Written by Jeff Mackey
Nobel Prize–winning physician, theologian, and vegetarian
Dr. Albert Schweitzer once said, "The man who has become a thinking being
feels a compulsion to give every will-to-live the same reverence for life that
he gives to his own." It was Schweitzer's "reverence for life"
that inspired our pals at PETA
not only to sponsor the attendance of a vegetarian student at this week's Albert Schweitzer's Leadership
for Life International Youth Leadership Conference in Dublin but also to place an ad in
the event's program in Schweitzer's honor.
Albert Schweitzer: © LOC, LC-USZ62-30537 Background: © iStockphoto.com/Hiroyuki Akimoto
Harley, the sponsored student, has been vegetarian ever since
a friend urged her to watch some PETA videos, from which she learned about the
cruelty of factory farms and slaughterhouses. During
her sophomore year, Harley petitioned her high school to introduce more vegan
options to the cafeteria, collecting 320 signatures from a student body of 400
time he was a child, Schweitzer was horrified by the violence he witnessed
against animals and would likely be even more disgusted by today's factory
farms and slaughterhouses. Chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, and fish are packed
into small cages, filthy sheds, or putrid fish farms for their entire lives—at
slaughter, animals often have their throats cut open while they are still conscious or are scalded to death or skinned alive.
might not make you a genius—but it will make the world a better, more
compassionate place, which is rather brilliant, don't you think? And PETA can
help you get started!
Written by PETA
Because we've heard from so many people who want to know more about PETA's position on "Flygate," we've decided to explore the question of "to bee or not to bee" in a bit more depth.
As we all know, human beings often don't think before they act. We don't condemn President Obama for acting on instinct. When the media began contacting us in droves for a statement, we obliged, simply by saying that the president isn't the Buddha and shouldn't be expected to do everything right—if not for that, we would not have brought it up. It's the media who are making a big deal about the fly swat—not PETA. However, we took the opportunity, when asked, to point out that we do offer lots of ways in which to control insects of all kinds without harming them, including the humane bug catcher we sent President Obama. There is even a chapter in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights about how to rid your home of "uninvited guests."
We have lots of other items on our agenda, as you can imagine, and PETA's focus will remain on our core issues—promoting alternatives to eating animals, opposing fur and products made from animal skin, opposing laboratories that torment animals, and fighting the abuse of animals in circus training camps as well as other overt abuses that fall within our mission statement, which states that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
We support compassion for all animals, even the most curious, smallest, and least sympathetic ones. We hope that everyone will take inspiration from Nobel Peace Prize–winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who believed that even insects were deserving of compassion and who would stop to move a worm from hot pavement to cool earth. Aware of the problems and responsibilities that go along with an expanded ethical code, Schweitzer said that we each must "live daily from judgment to judgment, deciding each case as it arises, as wisely and mercifully as we can."
We can't stop all suffering, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop any. Our wish is for all people to act wisely and mercifully toward animals.
Written by Alisa Mullins
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.