PETA Twists Religion to Promote Animal 'Rights,' New Report Charges

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:05pm EDT

( - Americans are accustomed to the tactics of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, but the group's in-your-face advocacy is increasingly calculated to offend, provoke and otherwise show contempt for America's religious faithful, according to a new report released by the Center for Consumer Freedom.

Entitled "Holy Cows: How PETA Twists Religion to Push Animal 'Rights,'" the document claims that this animal rights group hijacks religious rituals and institutions in an attempt to impose its stated philosophy of "total animal liberation."

The report also chronicles PETA's controversial assaults on the scriptures and traditions of Roman Catholics, Protestant Christians, Jews, Mormons and Muslims and contains an inventory of scriptures contradicting PETA's assertion that only vegetarians can claim to be observant people of faith.

"The world's great religions are under attack by disrespectful PETA activists who twist scripture and history to suit their goals," said David Martosko, director of research at the center.

"The animal rights movement has never shied away from offending people, but PETA should leave churches, synagogues and mosques out of its vegan holy war," Martosko added.

The Center for Consumer Freedom's website lists a number of examples of PETA's attempts to spread "the gospel of vegetarianism."

Full-time "faith-based campaigners" work for PETA under the direction of a campaign coordinator who has publicly advocated "blowing stuff up and smashing windows" as "a great way to bring about animal liberation."

The organization has also begun holding protests at houses of worship, even suing one church that tried to protect its congregation from Sunday-morning harassment, the report claims.

In addition, the group's billboards and other advertisements taunt Christians with the message that livestock "died for your sins," misrepresent the teachings of the Mormon faith and make the false claim that Jesus was a vegetarian.

PETA even paraded a statue of a cow dressed as the Pope in front of Catholic churches, the report states.

Contrary to a wealth of rabbinical teaching, PETA claims that ritual kosher slaughter is inherently cruel. It directs Jews to abstain from eating lamb during the Passover seder.

PETA's infamous "Holocaust on Your Plate" campaign compared the victims of Nazi genocide with farm animals, and the organization buys Internet advertisements falsely warning Muslims that meat labeled "Halal" is typically unfit to eat.

The CCF describes itself as "a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices."

Requests for a response from PETA representatives were unanswered at press time.

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