Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Contrary to the portrayal in Doug Bandow's recent opinion column ("Animal terrorism," Op-Ed, Monday), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals does not support violence of any sort, even while countering the phenomenal violence committed against animals in the food, leather and fur, entertainment and experimentation industries. Nor has PETA provided money for any violent action.
Mr. Bandow would serve readers better if he bothered to make even one phone call to our office or visited just one of the cruel places PETA has exposed - say, a slaughterhouse where cattle have their hoofs cut off while still alive, a wretched fur farm where a fox sits with his leg bone exposed and infected, or a laboratory like one at the University of North Carolina where an experimenter cut conscious animals' heads off with scissors.
Perhaps then he would understand that everything PETA does, from our humane education campaigns, protests and street-theater type demonstrations to our work with district attorneys and law enforcement officials to stop cruelty and bring criminals to justice, is to protest and eliminate the suffering of animals.
Mr. Bandow also failed to mention the amount of good work PETA does every day. We work with local authorities in communities across the country to rescue animals from deplorable conditions. We sterilize dogs and cats at low or no cost.
We distribute donated fur coats to the homeless, the only people who have any excuse to wear fur. We have persuaded McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and others to improve the treatment of animals killed for their restaurants. We supply computer programs in schools to replace frogs and cats.
We help people adopt humane solutions to problems with geese, beavers and other wildlife that have nowhere to go, and much more. Thanks to whistleblowers, PETA has placed undercover investigators in facilities across the country, leading to exposure of abuse and criminal charges against the people who harm animals.
Most misleading was Mr. Bandow's dismissal of the reasons behind PETA's peaceful campaigns against practices at KFC and the Covance Inc. pharmaceutical testing company. Investigations of KFC fast-food restaurant suppliers exposed employees torturing chickens.
Video footage taken by an undercover PETA investigator at a Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing plant in West Virginia shows workers stomping on live chickens, kicking them and flinging them full force at walls and floors. The investigator also witnessed employees twisting the heads off live chickens and, in Charles Manson-style, writing on the wall with their blood.
He saw them spit tobacco into the birds' eyes and mouths, spray-paint their faces and tie their legs together, apparently just because they thought it was funny. (See KFCCruelty.com.)
Covance, a billion-dollar international drug-testing company headquartered in New Jersey, is paid by pharmaceutical giants to test their drug formulations on macaque monkeys.
Former PETA investigator Lisa Leitten worked for nearly a year at Covance's Virginia laboratory and documented abuse that violates federal animal protection laws. …