By: Norma Bennett Woolf  Date: 01/15/2012 Category: | Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare |


On December 14, 1996, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals held a party at Paramount Studios to honor celebrities that promote animal rights. Among the honorees were Paul and Linda McCartney and Mary Tyler Moore. Ironically, both women are victims of diseases researched and controlled through animal-based research - research that PeTA abhors and wants to end.

It has been the fashion in Hollywood to wear red ribbons to support AIDS patients and the research necessary to conquer the deadly disease, but many celebrities wear the ribbons and support PeTA, a contradiction that Americans for Medical Progress, the Foundation for Biomedical Research, and AIDS activists consistently point out. In April, before the Academy Awards celebration, AMP placed a full-page ad in Daily Variety, the show business newspaper, to highlight the incongruity of supporting PeTA and wearing AIDS ribbons. In June, days before the animal rights activists were set to converge on Washington DC to lobby against animal use, AIDS activists, FBR, AMP, and the National Association for Biomedical Research held several days of meetings and press conferences to present their case to legislators and the public. And in December, AMP, ACT-UP Los Angeles, Incurably Ill for Animal Research, and the California Biomedical Research Association joined forces in an ad in Variety and held a press conference before the PeTA event.

Calling PeTA the "arch-enemy of biomedical research," AMP president Susan Paris said, "We're asking celebrities to make it clear where they stand. They cannot support People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and a cure for AIDS at the same time."

The biomedical research coalition began the Variety ad with "We're here to tell Hollywood the naked truth about PeTA. We are the people with HIV/AIDS. Breast cancer survivors. Spinal cord injury patients. Children with birth defects. Parents of babies lost to SIDS. Teens crippled by muscular dystrophy. Women suffering from heart disease."

The copy then praised celebrities for their contributions to fundraising for medical research in the past and challenged them to make a choice between supporting PeTA's harassment and intimidation of doctors and scientists and the lives of human beings.

"PeTA has sold Hollywood's best and brightest stars a bill of damaged goods," Paris said. "These celebrities must understand that medical research is more than wearing a red ribbon on your lapel. The only way we will be able to continue to develop new cures and treatments is through humane research with animals. Without animal research, medical progress grinds to a halt. It's that simple."

Media throughout the country are taking notice of what New York Post commentator Steve Dunleavy called "Hollywood hypocrisy."

Noting that they "live in mega-mansions but bleed for the welfare state" and "crave celebrity but demand privacy," Dunleavy said of the stars' support of PeTA: "They are taking part in a celebration of an organization that would endanger the lives of millions - literally millions - of humans."

The Associated Press, LA Weekly, The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other media featured stories about the challenge to PeTA this year.

Stars for PeTA

Paul and Linda McCartney have been enlisted to lead a high-profile publicity campaign against the March of Dimes, an organization that invests millions of dollars in research to prevent birth defects.

Mary Tyler Moore has been recruited by PeTA to urge post-menopausal women to stop using Premarin, a hormone replacement treatment made from horse urine. Premarin controls menopause symptoms and helps prevent osteoporosis.

Richard Gere is one of Hollywood's biggest fund-raisers for AIDS research and served on the honorary committee for the PeTA gala.

Other PeTA celebrity supporters include Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Bill Maher, David Duchovny. Oliver Stone, Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Harrelson, and Ellen DeGeneres.

About The Author

Norma Bennett Woolf's photo
Norma Bennett Woolf -

All Authors Of This Article: | Norma Bennett Woolf |
Like this article?
Don’t forget to share, like or follow us



blog comments powered by Disqus