‘Total animal liberation’ for PETA

Margaret Thompson

“PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade and in the entertainment industry,” according to the PETA website.


PETA is known for its “I’d rather go naked than wear fur” campaign, which features naked celebrities refusing to wear fur, and for its protests against fast food chains, but members of PETA aren’t all extreme all the time.


Vince Siciliano, sophomore philosophy major, is a member of PETA and has been vegan for two years.


Siciliano joined PETA earlier in the school year after “petitioning for more vegetarian and vegan food options” on campus and working with PETA’s youth outreach.


“It started out with becoming vegan and meeting lots of others with the same philosophy,” Siciliano said. “I wanted to take what I practice on a daily basis and promote it.”


PETA is an “organization for total animal liberation,” Siciliano said.


They fight for animals to have “basically complete freedom,” and promote animal “equality through fundamental rights.”


PETA uses celebrity spokespersons, flyers, letters, and protests to create awareness for their cause.


PETA “can be extreme at times,” Siciliano said.


He said this is because PETA “only has so much money and needs to make a dollar go as far as possible.” “It is so easy for mainstream media to make fun of PETA,” Siciliano said.


For people with negative views of PETA, he suggests to “look at the mainstream and try to understand the meaning behind it.”


Siciliano said being a member of PETA is “not very hard because it’s things I do anyway.”


For Siciliano, this includes being vegan, not wearing clothing made from animal products and not using animal-tested products.


Siciliano says living within PETA’s standards becomes “secondhand knowledge.”


He will be joining PETA as an “activist” this summer to help PETA raise awareness through protests, e-mailing, leafleting and visiting local schools.


“It started with wishful thinking for a more peaceful future free from suffering,” Siciliano said.


He said people should “use our power to show respect and compassion.”


Contact features correspondent Margaret Thompson at [email protected].