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PETA is Turning the Tables on What’s ‘Normal’

Issue 3|Summer 2023

King Charles banned foie gras and chose a vegan anointing oil for his coronation. The supermarket “dairy” aisle offers plant milks and cheeses, and there is vegan everything, from shrimp to shoes. We have organs-on-chips for medical research and TraumaMan human simulators to replace animals in surgical training.

Progress doesn’t just magically happen. For over 40 years, PETA has tackled the speciesist idea that other animals are there for the taking, existing not for their own sake but for human pleasure and profit. We are challenging society to stop the normalization of the unthinkable: caging and killing “others” because we fancy their flesh or want to use them as living test tubes.

Stopping Unethical Experiments

As shocking as it seems now, orphans were once used in tuberculin experiments and impoverished Black men in secret syphilis experiments. PETA is pushing people to see that all experiments on nonconsenting sentient beings should be off limits.

We’ve gone from hanging a banner on the Eiffel Tower to protest corporate cruelty to persuading Bayer and Pfizer to ban forced swim tests on animals. PETA scientists developed the revolutionary Research Modernization Deal and have presented it to governments around the world. After PETA’s undercover investigation started the dominoes falling on the hideous Envigo beagle-breeding factory, Prince Harry and Meghan adopted one of the 4,000 rescued beagles instead of buying a pricey “purebred.”

Artistry Over Abuse

PETA entities are also hammering away at the archaic use of animals as props and playthings. With help from people like Alec Baldwin and Alan Cumming, PETA has rescued dozens of bears, lions, tigers, chimpanzees, and other animals from decrepit roadside zoos, and we’ve dismantled the entire big-cat cub-petting industry. Broadway show Life of Pi won our first-ever Pony Award for creating a spectacular, lifelike Bengal tiger puppet, and CGI animals are getting star turns in blockbuster movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.


Buying a calfskin or snakeskin bag or shoes is as bizarre as buying a purse made of a dog’s skin – and PETA entities are helping people make that connection. After hearing from PETA UK, Helsinki Fashion Week banned leather. Stockholm Fashion Week banned fur and exotic skins. Pillow-Fight nabbed PETA’s Compassionate Business Award for its feather- and down-free bedding. Leading UK sofa maker DFS sells a “PETA-Approved Vegan” collection.

Vegan Yum, Everywhere

Vegan food is mainstream, and PETA paved the way with provocative protests, celebrity ads, and behind the-scenes work to persuade businesses that they’re missing the boat if they fail to offer vegan options.

Today, you can find vegan Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, vegan Reese’s peanut butter cups, vegan versions of Philadelphia cream cheese and The Laughing Cow wedges, and vegan “Easter lamb” from Aldi. Harrods sells vegan pastries, IKEA offers vegan meatballs and mousse, and UK restaurant VGN Boulevard concocted a 3D-printed vegan steak so convincing that some vegan customers won’t eat it!

Be Part of It!

If you’re waiting for a sign that you should go totally vegan, this is it! Order a free vegan starter kit to use and share.

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