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 businessinsider.com.
Also, according to consumerfreedom.com, 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.