PETA Petitions Defense Department to Stop Cobra Gold Bloodlust

If Girl Scouts Could Survive in the Jungle Without Drinking Snakes’ Blood, Eating Live Lizards, What’s Wrong With U.S. Marines?

For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2021

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


PETA has filed a rulemaking petition to stop the frat-like party masquerading as training in Thailand known as Cobra Gold. The U.S. Marines’ exercises pose a zoonotic disease threat akin to COVID-19, violate the Department of Defense’s policy to use available non-animal methods, and endanger the king cobra, who is vulnerable to extinction.

The next Cobra Gold training—which is marketed as a food procurement drill but which officials have admitted is intended to build camaraderie among troops—has reportedly been delayed until August because of COVID-19 concerns, so the petition also urges new Secretary of Defense Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III to prioritize ending Cobra Gold.

During Cobra Gold 2020, U.S. Marines and instructors were recorded killing chickens with their bare hands, skinning and eating live geckos, consuming live scorpions and tarantulas, decapitating cobras and drinking their blood, and otherwise reveling in the ritualistic killing and consumption of animals.

“A Girl Scout could figure out how to survive in a jungle without killing animals for practice, and so, too, should our military’s best and brightest,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on the Pentagon to do away with the bloodlust killing of animals during Cobra Gold, which sullies the honor of the Marines, risks public health, and endangers species that are vulnerable to extinction.”

PETA further notes that precedent for ending the use of animals in military training exists. In 2011, the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center suspended its use of live animals in its survival training courses following discussions with PETA. And nearly three decades ago, the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground canceled a survival skills training course using animals after PETA asked then–Defense Secretary Les Aspin to intervene.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s petition for rulemaking is available here. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or click here.

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