International Eat an Animal for PETA Day
Also known as
annually on March 15th (since 2003)
Meryl Yourish in 2003
Eat an Animal for PETA Day was thought up in 2003 by Meryl Yourish, a writer and teacher who lives in Virginia. She went to visit a blogger by the name of Wind Rider, who lived by a steakhouse where you are given raw meat to cook yourself. Meryl, Wind Rider, and their friend Bruce Hill almost went to eat there, but Meryl didn't like the idea of having to cook her own meat, so they didn't. Meryl later decided that going to the restaurant would be a good idea after all. She said that since the restaurant was close to the headquarters of PETA, she wanted to bring along signs against PETA as well as a camera. She thought there should be an Eat an Animal for PETA Day, and she encouraged others to also make signs against PETA and take pictures of the signs as well.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was formed in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco. It claims to be the largest animal rights group in the world, with 400 employees and 6.5 million supporters and members. Its main focuses are opposing factory farms, fur farming, animal testing, and the use of animals in entertainment. The 1981 Silver Spring monkeys case, a dispute about tests done on 17 macaque monkeys at the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, helped make PETA internationally known. The case involved the only police raid on an animal laboratory in the United States, and it helped inspire a 1985 amendment to the Animal Welfare Act. PETA has been seen as controversial over the years. Some have said they go too far, and some have said that they don't go far enough.
How to Observe
The best way to celebrate the day is to make some signs against PETA, head to a restaurant to eat some meat—possibly steak or chicken—and take pictures of the day to share. You could also eat an animal at home if you don't feel like heading out.