PETA's Vital Work
We believe that animals have an intrinsic worth of their own, quite apart from their utility to humans, and should not be treated as commodities. Therefore, PETA’s motto is “Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”
Not Ours to Experiment on
In 2022, our determination to end the use of animals in laboratories paid off with monumental wins:
- Our investigative and legislative work led to freedom for 4,000 beagles from Envigo’s Virginia breeding facility, which kept dogs and puppies in hellish prisonlike conditions before selling them to laboratories.
- PETA held a historic meeting with the head of Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s Strategic Reforms Unit—following Sharif’s PETA-backed ban on the cruel kidnapping and killing of stray dogs and other animal use for veterinary education in the Islamabad Capital Territory—to discuss a slate of broader animal testing concerns.
- PETA Science Consortium International e.V. intervened in a European Union legal case to spare hundreds of rats and fish painful tests; donated modern equipment to help end a nearly 100-year-old test in which chemicals are applied to live rabbits’ eyes; coauthored a paper on a new approach to assessing whether chemicals cause cancer without forcing rats and mice to endure lifelong experiments; earned three prestigious awards; and gave grants to four early-career scientists.
- In a lawsuit PETA filed for access to public records from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), a judge ruled that OHSU caused “undue delay” and unreasonably withheld videos and photos—including by taking steps to delete videos of deadly experiments. He also found that OHSU police had illegally surveilled our protected First Amendment activity.
- A judge ordered the University of Washington (UW) to pay PETA nearly $540,000 in fees and penalties following our public records lawsuit. This ruling came after a decision finding that UW improperly withheld records detailing financial and leadership crises as well as animal deaths and that its policy of routinely destroying photos and videos made it impossible to comply with public records law.
- We pushed Air France, the last large commercial airline willing to cram crates of terrified monkeys into cargo holds and fly them to their deaths in laboratories, to ban the transport of monkeys. Kenya Airways and EGYPTAIR also stopped flying monkeys after talks with PETA.
- After hearing from PETA, soy sauce maker Kikkoman, a sponsor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Food Research Institute, pledged to tell the institute to stop using its funding for tests on animals.
- In Taiwan, at our behest, leading food and beverage companies including AGV Products, Grape King Bio, Yakult Co. Ltd, Swire Coca-Cola, and Uni-President Enterprises Corporation all banned animal tests on health foods not explicitly required by law. The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration listened to PETA and removed animal testing as an option for companies wanting to make health claims about blood pressure to market their food or beverage products.
- The University of South Australia, Macquarie University, and Amgen ended cruel forced swim tests on animals.
- PETA sparked a public outcry that led the Southwest National Primate Research Center to withdraw its request for $11 million from taxpayers.
- Following a PETA exposé, no animals were killed in Cobra Gold 2022, a U.S.- sponsored, multinational survival training exercise held in Thailand.
We thank James Cromwell, Casey Affleck, Patricia De León, Kate del Castillo, Edie Falco, Davey Havok, Joaquin Phoenix, Bill Maher, Cassandra Peterson, Kim Basinger, Daisy Ridley, and Lily Tomlin for helping to expose cruel experiments on animals.
Not Ours to Eat
PETA exposes what happens to the billions of animals who are abused and killed in the food industry every year and makes vegan eating easy and popular.
In 2022, PETA Foundation lawyers went after the “humane farming” myth in response to false claims of ethical and humane treatment of hens. Class-action lawsuits in Florida and New York federal courts— building on a prior PETA Foundation victory against the same company—are moving forward against Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, owner of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, while a lawsuit filed by PETA Foundation lawyers against Texas-based Vital Farms Inc. is pending, since having won an important legal victory at the motion-to-dismiss stage. Based on our investigative evidence, 12 ex-Plainville Farms workers were charged with 141 counts of cruelty to turkeys at the “humane” company’s supplier farms. PETA also helped expose the truth about Culver Duck Farms, which boasts about being “humane certified” even as a whistleblower reported that live ducks were being tossed into grinders every day.
