pennteller.jpgHere is a profanity-laced YouTube of the Penn & Teller show Bulls**t. If you are offended by four letter words, of which there are a few, don’t watch.
Profanity and attempts to shock aside, this video tells a lot about our friends at PETA.
I particularly enjoyed the part about one of the PETA leaders availing herself of the fruits of animal biomedical research while trying to deny it to the rest of us.
And the part about PETA’s stance on the euthanasia of animals…when they do it.


  1. Great video! I really enjoyed it, though it would have been better without all the cussing.
    Yeah, I know.  If I had the technological know how to bleep it I would have.

  2. Oh boy. I was wondering when a PETA issue would show up on this blog. I’m not a fan of Penn & Teller and even less a fan of PETA (actually I think PETA are repugnant quasi-terrorists in politically-correct clothing).
    And I think P & T somewhat overstates the benefits of using animals in medical research (remember the herbivore rabbits fed the saturated fat diet to “prove” the cholesterol theory?). I think as time goes by we will see fewer research projects done with animals as computer modeling and other technologies improve. While I’m not against using animals in research, I don’t think the their use is nearly as universally useful as some people would have us believe (based on conversations I have had with my husband and his colleagues, all in the biomedical research fields). But in the media, using animals comes across as an all-or-nothing argument most of the time, along the lines of other devisive issues (need I say which?) where people fail to find a reasonable middle ground.
    One thing about PETA’s tactics that mosts disturbs me is their borrowing of McDonald’s-type tactics – “hook ’em while they’re young”. I found PETA stickers in my son’s pockets while doing laundry. I learned that he got them at a street fair he attended with some neighbors, where there was a PETA booth. The kids hung out at the PETA booth while the parent waited in line to buy lunches at the adjacent food booth (she thought the PETA booth was an animal rescue booth and being a veterinarian, that seemed ok and the kids were in her sight). PETA had all sorts of cute stickers & stuff with animal rights messages to give the kids, all the while playing a video of horrific animal abuse scenes at the booth in front of the kids (ages 6-19). PETA has no shame with showing this disturbing film to youngsters. They know they cannot as easily influence the older generations, but the younger ones are ripe for conversion to their vegan ways and noxious behaviors. If they succeed in influencing the younger generations, PETA will become a much bigger problem.
    That said, I am quite troubled by the often horrific conditions in CAFOs, factory farms, etc. and do support the humane treatment of animals, which is one reason I try to buy meat and dairy from sustainable, family owned pasture-based farms. But in no way do I support PETA or its tactics.
    Hi Anna–
    PETA has shown up on this blog many times, especially in the early days.  See here for an example.

    I pretty much agree with your assessment right down the line. As I’ve written often, rats and rabbits are not simply furry little humans, and research work on animals does not have a one to one correlation with research on humans. Having said that, though, there is still a place for humane animal research, and biomedical basic sciences would take a big hit if it were not allowed.
    I deplore PETA tactics, and although, like you, I’m not much of a fan of Penn & Teller, I thought the information they provided in this case more than offset their own obnoxiousness.

  3. I didn’t know anything about P & T before, I am not sure that I want to know more. This was more of a rant than an information piece. Very one sided. I was especially taken back by their closing argument claiming “they would personally strangle with their bare hands every chimp in the world to save one street junkie”.
    I disagree with PETA vigorously. I disagree with their tactics, their philosophy, and their goals. But I think that P & T have purposely (for shock value maybe?) taken the opposite extreme view and are as disagreeable and wrong headed in their attitude.
    What is desperately needed is a middle ground. Animals are not humans, but they are living breathing creatures and should be treated humanly, and not as commodities.
    What I mourn is the lost opportunity that is PETA. If they had focused their influence on improving the conditions of animals in laboratories, factory farms and puppy mills, think of all the good they could have done.
    Hi Angelyne–
    I’m not a big fan of P & T either, and you’re right, this was a rant.  But that’s the shtick of their show BS.  After watching the entire thing, I felt that the info was worth putting up with the P & T BS.
    I agree with you on the misplaced focus of PETA.  It’s a shame because they could do much more good.  But then they probably wouldn’t attract the idiots that they do, and, consequently, wouldn’t have the funding they do.

