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Why We Left PETA

Alex Pacheco, Co-founder (1980), speaking on Animal Rights Zone:

I’m often asked “Why did you part from PETA, was it a fundamental issue and/or do you feel the actions by PETA are justified?” The short answer is: I left PETA because it had and has drifted far from its base, and because of disagreements over tactics. The longer answer is: The record will show that while I was there, my core focus was on developing high impact exposés which were very inclusive, and were typically made up of a combination of at least: undercover investigations, criminal and civil litigation, legislation and of course public education.

Kim Stallwood, Executive Director (1987-1992), from my forthcoming book, Animal Dharma:

At this time I was PETA’s executive director and proud of our accomplishments; however, I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the organisation’s leadership and the direction in which some of the publicity stunts were going. Of course, our mission was to educate people about animal exploitation but was it necessary to do so at the expense of someone else? This led me to making what I believed to be the only honourable decision I could make. I resigned in 1992 and left PETA without any other employment to go to. I enthusiastically supported what I always understood to be PETA’s effective two-part strategy of presenting, first, the problem of animal cruelty with innovative undercover investigations and, second, offering the solution by inspiring people to adopt a compassionate vegan lifestyle. The focus of this brilliant but deceptively simple approach of simultaneously and credibly presenting the problem with the solution appears to have changed. PETA’s increasing emphasis on celebrities and strident publicity stunts overwhelming its brilliant undercover investigations and unnecessarily polarising sections of the population, including women, racial minorities and obese people, from its deliberately provocative publicity stunts that trivialise them.

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  1. April 11th, 2011 at 20:30 | #1

    Thank you so much for posting theses comments. I couldn’t agree more!

  2. Larry
    April 12th, 2011 at 04:39 | #2

    Check out this funny video PETA made: http://meat.org

  3. Haley
    April 12th, 2011 at 11:43 | #3

    Well done! Thank you for working so hard to bring such important topics to light AND not losing your own morals in the process.

    Always stand up for what is right, for all beings! <3

  4. Ed
    April 14th, 2011 at 03:39 | #4

    Not only isn’t the solution (veganism) to the problem presented (use), but welfarism (treatment) has become the alternative. Bet those donations are higher than ever.

  5. May 2nd, 2011 at 09:24 | #5

    All: Many thanks for your comments. PETA has accomplished a great deal but I also think its impact could be much more. Kim

  6. Duqqie
    February 15th, 2013 at 11:42 | #6

    How could you have been both Executive Director and “uncomfortable with the organisation’s leadership” at once? Isn’t the role of Executive Director to be the leadership and set an example and direction for the organisation? It sounds like a missed opportunity.

    • February 25th, 2013 at 16:15 | #7

      D: Many thanks for your message. I’m not sure what you mean in your comment when you say the Executive Director is the organisation’s leadership. Generally, that’s not true because the board of directors also is part of an organisation’s leadership. Which is certainly true with respect to PETA and its two co-founders. Not sure also what you are referring to with respect to a ‘missed opportunity.’ For whom? Kim

  7. glass onion
    January 28th, 2014 at 20:14 | #8

    sour grapes much?

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