As PETA readies for its 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards, I took a few moments to reflect on the last 30 years. Wow, has it really been that long?

With the support of people like you, PETA has grown from an idea to a small group of activists in a basement to the largest animal rights organization in the world. I feel immense pride in what we have accomplished over the years for animals, thanks to the help of readers like you. The following are a few highlights from our last three decades of winning lifesaving victories for animals:

1981
PETA broke new ground with the “Silver Spring monkeys” case. The undercover investigation of a primate laboratory in Maryland resulted in the first-ever search warrant for a U.S. laboratory, the first-ever conviction of an animal experimenter on charges of animal abuse, and the first-ever suspension of federal research funds for cruelty. It also marked the first time in history that a case involving animals in laboratories was heard by the Supreme Court.

1984
PETA helped close down a Texas slaughterhouse where 30,000 horses were trucked in annually from all over the U.S. and left to starve in frozen fields without shelter.

1985

More than $1 million of federal funding was suspended for a City of Hope laboratory in California after PETA uncovered gross mistreatment of dogs and other animals at the facility.

1986

With PETA’s help, chimpanzees were freed from confinement in total isolation at SEMA, a Maryland research laboratory.

1987

Cedars-Sinai, California’s largest hospital, halted plans to ship stray dogs from Mexico to California for experiments after PETA intervened.

1988
East Carolina University ended the use of live animals in its classrooms after PETA distributed a secret video showing a classroom exercise in which an inadequately an anesthetized dog was subjected to painful surgery.

1989
PETA persuaded Avon, Benetton, Mary Kay, Amway, Kenner, Mattel, and Hasbro to stop testing on animals.

1990
As the result of PETA campaigns, cosmetics giant Estée Lauder and 40 other companies agreed to end animal testing.

1992
A PETA investigation of foie gras production led to the first-ever raid on a factory farm and convinced many restaurants to drop the cruel product from their menus.

1993
PETA convinced General Motors to stop using animals in crash tests.

1994
A furrier was charged with cruelty to animals for the first time in U.S. history after a PETA investigation revealed that he electrocuted chinchillas by clipping wires to the animals’ genitals.

1995
Mobil, Shell, Texaco, and other oil companies agreed to put caps on exhaust stacks after a PETA investigation revealed that thousands of birds and bats were burning to death.

1996
After PETA intervened, Omaha’s Boys Town National Research Hospital halted experiments in which kittens’ heads were cut open and cats were starved in deafness studies.

1997
As the result of a PETA investigation of a New Jersey testing laboratory, 40 beagles were adopted into loving homes and spared from having their legs broken in painful experiments.

1998
Taiwan passed its first-ever law against cruelty to animals after PETA documented the plight of dogs who were starved, electrocuted, drowned, and beaten to death in filthy pounds.

1999
The first-ever felony cruelty indictments against factory-farm workers were handed down following the release of PETA’s undercover investigation of a North Carolina pig farm.

Look for part 2 of PETA’s accomplishments in the next couple weeks!