We released undercover video footage of workers in Florida ripping claws off live stone crabs, tearing apart a live octopus, and slamming a live shark against the side of a boat then apparently carving off chunks of flesh to use as bait. Two men were charged with cruelty to animals. Our investigation into a hatchery operated by a McDonald’s supplier revealed that chicken embryos were crushed, thrown, and stepped on. And our undercover investigation into the largest duck producer in the U.S., Maple Leaf Farms, showed a worker dumping fully conscious day-old ducklings into a macerator and grinding them up.
We drew attention to egregious cruelty to animals in slaughterhouses in numerous states. We described how the animals suffered, including a cow shot in the head six times, more than 1,000 chickens who burned to death in a horrific transport truck fire, and turkeys left to languish for more than 10 hours after a truck crash.
We also called on companies to step forward as leaders in animal welfare. PETA’s exposés of forced monkey labor in Thailand’s coconut industry compelled six major companies, including Walmart, to stop selling Chaokoh brand coconut milk.
We continued to push Starbucks to stop charging customers more for vegan milk and urged McDonald’s to offer its vegan McPlant burgers nationwide. And our presence at festivals and concerts across the country showed attendees how easy it is to ditch meat, eggs, and dairy.
We lit up social media and newsfeeds with pro-vegan ads, eye-catching demonstrations, and other creative actions. Among others, we thank Paul McCartney, Pamela Anderson, Anjelica Huston, Lizzo, Andrea Meza, Anabelle Acosta, Nikki Glaser, John Salley, Edie Falco, Francesca Farago, Angela Means, Stewart Mitchell, Alissa White-Gluz, Patricia Manterola, Tania Niebla, Pinky Cole, James Cromwell, Jermaine Dupri, Mayte García, Liz Gallardo, Kathy Moscoso, and the “ThanksVegan” influencer event for helping us draw massive media attention to the suffering of animals raised and killed for food.
Not Ours to Wear
PETA is pushing society to evolve past using materials derived from animals’ skin, fur, feathers, hair, and fleece. Living, feeling beings should never be reduced to sweaters, collars, or shoes.
In a big win against the fur industry, British Columbia, Canada, is officially closing all of its mink farms. The action followed a push from PETA supporters and growing concerns about the risk that the farms pose in spreading disease.
In 2022, PETA helped two more Massachusetts communities, Brookline and Plymouth, join Wellesley and Weston in banning the retail sale of new fur products. The cities have been added to our growing list of communities across North America and around the world that have banned the sale of fur.
Recognizing that there is nothing beautiful or fashionable about fur, Elle magazine banned fur editorials and advertisements from its 45 global publications. The move follows PETA’s years of protesting fur and urging consumers to choose kinder options.
We’re showing companies the public’s distaste for fur, skins, wool, and other animal-derived materials, and companies are responding:
- Overstock.com removed and banned badger-hair products and also banned cashmere.
- American Express banned exotic skins.
- Luxury brand Moda Operandi banned fur and exotic skins.
- After a vigorous campaign by local animal rights activists and PETA supporters, Québécois outerwear brand RUDSAK will ban fur by the end of 2022.
- Following talks with PETA U.K., the Armani Group confirmed that it has banned the use of angora in future collections. British retailer Farfetch is no longer selling or marketing products made from or containing angora wool. And after a seven-year campaign by PETA entities, including a PETA U.S. stock purchase and pressure from activists around the world, fashion brand Burberry confirmed that it’s banning exotic skins from future collections.
We continued to push Urban Outfitters brands to ditch animal-derived materials. PETA attended annual meetings, plastered the area near Urban Outfitters’ headquarters with posters, and launched our own online “store” called Urban Outraged that pretends to sell “human skin” jackets, boots, skirts, and bags. We also held our inaugural Week of Action Against Urban Outfitters, which included demonstrations by local activists across the country as well as dozens of other actions throughout the year. We won’t stop until all Urban Outfitters brands stop profiting from violence, cruelty, and fear.
