Here’s the deal…I’ve had a personal problem with PETA for a long time. They have covered my car in bumper stickers, tried to lock me and my co-workers into our lab by sealing up a door, let the air out of my tires, protested in front of my labs, yelled and harassed me as I go to work. And that doesnt even scratch the surface of some of the more radical things they do for publicity stunts. And after walking past a certain store everyday on the way to current job, I finally decided to write a letter. I’d really just like to know why this particular company is selling PETA merchandise. I mean the tshirt in the window is next to a Bart Simpson tshirt. I left the name of the very large music/dvd retailer/communications company out. I’m paranoid. So I pit this corporate giant for supporting who I believe to be complete maniacs. YMMV.
To Whom It May Concern:
Each morning on my way to work, I pass by the San Francisco XXXXX store at the corner of XXXX and XXXX streets. Occasionally I peruse the window displays of music, DVDs, and t-shirts. Today, however, I was startled to see a mannequin prominently displayed wearing a t-shirt advertising the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). I think it is fantastic that a company as well endowed as XXXX is aiding non-profit organizations. However, I feel that sponsoring this particular organization especially in a retail store that caters largely to adolescents and teenagers, is manipulative, irresponsible and pretentious.
The XXX store is typically packed with children, teenagers, and young adults, many of whom are just beginning to form their own opinions and values in preparation for become politically aware adults. I feel that pushing the agenda of a radical organization such as PETA on the impressionable is a dangerous statement to make. While most of your target demographic will know PETA as vocal opponents of fur in fashion, corruption in the slaughter industry, and domestic animal abuse and neglect, they may not know that PETA just as staunchly opposes no-kill animal shelters and animal testing in medical research. Additionally, PETA has repeatedly and unapologetically aided the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) who encourages and carries out acts of violence and destruction on medical buildings and farming equipment.
I am frustrated as both a research biologist and a dog owner. I, like many others, adopted my dog at a humane no-kill animal shelter. Perhaps your customers do not know that PETA co-founder and President Ingrid Newkirk has personally confessed to euthanizing thousands of animals, many of them young and adoptable.
What is most troubling, however, is XXXX’s apparent support of an organization that strives to impede all medical research that uses laboratory animals. Before purchasing a t-shirt, would a customer be aware that some of the most important medical breakthroughs were possible only because of animal models. Without animal testing we wouldn’t have penicillin, injectable insulin, organ transplant techniques, the electrocardiogram, pacemakers, vaccines and treatment for polio, diphtheria, typhus, small pox, chicken pox, tetanus, yellow fever, bubonic plague, rubella, measles, mumps, typhoid, cholera, meningitis, pertussis and hepatitis A. That is only a small fraction of the benefits. If anyone in my family were to get sick, I would feel better knowing that my money had not gone to an organization that wants to stand in the way of the advancement of medicine.
I must congratulate XXXXX XXXX, the charitable arm of your organization on all the fine work you continue to do in diverse areas. I must point out however, that your fantastic support of the Bhubezi Community Health Centre in South Africa is completely contradictory to selling the t-shirts of an organization whose leader has been quoted saying “If animal testing could find a cure for AIDS, I’d still be against it”.
Supporting PETA’s agenda now is especially dangerous as the public is constantly exposed to the Michael Vick dog-fighting media scandal. It is manipulative for PETA to gain financial support because of this tragedy as it overshadows some of their more controversial beliefs. A XXXX customer that purchases a PETA t-shirt at this store may be outraged by dog-fighting but may not remember how PETA insensitively compared eating meat to “the Holocaust on your plate”, or how they repeatedly have compared their movement to the civil rights movement of African-Americans.
Clearly this a sensitive issue with many facets, and I continue to be grateful to XXXX for all of their charitable works. I only hope that it will rethink aligning itself with such a zealous group after knowing more of the facts. If XXXX wants to continue to support a non-profit organization concerned with the welfare of animals, may I suggest the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
Thank you very much for your attention to this issue. I look forward to a response.