People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

A group that is very concerned and active in the field of animal rights. They feel that pretty much any use of animals by humans is unethical, from eating meat, animal experimentation, or wearing fur, all the way to wanting to get rid of people's ability to have pets.

One of those organizations that you want to take aside and tell 'em, "Listen, I love what you're doing, but now is the time to decaffeinate." Here's some free advice...

Wanna convert people to vegetarianism? Promote the health benefits of eating less meat. Don't go to a cowtown like Amarillo and shout insults at folks. They'll go right out and order a steak.

Wanna persuade people not to wear leather or fur? Flinging blood on them will just get 'em to go out and buy another fur coat. And where'd you get that blood anyway?

Want to do something about animal experimentation? Breaking into university labs to set the animals free will just get you a reputation as a criminal. In addition, most of those animals will not survive on their own. And funding for labs targeted by PETA always gets renewed. (Extra hint: Remember what got the cosmetic companies to quit testing on bunny rabbits? Two weeks' worth of Mary Kay cartoons in "Bloom County"...)

And if you write letters to newspaper editors, never, ever, ever stoop to name-calling.

In summation, PETA really needs to invest in a public relations department.
Addendum: With all these stories about how stoopid PETA is, has anyone considered the possibility that the organization is actually funded by the cattle industry...?

SI prefix meaning 10 to the 15th power (1015 or 10^15). Abbreviation is capital P.

I used to work at a large car company. At one point, PeTA decided to target our company with charges that we were a big bad killer of animals in crash tests. The charges questioned why we didn't simply use crash test dummies in accident testing, like our competitors. Peta advocated avoiding us in favor of more enlightened crash test dummy using competitors. The PR guys and the lawyers were called in to investigate. Were the charges true?

No. They were completely bogus. Incredibly, they just made really detailed stuff up out of nowhere. Also, the admonition to avoid our cars was incredibly galling... After all, our company invented the crash test dummy as a way to stop using animals in crash tests. Then, because it knew that both human and animal lives would be saved, it gave this technology away for free to the other automobile manufacturers.

No good deed goes unpunished.

PeTA did not admit it had made a mistake; they did retract their incorrect comments in a cover your ass kind of way because we were going to sue them into oblivion for publishing lies. Of course, the retraction was not spamfaxed to thousands of fax machines and plastered on billboards worldwide.
Another example of militant animal rights activism gone awry was located in my hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin, about 6 years ago.

We have about 6 McDonald's in our town. At the biggest store in the city, PETA rolled up in their white van. They set up shop on the corner by the main entrance, and set up a table. At this table was a large sheet of hospital white butcher paper.

They took out of their van something I will never forget: a skinned cow carcass, blood still oozing from the body. The head was still attached, and the eyes still in. I don't know how they killed this creature, as it had no large puncture wound.

They then took out a large amount of buns, and started serving 'McDonald's Treatment of Cattle Burgers'. too all the little children that would be walking past. (There was a park on the opposite side of the street, and for lunch, the children would get happy meals.)

The PETA guys also smeared the cow's blood on their faces, bodies, and hands. They served the 'burgers' in what they called 'Un-Happy Meals'.

I thought to myself while witnessing these acts. PETA . . . what poons.

Well, I wasn't sure where exactly to put this, but this seems like the best place, as there are several subjects I want to touch on....

First of all, I think PETA has the right ideas at heart. But, I also think that some people need to think a bit harder about what it means to treat animals ethically. Cause, when you think about it, a lot of the policies advocated by PETA and similar groups, if enacted on a large scale would bring more harm to animals than good.

So, I'll start with my ideas on eating domestic farm animals: Cows, pigs, chickens and the like. I understand making a personal moral decision not to eat animals. If that suits you, then that's a good thing. Advocating that everyone become vegan is dangerous though. This is something to consider:

If we stop eating cows, what do we then do with them?

Let's face it. Cows are domestic animals. They've been selectively bred by humans to be big and stupid. They are NOT wild animals. If there is no meat or milk industry, people will stop taking care of the cows. It's too expensive to do out of altruism. And don't think that you could just let 'em go either. It'd be an ecological disaster. Either one of two things would happen. The cows would all die, because they were somehow unfit to survive in the non-domestic world, or they would multiply like rabbits and cause and ecologcial disaster by being too abundant and having no predators (since we killed them all). Either way you're killing more animals than you are saving. The same goes for other farm animals and pets. Pets are domestic animals. They've been bred to be domestic, and our ecosystem is not suited for them. If we let them go, it will be like introducing a new species into the environment. Any third year biology student can tell you: introduced species are almost always very bad. Look at the problems Australia has had.

I've heard people say things to the effect that cows would be better off dead than in the meat industry, so even if they do all die out it would be better, but that's no more providing the animal with 'rights' than raising them for food is. You can't argue that animals should be treated as well as humans, and then suggest euthanasic genocide. Last time I checked nobody had suggested bombing the starving people in Africa to alleviate their suffering. Regardless of how much people suffer, I doubt that a majority of them would prefer to be wiped out. Does it not seem possible that cows might feel the same way? (on whatever level they might be capable of such things).

I do agree that animals which we raise for meat should be treated well, and shouldn't suffer any more than any other animal does in the natural course of its life. I think we should put as much as possible of the animals we kill to use. I think we should have respect for nature. But that doesn't mean not killing things. Life and death are so inextricable as to be one and the same. Each is neccessary for the other. As intellegent creatures, we have the responsibility to ensure that we do not upset the balance between the two.

I try not to eat wild animals. This includes most seafood. That's because these animals aren't domestic, and hunting them impacts on the well being of the organism as a species. Deer and other herbivorous land animals I'm a bit more flexible on, as we've killed all their other predators. Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter of Ethical treatment of animals in regards to food and pets. Scientific experimentation is a bit touchier, and I might discuss it later or somewhere else.

Basically, my point is this: If you want to help animals you need to understand them first. The rights which we value as humans might be meaningless to animals, or even harmful to them. In case no one has noticed, cows aren't people. Neither are dogs or chickens or worms, or even chimpanzees.
Please, if you have a reponse to this, don't just downvote. I'd appreciate a /msg to go along with the downvotes (which are fine with me), as I'm interested in contrary views and arguments. It's the best way to see flaws in my ideas.
Note that 'peta' now officially means 1015 even in the context of data processing. The prefixes kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta, yotta always refer to powers of 10.

To refer to powers of 210 (powers of 1024), use the new binary prefixes kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi, and exbi. So

1 petabyte = 1 PB = 1015 bytes
1 pebibyte = 1 PiB = 10245 bytes

These new prefixes were created in December 1998 by the International Electrotechnical Commission: see the node prefixes for binary multiples for fuller explanation.

It is permissible to use 'petabyte' to mean pebibyte on a temporary basis until industry standards have shifted to the new terms.

The prefix 'peta' was originally adopted by the fifteenth CGPM of the SI in 1975. It comes from an alteration of the Greek for 'five'.

Note the symbol for peta is a normal capital P, not a rho as stated above.

pessimizing compiler = P = PETSCII

peta- /pe't*/ pref

[SI] See quantifiers.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

People Eating Tasty Animals. Unfortunately, the 4th Circuit didn't find it amusing when the Tasty Animal eaters set up shop at peta.org, and recently ordered them to give up the domain name. The site still exists at http://mtd.com/tasty/ .

So much for parody. What's more, the court decided this was a "commercial" use of the domain name because some of Tasty's links went to profit-making institutions. All this courtesy of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and the silly doctrine of "initial interest confusion."

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