PETA softens its stance in the new USA

LOS ANGELES: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),

known for its theatrical activism, is shedding its radical image in the

wake of September's terrorist attacks.



The pugnacious tenor of many campaigns will be replaced with toned-down

messages and simpler methods of outreach, such as letters to the editor

and leafleting.



"Our work will certainly continue. It will just continue in a different

way," said PETA director of campaigns Dan Mathews. "We are known for our

confrontational protests, and as the nation stands right now, that is

not what people are looking for."



PETA's board met last week to hammer out the changes. Among them was a

Halloween campaign that planned to have members dressed as the Grim

Reaper dragging fur coats through city streets with the tagline "bring

out your dead." The plan has been scrapped, and the coats will instead

be distributed to the homeless.



Mathews said, "Since September 11, it's a different world. I don't think

we have to crash the cymbals in the same way to get people to think

about animals."



However, material changes have taken a toll on PETA finances. Many

campaign materials promoting cruelty-free products have been completely

scrapped and reprinted with new images and slogans. For example, the

tagline "Drop dead gorgeous" has been replaced with "Is your lipstick

lethal?" That, said Mathews, has "certainly" had an effect on PETA's

coffers.



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