In 2020, we celebrated PETA’s 40th year of making historic progress for animals.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we forcefully and conclusively hammered home the fact that raising and killing animals for food is the source of a litany of deadly diseases—including COVID-19, avian flu, swine flu, SARS, MERS, and even Ebola—and that the filthy, severely crowded conditions in which animals used for clothing, experimentation, and entertainment are kept are also likely breeding grounds for the next pandemic. Our incisive exposés of live-animal markets around the world and here at home—and our demand for them to be shut down—resounded in international headlines.
With the help of Mayim Bialik, Kim Basinger, and Joanna Krupa, I talked to over 40 million people about my latest book, Animalkind, in which I describe how gobsmackingly wonderful animals are and how we must therefore treat them as such. To that end, PETA drove a bulldozer into the very foundations of animal experimentation. We published our Research Modernization Deal, spared thousands of animals painful and deadly tests, helped put “Tiger King” Joe Exotic behind bars, won precedent-setting advances in our work to end the big-cat cub-petting industry, became the first group ever to expose the cruelty in the international alpaca trade and send its major buyers fleeing, rendered North Carolina’s “ag-gag” law toothless, imploded the market for products made from coconuts picked by captive monkeys, rescued 37 animals from hideous roadside zoos, got groundbreaking legislation passed banning the chaining of dogs in extreme weather throughout Virginia, and helped end the government’s blackout of Animal Welfare Act inspection reports.
Our stirring, anti-speciesist commercial “Don’t Stand for Injustice” (which received more than 4 million views and was a top trend on Twitter) took home the gold in two categories at the Telly Awards. The riveting documentary Breaking the Chain about PETA’s fieldwork made an indisputable case for the need to strengthen laws governing the treatment of “backyard dogs.” We showed that we can change a lot if we rise to the occasion, which we have done again and again!
We thank all our supporters—especially our Vanguard Society, Augustus Club, and Investigations & Rescue Fund members—for being part of all the victories on the following pages and for helping us challenge the human-supremacist view that we are somehow superior to other animals in a way that can justify disrespecting, abusing, exploiting, and slaughtering them.
With kind regards,
Ingrid E. Newkirk
Board of Directors and Officers
Ingrid E. Newkirk, Secretary
Michael P. Rodman, Chair
Jeanne Roush, Treasurer
Honorary Board of Directors
Kate del Castillo