PETA responds!

Posted: Aug 05, 2004 12:00 AM

Heather Moore, a staff writer from PETA submitted the following letter in response to Mike Adams' column last week.

Dear Editor:

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) would like equal space to address the absurd comments in Mike S. Adams? article, ?PETA Principles.? Please consider the following submission:

I would be happy to answer the questions Mike Adams posed-or should I say his buddy ?John? posed-about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the article, ?PETA Principles.?

1) PETA?s mission is to end animal suffering. Unlike animals, plants are devoid of a central nervous systems and nerve endings, so there is no reason to believe they feel pain. However, if ?John? is so concerned, he should go vegetarian to help reduce plant killings. After all, by eating vegetables instead of animals, such as cows who must consume 16 pounds of vegetation in order to convert them into one pound of flesh, he would actually be saving many more plants? lives.

2) Mice can feel pain, but there is no evidence that alfalfa sprouts can. However, if ?John? believes everything deserves equal treatment, how does he justify petting a dog and eating a chicken? Animals deserve equal consideration of what is in their own best interests regardless of whether they are cute, useful to humans, or an endangered species.

3) This silly little plant debate seems to be a flimsy excuse for ?John? not to go vegetarian. There is no question that animals suffer terribly on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. They are confined in filthy cages, warehouses, and sheds. Most never see the sun, breathe fresh air, or feel grass under their feet. They are torn from their loving mothers and are de-beaked, branded, dehorned, and/or castrated without pain relief. During slaughter, they are often dismembered while they?re still fully conscious.

4) Lions could not survive if they didn?t kill antelopes for food. That is not the case for us. Many other animals are vegetarians, including some of our closest primate relatives.

5) PETA defends all animals whether they are ?cute? or not. After all, ?John? may not be all that handsome, but that doesn?t mean he should be tortured and killed for food or experimented on.

6) ?John? should brush up on human anatomy. Human bodies are better suited for a vegetarian diet than a meat-based one. Carnivorous animals have claws, a short digestive tract, and long, curved fangs. In contrast, humans have flat, flexible nails, a long digestive tract, flat molars, and two tiny canine teeth that are better suited for biting into fruits than tearing through tough hides.

7) PETA supports anyone?s actions that help animals, even if they are not vegan. A person who works to help animals in laboratories, but not on factory farms is still helping to end more suffering than someone who doesn?t help animals in laboratories or on factory farms.

8) We may not know as much about a mollusk?s ability to feel pain compared to a fish?s, but here at PETA we prefer to err on the side of compassion and urge people to avoid eating sea animals of any kind. Those who crave the taste of shrimp, scallops, and other seafood?s can be order vegetarian versions from May Wah at

9) As I mentioned above, there is no evidence that plants feel pain. Fish, however, have the capacity to experience fear and pain, have sensitive nerve endings in their lips and mouths, and begin to slowly die of suffocation the moment they are pulled out of water.

10) 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 fur trade, and in the entertainment industry. Just as the American Heart Association does not have a campaign to stop AIDS, and Amnesty International does not work to stop smoking, we have no plans to actively campaign against logging.

I?m afraid the rest of ?John?s? questions are just too absurd to warrant an answer, however he is welcome to visit for more information on PETA?s work.

Heather Moore
Staff Writer
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
501 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510