- Why do companies continue to test on animals?
Companies test on animals in order to provide data that they can use to defend themselves when they are sued by injured consumers. Companies use the fact that the products have been tested – rather than the actual test results – to support the claim that they are conscientious.
The unreliability of animal tests allows companies to put virtually any product on the market. If cosmetics or household products blind or poison animals during tests, they are often marketed anyway.
In most cases, companies settle out of court, preferring to pay off the injured consumer, rather than bringing the unreliability of their testing practices to light. In some cases, courts have ruled in favour of the injured consumers. In the end, testing on animals protects no one.
- Is it OK to eat eggs from the chickens in my backyard?
PETA does not support using animals for any reason, and this is why we actively promote a vegan lifestyle. However, if your chickens are well cared for with access to a veterinary surgeon (which you will need) and have not come from hatcheries, then we couldn’t oppose the use of their eggs.
We are strongly against hatcheries, as they selectively breed chicks so that they have desirable characteristics. It is well known that this inbreeding often leads to defects in newborn chicks that can cause them to suffer. Furthermore, the chicks who do not meet their standards of perfection or who happen to be born male are deemed useless and barbarically disposed of by being ground up while still alive.
In all cases, we would advise that you not consume animal-derived foods, as there are plenty of healthy vegan alternatives out there that can prevent the exploitation of chickens and other animals.
- What is PETA's stance on euthanasia?
The overpopulation of cats and dogs is a huge issue, and it’s clear that there can never be enough homes for all these animals. Shelters are stuck with the heartrending job of dealing with animals nobody wants. People who refuse to desex their animals, who abandon animals when they grow tired of them, and who patronise pet shops instead of adopting stray animals or those at a shelter make euthanasia a tragic necessity.
We urge people wishing to add a companion animal to their life to adopt from a shelter and to be sure to desex and microchip cats and dogs.
- What's wrong with eating honey?
Unfortunately, like factory farmers, many beekeepers take inhumane steps to ensure personal safety and reach production quotas. It’s not unusual for larger honey producers to cut off the queen bee’s wings so that she can’t leave the colony or to artificially inseminate her on a bee-sized version of the factory-farm “rape rack”. Large commercial operations may also take all the honey instead of leaving the 27 kilos or so that bees need to get through the winter. They replace the rich honey with a cheap sugar substitute that is not as fortifying.
In colder areas, if the keepers consider it too costly to keep the bees alive through the winter, they destroy the hives using cyanide gas. Also, bees are often killed or their wings and legs are torn off by haphazard handling.
Happily, many sweeteners are made without killing bees: rice syrup, molasses, sorghum, barley malt, maple syrup, agave, organic cane sugar, and dried fruit or fruit concentrates can replace honey in recipes.
- What's wrong with wool?
As with other industries in which animals are raised for a profit, the interests of the animals used in the wool industry are rarely considered. Flocks usually consist of thousands of sheep, and individual attention to their needs is virtually impossible. Many people believe that shearing sheep helps animals who might otherwise be burdened with too much wool, but without human interference, sheep grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes.
To learn more about the cruelty of the wool industry, click here.
- Why does PETA work with celebrities who may not practise all the things that PETA advocates?
We choose to work with celebrities on issues that they feel comfortable supporting, whether it’s speaking out against fur or in support of spaying and neutering companion animals. These celebrities may not be vegan, but their contribution to our campaigns is important because people listen to what celebrities have to say. When high-profile celebrities get involved in one of our campaigns, their fans, reporters and the public have the chance to learn about important animal issues.
By taking a stand against even one form of animal abuse or exploitation – and by helping us educate the public about these issues – our celebrity supporters are making a big difference. By helping us publicise the truth about animal suffering, they are helping to save the lives of countless animals. To deny people the chance to speak out for something they believe in, simply because they may not be “all the way there” on all animal rights issues, would be unfair to them and to animals.
- What is PETA's stance on palm oil?
Orangutans and other animals are negatively affected by the spread of palm oil plantations, and for this reason, some people choose to avoid products containing palm oil. PETA supports the move towards truly sustainable palm oil operations that (among other things) use land that is already cleared, invest in increasing crop yield and refrain from clearing land for new plantations.
