Friends of Animals' Hilarious Hypocrisy

Back in May, Friends of Animals blasted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for supporting Burger King’s introduction of a veggie burger. In a letter distributed on the Internet, Priscilla Feral noted that the BK Veggie Burger was not vegan since the buns include butter. She concluded,

How much sadder if ethical and religious vegetarians have to sue animal protection groups for misleading the public about the ingredients in Burger King products.

The hilarious thing is that at the same time Feral was writing this, Friends of Animals was promoting a cookbook on its web site that includes recipes that call for shrimp and butter!

Friends of Animals quickly took down the page after it was publicized by critics of the group, but the group had a web page that listed several recipes and noted that were from The Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special Cookbook. Friends of Animals provided a handy link to an online bookstore where people could buy the book and Friends of Animals would get a small cut of the proceeds.

Profiting from a book that sanctions the killing of poor helpless shrimp and the exploitation of cows for butter? How cruel.


It’s easy to have delicious vegan meals and desserts! Friends of Animals.

Friends of Animals Attacks PETA Over Burger King Veggie Burger

Friends of Animals’ Priscilla Feral distributed a letter this week attacking People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for that group’s endorsement of Burger King’s Veggie Burger.

Following Burger King’s announcement that it would offer a vegetarian offering, a number of animal rights groups and activists have heralded it as a chance to promote vegetarianism, with Alex Hershaft going so far as to opine that if the BK Veggie Burger fails, “it will set us back substantially.”

Feral will have none of that.

Much as been said about supporting Burger King because they now offer a product erroneously dubbed the “BK Veggie Burger.”

The burger is cooked on the same grill as the meat, unless one knows to ask for a special order microwave-heated burger. The strict religious vegetarian will have to request special treatment; she must feel comfortable with microwaved food; and, of course, she will have to know to ask.

Even if all these factors are met, the vegan will have to bring her own bread: Burger King’s buns contain butter.

Butter comes from an industry which exploits the reproductive cycles of cows throughout their lives. An enterprise which directly results in the production of veal.

Feral goes on to attack PETA over its BK Veggie Art Contest (see which asks people under 18 to design ads for the new veggie burger and promises that, “Each month all summer — June, July, and August — PETA will treat five winners and 20 of their friends to a BK Veggie Burger Party.”

Feral complains that,

To enter the contest, you must be 18 or under. We find it incomprehensible that an animal protection group would emulate the tactics of major fast-food companies: persuading parents to frequent burger restaurants by enticing their children. The contest even gets children to act as little advertisers for Burger King, as they “design an eye-catching advertisement” for this multinational giant.

(With “multinational giant” meaning much the same thing for Feral that “Satan” does for a fire and brimstone preacher).

Citing the case of McDonald’s, which used a beef flavoring ingredient in its fries that many people thought were vegetarian, Feral accuses Burger King and PETA of engaging in the same sort of bait and switch and with the same possible legal consequences,

. . . We often believe that our government will protect the consumer from food fraud. But it took a lawsuit from distraught Hindus to get the attention of McDonald’s.

How much sadder if ethical and religious vegetarians have to sue animal protection groups for misleading the public about the ingredients in Burger King products.

Now if we could just get Feral to threaten a lawsuit against PETA for it lies and distortions about medical research, we would be all set.


The Burger King “Veggie Burger.” Priscilla Feral, E-Mail Communication, Friends of Animals, May 20, 2002.

Friends of Animals Goes Ballistic

Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, went ballistic over the past couple weeks releasing two open letters on a popular animal rights news list that ended up getting her banned temporarily from the list. Both letters featured Feral charging that other animal rights groups were not abolitionist enough for her taste.

On June 26, 2001, Feral and Great Ape Standing & Personhood co-founder Lee Hall unleashed an letter ripping into In Defense of Animals over a National Institutes of Health contract for taking care of chimpanzees. The IDA put out a press release saying they were disappointed that the NIH had awarded the contract to a company that breeds animals for medical research purposes.

