Ingrid Newkirk is clearly writing a revisionist history when she claims that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) “does not condone or commit violent acts” (“PETA aren’t terrorists,” Feb. 12). Newkirk and PETA have been projecting a warm and fuzzy public image for many years while quietly sending tax-exempt donations to domestic terrorists. PETA’s own tax return shows that a portion of its $13.8 million in 2001 revenues was funneled to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). ELF has been responsible for more than $43 million in property damage since its U.S. crime spree began; the organization is classified as a domestic terrorist group by the FBI.
PETA has also given financial support in each of the last two years to known animal-rights extremists who operate within the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), ELF’s companion group (and also terrorists, according to the FBI). And this kind of support isn’t new for Ms. Newkirk’s group; in 1995, PETA gave more than $70,000 to Rodney Coronado, an ALF member convicted of the arson of a Michigan State University research lab.
Ingrid Newkirk would also prefer that we forget how PETA served as the de facto spokesgroup for ALF in the late 1980s, often holding press conferences to praise ALF criminals and field media questions only hours after laboratories were destroyed or buildings burned down. PETA’s organizational sympathies were further exposed when one of its senior executives spoke to the 2001 Animal Rights conference, advocating the wholesale destruction of restaurants, banks and other commercial businesses with connections to the meat industry.