Is PETA Going Astray? | My Family Travels
PETA Sticker

When I was in Washington DC last summer, I came across several PETA supporters protesting against the unethical treatment of animals. Interested, I approached the stand and was eagerly handed a colorful pamphlet that was clearly made for the younger public, along with several cute little stickers. As I looked through, one sticker in particular with an appealing cartoon frog on it caught my attention –  “Cut Class, Not Frogs!”

I’ve always been a supporter of bioethics. I believe that as we continue to advance our scientific, and specifically our medical insight in order to alleviate human suffering, we must recognize that Nature exists for all species. We must continue to preserve and protect all of Nature's creatures. Mostly importantly, I believe that this awareness must be fostered in the school setting. Through education, hopefully generations of students will strive to create a world where our scientific experiments and fashion statements do not necessarily have to result in the suffering of innocent animals.

Rather than promoting the issue of animal rights at its core however, PETA’s propaganda can be seen as an ill-advised assault on education – our society’s very instrument that aims to help resolve those issues. Rather than explaining their views with well-reasoned arguments, PETA has chosen to use superficial propaganda and demagogue to engrain into the minds of children that it is more important to save a frog than to further their education and understanding of the world around them.

Without a doubt, PETA’s mission to advocate for more humane animal treatment is a noble one. Anyone sympathetic to the plight of animals suffering under human exploitation would want an immediate change in how certain scientific studies are done or how certain articles of clothing are made. However, by using potentially misleading advertisements urging children to “cut class” as a medium for social change, PETA is not fixing the problem, they are becoming part of it.

However, I agree with PETA’s goal. Animal rights is a real issue but requires realistic solutions. Rather than “cutting classes”, bioethics courses should be made more prevalent in schools. Currently, our school system offers only one course relating to this subject, Bioethics Symposium, via the web-based Virtual High School. I can say from personal experience that it is a great course, but placements for this class are very limited. It would be within our best interests to expand this subject into a teacher-taught curriculum on the local, national, and international stage. That way, we can take the initiative to create an environment where students will incorporate reason as well as passion into a solution for animal rights.

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