People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Interview with Sam Glover (assistant press officer for PETA Europe in the London office).
This easter stop animal cruelty.
"As long as people think that animals don't feel, we have to feel that people don't think" - Antimaniax

When did PETA start and what were the main reasons to form such an organization?

PETA US formed in 1980 in the United States and has more than 2 million members and supporters, making it the largest animal rights organisation in the world. PETA US and PETA Europe are dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA US and PETA Europe work through public education, research, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement and protest campaigns.

What kind of campaigns / activism are you mainly doing?

We use a variety of different methods to get our message across from demonstrations, to advertising campaigns.

How hard it is to follow a vegetarian / vegan way of life? And besides that what do you answer to the ones that claim that it's in human's nature to eat meat?

A decade or so ago many people felt limited by a vegetarian diet, but now going vegetarian couldn’t be easier! The explosion of vegetarian foods means that you can pop everything from bean burgers to veggie 'sausages' into the microwave and finish the meal with frozen non-dairy 'ice cream'. You can order a latte with soya milk in your local coffee shop, enjoy a veggie burger straight from the barbecue and stock your kitchen with wonderful products we could only dream of 20 years ago: flavoured rice mixes; a whole host of microwavable ready-made meals; soya-based 'cheeses', 'cream', 'mayonnaise' and 'milk'; and imitation meat products that can be used on their own or in your favourite recipes.

Studies have shown that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than meat-eaters and that meat-eaters are far more likely to die of heart disease and 40 per cent more likely to die of cancer. Meat and dairy consumption is also linked with diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, clogged arteries, obesity, asthma and impotence. A 21-year-long study comparing meat-eaters and vegetarians showed that the greater the meat consumption, the greater the death rate from all causes combined.

What do you suggest that we must do in our daily life in order to save this dying planet?

Adopting a vegetarian diet is one of the best ways to help our planet. Raising animals for food causes water pollution as slurry leaches into the waterways. In some parts of Europe , slurry is the single greatest cause of acid rain. The methane produced by the world's cows is a major contributor to global warming. Since 1950, half of all the world's rain forests have been destroyed to make way for grazing animals. After just six or seven years, the soil is so damaged that it can no longer support grass. It turns to dust. Tribal people are forced to move on as their habitat is sold off to the meat industry. In the UK , hedgerows are being cut down for the same reason, and 98 per cent of the forests that once covered most of the British Isles have been cut down. Of all agricultural land in the UK, 90 per cent is used to raise animals for food, and we still need more food, so we import it from developing countries which often cannot even feed themselves. Using precious land to raise animals for food is wasteful. On 10 hectares, you can produce meat to feed just two people, maize to feed 10 people, grain to feed 24 people or soya to feed 61 people. Overgrazing of livestock has led to desertification around the globe.

You work with many famous actors / musicians etc. Can you please name a few and tell us in which areas / industries you cover with PETA?

Paul McCartney has worked with us several times, mainly with our vegetarian campaigns. Celebrities who have done our anti-fur ads for us include – Eva Mendes, Jamelia, Natalie Umbruglia, Tamara Ecclestone, Sadie Frost, Pamela Anderson and Simon Cowell.

How can people from Greece get in touch with PETA organization? Any local offices or people working for you here?

Unfortunately we don’t have an office or contact in Greece, but please feel free to come to me with any other media queries you have in the future.

Just one final message: Like humans, animals are capable of suffering and have interests in leading their own lives; therefore, they are not ours to use – for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation or any other reason. PETA-named affiliates around the world educate policymakers and the public about cruelty to animals and promote an understanding of the right of all animals to be treated with respect.

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