The truth can hurt. Sometimes, it is so embarrassingly hideous that its enemies are moved to vigilante censorship and vandalism. Anything to shield the public from the awful truth. And so it is with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Center for Consumer Freedom’s advertisements, appearing this month on the Washington Metrorail system. Activists who aren’t fans of our message have been taking matters — and the ads themselves — into their own hands.
Our ad highlights PETA’s appalling stance on medical research using lab animals, clearly articulated by PETA president Ingrid Newkirk herself: "Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it." PETA even discourages the public from supporting the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (Race for the Cure), the Shriner’s Hospitals for Crippled Children, and many, many more.
In this morning’s Washington Times, PETA claims we took Newkirk’s words out of context. USA Today and Vogue (where the quote originally appeared) would certainly disagree. As would viewers of a "20/20" interview last year, where Newkirk told ABC News correspondent John Stossel that she would "no more experiment on my neighbor’s child than experiment on an animal." So much for context.
Rather than grapple with PETA’s controversial stance against all animal testing, animal-rights activists are defacing and tearing down our ads. This from a movement that regularly complains about its own right to assembly and free speech being violated. After all, PETA cries foul every time one of its billboards or commercials is rejected by media outlets. The group even sued a school district in Utah that prevented them from propagandizing children. But when PETA’s own words and actions are publicized, well, that’s too much for their supporters to bear.
Despite activists’ best efforts to run from the truth, we’ll continue to shine a bright light on PETA’s warped philosophy.