PETA’s New Infographic

PETA has a new infographic that’s causing a stir amongst animal advocates. Here is the graphic:

PETA truth about eating

And here are the sources that PETA used:

Eating Animals Info

All information included in The Truth About Eating Animals was obtained from the following sources. To find out more about how eating animals affects the animals themselves, the environment, and your health, we recommend the following list of resources:

Animals Killed

  • Pollution

  • Environmental Defense Fund: “Fighting Global Warming With Food”
  • Marcia Kreith, “Water Inputs in California Food Production,” Water Education Foundation, 27 Sept. 1991.
  • John Lang, Scripps Howard News Service, “U.S. Staggers Under Weight of Waste From Farm Animals,” The Grand Rapids Press, 26 Apr. 1998.
  • Water Use

  • American Meat Institute, “The United States Meat Industry at a Glance
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, “U.S. Soybean Industry: Background Statistics and Information
  • Water Education Foundation, “Water Inputs in California Food Production
  •  Salmonella and E. coli

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Salmonella Serotype Enteritidis”
  • David White et al., “The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella From Retail Ground Meats,” The New England Journal of Medicine 345:1147-54, 18 Oct. 2001.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Agricultural Library
  • Somatic Cells (Pus)

  • Hoard’s Dairyman, “Somatic Cells Continue to Rise“, 25 Apr. 2001.
  •  Cardiovascular Disease

  • American Heart Association: “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics”
  • Cholesterol

  • Kerry K. Saunders, The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention, Lantern Books, 2003.
  • A few of these statistics are a bit controversial. For example, Erik Marcus of wrote:

    “The water claim is bogus. The feed conversion claim is deceptively worded. I analyzed both these topics in exhaustive detail in Meat Market five years ago. It’s simply inexcusable for an organization with PETA’s substantial resources to churn out this kind of crap [...]”

    I’m not sure that Marcus realizes what PETA does. PETA is an animal advocacy group that focuses on marketing a pro-animal message to young people. PETA is NOT a news agency or a co-op of university professors. PETA is in the business of persuasion. PETA knows that the target audience for an “infographic” is not the same audience that is so inherently skeptical and rational that they’ll read countless books and reports on a subject before finally coming to a decision about it.

    It’s silly, really. Marcus is angry that PETA didn’t spend more time on fact checking, although I’m sure that he is well-aware of how inept real news media is at actual fact checking and I’m sure the citations PETA provided are more than sufficient for most people. The statistics are good enough. For whomever they’re not good enough, that person will do the research and learn more horifying details about animal agriculture to be better persuaded to make major personal dietary changes that benefit animals, the planet, and their own health. 

    Maybe Marcus never heard the expression that “perfect is the enemy of good.” Or maybe it’s just cool to hate on PETA. Whatever the reason, how’s about we all stop trying to hold each other to impossibly high standards and start accepting the good that each and every animal advocate does?

    27 Responses to PETA’s New Infographic

    1. Amen.

      PETA is a marketing organization, and they’re good. IMO holding PETA to a different standard than you’d hold those who market commercial products (especially animal products) is silly.

      If you think marketing is scuzzy in general then I guess I hear you, but if you’re going to get really bent out of shape about it then you might as well move to Mars because that’s the only place you’ll be free from it.

    2. It’s really tiring watching vegans stand up for misinformation. Any time an animal rights organization makes a claim that is easily debunked as false or misleading, it discredits animal rights as a whole. I don’t understand why you think PETA shouldn’t just use factual information. I think you and I can agree that there’s more than enough TRUE information out there to go vegan — why give the false stuff? It’s just going to hurt us in the long run.

    3. Actually I don’t think Mars is far enough, at least not if you bring a bunch of humans with you. The human body is designed to consume whole plant foods, and the human brain is designed to consume marketing. Maybe that’s sad. It’s definitely true.

    4. @Colinski

      See above. Ever see an ad campaign where a company claimed something not-quite-true about their product? Like, say, Milk does a body good. Do you think that not-quite-truth has hurt or helped to sell milk?

