People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an animal rights organization based in the United States. With a stated 1.6 million members and supporters PETA claims to be the largest animal rights group in the world.[1]

Founded in 1980 and based in Norfolk, Virginia, PETA is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation with 187 employees, and funded almost exclusively by the contributions of its members. Outside the U.S., there are affiliated offices in Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan, and the UK. There is also the peta2 Street Team for high-school and college-age activists. Ingrid Newkirk is PETA's international president.

PETA's slogan is "animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment." In support of that position, it focuses on four core issues: factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment. It also campaigns against fishing, the killing of animals regarded as pests, abuse of backyard dogs, cock fighting, and consumption of meat. It aims to inform the public of its position through advertisements, undercover investigations, animal rescue, and lobbying.

The organization has been criticized for some of its campaigns, for the actions of some of its employees regarding their treatment of animals, [6] and for the number of animals it euthanizes. It was also criticized in 2005 by Senator James M. Inhofe for having acted as a "spokesgroup" for the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, after activists associated with those groups had committed what Inhofe called "acts of terrorism."

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