  4. PETA is just one more manifestation of the “belief first, research second”, society that we live in. We simply don’t teach critical thinking skills early enough or well enough to preclude people from joining a group or cult, no matter what it sells.
    Anna, I would like to know what conversation ensued regarding PETA, and if you requested your child to engage his critical thinking skills for himself regarding the viewpoint they were selling, and the “facts” they presented.
    On another blog, a certain man nicknamed “Bear” has not touched any kind of carbohydrate since the late 50’s–he eats meat ONLY. He refers to all vegetarians as liars. While I don’t have the experience to be that blunt, I have come to realize that all of the vegetarians I have ever talked to don’t have any real research to back up their claims, and rely on a “shoot from the hip” attitude to defend whatever they’re saying at the time they’re saying it.
    Too bad that the legitimate concern of humane treatment of animals in regard to how we raise and butcher them has become entangled with such a silly outfit as PETA.
    Hi LC–
    I agree completely.  We need more critical thinking, much more, but the schools are too wrapped up in other politically correct BS to teach it.
    Animals should be treated humanely, and if PETA’s main concern was that, it would be a wonderful organization.

  5. Hi Mike.
    I also deplore the PETA philosophy. There is actually another “PETA”. This one stands for “People Eating Tasty Animals”. hehe
    There is also the “International Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA Day” (EATAPETA) which started on March 15th 2003 and is now an annual event.
    A great excuse to get some friends over for a BBQ and act like the fabled Noah (eat two of every animal !!).
    Hi Steve–
    I don’t know if I’ll eat two of every kind, but I may have a BBQ on March 15 just to get under PETA’s skin.

  6. I’m a huge Penn & Teller fan and enjoyed this immensely–they got their start exposing how magic tricks work so this follows right along. In many ways PETA is no different than the so-called “pro-life” movement and it ticks me off just as much, although once before I went low-carb I stood in front of a PETA booth eating a Double Whopper from Burger King (someone bet me I wouldn’t do it and I was perverse enough to say what the hell).
    Hi Patricia–
    Maybe we should all eat meat in front of the PETA headquarters on March 15.

  7. For LCforevah, I did ask my son what he thought about the PETA booth and he couldn’t remember it at all so I dropped it (on a recent car trip he did notice the difference in conditions of the cows in the manure-filled corrals in the Central Valley of CA compared to the grass-fed pastured cows of the dairy where our milk comes from (Organic Pastures), though, and we have used those opprtunities to talk about farm animals and our food). But the friend’s mom he was with at the street fair PETA booth was shocked that the booth volunteers would let kids stand in full view of the video loop. I wasn’t. I was surprised at how little she knew of PETA and their tactics, being a veterinarian. She deplores the factory farm conditions (as do I), and wants to reduce her consumption of animal foods as a result, and complains about the cost and trouble to get humanely raised food when I point out there are alternatives to factory farms that are better for the animals and for our health.
    What gets me the most is that many people with whom I have discussed PETA, do not support PETA or condone their tactics, but they sort of apologize for or accept/tolerate PETA because “without PETA pushing for change, nothing would improve for humane treatment” or some argument like that. In other words, only extremism will affect any change and PETA is a necessary evil. They do not see that by tolerating PETA & the ilk, that the pendulum could swing way beyond what they consider acceptable change (like no more pets or leather shoes). There are other organizations that are far less extreme and have goals more in line with the public sentiment, but they are also not so masterful at media manipulation (the Humane Society of the US is one reasonable, rational organization that comes to mind – for more information).
    I’ve marked my calendar for March 15 (isn’t that the Ides of March?). I think I’ll roast the last of the lamb I bought last year from a local woman I know from my wool spinning circles. She raises her “babies” well on pasture, then calmly leads each one up to the butcher. They never suffer, as it should be.
    Cheers, Anna
    Hi Anna–
    I’ll pass it along to LCforevah. 

  8. “There is also the “International Eat a Tasty Animal for PETA Day” (EATAPETA) which started on March 15th 2003 and is now an annual event.”
    Heroic! I’ll be sure to start the grill early this year. I would have eaten plenty of meat on this day anyway, but I’ll certainly enjoy it more.
    Hi Francis–
    I’ll join you.

  9. So PETA is against testing on animals but I have a friend who frequently does tests on animals and I don’t think anyone would hang her for it. She is a veterinary grad student who needs to test on animals to benefit animals! Perhaps PETA wants her to test on people for animal therapies?!
    Hi David–
    Testing animals to save animals?  What a conundrum that must be for PETA.  What’s sad is that there is no such conundrum in their minds about testing on animals to save humans.

  10. Sorry to inform you, but the Humane Society is not a great improvement from PETA. HS has stated that they are anti-hunting due to animal inhumane treatment. There could not be a worse stance to take. Do they have any idea how much conservation work organizations such as RMEF, and DU impact the well being and balance of the ecosystem. How much land for has PETA or HS bought and turn over to public access? Any person who cares for even a second about animals should thank Teddy Roosevelt for what he did by establishing the National Park Service, oh and he killed lots of animals in his day.

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