      Marketing works with truths and half-truths. More importantly, marketing works. That’s reality. Maybe you think that stinks, and maybe you live your life by ethical standards that don’t allow you to get on board. That’s fine. I don’t spend my time making infographics either, and I’d feel a little icky if I did.

      But when you guys say that this stuff “hurts us in the long run” I frankly think that just shows ignorance. Marketing works very, very well.

    5. Colinski, there are nearly 30 claims in the infographic. Marcus has a problem with 2 or 3 of those claims.

      And he’s not even bothered enough to set the record straight and provide concrete data in his blog. Instead, he expects people to sift through his book for the information.

      For him, the mere possibility of error is enough to trash the entire graphic as well as the entirety of PETA. He’s being petty, he’s missing the point, and his criticisms of PETA don’t do any actual good.

      If, as you say, it’s so “easily debunked as false or misleading” then why haven’t you done exactly that? Why didn’t Marcus do that? Spell out the specific errors in the graphic above, provide better citations, and give PETA credit for the correct claims they make.

      Right now, all you’re doing is casting doubt and spreading rumors. You’re no better than those you criticize. In fact, you’re doing the CCF’s job for them and you’re hurting animals.

    6. I have to side with the for-truth people here. I personally hate being fed untrue or misleading information. Sure, when I don’t know that it’s misleading or untrue, I may fall for it, but when I find out that it isn’t true, it just makes me lose respect for the people who fed me these lies. Isn’t that how most people would react?

      So, yeah, I have to agree that this stuff does hurt in the long run. Sure, misleading advertising may work on some (but I’m sure it repulses a lot of people, too), but here we’re at a disadvantage because we’re advocating a very controversial movement. And just like you see with global warming or with elections, every misstep is an opportunity for your opponent.

    7. I’ve seen different studies that show vastly different amounts of water to produce a pound of beef. The differences are usually accounted for due to different climates, different management practices and so forth. But of all the stats on water use for meat production I’ve seen they all show that meat production uses an extremely large amount of water compared to say, soy production.

      The 2,500 gallons stat that PETA uses in this infographic is about middle range from the estimates I’ve seen. I agree Marcus is a little too angry about this. I do think PETA could be a little more clear about why they chose the water stat they did and provide a more concise link to the stat itself, but I think they are trying to present the information in as accurate way as they can. Meat = wasted water. That’s 100% true and accurate no matter which figure you choose to cite.

    8. Thank you, Allen, for being the voice of reason here.

    9. I agree with those who think misinformation discredits the AR movement. I’ve seen how all it takes is for someone to realize the opposing side has said a single thing wrong, and then they shut their ears to anything else – they don’t do further research to discover that the real information out there is horrible.

      PETA might be in the business of marketing, but there ARE horrible facts related to the meat industry. So why not use the ones that can be supported so strongly that no one on the other side can tear them apart and miss the point?

    10. Still waiting for someone to list the specific errors in the graphic above, provide better citations, and give PETA credit for the correct claims they make. Until that happens, the only ones discrediting the AR movement are the people making unfounded accusations.

    11. “how’s about we all stop trying to hold each other to impossibly high standards and start accepting the good that each and every animal advocate does?” Can I say “YES!!!” any louder?

      There’s enough good information here for me to be confident to pass it along. I’m not into throwing babies out with bath-water either. ;)

    12. Elaine, I’m surprised really disappointed by what you’ve written here. You’re not presenting a “voice of reason”—you’re presenting a total lack of caring regarding the accuracy of information that activists distribute. You bought an entire carton of my book Meat Market, so I’m all the more surprised you seem unfamiliar with the water claims that are at issue here. In appendix B I cover the inflated water claims that have been made within the vegan movement.

      After I posted my blog entry, PETA went and updated its source page to contain a water use claim that actually mentions water. The trouble is it’s the 20-year old study by Marci Kreith. I looked at that study carefully in Meat Market and explained why its 2464 gallon claim can’t be taken seriously.

      My analysis of water use goes on for five pages. I’m not going to repost it here or to my blog. You have my book; go look it up and if you find fault with what I’ve written feel free to blog about it.

      This is not about holding activists to impossibly high standards. It’s about refusing to distribute faulty information to the public. I would hope this is something that every activist would care about.

