Throughout history animals have been used in scientific experiments, food production, clothing manufacturing, and within entertainment industries. As scientists develop new pharmaceuticals, or new product lines they are required to be tested for effectiveness and safety before human exposure. Many large companies choose to test on animals because it is more cost effective. Due to this ongoing cycle of new advancements, animals have become the relied-upon method of testing, forcing them to be looked upon as objects rather than living creatures. After this realization, laws began to come into effect that were specifically designed try to increase animals' rights; however, most of these acts were ignored and rarely enforced. The Animal Welfare Act of 1985 soon became the foundation for all federal rules and regulations involving the use of animals in laboratories. This Act required acceptable veterinary care and arrangement of basic life necessities. Due to the newly passed law, major social changes began to occur within medical and scientific testing. Facilities were now required to produce an annual report of the conditions of their animals, as well as upgrade their procedures in order to produce safer conditions (Animal Welfare Act). Despite this major progression, the wellbeing of animals in laboratories was still not being looked after as it should be.
Many organizations began to form for the purpose of not only enforcing the laws already put into place, but going further to cease all animal cruelty. Many of these modern associations have been successful in making immense strides in increasing animals' rights. Of the known organizations, People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA), founded in 1980, is one of the largest, most active animal rights corporations. The movements organized by PETA have reached a huge level of success, where some of its victories include the following: “closing of the largest horse slaughterhouse in the United States, the closing of a military laboratory where animals were shot, and the end of the use of cats and dogs in wound laboratories.” (Animal Rights). Although PETA has made great strides in animal rights campaigns some people believe that PETA uses somewhat extreme marketing and propaganda techniques, such as the “We'd Rather Go Naked” campaign where the people of PETA would have people paint their naked bodies in protest of skinning animals for their fur. Many people painted their bodies to look like skeletons and stood in coffins, holding signs that read “I wouldn't be caught dead in leather” or “I'd rather go naked than wear fur” (PETA Wants YOU to Go Naked to Help Animals). PETA has many other campaign types, but they all could be considered extreme and seen as useless. They have received immense backlash for many of their advertisements because a majority of them involve either very graphic images of mangled animals that have been tested on in laboratories with faulty cosmetics, naked models on posters, or naked volunteers in public protesting the use of animals in laboratories when there are other perfectly viable options.
Although PETA can be viewed as large group of extremists their hard work is beginning to pay off. The messages and actions of PETA has remarkably affected industries and swayed public opinion about testing on animals in laboratories. The influence has begun to spread nationwide producing an effect large enough to cause positive social change. Many companies, specifically within the cosmetic industry, have started to evolved into selling products completely free of animal testing. All of this has lead to the startup of a new campaign that is linked with PETA and shown on the PETA website called Beauty without Bunnies. Beauty without Bunnies is sponsored on the PETA website allowing all visitors to donate directly to the cause through the website. This sub-campaign of PETA has also created an immense amount of change with a less extreme approach. Beauty without Bunnies allows people to browse al cosmetic companies that are considered to be cruelty free, meaning that their products were tested on alternative methods instead of animals. This part of the website also allows the viewers to take a pledge to become cruelty free, allowing them to find affordable cruelty free beauty products. This more dialed down method of advertising allows people to learn about the issue without being forced into the brutal details of the public PETA campaigns. PETA is using social media as well as their website. They are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allowing them to be accessible to all ages. These groups have proven that the cease of animal cruelty and treatment is possible by catching the attention of young people, giving them all of the resources they need to end testing in laboratories and putting the responsibility in their hands to make the overall change.
The PETA campaign and the Beauty Without Bunnies sub-campaign are both trying to convey what really takes effect in animal research laboratories, and get people to rebel against it, because animals deserve more than to be tortured, ripped away from their families, and brutally murdered for science that may not even help humans in the end. Many of PETA's campaigns can be viewed as extreme, but they are effective. They use real people and real pictures to get the major point across- that animals are not treated fairly in these testing laboratories, and there are numerous alternatives for testing. Overall PETA has made huge strides in creating social change even though they are considered extremists.
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