We thank Phil America, Alicia Silverstone, William Valdes, Luisa Mell, Joanna Krupa, and the GRAMMY Gift Lounge for helping PETA generate awareness of the cruelty hiding in animal-derived materials.
Not Ours to Use for Entertainment
PETA’s campaigns to end the use of animals in the entertainment industry are scoring important wins:
- The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which was introduced following our exposé of abusive trainer Steve Asmussen, passed. For the first time ever, there is now federal oversight covering medication, drug testing, and racetrack safety.
- After PETA protested, horse jumping will be replaced with a human obstacle course in the modern pentathlon beginning in the 2028 Olympics.
- Following years of pressure from PETA, other PETA entities, and nearly 500,000 supporters, Millennium Hotels and Resorts dropped its support of the deadly Iditarod dog-sled race. PETA wrote to global software company Nutanix, and it also agreed to drop its sponsorship.
- Expedia dumped SeaWorld after more than five years of pressure from PETA and stopped selling tickets to abusive swim-with-dolphin attractions.
- After hearing from us, CVS banned cards featuring great apes wearing costumes, displayed in studios, or interacting with humans from its nearly 10,000 stores.
- Nearly five years after our triumph over Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the shuttered show is planning to return to the big top—but without elephants or other animals. Charlotte, North Carolina, banned the use of wild animals in circus acts, and Camp Abbot Trading Co., a hardware store in Oregon, banned holiday reindeer displays and all events with live animals.
- PETA quashed a bid by SeaQuest’s CEO to turn a vacant Kmart in Grand Forks, North Dakota, into an aquarium and petting zoo, and illusionist Jay Owenhouse withdrew an application for permission to cage tigers off the Las Vegas Strip.
- PETA’s successful Endangered Species Act (ESA) lawsuit against notorious animal exhibitor and Tiger King villain Jeff Lowe scored another victory when Lowe was found to have violated the ESA and was ordered to pay more than $180,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs to PETA.
- We rescued Tonka the chimpanzee after he went missing and his owner, Tonia Haddix, claimed he was dead. After months of searching, our legal team discovered him in a cramped cage in Haddix’s basement, where he could take only a few steps in any direction and was not allowed to go outside. Tonka is now living at a beautiful accredited great ape sanctuary in Florida.
- Eight animals—including birds, lemurs, and three big cats—who endured mistreatment at the notorious Pymatuning Deer Park roadside zoo in Pennsylvania were moved to sanctuaries operated by The Wild Animal Sanctuary, thanks to PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s lawsuit on their behalf.
We thank Alec Baldwin, Alan Cumming, Joan Jett, Constance Marie, Paulina Rubio, Dereck Blanco, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Rainey Qualley, Lash Fary, Pitizion, and Gabriela Quintero for their help with these campaigns.
Not Ours to Abuse in Any Other Way
PETA informs people about cruelty to animals, helps animals in danger, and holds abusers accountable:
- After hearing from PETA, two more airports banned vile glue traps. We also got glue traps removed from an apartment complex, a women’s shelter, and a corporate office and persuaded Dollar Tree Canada, Family Dollar, Target, and Northern Tool + Equipment to ban the sale of these devices.
- PETA pushed prosecutors to add cruelty-to-animals charges against arsonists responsible for wildfires in California and Oregon, resulting in convictions on those charges.
- We helped save 62 huskies who were living in ramshackle enclosures in New Mexico; pushed officials to seize 63 animals in Pleasant Grove, California; exposed more suffering at Sun Pet, a PetSmart and Petco supplier; investigated a dog-breeding operation in Michigan, resulting in the removal of all the dogs from the facility, felony charges against the owner, and the closure of the facility; sounded the alarm about cruelty at Great Pets breeding facility in Ohio; and exposed a Texas couple who kept thousands of sugar gliders in cages teeming with roaches. Moulton Chinchilla Ranch in Minnesota lost its U.S. Department of Agriculture license and shut down after PETA exposed abuse there, and the survivors are being adopted into loving homes.