      Finally, I want to respond to what Allen said about Kreith’s water claim falling into the “middle range” of estimates. What matters is finding the estimate with the best scholarship behind it. Simply choosing the middle number from a bunch of flawed calculations is NOT a way to obtain the truth.

      I’m just stunned that we’re even having this discussion. The problems with PETA’s water claim is abundantly clear.

    13. Mr. Marcus, you’ve completely missed the point. You’ve “thrown out the baby with the bathwater.” You’ve been unreasonably harsh on this infograhic and your expectations of PETA are too high.

      If you, the self-declared expert on animal agricultural water use, can’t be bothered to condense the information into a usable statistical average, what use are your five appendix pages other than to cast doubt on the animal movement?

      Can you at least go as far as Allen has to say that “Meat = wasted water” and that the general message PETA is sending is an accurate one? Or would you rather just continue to increase your book sales rather than increase vegans???

    14. > If you, the self-declared expert on
      > animal agricultural water use

      Elaine, why are you being so hostile? I don’t get it. And what’s with this “self-described expert” stuff?

      I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that the amount of water used by the meat industry is large enough for our side to make an issue of, given the multitude of slimy practices the industry is engaged in for which we have clear-cut evidence.

      And when an infographic like PETA’s contains a claim that’s flat-out wrong, it casts doubt on everything else that’s being argued.

      >Or would you rather just continue to increase
      >your book sales rather than increase vegans???

      Nobody’s going to buy my book because of this water discussion. You own it and can’t even be bothered to read the relevant five pages that would put an end to this debate.

    15. I’m with Marcus on this one. There are a lot of reasons why peta is NOT a good organization, and their willingness to bend the truth in order to further their agenda is scary and puts them right on par with the dairy and meat industries who do the same thing (Milk Does a Body Good, etc.). Yeah, marketing is marketing, whatever. But we as a movement are above stooping to the same techniques the dairy industry uses to push their cruel products. With the amount of money peta has and the number of interns they employ, it really wouldn’t be that hard to check all of these facts. Now this graphic is in the news, not because it’s helpful, but because its wrong. The mainstream media will always try to find a fault in our arguments, and this is just handing it to them on a plate. Disgusting.

    16. Marcus, Can you please make a firm, concrete statement instead of all these vague criticisms? You’re so vague that it’s meaningless. Exactly how much wasted water would be enough for you to consider it an issue? Use some numbers please! Isn’t any wasted water enough to mention?
      And why are you the arbitor of what is “enough”?

      You’re so caught up in trying to be exact and precise that you wind up saying nothing at all! Nothing.

    17. I’m frankly astounded by this thread. I cannot believe that anyone in the movement would support the distribution of erroneous information as the basis for effective activism. The fact is the vegan movement (such as it is) isn’t the milk industry. The milk industry can buy whatever people, media, and government agency they like. The vegan movement can’t afford such luxuries. In his book “Change of Heart”, Nick Cooney rightly states: “In presenting its opinion, the minority has to be more concerned than the majority about presentation style and articulating valid concerns.” The vast majority of individuals actively LOOK for excuses to discredit a minority opinion. They want the majority to win: it’s easier and it just “feels right” to them. In my activist work I NEVER say anything that I can’t be positive isn’t 100% true. Why open that door? You run the risk of jeopardizing every valid point you make when you give an opening like that. If the water argument isn’t our best hand…which clearly it isn’t given the conversation that has ensued…why play it? (“Isn’t any wasted water enough to mention?” Um, actually no, it isn’t. Please read Cooney’s book and find out more about why that is.) PETA does us all a disservice when they put information out into the world that can’t be substantiated.

    18. Let me cite Erik Marcus on agricultural water use:

      “The environmental argument for vegetarianism rests mainly on the assertion that meat production is wasteful of land and water resources, and that it generats substantial amounts of pollution. The points are true, but when you look closely at the environmental damage neccessitated by animal agriculture, the costs aren’t nearly as high as they first appear.”

      page 187 of Meat Market, hardcover 1st edition.

      This debate isn’t about what’s true or false.
      This debate is about what is effective or not.
      This debate is about whether or not it’s worthwhile to attack PETA.

