PETA Opening Office In Middle East (And What Do You Think Of PETA?)

(ANIMAL RIGHTS) — PETA is opening an office in the United Arab Emirates. Read about PETA’s initial plans as well as Global Animal’s position on PETA. You either love them or hate ’em. Please tell us what you think! — Global Animal

Ecorazzi, Michael d’Estries

PETA is expanding its reach into global markets with a newly announced permanent base in the Middle East.

“[Animal rights] is a newer concept in the Middle East but people are talking about it and are asking questions and wanting to get involved which is really encouraging to see,” Ashley Fruno, PETA’s senior campaigner for the Middle East and Asia, told Arabian Business.

The animal rights org, which has 300 employees and more than 2 million members, is looking to base two permanent campaigners in the Gulf region. The hunt to find a Middle Eastern celebrity to help front initiatives is also underway.

Fruno said that PETA’s initial targets will be on continuing their global fight against KFC and their chicken policies — as well as focusing on the Dubai Zoo and the popular animal-trading Sharjah Market.

“I think the conditions of animals in most countries are appalling, but there were some big concerns in the UAE [and] strengthened animal welfare laws are always welcomed,” Fruno added.


Global Animal on The PETA Principle

Perhaps no other animal organization incites as much controversy and charged feelings as PETA does. Whether it’s their publicity tactics or position on an issue, there’s no shortage of strong opinions in either direction. At Global Animal, it’s no different – some of us applaud PETA while others are critical of the group. Animal rights vs. animal welfare is something we discuss a lot.

Early on, our biggest question was, ‘Where do we stand collectively given that each of us has a different perspective on the ‘best’ way to benefit animals?'” Ultimately, our decision was to support all animal organizations across the continuum.  This isn’t to say that we agree with every group’s philosophy or approach. It just means that we respect the intention and efforts of those who are working on behalf of animals.

We believe there’s a place for everyone who feels the connection to animals. The trick is to act in accordance to one’s beliefs. After all, passion is the engine of volunteerism, so dictating how someone ‘should’ contribute runs contrary to the spirit of giving.

PETA galvanizes some and repels others, and that’s perfectly good. Animal lovers who don’t identify with PETA will find their tribe elsewhere. The world is a big formation of individual actions. There’s room for vocal opponents of factory farms and demonstrators in front of animal research labs. There’s space, too, for the woman whose activism is adopting a stray cat and the man whose commitment is to walk shelter dogs each Sunday. Caring in action takes myriad forms, and that’s exciting.

Global Animal makes the assumption that readers of a newspaper about animals care about animals. We further assume that our readers can make up their own minds about matters, don’t want censorship, and that rating the relative value and ethics of animal organizations is beyond Global Animal’s purpose.

Our agenda is simple: we strive to bring readers a wide range of news and stories from the animal kingdom around the globe. And to get the discussion-ball rolling. So whether you agree or disagree, we hope you’ll comment and make your voice heard. – Leah Lessard Jeon, Global Animal