Although some groups call for a boycott of palm oil products or companies that use palm oil, many environmental and animal-protection groups – including ones that focus on the well-being of primates displaced by palm oil plantations – agree that such a boycott would result in two major problems:
- It would drive the price of palm oil down to a point where already-high demand is further increased.
- It would promote the development of other tropical oils that are less efficiently grown than palm oil and would contribute to more deforestation and habitat loss.
To those who can avoid all tropical oils, we say, “Go for it”. Purchasing locally obtained, tropical oil–free foods and household products is a great way to ensure ethical sustainability. We also encourage consumers to contact companies that have been dragging their feet on this important issue. Urge them to commit to using truly sustainable palm oil and let them know you won’t buy their products until they do so.
For more information on PETA’s policy on palm oil, please contact us.
- What is PETA's stance on halal slaughter?
PETA works to help all animals who are used for their flesh, and we do not particularly differentiate between killing methods in our campaigns promoting meat-free diets – we know there is simply no way to kill animals for food humanely. Euthanasia by painless injection is the only truly humane form of killing, but it cannot be practised on animals used for food because it renders their flesh inedible. As long as any slaughter continues, however, the least cruel methods should be used.
The dietary laws of Islam and Judaism require that animals be “healthy and moving” at the time that their throats are cut. When these laws were passed thousands of years ago, they were intended to minimise pain to animals and were probably more humane than any other alternative. However, with today’s sanitation and high-speed mass-production laws, ritual slaughter has become a mockery of its original intent.
No religion needs to slaughter animals for food. For anyone who’s concerned about animals raised and killed for food, there is only one label that really matters: “vegan”.
- How do I go vegan?
Going vegan is much easier than you may think. And PETA is here to help!
Order a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit here, and take our 30-day vegan pledge here. You can also find out the difference between being vegetarian and vegan and learn how to eat cruelty-free foods, shop for ethical clothing and help animals in other ways here.
Not sure what to eat? Check out some of PETA’s delicious vegan recipes here. And don’t worry about eating out, as most eateries offer vegan options nowadays – including your favourite fast-food chains. Often, ordering food is as simple as asking for the vegetarian option without mayo or cheese.
For more information, check out PETA US’ guide to going vegan here.
- Why does PETA oppose live export?
Every year, millions of Australian sheep are crammed onto multilevel, open-decked ships bound for ports in the Middle East and North Africa. Often, these journeys last for days or even weeks. There is simply no humane way to transport tens of thousands of animals through the searing heat on these cramped, filthy ships.
When they arrive at their destinations, animals are dragged to shore as if they were sacks of coal, and their throats are cut while they are still conscious. Numerous eyewitness investigations have exposed unspeakable cruelty in the live-export industry, and animals face horrific abuse which would be illegal in Australia.
More than 200 million animals have been crammed onto filthy cargo ships over the last 30 years, and more than 2.5 million of them have been trampled to death or have died from dehydration, starvation or disease. There is no excuse for this type of suffering.
- Why does PETA sometimes use nudity in its campaigns?
PETA’s mission is to get the animal rights message out to as many people as possible. Unlike our opposition – which is mostly composed of wealthy industries and corporations – PETA must rely largely on free “advertising” through media coverage. We will do extraordinary things to get the word out about animal abuse because we have learned from experience that the media, sadly, do not consider the terrible facts about animal suffering alone interesting enough to cover.
PETA also believes that women – and men – should be able to use their own bodies as political statements, and we know that provocative, attention-grabbing actions are sometimes necessary to get people talking about issues that they would otherwise prefer not to think about.
The smart, compassionate men and women who pose “naked” for PETA choose to do so because they support the cause and want to take action to help animals. PETA’s “naked” advertisements are intended to underscore an important message, whether it’s to emphasise the health benefits of vegan foods, to reveal the cruelty of fur production or to show the vulnerability of animals in laboratories or circuses.
Read a first-hand account of an activist who has gone “naked” for PETA here.