      PS to Carrie, I’ve read Change of Heart and reviewed it here:

      I’ve also lived in the real world and done plenty of real animal advocacy on which to base my opinions. It’s not some fluke that PETA is the biggest and most well-known AR organization. They know what they’re doing.

    19. PS – I like this video (two parts below) and I think it’s persuasive. What do you think?

      The transcript and citations are here:

      A Life Connected.
      Transcript of “VEGAN. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals” by
      People everywhere are making choices more connected with their values.
      We are simplifying our lives, buying less and living more because we know that the Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s need, but not everyone’s greed
      We recycle because we know the Earth’s resources are limited and that we must share those resources with those yet to come.
      We buy fair labor and fair trade goods in order to… well, be fair.
      We buy organic to keep chemicals off the land and out of our water, to protect wildlife, to keep farm workers and their children safe and to keep our bodies healthy.
      We conserve water save energy, and plug into the power of Mother Nature.
      We are realizing that when we make connected choices, we not only build better lives for ourselves ‐‐ we build a better world for everyone.
      But there is one connected choice that sometimes gets overlooked. It’s one of the most far‐reaching personal, practical and ethical choices you can make. With this choice we can help…
      … feed ourselves and every hungry person on the planet. … end deforestation – replenish the deep woods of the North and save our disappearing rainforests. … revitalize our rural landscapes and save family farms. … stop the number one polluter of water and the number one waster of water. … return our oceans to thriving underwater worlds teeming with life and wonder. … make cancer and heart disease a rarity instead of a common occurrence. … and return wild lands to their rightful owners.
      This powerful choice can be done by everyone every day… by you… right now… with this.
      Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals. For the People. We are all connected. The choices we make affect not only our lives, but the lives of other people. If we use more than our share, we’re taking from other people and from those yet to come.
      In this day and age, in a world of plenty, it is difficult to understand how, all over the world, nearly a BILLION people are going hungry. And 40,000 will starve to death… every single day1 . This doesn’t happen because there isn’t enough for everyone. This happens because while people are starving, we are wasting enormous amounts of grain to feed cows, pigs, chickens and other animals so that we may satisfy our desire for meat, milk and eggs.
      The Earth can provide only so much food. While the human population is growing and growing, the tiny amount of land on which we can grow food is not. Because raising animals for food takes so much land, water and other resources, the Earth would be able to sustain only about 2 Billion people on a meat and dairy based diet2. With a world population of nearly 7 Billion people, it’s easy to see that we need to find a better way.
      Vegan choices support a world where ALL may be fed. Vegan choices require only a fraction of the land and far fewer resources than what is needed to produce animal products. The equation is simple: the fewer animal products we consume,
      the more people we can feed. If we ignore this simple fact, more and more people will be going hungry as the world population continues to grow.
      Vegan choices also promote your own health and the health of others.
      The number one killers in the United States (heart disease and cancer) are conclusively linked to consuming animal products 3. (U.S. version)
      The number one killers in the world, heart disease and cancer, are conclusively linked to consuming animal products3. (International version)
      Vegan choices work to make these diseases a rarity and refuse to contribute to their escalating spread around the world as animal‐based diets are pushed on other countries and upon the poor.
      Millions of people, instead of supporting the export of disease and hunger, are taking personal responsibility. They are being the change they want to see in the world. Their Vegan choices are prolonging and bettering their own lives, easing the burden on the planet, and making a life‐sustaining commitment to future generations.
      Vegan choices conserve land, water and energy. In fact, raising animals for food consumes so many resources that making Vegan choices is one of the most powerful things you can do as an individual to help save the planet.

      One of the top contributors to global climate change is… raising animals for food. That’s right, while we’re being encouraged to change our light bulbs (show compact fluorescents) and drive hybrid automobiles (show); the United Nations found that raising animals for human consumption contributes to global warming more than all the planes, cars, trucks on the planet combined. 40% more4!

      To feed and water farmed animals takes enormous amounts of water. To produce just one pound of meat requires on average 2500 gallons of water; a gallon of cows’ milk ‐‐ 750 gallons of water. By simply making Vegan choices, you can save over 1.3 million gallons of water every year! That’s so much water that being Vegan you could leave your shower on 24 hours a day 365 days a year and *still* you couldn’t waste as much water as someone consuming an animal‐based diet5.

