People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is the biggest and most well-known of the animal-rights groups…and they're the ones who pour gobs of money into their publicity stunts. You've probably seen them being promoted by Playboy girls who get naked in public and brandish signs saying "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur." These public relations have been remarkably successful…and considering the amount of money that goes into them, it's no surprise they're a success.
In fact, that's one of the major criticism of PETA that their opponents put forth. PETA is the "politically correct" tip of the animal-rights iceberg…but with a little digging, it's easy to find a festering underbelly that makes PETA look a lot less like the innocent group it pretends to be. PETA's politics reveal themselves (and make them look ridiculous) when they compare the slaughter of animals to the Holocaust – which they do in their campaign "Holocaust On Your Plate."
When PETA isn't getting in the faces of big food-vending corporations such as KFC, they're constantly finding new ways to get into the news and stay in the public spotlight. They love making ridiculous press releases at the rate of about one per month, usually filled with outrageous pro-vegan statements that make them look like laughing-stocks. But, as J.R. "Bob" Dobbs said, "There's no such thing as no publicity," and they know that even bad publicity can work in their favor.
And despite their love of publicity stunts, PETA is well-known for not being able to take a joke. These days, PETA is really up in arms over the Web site PETA Kills Animals – a look at PETA's tactics of gathering up stray animals and killing them in a "humane" manner.
In 1995, Michael Doughney registered the peta.org domain name and created a Web site called "People Eating Tasty Animals". The site described itself as "a resource for those who enjoy eating meat, wearing fur and leather, hunting and the fruits of scientific research". PETA sued Doughney, alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution and cybersquatting. The case was initially heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and both parties cross-appealed. The circuit court affirmed the district's court ruling, which had granted summary judgment to PETA. However, the court denied PETA's cross-appeal for attorney's fees and costs, because it held that Doughney's action was not malicious. "People Eating Tasty Animals" has since been used as a catchphrase meant to tick off PETA; and while the Web site is gone, a new Facebook page for People Eating Tasty Animals has recently appeared.
Also, don't forget to look at PETA Kids – because it's never to early to scare young children into thinking all animals are cute, innocent, cuddly creatures who don't deserve to be cruelly murdered and ground into hamburger! The Web site includes pointers on how kids can become vegans (thus stunting their growth) and rebel against dissecting animals in science class.
While we're at it…go to PETA's Web site, type in a non-existent URL, and read their 404-not-found page. Apparently this is real and not a joke. For instance: www.peta.org/sfhilgt9pi