FAQs Index > Activism_FAQ

In Europe, we see PETA as an advertising agency with a miniscule budget (compared to the meat and dairy industry that they are railing against).

PETA has done more for the product awareness (the product being "animal rights"), with less money, than anyone in history. The lives that have been saved by their "stunts" far outnumber lives they have taken.

PETA may be somewhat utilitarian in this approach. I can only speak giving examples for myself:

If I were to take a purely utilitarian stance (which few folks can stomach), and if I were to call a press conference in Wimbledon Stadium and slaughter a live pig to music, that would, more than likely, make people angry, sick, make people hate me and also talk about pig slaughter -- and perhaps save the lives of hundreds of pigs in the future. Utilitarian philosophy considers this a morally correct choice. If PETA did it, I would not condemn them.

Few of us face any moral dilemmas in a week or month.

Personally, if I could sacrifice my own pet in horribly gruesome public way -- and that would save the lives of 10 other pets by bringing some situation to light -- I'd, well, think about it. Many would criticize me and argue that I was a bad person because I took a life -- and the arguing and the public debate is the WHOLE point. As they say, "cruelty can't stand the spotlight".

Once again, I'll say to those who focus only on the lives taken, and not the lives saved -- you either have an agenda or a personality that likes to argue -- because you're not looking at the entire picture.

People who argue that you can't take a life to save another, or ten others, or a thousand others, are philosophers. Until we reach Utopia, each choice we make, or don't make, is doing exactly that.

The ALF's agenda is different from that of PETAs. The "long-term effect" is less of a concern. In this regard, we are not utilitarian. Example: If we have a personal attachment to an animal being abused in a cosmetics laboratory, we are concerned first and foremost about the life of the animal. We know the public will get most of their information from the news media, and our side of the story may appear only on Biteback. There will be negative press. And three people will be angry and write to us and tell us they are going to have an extra hamburger, or go shoot something fuzzy, just to spite us.

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