- Following years of our campaigns, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to phase out the operation of captive-dog “blood banks.”
- PETA fieldworkers are out every day in impoverished regions where dogs are often chained or penned outdoors. Fieldworkers rescued Charlie and Diamond, who were caged outside when the wind chill was only 21 degrees; gave a new future to Pancake, who had been chained for years and frequently deprived of food and water; and saved Miracle from a hoarding situation involving chained dogs and dead puppies. We were too late to save Minnie, whom PETA fieldworkers found dead inside a doghouse—but other dogs on the property were seized, and Minnie’s owner is facing cruelty charges.
- We added a veterinary clinic in Ashland, Virginia, and a new mobile clinic to our growing fleet.
- When a victim of domestic violence contacted us because she wanted to leave her abuser but not her dogs, we helped find safe places for all of them.
- We got a Family Dollar store in New York to remove its hazardous bird-deterrent system after we were alerted to the plight of two gulls trapped in the wire-grid system on the roof of the building.
- After hearing from PETA, Washington state canceled its annual spring bear hunt and an Islamorada, Florida, brewery nixed its iguana race.
- To promote a better world for animals, we worked on “trash fishing” events and helped the city of Phoenix, Oregon, ban fireworks.
We received help with our anti-cruelty campaigns from Ryan Eggold, Danny Trejo, Sofía Sisniega, Lucía Méndez, Matt Judon, Paulina Goto, Ana Bárbara, Sherlyn González, and Jennifer Arenas.
The Next Generation
PETA’s youth divisions are the number one force galvanizing young people to reject the speciesist status quo and change the future for animals.
TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It held presentations at elementary schools in northeastern North Carolina—where keeping dogs chained or penned outside 24/7 is common—including a visit by Ellie, PETA’s life-size robotic elephant. Ellie visited nearly 60 elementary schools and 13 summer camps, giving her heartwarming and educational talk to nearly 15,000 young students. TeachKind also worked with Liberation Summer author Stewart Mitchell to donate copies of his animal rights–focused book as well as vegan chicken sandwiches to fifth grade students at several schools in the New York City area, where he also spoke to them about the book and being vegan.
In an effort to end dissection in classrooms, TeachKind donated 323 SynFrogs—SynDaver’s hyper-realistic and modern synthetic frog model—and collaborated on pilot programs in seven states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, and New York.
In the wake of yet another devastating mass shooting at an elementary school, the Sandy Hook Promise added cruelty to animals to its list of critical warning signs of violence, after talks with TeachKind.
Following reports that a teen in Bucyrus, Ohio, allegedly hit a dog with his car and then shared a video on social media of himself decapitating the animal, TeachKind rushed letters to local school administrators and worked with them to incorporate compassion for animals into the curriculum.
When we heard that a group of students from Ponte Vedra High School in Florida had hung a dead shark from school rafters, we worked with the St. Johns County School District to add our “Share the World” humane education curriculum kit to its district curriculum map.
PETA’s unique virtual reality tour Abduction brought a “UFO” and an abduction experience to college campuses around the Northeast in a bid to inspire college students to feel empathy for animals in labs.
Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS) is a PETA-backed revolution led by Gen Z activists who are challenging human-supremacist norms. This year, SOS activists wearing “bloody” aprons protested at an In-N-Out restaurant in California to urge people to go vegan, raised a ruckus over the University of Central Florida’s SeaWorld ticket sales, pushed The Home Depot to end glue trap sales, rallied outside an Urban Outfitters store to urge the company to stop selling wool and other animal-derived materials, and more.
PETA Kids announced its 2022 All-Star for Animals winner— 10-year-old Nirvaan Agarwal from Edison, New Jersey. Nirvaan has advocated for animals held in a roadside zoo, volunteered to help animals in sanctuaries, and protested against the meat industry.