, etc.) are treated with unnecessary cruelty. I have taken steps to reduce the amount of cruelty that my own lifestyle causes. And I don’t give money to PETA or support any of their campaigns. I don’t believe that scaring, insulting, bullying, or misinforming people will improve the treatment of animals on farms and in labs. Judging by people’s reactions to these tactics, I think it’s actually doing more harm than good, and we’d move faster towards humane use and treatment of animals if we didn’t have PETA getting in the way.

I’m going to be the odd man out here. I don’t find anything morally offensive about that website, and in fact, I was moved, and found the comparison just. But I’ve done a lot of reading on vegetarianism, animal testing, factory farming and whatnot, so perhaps I see more in the comparison than someone who hasn’t read up on it.

Now, I have had my differences with Peta and I don’t always agree with what they do (and therefore do not financially support them) but I do strongly believe in animal rights.

Daniel, would you kindly respond to the points I raised in this post regarding good publicity and bad? I would be very interested in seeing someone from the opposite side of the argument parse my views.

Answer in this thread or the other, at your option. I think you’ll find they’re rather similar.