While I do believe that certain animals should be granted (much) greater legal protections, and while I do support the banning ownership of some kinds of animals as pets (birds, parrots in particular), I *don't* support PETA, and never will.
Not just because some of their positions are hypocritical (decrying fur while wearing patent leather shoes -- not that I'm a fan of fur), or downright ridiculous (no meat, no milk--Hagen Daz lovers of the world: unite & take-over), but because I *do* consider PETA a terrorist organization whose tactics do more harm than good to the cause they champion.
waterpanther: And yes, they're an in-your-face organization. But they are not a terrorist organization by any means. There may be individuals who commit violent acts to draw attention to what they consider abuses, but a) they're not following the organization's official position
And yet the organization both defends and -- crucially -- FUNDS such individuals, and more to the point: groups. Just one of many examples to be found by googling "PETA, ALF, funding:" http://www.cdfe.org/conference.htm
In my opinion, the relationship between PETA and ALF/ELF is not much different from the relationship between Sinn Fein and the IRA, or PLO/Hammas. (In fact, the resemblance is almost certainly NOT coincidental).
As the political arm, PETA must keep its hands clean enough to continue fundraising and to continue advancing its radical ideology through public discourse, while funnelling a considerable part of the monies raised to the militant faction, which does the illegal dirty-work.
and b) there's a long history of such actions in human civil rights and liberation movements
You say potay-toe...
From the Peta.org FAQ:
“Don’t animal rights activists commit ‘terrorist’ acts?”
The animal rights movement is nonviolent. One of the central beliefs shared by most animal rights people is rejection of harm to any animal, human or otherwise. However, any large movement is going to have factions that believe in the use of force.
I wonder what Lech Walesa would say about that? Or Ghandi?
FAQ continued: “How can you justify the millions of dollars’ worth of property damage by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF)?”
Throughout history, some people have felt the need to break the law to fight injustice. The Underground Railroad and the French Resistance are both examples of people breaking the law in order to answer to a higher morality.
“The ALF,” which is simply the name adopted by people acting illegally in behalf of animal rights, breaks inanimate objects such as stereotaxic devices and decapitators in order to save lives. It burns empty buildings in which animals are tortured and killed. ALF "raids" have given us proof of horrific cruelty that would not have been discovered or believed otherwise. They have resulted in officials’ filing of criminal charges against laboratories, citing of experimenters for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and, in some cases, shutting down of abusive labs for good. Often ALF raids have been followed by widespread scientific condemnation of the practices occurring in the targeted labs.
As well as the deaths of the "liberated" animals, who are often kept -- or, worse, abandoned -- in environments for which they are totally unadapted/unprepared.
waterpanther: There was a faction of PETA, many years ago, that did oppose the keeping of companion animals. That's not the offcial position of the organization now.
Is it not part of their "ultimate goals?"
(thanks to JohnnyBOB for posting this from the Penn&Teller b*llsh*t site -- *fantastic* show, btw):
PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group’s overall goal as “total animal liberation.” This means no meat, no milk, no zoos, no circuses, no wool, no leather, no hunting, no fishing, and no pets (not even seeing-eye dogs). PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals.
waterpanther:That said, it's not really useful to label all members of a movement extremists because some are.
Isn't that always the way?
PETA is easier to label "extremist" because it questions beliefs a lot of people simply take for granted, and the first response to that kind of challenge is usually defensiveness.
Perhaps so, but I honestly don't consider myself one of them. Intellectually and emotionally, I agree with quite a few of PETA's goals. And even those with which I vehemently disagree, I feel like I at least understand where they're coming from. But, ultaimtely, I'm with Mary Rose
One thing that extremists never get is that they hurt their own causes. I'm against animal cruelty and I'm a vegetarain but I can't really go to extremes. It doesn't help the animal rights cause overall IMO.
waterpanther: The gay civil rights movement began with an act of violence, the Stonewall Rebellion.
That was self-defense. No comparison there.