n the media and popular culture, PETA has contributed directly and indirectly to the enactment of more comprehensive legislations concerned with animal rights. It has also played a central role – directly or indirectly – in the amendment of existing animal rights laws to create better, more holistic legislations that suit the animal rights agenda.
The organization was formed in 1980 and has always been dedicated to protecting animals from abuse and suffering, especially at the hands of humans. PETA’s slogan is based on the notion that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment” (Singer 41). This message features prominently in the organization’s website, merchandise, and marketing material (Del Mar 26). The group trains members of the public and policymakers on animal abuse and advocates humane treatment of animals. Its headquarters are in Norfolk, Virginia, but it has international divisions to further its cause abroad. The organization believes that just like humans, animals have rights, and their best interests should always be considered, irrespective of their value to humans. Animals also experience pain and suffering and thrive when they are left to lead their lives in the way that fits their nature and environments.
All of PETA’s activities are guided by the belief that all human and nonhuman beings have a right to be free from all forms of harm. According to the group’s mission statement, animal cruelty is one of the problems plaguing the world, and that deserves sufficient attention. The organization believes that everybody has a responsibility to prevent and oppose animal abuse at every opportunity (Singer 34). For 35 years, PETA has worked to create a global society in which people contemplate the needs of, according to Henry Beston, “the other nations” (Singer 57). In this regard, the group considers itself to be a protector of the rights of individual animals; this informs its belief that animals