If you believe every bad thing you hear about PeTA just because they are recognized by the animal rights community as disreputable, I don’t think you’re paying close enough attention.
If you knew someone who everyone disliked, would you believe everything they told you about this person just because it “sounds like something they would do”? Have some skepticism. Especially when it’s obvious that some people profit from the downfall of animal rights organizations. And you don’t think these people fabricate at least half of the “facts” on the “horrors” of these organizations?
It’s also very hard to properly critique how PeTA makes use of sexuality, thinking “sex sells” and often featuring women in very provocative campaigns. Because on one hand, they may be promoting the objectification of women, putting the rights of animals above the rights of human women. Yet, on the other hand, these celebrities featured in provocative campaigns have made their personal choice to be seen in such a way, using their bodies as they see fit, and to accuse the advertisements of being sexist is to accuse those women of internalizing misogyny simply because they are not afraid to use their bodies freely. If a woman cannot use her body as she sees fit - for the sake of animal rights - then is she unfettered by slut shaming and sexist criticism? Regardless of whether or not these tactics work (it’s been pretty much confirmed they do not), I sometimes find it difficult to see what is wrong to have a campaign where a woman is naked in the photo and where the theme of the campaign is not shaming women’s bodies in some way (because I know they did have campaigns shaming women’s body hair and their weight).
When it boils down to, I’ve always thought the animal rights community with more sense than to support PeTA should probably actively work to change that organization and its values instead of shunning it and treating it like a horrid sexist pus boil. PeTA continues to encourage young people to go vegetarian and vegan, and without proper intervention, those young people may grow to internalize the negative messages portrayed by PeTA campaigns, to associate that negativity with their advocacy. It’s why I kind of feel irked when I see people post “Vegans against PeTA” pictures on tumblr - it’s like they’re saying, “let the young vegetarians and vegans fend for themselves, educate themselves, and guide themselves, because my ego is too fucking big to give a shit about them.”