The Eight Secrets of How PETA Works
“Racy” and “provocative” are just two words that are frequently used to describe PETA. President and cofounder Ingrid E. Newkirk reveals the method to PETA’s “madness.”
Ingrid E. Newkirk: If you support PETA, I want you to know that we are all bound together by one thing: We are determined to win for animals.
So every time you hear about a victory that PETA has won for animals, you can say to yourself, “I am a part of that great team. Together, we made that happen.”
Protester: How many chickens tortured today? KFC, what do you say?
Ingrid: When people come for job interviews at PETA, I tell them, “You must be able to speak Gaelic.” Because at PETA, we believe anything is possible if you try hard enough, and in Gaelic, there is no word for “no.”
I’m sure you know that people often ask, “What are those PETA people thinking?” In these few minutes, I would like to give you an insider’s view of exactly what PETA people are thinking.
The Eight Secrets of How PETA Works!
First, T.S. Eliot. Writing about Prince Hamlet, he said what is important is “[t]o swell a progress, start a scene or two.” And our first secret at PETA is that we set out every single day to start a scene or two.
Our job is to keep the plight of animals—and the alternatives to their use and abuse—firmly in the public mind. These days if your issue isn’t on TV, it doesn’t exist.
Lisa Lange: We heard about Barbaro and we saw his injuries and we heard about his tragic story because he was a winner. But anywhere from 700 to 1,000 racing horses are euthanized every year due to these kinds of injuries.
Ingrid: And in this highly competitive day and age, we must be very creative or animal issues will be drowned out.
Public service announcement:
Father: Honey, we need to talk.
Mother: About sex.
Father: Yeah, we think you should be having it, sweetie.
Mother: A lot of it.
Father: Get out there and nail everything you can.
Mother: If it’s got a pulse, you should be wrapped around it.
Daughter: What if I get pregnant?
Father: So what?
Dan Shannon: The whole point of the ad is to point out the absurdity of this sort of attitude toward sex and pregnancy, which applies for humans, and it applies for animals as well.
Father: I’m really glad we had this little talk.
Ingrid: And the media is like your cat. You can talk sensibly to your cat all day long, and he or she will just fall asleep. But if you wiggle your little finger under the door, even though the cat knows it’s just your finger, he can’t resist coming over to take a look.
Cloris Leachman: Hi. This is Frau Blucher, for PETA.
John Salley: Being a vegetarian has done some amazing things for my game, both on and off the court.
President George W. Bush impersonator: Turkeys like to have their feathers stroked.
Ingrid: So there is a method behind what some people think of as the PETA madness.
Stephen Colbert: Please welcome President and Cofounder of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Ingrid Newkirk.
Ingrid: When we saw that a property in Los Angeles on the hill next to the Hollywood sign was up for sale, we offered to rent it if we could put up “Go Veg” next to the Hollywood sign. And the press went nuts.
Emily Deschanel: There is no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist. While I think it is terrific to recycle and drive a hybrid, you can have an even greater impact on the environment by making one simple choice: Don’t eat meat. Fight climate change with diet change. I’m Emily Deschanel, and I’m a vegan.
Ingrid: Now, we know that none of these gimmicks alone will ever change the whole world. But if you try never to miss an opportunity, no matter how big or how small, the combined effect will change the world.
We look to the day when all our work will have paid off, and children will look up at their parents and say, “Was there really a time when people kept animals as slaves?” That is PETA’s goal, and we will reach it.
Our second secret at PETA is that we live by Dale Carnegie’s adage “There are no problems, just projects,” and that’s how we see things, too.
One project we tackle every day is how to get people to think about where those steaks and nuggets come from—and how to get those people to go vegetarian.
Fox News reporter: PETA has a different beef with steakhouses across the country. Today, the animal rights group is offering a million bucks to the first person who can grow meat in a laboratory.
Ingrid: No one could believe that PETA was actually going to pay someone to produce meat.
Ingrid being interviewed: All right. Let’s work with science to allow you to have the taste of flesh without any of the rotten consequences to you, the Earth, the animals.
Ingrid: Just imagine a world in which no chickens ever have their beaks seared off with a hot wire or are ever slammed against the cage bars, where no fishes ever struggle with hooks through their sensitive mouths, and no pigs’ snouts are ever broken with baseball bats as they are loaded onto the truck.
When the lab-meat story broke, we were on every talk show, from Houston to Miami, from London to Singapore, from Science Friday to Good Morning America.
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Anita Krajnc | Toronto Pig Save