People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 2 million members and supporters. There mission statement is this:

"PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds, and other "pests" as well as cruelty to domesticated animals. PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns."

There motto is, "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment." This is often taken to the next level where they have celebrities pose as a nude model, use fake blood for publicity etc.

PETA was founded in March 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco, an animal rights activist. Although it is based in Norfolk, Virginia, it is an international company. In 1980, Ingrid Newkirk had just divorced her former husband, Steve Newkirk. She met Pacheco in the same year. In March 1980, Newkirk persuaded Pacheco to join the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The first meeting was consisted of five other people, most from the local vegetarian society in Virginia. Now, as aforementioned, PETA is the largest animal rights organization.

The company first got attention in 1981 in the Silver Spring Monkeys case. It involved experiments conducted on 17 macaque monkeys inside the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. The case resulted in the only police raid on an animal laboratory in the United States and triggered an amendment in 1985 to that country's Animal Welfare Act.