The group's "Holocaust on your Plate" exhibition—eight square-foot 5. Prescott said: "The very same mindset that made the Holocaust possible—that we can do anything we want to those we decide are 'different or inferior'—is what allows us to commit atrocities against animals every single day.
The fact is, all animals feel pain, fear and loneliness. We're asking people to recognize that what Jews and others went through in the Holocaust is what animals go through every day in factory farms. PETA's "It's still going on" campaign features newspaper ads comparing widely publicized murder-cannibalization cases to the deaths of animals in slaughterhouses.
The campaign has attracted significant media attention, controversy and generated angry responses from the victims' family members. Ads were released in describing the deaths of the victims of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer , in describing the deaths of the victims of serial killer Robert William Pickton ,  and in describing the murder of Tim McLean. The group has also been criticized for aiming its message at young people.
When the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani , was diagnosed with prostate cancer in , PETA ran a photograph of him with a white mustache and the words "Got prostate cancer? PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt told the Huffington Post , "We try to use absolutely every outlet to stick up for animals," adding that "We are careful about what we do and wouldn't use nudity or some of our flashier tactics if we didn't know they worked. PETA's work has drawn the ire of some feminists who argue that the organization sacrifices women's rights to press its agenda.
Lindsay Beyerstein criticized PETA saying "They're the ones drawing disturbing analogies between pornography, misogyny and animal cruelty. Other campaigns are less confrontational and more humorous. In , it launched the "Save the Sea Kittens" campaign to change the name of fish to "sea kittens" to give them a positive image, and it regularly asks towns to adopt a new name.
It campaigned in for a new name for Fishkill, New York , and in April offered free veggie burgers to Hamburg, New York , if it would call itself Veggieburg. PETA sometimes issues isolated statements or press releases, commenting on current events.
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The proposed ad drew criticism from relatives of the injured fisherman. If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property, because shooting him in the park would have been illegal, he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged. PETA sends its staff undercover into research laboratories, factory farms, and circuses to document the treatment of animals. Investigators may spend many months as employees of a facility, making copies of documents and wearing hidden cameras.
Some undercover efforts have led to lawsuits or government action against companies and universities. PETA itself faced legal action in April after the owners of a chinchilla ranch in Michigan complained about an undercover inquiry there, but the judge ruled in PETA's favor that undercover investigations can be legitimate. The footage showed researchers laughing at baboons as they inflicted brain damage on them with a hydraulic device intended to simulate whiplash.
Laboratory animal veterinarian Larry Carbone writes that the researchers openly discussed how one baboon was awake before the head injury, despite protocols being in place for anesthesia.
In , two PETA activists posed as employees of Carolina Biological , where they took pictures and video footage inside the company, alleging that cats were being mistreated. In , Bobby Berosini , a Las Vegas entertainer, lost his wildlife license as well as on appeal a later lawsuit against PETA, after the group broadcast an undercover film of him slapping and punching orangutans in After the video footage aired on British television in , a group of activists set up Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty to close HLS down, a campaign that continues. In , a North Carolina grand jury handed down indictments against pig-farm workers on Belcross Farm in Camden County, the first indictments for animal cruelty on a factory farm in the United States, after a three-month PETA investigation produced film of the workers beating the animals.
The New York Times reported the investigation as showing workers stomping on live chickens, throwing dozens against a wall, tearing the head off a chicken to write graffiti, strangling one with a latex glove, and squeezing birds until they exploded. Yum Brands, owner of KFC, called the video appalling and threatened to stop purchasing from Pilgrim's Pride if no changes were made.
Pilgrim's Pride subsequently fired 11 employees and introduced an anti-cruelty pledge for workers to sign. According to The Washington Post , PETA said an employee of the group filmed primates there being choked, hit, and denied medical attention when badly injured. The company said none of the issues were pervasive or endemic and that it had taken corrective action. PETA also goes undercover into circuses. The Washington Post writes that the video shows Frisco shouting, "Make 'em scream!
A company spokesperson dismissed PETA's concerns as "Utopian philosophical ideology" but said the circus would no longer use electric prods. PETA investigated angora rabbit farms in China in As CBS News reported of the resulting video footage, "In the video, the rabbits' high-pitched screams can be heard as farmers rip out their wool until the animal is bald.
The rabbits are then thrown back into their cage and appear to be stunned and in shock. One worker allegedly beat a lamb over the head with a hammer. Workers for five contractors allegedly threw sheep and or slammed their heads and bodies against floors. In , PETA conducted an undercover investigation of the horse-racing industry, filming seven hours of footage that, as The New York Times reported, "showed mistreatment of the horses to be widespread and cavalier. Robert Williams, executive director of the commission, said, "We recognize PETA for playing a role in bringing about changes necessary to make thoroughbred racing safer and fairer for all.
