At PETA I served as the Animals in “Entertainment” Specialist. I feel for anyone – past or present – who has held this role. It’s part cruelty case worker, part campaigns. During my time in the role, I also served as part-time covert abuse documenter and part-time lobbyist. It is a rough role, where one has to respond to every inquiry by the public (thankfully with dedicated assistance from other departments when it is a case I wouldn’t personally be looking deeper into or who simply needed some guidance if the complainant would be willing to get off of their butts and do something about what they normally wished for us to handle and duck out.
Sorry, Public. It’s not that simple. Who is in the best place to address the situation? Why – you are! The person complaining! Get your hands dirty and help those animals.
And this is nothing to say for the whistleblowers who’d not be willing to come out about the burden they merely placed on us rather than take meaningful action themselves. Thankfully that’s not how it always was and there are some very courageous individuals out there who I’ll never be able to thank publicly for the strength and perseverance they exhibited in tough times for the sake of reducing and ending animal suffering. To those folks, THANK YOU!
My work at PETA varied greatly, but some of it could fall into the following categories:
- Communicated humane options to corporations and other business and community entities while negotiating alternative practices and policies.
- Media, Public, Member and Governmental Relations, including as a registered NY State lobbyist.
- Drafted and edited educational materials, including web features, advocacy alerts, and speaking points.
- Conducted presentations and short-term investigations.
- Guided complainants on proper practices for working with law enforcement and documenting abuse, while managing “entertainment”-related cruelty cases to obtain the best results possible under the law.
And then and then and then and then. Yes, working at PETA is a blessing and a curse. I considered my time at PETA to be equivalent of a kick-ass master’s degree in animal advocacy. I couldn’t thank them enough for what I learned there.
If you have some jaded perspective on PETA, I bet it’s incorrect. Most of the negativity I hear about PETA is based on ignorance and misunderstanding. If you hold negative thoughts on PETA, voice them to me. I’d be happy to discuss with you why I remain a supporter. PETA rocks. And they are consistent, stand up for all animals, and deserve your support, too.