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Here is the letter I sent to Penn and Teller. In case anyone would like to add anything, their email address is:

Subject: Re: PETA

Dear Penn and Teller,

I was not familiar with your show until today, when someone sent me your piece on PETA. In the piece, you COMPLETELY distort the issue. You have taken every factoid and twisted it out of context. The "Center for Consumer Freedom" you mention, who runs a site called, is FUNDED BY THE MEAT AND DAIRY INDUSTRIES. They feel threatened by PETA and grossly exaggerate everything because it's in their interests to do so.

PETA is not a perfect organization. No organization is, because very organization is made of people, who are imperfect.

But, on the whole, PETA has done more for animals than ANY other single organization.

PETA is NOT an animal shelter or a rescue group. It is a public educational organization to raise consciousness about animal issues.

PETA has NEVER recommended NOT keeping pets. You did not effectively prove that bogus claim using a statement Ingrid Newkirk made about liberating all animals. Liberation does not mean "setting free." Liberation means GRADUALLY (obviously) liberating them from abusive industries. This is a broad explanation which cannot be understood in simple terms (which, apparently, is what you guys seem to deal with). Although they choose to refer to pets as "companion animals" (that's "pet" translated) and encourage adoption from shelters rather than purchasing from breeders and puppy mills, PETA does not advocate NOT living with them. They only advocate treating them HUMANELY. How could they be against keeping "pets" if Ingrid wrote a book entitled 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You? 

As for the concept of "rights", they are basically referring to animals' right NOT to be tortured. It's a basic right. They are (unlike your piece might imply) not advocating giving them the right to, let's say, VOTE.

In regard to the meat industry, anyone who has seen the Agriprocessors and other factory farm/slaughterhouse footage and does not see a connection with unimaginable torture and unacceptable cruelty is, in my opinion, heartless, willfully ignorant, and completely selfish. 

Your information on medical research is totally inaccurate and, again, out of context. There are so many books by MD's and PhD's written to counter the research community's claims that medicine has advanced ONLY or mainly because of animal research.

TALK about BULLSHIT. Why did you not choose to interview Dr. Greek (whom you featured as being critical of PETA) about his views on animal research? Here are some reasons:

As for your claim that animal activists are ANTI-HUMAN, you obviously don't know any personally.

I've been an activist since the early 80's, and, oh yeah, I'm a registered nurse (for over 25 years). Know why I'm BOTH?

Because I feel I need to try to alleviate suffering - whether it's human or animal. Compassion is compassion. Why do you falsely imply that one must choose between helping people and helping animals? If you have two brothers, does it mean you cannot love one because you love the other? In fact, most of the animal activists I have known through the years are also involved in helping people on many levels.

Also out of context is your presentation of an animal activist as a hypocrite because she uses insulin. First of all, there is not much of a choice since whatever animal testing has already been done cannot be reversed. Secondly, no one is disputing the fact that people need to do what they must to SURVIVE. That is hard-wired into us. If there was nothing else around to eat, of course I would say it's acceptable to eat meat (to survive). The fact is that for most of us, meat is NOT a necessity. It's not even environmentally sound. You could feed exponentially more people on a vegetarian diet than you can on an environmentally wasteful diet of meat.

Please see "How to win an argument with a meat eater":

Also, to paint animal rights activists as lunatic whackos by highlighting one particular person who is on the fringe (and, whose tactics, by the way, MOST activists DO NOT support) is highly and unreasonably deceptive.

I have to wonder what your motives are. Do you have stock in the meat or dairy industry? Or do you just want to try to rationalize your own unhealthy habits?

It's a shame. I checked out your little clips on Profanity and the Bible and found them pretty cute. I would like to believe you guys are better and can do better than this poorly researched piece badmouthing compassionate people.

Rina Deych, RN and Wildlife Rehabilitator 


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