PETA or People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is an American animal rights organization that came into motion on 22nd March 1980, in Maryland, USA. It was co-founded by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco and has its headquarters situated in Norfolk, Virginia.
This organisation has a worldwide appeal slogan which goes as: “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entrainment, for abuse in any other way“.
Ingrid Newkirk is an animal welfarist. Till she was 22 she had no idea about animals’ rights. Then in 1970 after moving to Poolesville with her husband, she decided to work as a stockbroker. But due to some personal events, she had to leave the job and take up another one at kennels. There she studied day and night about animal care, animal behaviours and animal cruelty. She went on to become an animal protection officer for Montgomery County and then she was promoted for the district of Columbia. She was D.C’s first female pound master. By 1976, she becomes the head of the animal disease control division of the district of Columbia commission on public health.
The idea of PETA come in the form when she met Alex Pacheco in a D.C shelter where he was been a volunteer. It was considered that Alex put forward the idea of animal’s rights.
Their opening case was the silver springs monkeys. the case was related to psychologist, Edward Taub who working with 17 monkeys. He did gruesome experiments on the monkeys cutting out sensory ganglia that allows the central nervous system to receive sensory information that supplies nerves to their arms and legs. He also tortured them by using physical restraint, electric shock and withholding of foods leading them forcibly use the limbs. This was to see whether the monkeys could be induced to use limbs they could not feel. Tt was one of the animal research controversy that lasted for ten years, which lead to PETA becoming into an international movement.
PETA India is based in Mumbai. India is one of the branch which was founded in 2000 with the same intention: paying attention to the areas where animals suffering more.
Some of the cases in PETA India victories include:
- They banned bullock cart races.
- Delhi police received a complaint from PETA of shops selling Manja harming the birds.
- PETA banned the conduct of Tonga races in Rajasthan for weddings and ceremonies.
- Enforced laws against illegal animal sacrifices.
- Prohibited the event of illegal rekla races.
- It also pioneered ban on the use of all animals in circuses.
Talking about the recent case regarding PETA, it has initiated a chargesheet against India’s largest dairy co-operative society AMUL, requesting for the manufacturing of plant-based milk for their products. When it comes to AMUL, a lot of things are going to be at stake as it benefits a large number of people whose sole income comes from selling milk. At the same time, AMUL violates a lot of PETA regulations as well. Only time will tell as to who wins this battle. But one thing is for sure, that animal rights, especially in India, has come a long way but it still needs to cover more grounds and make a permanent mark here. Aftercall we all have to share Mother Earth with our animal neighbors.