People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) supporters sitting down to their Sunday New York Times this weekend would be forgiven for doing a double-take: The old Gray Lady aired some of PETA’s dirty laundry. In a prominent “Week In Review” story, the Times explored PETA’s complaints about FBI surveillance, which were recently publicized by the American Civil Liberties Union. While PETA calls it “harassment and very disturbing,” the Center for Consumer Freedom told the Times that, given PETA’s checkered history, it’s completely justified.
“These are certainly dangerous people,” our Director of Research told the Times. “I’m not saying PETA people are bomb throwers, but they certainly encourage people who do.”
Other commentators are also dismissing PETA’s misleading claim of FBI-instigated victimhood. The Weekly Standard reminds its readers this week that the animal rights movement “includes some violent groups and some apologists for terror,” and singles out “Jerry Vlasak, a California physician and spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front — a group funded by PETA in the past.” Two months ago, Vlasak told a U.S. Senate committee that the murder of medical researchers is a “morally justifiable” animal-rights tactic, insisting that “these are not innocent lives.”
Columnist Cam Edwards makes mincemeat of PETA’s crocodile tears as well. After detailing some of the cash payments PETA has made to violent extremists, Edwards concludes: “I’m not ‘shocked and appalled’ that the FBI is investigating a possible tie between PETA and eco-terrorists. I’d be shocked and appalled if the government wasn’t looking into PETA.”