      Many of us recycle paper because we want to save trees. But the number one reason for cutting down trees, including the destruction of the rainforest, is to clear land to grow food for farmed animals. In just one year, a Vegan saves a full acre of trees6.

      The billions of animals we raise for food not only use most of our water and eat most of our food… they poop most of it out. In the U.S. alone, farmed animals produce 130 times more excrement than the entire human population ‐‐ 86,000 pounds per second! Per second! That’s enough to rebuild the Denver sky‐line every 24 hours… out of poop. This concentrated slop pollutes our water, destroys our topsoil, and contaminates our air7.

      We’ve forgotten that the oceans used to teem with life. Whales and dolphins and sea turtles were common and abundant. Schools of fish were so plentiful the waters would tumble and froth with life. But now our oceans are dying… industrial fishing has caused a global decline in fish populations to near extinction in most parts of the ocean. Massive nets, miles long scrape the ocean depths and indiscriminately scoop up and suffocate everyone in their catch – turtles, seals, dolphins, whales and billions of struggling fish. And industrial fish and shrimp farms are creating environmental dead zones – massive amounts of concentrated waste from these factory farms smother the ocean floor and choke the life from it.
      It’s not too late… imagine a world of clean air, clean water, millions upon millions of acres of replanted forests and flourishing grasslands, thriving oceans teaming with life and wonder, and vast expanses of wild lands given back to nature and the wild animals who used to call them home. Vegan choices work so that all of this might one day again be the world we all share.
      For the Animals8. In order to feed hundreds of millions of people animal products, the factory lines have to move fast… very fast.
      In the U.S. alone, every year, we kill over 10 billion farmed animals and over 17 billion sea animals. We kill over 3 million scared and helpless animals every single hour of every single day. (U.S. version)
      Around the world, every year, we kill over 50 billion farmed animals and hundreds of billions of sea animals. We kill tens of millions of scared and helpless animals every single hour of every single day. (International version)
      How can it be that 95 percent of Americans feel it is wrong to unnecessarily hurt and kill helpless animals, yet 95 percent of Americans continue to unnecessarily hurt and kill helpless animals … so they can eat them? Why the disconnection? (U.S. version)
      How can it be that most people in the world feel it is wrong to unnecessarily hurt and kill helpless animals, yet most people in the world continue to unnecessarily hurt and kill helpless animals… so they can eat them? Why the disconnection? (International version)
      It’s time to connect.
      When you make Vegan choices, you stand up for the meekest among us… those who rely entirely on your ability to show compassion. You stand up for farmed animals and refuse to pay anyone to harm them on your behalf. You stand up for the millions of wild animals who are displaced and brutally killed to make room for farmed animals and profits. And you help rebuild the wild lands they call home.
      Most of us have had the opportunity to get to know an animal. When you get to know them, you quickly find that they each have their own personalities, their own quirks, their own ways. You can tell when they are happy… or sad… or scared. We forget that this is true… for all animals.
      And most of us have felt the unconditional love of an animal… that deep bond that seems to go beyond our human connections. We talk to our dogs and cats and sometimes we connect with them more deeply than with anyone else. They love us… and we love them.
      You can feel that connection again and again by giving your love to every animal ‐‐ those we call our pets, wild animals and those who suffer on farms and in factory farms. Make Vegan choices to align with your true love for animals. Expand your circle of compassion and the love will come back to you a thousand times.
      Conclusion: Yes, YOU Make A Difference! Each of our choices in the past helped build the world we live in today. And each of our choices from this moment forward will help build the world of tomorrow.
      There is a way to build a better world – a world in which we would all like to live; a world driven by the innate goodness of people and their values of justice, kindness and compassion for other people, for the planet and for the animals.
      Every day you are invited to make choices. Live your values. Change the world.
      It’s that simple.
      Photo Credits:
      It’s difficult to see photo credits on the smaller versions of the video. Special permission granted by and/or usage per copyright owners’ requirements:
      © BBC (starving child)
      © The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (sea turtle in net)
