P.E.T.A -The Protection of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Special Interest Groups)

Essay by amandachick323High School, 12th gradeA, November 2004

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Saving our Fellow Earthlings (PETA)

An interest group is just about any collection of people trying to influence government policy. Some of the groups are transient while others are permanent. Some groups influence a particular policy while others focus on broad changes. Both the judicial and legislative sectors of our government are influenced by special interest groups everyday. One of the largest special interest groups in todays society is PETA (People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.

Testing at the University of Oregon, Barbara Gorden-Lickey, Ph.D, sewed kittens' eyes shut and forced them to jump from various heights onto a platform surrounded by water so she could study the effects of sight deprivation on the brain. Cruel and inhumane experiments like this one is an excellent reason why people should recognize the importance of animal right activist groups such as PETA (People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Founded in 1980 by Ingrid E. Newkirk and Alex Pacheco, PETA is the largest group in the world with 600,000 plus members. PETA's main goals are to delete animal abuse in factory farms, laboratories, fur trade, and the entertainment industry. To abolish these cruel acts PETA works through education, investigations, research, animal rescues, legislation, social events, and celebrity involvement. The direct action that is taking place in this country is because of the alarming amount of animals (seventy million) in which are experimented on by private institutions, house hold product companies, cosmetic companies, government agencies, education institutions, and scientific centers. PETA's intense thoughts towards stopping animal abuse were stated in one protestor's sign, " Imagine having your body left to science while you're still in it."

The joining members of PETA simply include concerned citizens that believe animals deserve rights, regardless of how they taste or how convenient it is to experiment on them. Like humans, animals are capable of suffering and have an interest in leading their own lives. They are not ours to use for food, clothing, experimentation, or entertainment. I think that PETA has a strong voice in todays society and that regardless if you agree or disagree with their motives it is logical to see that you should never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Instead of criticizing PETA for their extreme acts of resistance to our modern world society we should respect their own opinion and allow them to speak thier mind.

An essential part of any movement for social change is the effort to create new legislation. This is why lobbying in Congress is so important. In a country ran by representative democracy, special interest groups certainly serve a purpose. These groups like PETA give concerned citizens a chance to make a difference. Although many bills are never passed and many special interest groups are never heard from(due to their lack of money and power in our government) it is important that Americans citizens take place in our government and stay active in their beliefs, this is the only way we will ever create change.