Update: a rebuttal, to my post below, by myself: “We can be a no kill nation: here’s how.”
Update: a rebuttal via Kate: “The Truth about PETA & those Horrible Photos? The Truth is Pretty Ugly.“
In Defense of PETA.
As founder of elephant, I’ve worked with PETA—not directly, I have no ties to them—over the years, and I’m convinced of the simple truth that they care about animals, and are well-informed on the issues and questions of animal care.
And for years, a libertarian friend of mine has posted blogs about how PETA kills kabillions of animals on my Facebook Wall. So, a few years back, I asked PETA about it, via twitter.
In response, they sent me this.
As you can see above, they have long had a clear and public euthanization policy. And it’s certainly not secret.
So when photos and blogs started going around recently—I can’t even link to the Breitbart “article” in good conscience—it’s a far right traffic-baiting hype-hate machine, the furthest thing from fair, original journalism—I smelled a rat.
Here’s the rather hyped-up Huffington Post article…which links to the author’s blogs by way of sourcing its info. Warning: death.
And then, after getting a few “how could PETA do this!?” kind of emails from a yoga teacher colleague of mine—an intelligent, educated, savvy woman—I realized that somehow these lazy, shoddy, biased accusations had gone viral.
So I looked into it, all over again.
First of all: again, I don’t really care about PETA, one way or the other. I do care about animals. I do care about truth. And I have both defended and criticized PETA on this site many times, over the years.
So: the accusation is that PETA is “secretly” killing 10s of 1000s of animals—sweet, innocent dogs and cats.
Here’s one succinct response:
PETA provides a valuable, free, last-resort, humane euthanasia service. Due to human irresponsibility and ignorance there is a vast surplus of cats and dogs and far too few loving homes for them.
“No-Kill” shelters are not truly no kill. “They have no choice but to refuse most animals, as documented in this PETA video.”
Let’s do some math.
1. The truth is, of course, that the problem starts with us. You and I. When/if we choose not to adopt, we give up the chance to save a life.
2. Breeders and puppy mills and pet stores “manufacture” sentient lives for profit. Again and again, organizations such as PETA and the Humane Society have exposed intolerable, inhumane conditions. Even the best puppy mills are producing more lives in a society that…
3. …already has far more animals in need of rescue than citizens who choose to rescue (it’s called rescue for a reason).
So there’s the “math.” The result of the above equation is that, year after year, there are 10s of 1000s of animals who are euthanized—killed—because there’s not enough folks who care to adopt them. Reminder: whatever breed you want, you can adopt it.
These tend to be animals that are old, sick but treatable, troubled but workable, not cute in some conventional sense…all sweet, loving animals deserving of a life and who could make your life, you dear reader, a sweeter, fuller, more joyful one.
PS: if you have additional info that either confirms or contradicts the above, please leave it in comments and if it checks out, I’ll add it in. I am only after the fair and constructive truth here.
For a reasonable discussion, click over to Reddit (which loves to hate PETA, generally). “PETA is not a shelter. They are an organization that has to unfortunately do the dirty work that no-kill shelters leave behind. PETA goes into the worst situations and has to “clean up”. It is impossible to help animals and not euthanize. We have created such bad overpopulation. If you don’t agree with PETA, fine. But do your home work. No kill is not the be all end all solution. It is great in theory, but not in practice. I would recommend people do their own research and decide for themselves. The other side to this argument is petasaves.com ”
Be a part of the solution: adopt. The life you save might just be your own:
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.