Feral and Hall in turn attack IDA for its implicit concession that it is okay to keep some chimpanzees in captivity. For example, consider this paragraph from Feral and Hall,

Your Release quotes Representative James Greenwood’s statement that the NIH “already has more chimpanzees than necessary.” IDA’s use of this reason to oppose the contract ignores the reality that Chimpanzees should not be owned by exploiters — “necessary or not. The very fact that the law considers research on Chimpanzees “necessary” both justifies and codifies the human right to torture non-human great apes.

In a follow-up press release dated July 3, 2001, Friends of Animals slammed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals without naming the group specifically. According to FOA’s press release,

During the last several months, one group professing to advocate
animal rights activism — has been promoting McDonald’s. Now this organization is giving the nod to Burger King’s new endorsement of “humane standards” for animal slaughter [a clear reference to PETA]. Not surprisingly, another animal welfare association has jumped on board to laud the fast food establishment’s reform measures. Meanwhile, a coalition of groups is busy advocating a “reform” initiative in Florida to make the farming of pigs more “humane” before they are slaughtered.

Instead of using pressure tactics to force changes in the way animals are slaughtered, FOA is clear that abolition of meat eating is the only acceptable goal,

It is time for all of us who care about animals to accept one clear and simple fact. There is no such thing as humane animal agriculture. The life of a “farmed” animal is hell from the moment of birth to the moment of slaughter. The improvements that are being pushed by such welfare-oriented animal groups will do nothing to prevent animal suffering, or advance the goal of animal rights.

It is a very good day when PETA is attacked for being too soft on animal rights.


Open letter to In Defense of Animals. Priscilla Feral and Lee Hall, June 26, 2001.

Abolition, Not Reform. Priscilla Feral, Press Release, July 3, 2001.

Animal Rights Activist Attack Peter Singer Over Bestiality Stance

Peter Singer still has not made any comments about his book review for Nerve which, on the most friendly interpretation, offered a weak argument against bestiality. While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Ingrid Newkirk offered a defense of Singer, many animal rights activists were quick to pile on denunciations of Singer, many of which were posted to the Nerve web site as well as being distributed through Internet e-mail lists.

Friends of Animals president Priscillia Feral wrote,

Friends of Animals, an interntional non-profit organization with 200,000 members throughout the world dedicated to promoting the rights of animals and concern for wildlife and the environment, denounces Princeton philosophy professor Peter Singer, for an essay in which Singer maintains that under some circumstances, it is acceptable for humans and animals to have sex with each other. FoA finds Singer’s position shocking and disgusting. Bestiality is wrong in part because the animal cannot meaningfully consent to sex with a human. In this sense, bestiality is wrong for the same reason pedophilia is wrong. Children cannot consent to sexual contact and neither can animals. Contrary to a statement from a spokesperson for PETA, Singer’s essay isn’t an intellectual issue, and his thinking isn’t logical. It’s a moral issue. Singer and his apologists just need to stop repeating every annoying idea they’ve developed for shock value.

Megan Metzellar, program coordinator for Friends of Animals weighed in as well,

Singer is basically condoning rape and molestation as long as one (presumably he?) can find a way to interpret the situation as being “mutually satisfying.” I suppose Mr. Singer can find a way to justify any base behavior in his mind via his meaningless hypotheticals. Singer has been put on a pedestal by the animal rights movement for a very long time but this essay is a wake-up call to those who have blindly idolized him. Moreover, since women are often sexually abused and exploited in conjunction with acts of bestiality, feminists should be outraged by his position on this issue. Child advocates should also be alarmed since Singer is condoning sex acts in which one party is basically incapable of giving consent. Singer is in dangerous territory here and if he has any sense left he will realize the potential fallout from this essay and retract his position.

Theodora Capaldo, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, was worried about the damage that Singer’s views will have on the animal rights movement.

