For Immediate Release
The Center for Consumer Freedom
February 10, 2009
PETA’s New Dupont Circle Neighbors Get Practical Advice About Handling Animal Rights Crazies
Letters Warn of Potential for Harassment, Violence, Mass Pet Killings
Washington — Yesterday, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) sent letters to 300 of PETA’s future neighbors near the 1536 Sixteenth Street, NW address purchased by the animal rights group last week. The letters advised commercial tenants in PETA’s future neighborhood that while working near a radical animal rights group is likely to be an unnerving experience, following some simple advice can lessen anxiety for everyone.
CCF Director of Research David Martosko said: “PETA is known for bitterly complaining about things that most people find completely normal—like chicken burritos, steaks, sushi, leather shoes, mousetraps, the National Zoo, seeing-eye dogs, and even the breast-cancer research ‘Race for the Cure.’ These are all big PETA no-nos.”
CCF’s letter included this advice: “Given what it stands for, it’s not surprising that PETA represents a vanishingly tiny fringe of American society. Still, it’s not unusual for ordinary people to be unsure about how to act around the group’s employees. Please be assured that most of them are harmless unless provoked.”
The letter noted PETA’s well-documented history of killing more than 90 percent of adoptable pets released into its care, and also included a copy of CCF’s informational handout titled “7 Things You Didn’t Know About PETA” (available at http://tinyurl.com/PETA7things).
Our letter to 300 of PETA’s new neighbors is below, and includes five specific pieces of practical advice. To arrange an interview, or for more information about PETA’s likely future impact on Washington, contact Sarah Kapenstein at 202-463-7112.
February 9, 2009
To Whom it May Concern:
You may not know this yet, but you’re about to get a new neighbor in the Dupont Circle area. Last week the building at 1536 Sixteenth Street, NW was sold to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In a city with as much controversy as Washington, it’s hard to imagine that any new resident could raise the bar. But trust me: This group is different.
PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk describes her group’s goal as “total animal liberation”—the complete abolition of meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, zoos, aquariums, circuses, wool, leather, fur, silk, hunting, fishing, and even pet ownership.
In a 2003 profile of Newkirk, The New Yorker pointed out that Newkirk has had at least one seeing-eye dog taken away from its blind owner. PETA also opposes all medical research that requires the use of animals, including research aimed at curing AIDS and cancer. PETA’s president is on the record saying: “Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.”
Given what it stands for, it’s not surprising that PETA represents a vanishingly tiny fringe of American society. Still, it’s not unusual for ordinary people to be unsure about how to act around the group’s employees. Please be assured that most of them are harmless unless provoked.
Still, I’d like to offer you the following suggestions:
1. If you or your building managers use lethal traps to control rats or mice in outdoor areas, make sure you have video surveillance installed near those locations to ensure that the traps are not tampered with.
2. If your employees wear leather shoes or gloves, or if they wear fur outerwear during cold weather, you may want to prepare them for a regular pestering on the streets from PETA employees demanding to know if it’s “real” or “fake.” It’s always smarter to tell activists that you’re wearing vinyl or faux fur (whether or not you really are), rather than arguing about the issue. Better safe than sorry.
3. If you or anyone in your office has a pet dog or cat on the premises, please make sure it is kept indoors and far away from the new PETA offices. Since PETA does not believe in pet ownership, the group operates an aggressive program of killing domesticated animals instead of searching for adoptive homes. Do not, under any circumstances, take a pet to PETA for veterinary care or advice. Government records show that in 2007 alone, the group killed 1,815 pets while finding homes for only 18.
4. If your business or organization is concerned in any way with the use of animals (or even the endorsement of the use of animals), you may want to meet with your insurance underwriters to ensure that your property is adequately protected against the threat of fire, vandalism, and theft.
5. If you participate in annual fundraising drives for the March of Dimes, the Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure,” the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” or other such causes, do not approach anyone at PETA for sponsorship. Animal rights activists oppose these charities, and literally hundreds of others like them, because they fund science which (like most critical medical research) uses lab animals.
If you’re interested in learning more about your new neighbor, please feel free to write me personally. I’m enclosing an information sheet titled “7 Things You Didn’t Know About PETA.” If you want additional copies, it can be downloaded for free at http://tinyurl.com/PETA7things.
With Every Good Wish,
Director of Research