Hollywood's Viper Room and New York's SPA nightclub are a long way from the Maryland basement apartment in which PETA began two decades ago, but they were the perfect venues for “the world's most rock 'n' roll charity” (as Chrissie Hynde calls PETA) to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Chrissie threw a private party on the Sunset Strip, wowing her guests with songs she belted out with her band, The Pretenders. Celebrity celebrants included Dharma and Greg's Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson, Bill Maher, Tobey Maguire, Mark McGrath, Shalom Harlow, Morrissey, Pamela Anderson, Marcus Schenkenberg, and Alicia Silverstone.

Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson

Shalom Halow

Sandra Bernhard


Montel Williams

Tobey Maguire

Todd Oldham

Mark Mcgrath

Pamela Anderson and Alicia Silverstone

Partygoers received a special CD invitation, including songsby Sandra Bernhard, Prince, Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich.

In 1980, PETA was founded with little more than a phone and a fax machine. Two decades and 700,000 members later, PETA has helped revolutionize the way the world views animals. Some notable accomplishments:

1981 PETA uncovers the abuse of the “Silver Spring monkeys,” resulting in the first arrest and conviction of an animal experimenter in the U.S. on charges of cruelty to animals.

1988 PETA's undercover investigation of Biosearch, a contract testing laboratory, leads companies including Avon, Revlon and Est�e Lauder to ban animal testing.

1992 PETA releases undercover photographs and videotapes showing ducks being violently force-fed on a foie gras “farm” in New York, resulting in the first-ever police raid on a U.S. factory farm.

1994 A furrier is charged with cruelty, for the first time ever, after a PETA investigator films him genitally electrocuting chinchillas.

1996 After PETA exposes the NASA Bion experiment, in which straitjacketed monkeys were to be implanted with electrodes and launched into space, the U.S. pulls out of the project.

1998 Taiwan passes its first-ever law against cruelty to animals, after a PETA investigation reveals that dogs at pounds are being starved, electrocuted, drowned and beaten to death.

1999 A North Carolina grand jury hands down the first-ever felony cruelty indictments against pig-farm workers, caught on videotape by a PETA investigator, beating pigs with metal bars and skinning and dismembering one pig alive.

2000 After a year-long, highly publicized, international PETA campaign, McDonald's implements numerous improvements in the way that animals are raised and slaughtered.

The Pretenders
I share PETA's view,” Chrissie told reporters from Rolling Stone, People, Us and In Style. “It's better to go too far than not far enough.” Attendees signed a petition later delivered to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, asking her to shed fur from the magazine's pages.

A week later, Sandra Bernhard, Todd Oldham, and The “Lady” Bunny hosted a PETA bash at SPA, New York's most popular nightclub. Montel Williams, New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams, and CNN's Jeanne Moos were among those on hand to applaud Bunny's leap from a giant “cake” and Sandra Bernhard's rendition of her anti-fashion anthem, “Undressed.”

RESCUED- Few animals used in circuses ever experience real retirement. They are hauled from town to town, forced to perform distressing and even painful acts, and in the “off season” invariably kept in tiny, barren enclosures, often denied proper shelter from rain and snow.

PETA rescued this bear from a traveling animal act. She now lives in a spacious habitat with fresh water, nutritious food, and the company of other bears.

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