Asmussen remains under investigation by the U. As the Daily Mirror reported, "PETA has obtained footage showing workers grabbing terrified dogs with a metal noose, clubbing them then slitting their throats.
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The video footage is too graphic to be shown here and is very distressing to watch. The resulting video footage "featured images of pigs, some allegedly sick and not given appropriate care, crowded into hot pens and roughly handled by employees," contradicting both the farm's own video self-portrait and Whole Foods' claims about "humane meat" a term that PETA maintains is an oxymoron. Other PETA investigations from around this time focused on crocodile and alligator farms in Texas and Zimbabwe ,  a monkey breeding facility in Florida ,  pigeon racing in Taiwan ,  ostrich slaughterhouses and tanneries in South Africa ,  and a dairy farm in North Carolina , where cows were "wading knee deep through thousands of gallons of their own manure.
The group's video showed "an octopus writhing as its limbs are severed by a chef at T Equals Fish, a Koreatown sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. PETA claims that for "35 years, dogs have suffered in cruel muscular dystrophy experiments Bio Corporation, a company that supplies dead animals for study and dissection, was the subject of a November PETA undercover investigation. It was claimed that video footage showed workers at the company's facility in Alexandria, Minnesota "drowning fully-conscious pigeons, injecting live crayfish with latex and claiming that they sometimes would freeze turtles to death.
Drowning is not considered an acceptable form of euthanasia, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association , and its standards of humane euthanasia must be followed by companies certified by the United States Department of Agriculture such as Bio Corporation. The video evidence "depicts goats being thrown around wood floors, dunked in poisonous cleaning solution or having their ears mutilated with pliers. Various states, including Arkansas , Idaho , Iowa , Kansas , Missouri , Montana , North Carolina , North Dakota , and Utah , have passed so-called " ag-gag " laws in order to prevent PETA and other groups from conducting undercover investigations of operations that use animals.
In response, PETA and a coalition of animal-welfare groups brought a lawsuit, "citing First Amendment protections for free speech," against Idaho that overturned the state's "ag-gag" law in August , setting a precedent that may help overturn these laws in other states. The Courier noted, "The plaintiffs argued the law violated First Amendment protections and equal protection clauses under the Fourteenth Amendment, claiming the industry was working 'to suppress any unflattering coverage of inhumane slaughterhouse practices, unsanitary factory conditions and worker abuses' through legislation, and legislators were attempting to suppress information from reaching the press by prosecuting newsgathering activities.
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PETA actively promotes a vegan lifestyle. The group argues, "From the meat industry's rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet. PETA offers free vegan starter kits,  vegan mentoring,  a large searchable database of companies that sell vegan products,  and a wide range of vegan recipes.
Across America, restaurants from Panera to White Castle have altered their menus, thanks, in part, to pressure by the animal rights group. PETA opposes the no-kill movement ,  attempts to address the animal-overpopulation crisis at its source through spaying and neutering companion animals as well as by opposing breeders and puppy mills, transfers adoptable animals to open-admission shelters, and euthanizes most of the animals who end up at its "shelter of last resort. PETA's operation of an animal shelter has drawn intense scrutiny from lawmakers and criticism from animal rights activists.
In , the Virginia General Assembly passed a measure aimed at curtailing the operation of its shelter. Virginia's Senate Bill , enacted in March , defines an animal shelter as "a facility operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals. PETA has promoted legal initiatives to enforce existing euthanasia laws. In , Georgia's Humane Euthanasia Act became one of the first laws in the nation to mandate intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital as the prescribed method for euthanizing cats and dogs in Georgia animal shelters.
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Prior to that time, gas chambers and other means were commonly employed. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin was tasked with licensing the shelters and enforcing the new law, through the department's Animal Protection Division. However, Commissioner Irvin failed to abide by the terms of the law,   and instead continued to license gas chambers. When the department continued to license a gas chamber in Cobb County , a second court action was brought, which resulted in the department being held in contempt. Two PETA employees were acquitted in of cruelty to animals after at least 80 euthanized animals were left in dumpsters in a shopping center in Ahoskie, North Carolina , over the course of a month in ; the two employees were seen leaving behind 18 dead animals, and 13 more were found inside their van.
The animals had been euthanized after being removed from shelters in Northampton and Bertie counties.