PETA’s unethical reputation remains with ‘Got Autism’ campaign


People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) prides themselves on bringing awareness to the cruelty of animals around the world. They believe they are making the world a better place by bringing attention to animal cruelty and neglect. Most people can agree that this is indeed a respectable cause to fight for, but PETA has been the center of controversy after controversy in regards to their policies and tactics. Recently, probably because of the attention Autism receives nowadays, one of PETA’s campaigns has been ridiculed by various media outlets. PETA’s “Got Autism?” campaign is trying to connect autism with the consumption of dairy products.

This editorial board believes that, with all the evidence of PETA’s wacky and unethical practices that have been exposed over the years, this campaign should not be taken seriously. Most people are fed up with PETA’s antics, evident with the response to this campaign by various media outlets.

For those who do not know, PETA is one of the most controversial nonprofit organizations in the country. They claim to fight for animal rights and welfare, but according to the Huffington Post article “How many pets did PETA kill in 2012?” PETA’s kill rate of animals in their shelters fluctuates between 95 and 97 percent.

For an organization dedicated to preserving animal welfare, that is an astonishingly high kill rate.

When stories of animal slaughter within PETA ranks break, PETA looks hypocritical. Along with statistics like these, PETA has been notorious for unsettling antics, like dressing up as Ku Klux Klan members outside the Westminster Dog Show, according to

Also, according to, PETA spokesmen have argued that “arson, property destruction, burglary, and theft are acceptable crimes when used for the animal cause.” Because of statements like these, some believe PETA fits the characteristics of being a domestic terrorist organization.

Although PETA has had its controversies in the past, they have done some incredible work. They convinced India to stop cosmetic and household product testing on animal subjects, and showcase unethical slaughterhouse brutality to the public.

Although this editorial board considers this organization to be radical, they have some wonderful success stories. This “Got Autism?” campaign may be ridiculous, but it gets people talking about their cause.

Unfortunately, in this case, they are exploiting autistic people to further their own agenda. According to multiple online sources, their research to back up this theory linking milk and autism is based on inconclusive studies that are either outdated or poorly conducted.

Autism is a hot topic of health right now, so it is not surprising the attention this campaign is starting to receive from the press. However, this campaign is spreading false information based on some pseudo-scientific research, and using the autistic population as a medium to further PETA’s agenda.

PETA has led some questionable campaigns in the past, and the “Got Autism?” should join the ranks of those questioned.

It is offensive and misleading. Maybe if PETA did not have such a blemished past, their campaign would be taken more seriously. But they created their own infamy, and they have to deal with the backlash because of it.

3 Responses

  1. Amar

    Many are criticizing this anti-dairy ad posted by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), without researching, this ad compares soaring autism rates to increased cheese consumption. In 2000, the journal Autism (Vol. 3, 85-95) included a study blaming casomorphin in cow’s milk for playing a role in behavioral disorders such as autism and attention deficit disorder. Scientists found high concentrations of casomorphin in the blood and urine of children with ADD and autism.The August, 2013 issue of Medical Hypotheses included a commentary on autism. Researchers reported that the incidence of autism is rising, and place the blame on:”Autism is caused by feeding of infant formula. Majorities of formula in the world are milk-based…”On June 1, 2014, the journal ‘Peptides’ released a Russian study in which autistic children displayed significantly elevated levels of bovine casomorphin. Scientists wrote:”Elevated concentrations of circulating casomorphins (CM), the exogenous opioid peptides from milk casein, may contribute to the pathogenesis of autism in children…we suggest that chronic exposure to elevated levels of bovine CMs may impair early child development, setting the stage for autistic disorders.”Ten pounds of milk are required to produce one pound of hard cheese. The level of casomorphin becomes concentrated as milk is converted to cheese. During the 1970s, 100 pounds of milk were required to produce the ten pounds of cheese consumed by the average American child. Some children were adversely affected and diagnosed with autism. In 2014, 360 pounds of milk will be concentrated into the 36 pounds of cheese consumed by the average child. The number of kids diagnosed with autism has subsequently soared by a factor of ten since 1970.

    • aspiecatholicgirl

      I was breast-fed as a baby and I have autism.

      So far as we know, the rates of autism have not increased: just the rates of diagnosis.

  2. Lisa Clark-kahn



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