People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, with more than a million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. Founded in 1980, PETA is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds and other "pests," and the abuse of backyard dogs.
PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.
Fight for Their Rights
Animals deserve rights, regardless of how they taste or how convenient it is to experiment on them. Like humans, animals are capable of suffering and have an interest in leading their own lives. They are not ours to use for food, clothing, experimentation, or entertainment.
As an activist, you can educate people in your community and positively affect their attitudes and lifestyles. Regardless of your level of experience with activism, PETA's International Grassroots Campaign Department can help you make a difference for animals. You just need the desire to generate positive change and to believe that your voice and actions matter. We're here to help you at every step of the way!
Some activists focus on one issue, while others speak out on several different topics. The choice is yours. The important thing is that you do something, not assume that "someone else will take care of it." Step in and speak up!
Animals Used for Clothing
Leather is not a slaughterhouse byproduct. It's a booming industry, a driving force for the cattle industry, and it accounts for two-thirds of the value of the slaughtered cattle. Even the hides of "veal" calves are made into high-priced calfskin. The economic success of slaughterhouses and factory farms is directly linked to the sale of leather goods. Decreasing demand for both animal foods and leather products will result in fewer cows' being factory-farmed.
In the wool industry, just weeks after birth, lambs' ears are punched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated, all without anesthetics. To prevent "flystrike" (a maggot infestation caused by wrinkly skin, which was bred into the sheep so that they would have more wool), Australian ranchers perform a barbarous operation called "mulesing," which involves carving huge strips of flesh off the backs of unanesthetized lambs' legs. To learn more about wool, please visit
Those who wear fur trim and fur coats have the blood of minks, raccoons, foxes, beavers, and other animals on their hands. Animals on fur farms spend their lives in tiny cages only to be killed by anal or genital electrocution, which causes them to have a heart attack. Some are skinned alive. Animals in the wild may languish for days in traps before they die or are killed. To find out more about fur, please visit.
Animals Used for Entertainment
Animals don't want to ride bicycles, stand on their heads, balance on balls, or jump through rings of fire. Sadly, they have no choice. Trainers use abusive tools, like whips and electric prods, and force them to perform.
Not only are elephants, bears, tigers, and other animals abused by trainers, they suffer from extreme loneliness, boredom, and frustration from being locked in tiny cages or chains month after month, city after city.
Have you ever wondered how many animals suffer in labs? It's a good question. Because there are so many animals in laboratories and records are not kept for all animals, estimates of the number of animals tortured and killed annually in U.S. laboratories vary widely but are in the millions.
Many household products and cosmetics companies still pump their products into animals' stomachs, rub them onto their skin, squirt them into their eyes, or force animals to inhale them as aerosol sprays. Charities such as the March of Dimes use donations from private citizens to fund experiments on animals, and the FDA requires all drugs to be tested on animals. However, animals differ from humans significantly, making animal drug tests unreliable and dangerous. New research methods, such as computer models, cell cultures, and human studies are more accurate, less expensive, and much more humane.
Companies that do not test on animals proudly state it on their labels. Send back items that you have from companies that test on animals, and write a letter to the companies explaining why you won't buy their products anymore.