As someone who has played and continues to play a high profile and influential role in the animal rights movement, I believe your responsibility changes. The success of animal liberation depends not only on the ideology, the legal arguments, and the philosophical reasoning but perhaps more importantly on the sophisticated strategies that will allow mainstream populations to hear the message, accept the message and act on the message. Heavy Petting will come back to haunt us and is a step backwards. Unchallenged, this essay will serve to further marginalize and, therefore, damage the animal rights movement. The consequences of it will push us back into the bubble-gum bottomed recess of prejudice that hell hole of ridicule that remains our greatest obstacle and enemy. Some people may care about your thoughts on bestiality from some perverse unconscious desires. More significantly, however, many others will study your every word not to better ground their arguments in support of animal rights but rather to find new ways to discredit our efforts. They have been given new ammunition and new accusations with which to boost their arguments about the absurdity of our beliefs. Heavy Petting will be used against us. Have no doubt.

Live by the sound bite, die by the sound bite.

Gary Francione, who seems to have laid low after shutting down his animal law center, reminded animal rights activists that Singer’s argument is beside the point since the existence of pets is an abomination itself, regardless of whether or not anyone is having sex with the animals.

Even if animals can desire to have sexual contact with humans, that does not mean that they are “consenting” to that contact any more than does a child who can have sexual desires (or who even initiates sexual contact) can be said to consent to sex. Moreover, Peter ignores completely that bestiality is a phenomenon that occurs largely within the unnatural relationship of domestication; a domestic animal can no more consent to sex than could a human slave. Therefore, since the threshold requirement–informed consent–cannot be met, sexual contact with animals cannot be morally justified….It is bad enough that Peter defends the killing or other exploitation of those humans whose lives he regards as not worth living, and, through his pop media image, he has succeeded in connecting the issue of animal rights with the very ideas that were promoted by some academics as part of the theoretical basis for Nazism. It is bad enough that the “father of the animal rights movement” regards PETA’s sell-out liaison with McDonalds as “the biggest step forward for farm animals in America in the past quarter of a century” (a direct quote from Peter) and that PETAphiles are pointing to Peter’s approval as justification for the sell-out. It is bad enough that Peter continues to support and promote those whose unethical actions have actually harmed animals. Bestiality merits nothing more or less than our outright and unequivocal condemnation. Peter’s disturbing view that humans and nonhumans may enjoy sexual contact as part of “mutually satisfying activities” will only further harm the cause of animal rights, and I can only hope that those who care will register their strong dissent.

Aside from the animal rights movement, it will be interesting to see how the Princeton community reacts to Singer’s newly found views on sex with animals.

Trapper Awarded $150,000 In Lawsuit Against Friends of Animals

    An Alaskan trapper recent won a $150,000 judgment against Friends of Animals researcher Gordon Haber for freeing an injured wolf out of a snare.

    In 1997, biologist Haber discovered the wolf caught in a trap set by Alaskan Eugene Johnson. Haber called Alaska state wildlife officials to free the wolf arguing it had been trapped illegally since there were dead caribou carcasses in the vicinity which violates an anti-baiting statute. Officials said they’d free the animal but when they didn’t show up, Haber released the animal himself all the while creating a videotape of his actions which he later released to highlight what he believes is an “abusive type of snaring.”

    Under Alaskan law, however, the wolf was the property of Johnson the moment it came into the trap. Since prosecutor’s decided there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Johnson with illegally baiting a trap, Johnson turned around and sued Haber for compensation for the lost wolf. Haber claimed he had the permission of state wildlife officials to free the wolf, but they testified that they told him as soon as he called that the wolf was the property of the trapper under Alaskan law.

    In addition to economic damage, Johnson argued that Haber was acting along with Friends of Animals to create a sensationalized videotape and damage his reputation for fund-raising purposes.

    Although both Haber and Friends of Animals maintain that Haber is an independent research biologist who happens to receive funding from the animal rights group, the jury decided that Haber was in fact acting as an employee of Friends of Animals when he released the wolf from the trap.

    After the verdict, Haber was defiant saying, “If they think I’m going to go away licking my wounds, they’re wrong. It just makes me more determined to get out there.”

    Friends of Animals, who paid all of the legal fees for their non-employee Haber has not yet decided whether it will appeal the jury verdict.


Trapper awarded damages. Tim Mowry, Fairbanks Daily News, July 24, 2000.

Biologist undeterred by verdict in trapping case. The Associated Press, July 26, 2000.