      © Howard Hall (seals in driftnet). A special thank you for permission to use this photo!
      © New Zealand Government/Crown Copyright (dolphin as bycatch). A special thank you for permission to use this photo!
      © Marine Photobank/ 1986 Bob Talbot, The LegaSea Project
      We tried to eliminate most of the stats because we know how folks can get caught up in numbers and turn them into debates. Still, we wanted to use some to try to illustrate the point. We decided to use conservative, non‐industry supplied statistics whenever possible.
      1. “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins (1987)
      2. “VEGAN: The New Ethics of Eating” by Erik Marcus
      And “Food Security and Stability in the Asia‐Pacific Region” Asia‐Pacific Center for Security Studies (September 11, 1998, Honolulu, HI)
      3. Research has shown that vegetarians are 50 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and they have 40 percent of the cancer rate of meat‐eaters. Even less for Vegans.
      Elizabeth Somer, “Eating Meat: A Little Doesn’t Hurt,” WebMD, 1999. Neal Barnard, M.D., “The Power of Your Plate” Book Publishing Co.: Summertown, Tenn., 1990, p. 26.
      And much more information at
      4. H. Steinfeld et al., “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options”, Livestock, Environment and Development (2006).
      5. Statistics for the amount of water required to produce animal flesh vary widely. For example, we found statistics on cow flesh to vary from 441 gallons (offered by a study provided by the Cattlemen’s Association which we don’t consider valid as it’s an industry‐supplied number), to the more widely accepted 2500 gallons per pound (J. Robbins), to over 5000 gallons per pound in studies done in California that stated 5214 gallons of water per pound of cattle flesh (Journal Soil and Water (no. 38, fall 1978)., all the way up to 12,009 gallons of water (Ecological Integrity: Integrating Environment, Conservation and Health (Island Press, Washington DC, 2001).
      There is also this statistic: It takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. (Robbins, The Food Revolution, p. 236.)
      We used a conservative number (2500).
      “Average” is also a difficult term to define. For example, do we average 1 cow + 1 chicken + 1 pig + 1 veal calf + one goat + one… the list of animals people eat seems to be endless. Or do we average the number of animals raised for food on the planet and average that? Will the average change if people consume more cows and fewer chickens and vice versa?
      We used data compiled from the USDA, the University of California, and from an article/link from Ohio State University’s Animal Science department about the numbers of animals raised for food worldwide. Here’s a summary:
      Gallons of Water per Pound
      Pounds of Meat Consumed in the World
      Gallons of Water Totals
      Avg. Gallons of Water Per Pound
      Given that numbers usually don’t include the immense amounts of water used in slaughter, we think 2500 remains a conservative and fairly accurate “average” number.
      As for milk, we had the same difficulty finding a consistent number. The numbers range from below 750 gallons of water per gallon of milk according to the dairy industry to 2000 gallons from New Scientist Magazine, Feb. 25 issue, 2006 “The Parched Planet.” This is the most recent statistic we were able to find.
      From the hundreds of different statistics we found – the only citations under 750 gallons were from meat/dairy industry sources. We feel that 750 is conservative (on the very low end) while not giving in to the exaggerated lower numbers provided by the industry.
      Regardless of the exact number, you’ll find that raising animals for food wastes water… LOTS of it.
      Here’s the math on the “shower” statistic: Average water used by someone on a meat‐based diet = 4000/day Average water used by someone on a Vegan diet = 300/day From “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins (1987)
      4000 – 300 = 3700 gallons of water per day saved by making Vegan choices
      3700 gallons/day X 365 days (1 year) = 1,350,500 gallons per year saved
      1,350,500 per year = 2.57 gallons per minute
      A shower head typically will distribute 2.5 gallons of water per minute… less than that used by someone on a meat/dairy‐based diet (even while they’re sleeping).
      6. “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins (1987)
      7. WorldWatch Institute, “Fire Up the Grill for a Mouthwatering Red, White, and Green July 4th”, 2 Jul. 2003.
      Again, we used this number because it was conservative. You may also refer to the number “250,000 pounds per second” from “The Food Revolution” by John Robbins (2001) and “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins (1987)
      8. USDA

    20. PETA has been around for a long time, longer than many other prominent animal orgs. They are also the foremost voice for AR ideas in the mainstream consciousness. During the time that PETA has existed, the AR movement has, by any reasonable measure, been growing.

