Rather than railroading a discussion at Peacebang with my own axes to grind. (Heh. Mixed metaphor.) I'm going to respond more fully to a comment there right here.
PowderBlue wrote That’s why the animal-exploiting industries focus their attacks on the characters of PETA’s members and their communication style rather than the content of PETA’s reporting, which they of course prefer not to talk about."
First off, PETA has been caught in mistakes and exaggerations many times.
But to me the primary issue that makes this hard to discuss is that animal-rights activists and I approach this issue from such different premises.
Fundamentally, I believe that if an animal has to die, even painfully, to save human lives, then that is unfortunate but quite acceptable.
And make no mistake, Mary Beth Sweetland, the diabetic PETA executive who uses insulin, believes it, too, at least when it is her own life at stake. She's just apparently OK with letting other people die for her beliefs.
She was quoted in Glamour magazine saying I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic. Twice a day I take synthetically manufactured insulin that still contains some animal products -- and I have no qualms about it ... I'm not going to take the chance of killing myself by not taking insulin. I don't see myself as a hypocrite. I need my life to fight for the rights of animals."
But if YOU have a disease as scientists are trying to find a cure by testing on animals, PETA is against that. Sweetland needs her life, you might not need yours.
While I think that Sweetland's position is pretty indefensable, I do consider "An animal life is worth the same as a human's if we wouldn't test something on humans, we shouldn't test it on animals. If I get diabeties, I will control it through my diet and hope for the best" a moral and decent position. But it doesn't leave much room for discussion.
We can discuss how PETA's tactics hurt PETA's cause and make people think that animal activists are all nutjobs, though, and that is usually the point I try to make as it so nicely points out some of the problems in the comparable activists I see on other issues.