People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (stylized PeTA) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A non-profit corporation with 300 employees and two million members and supporters, it is the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."
Founded in March 1980 by Newkirk and fellow animal rights activist Alex Pacheco, the organization first caught the public's attention in the summer of 1981 during what became known as the Silver Spring monkeys case, a widely publicized dispute about experiments conducted on 17 macaque monkeys inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. The case lasted ten years, involved the only police raid on an animal laboratory in the United States, triggered an amendment in 1985 to that country's Animal Welfare Act, and established PETA as an internationally known organization. Since then, in its campaigns and undercover investigations, it has focused on four core issues—opposition to factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment—though it also campaigns against fishing, the killing of animals regarded as pests, the keeping of chained backyard dogs, cock fighting, dog fighting, and bullfighting.
Allie: Look! My friend Shelley is in the PETA protest!
Jenna: What's PETA?
Allie: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Jenna: Oh, she must be crazy and violent then.
Allie: Actually, all she wants is for everyone to be treated equally, to end slavery and this holocaust.
Jenna: Oh.. she actually sounds like she has good morals.
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