      If an animal org that has been around for decades, the most prominent org of all no less, were really “harming the movement in the long run”, how do you square that fact with the observed growth of the movement? When it comes to PETA, the Center for Consumer Freedom and Gary Francione come in on the same side – with relentless attacks. Yet PETA – and the AR movement in general – rolls along.

      IMO there’s no evidence whatsoever that PETA and their campaigns do harm to the movement. All the evidence I see suggests exactly the opposite. If PETA were really shooting itself in the foot at every turn, then how do you explain their success?

      Again, I doubt I will personally ever make infographics for PETA. And there are definitely fair ethical criticisms that can be levelled at them. But if you want to argue that PETA is INEFFECTIVE or HARMFUL, then I think you have a whole lot of nothing to support your thesis.

      P.S. What EV said. It seems we’re all agreed that animal ag wastes resources and pollutes as compared to an equivalent amount of plant ag. We’re just arguing about the degree of wastage, and at that point IMO calling PETA out about a number on an infographic seems like a huge overreaction.

    21. I agree with your main point: We should stop attacking other animal advocates and activists. Let’s direct all our efforts to ending animal exploitation — whether that’s by incremental welfare reforms, making veganism easy and fun, or getting information out about industrialized animal abuse.

      That said, accuracy is important, and no one in our movement should open themselves to attack by failing to use the most objective, verifiable, and conservative data available. Institutionalized animal abuse in this country is horrific enough — there’s no need to exaggerate or use questionable stats.

    22. @ Plump Vegan

      “IMO there’s no evidence whatsoever that PETA and their campaigns do harm to the movement. All the evidence I see suggests exactly the opposite. If PETA were really shooting itself in the foot at every turn, then how do you explain their success?

      Again, I doubt I will personally ever make infographics for PETA. And there are definitely fair ethical criticisms that can be levelled at them. But if you want to argue that PETA is INEFFECTIVE or HARMFUL, then I think you have a whole lot of nothing to support your thesis.”

      well stated. erik marcus is unnecessarily critical of PETA, for reasons that are unclear at best. and he didn’t prove PETA wrong with a couple of statistics, in fact he merely supplied his own numbers, creating greater confusion.

      the relationships between water usage, pollution, environmental degradation, waste of precious resources and a meat-centric diet are well known.

      @ Eccentric Vegan

      This debate isn’t about what’s true or false.
      This debate is about what is effective or not.
      This debate is about whether or not it’s worthwhile to attack PETA.

      i agree totally. it is silly to fracture and divide the AR movement, makes little sense, especially concerning those that have amassed just enough information to start asking the right questions about veganism, animal cruelty and making more humane, compassionate lifestyle choices.

    23. I was looking at the cholesterol part of the artwork above, and I noticed that it that meat eaters have 210, vegetarians have like 160 and vegan has 133. Recently I decided to go vege, I haven’t exactly gotten to the hard part of it yet. I’ve wanted to do this for a while but my family is meat and potato people and they didn’t want to hear of my transition, and they even made fun of me, weird huh, it’s a life choice I make, and they decide to ridicule me about it, but I also want say something about the cholesterol, I was a hardcore meat eater, a while back, and my cholesterol level was a perfect 100, and I’m not exactly skinny either.

    24. That’s great Julia! I’m not exactly skinny myself and my fasting cholesterol is currently 108. Not fasting, it’s 124. Blood pressure is good, too, and all other blood tests have come back normal. Yay :)

    25. Now wait a minute…. Milk may be allowed to contain somatic cells, yes. But somatic cells are NOT PUS. Yes, pus is somatic cells, but literally any cell from an animal that is not a reproductive cell (gamete) is a somatic cell. My word. You breathe in somatic cells on a daily basis, but that doesn’t make breathing horrifying. Your bedsheets contain so many somatic cells, but I’m sure you still go to sleep at night. That isn’t even misinformation as much as it is a blatant, barefaced lie. There is no reason to include it, especially if the other facts are correct.


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