The Truth about PETA & Those Horrible Photos? This is Why I Don’t Support PETA.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Apr 8, 2013
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The truth about PETA and those horrible photos?

This article is a rebuttal to Waylon’s The Truth about PETA & those horrible Photos.

I didn’t add the rest; chances are you may have already seen them on Huffington Post, The Daily Mail or any other news site covering the allegations against PETA. You don’t need to see them again. We don’t need to look at dead kittens and puppies over and over to realize what a horror this is.

Whether or not PETA euthanizes thousands of animals annually is not in dispute. They do, however, choose to justify these actions, with a little bit of truth—and a whole lot of misdirection and misinformation piled on top.

While PETA has raised awareness on many animal cruelty issues, the unfortunate (and misinformed) stance of their founder, Ingrid Newkirk on no-kill shelters is one reason they don’t get my support.

Help me sort this out because the logic eludes me:

1. PETA claims that no-kill shelters do more harm than good because they become filled to capacity and have to turn animals away.

2. PETA’s solution to this problem is to euthanize animals. They do not generally house animals for adoption in their facility, as their approach is to euthanize shortly after the animals arrive.

In fact, according the the Virginia Department of Agriculture findings:

90 percent of the animals PETA brings to their facilities are euthanized within the first 24 hours. Only 6 percent were ever placed in homes.


Their rates of euthanasia are so high, the Center for Consumer Freedom* petitioned the Virginia Department of Agriculture to reclassify their facility as a slaughterhouse. While they declined to make this classification, they will consider changing the facility’s classification to that of “euthanasia clinic,” as they do not seek to adopt out the animals they take in in this facility. Peta is transparent on this issue. They have not tried to hide the fact that they euthanize, but they remain closed to the idea of other alternatives.

Now clearly, as Waylon states in his response to the allegations against PETA, the low adoption rates are something we need to be active about. We need to choose rescue animals over designer pets. We need to be educated about this instead of having knee-jerk reactions—in either direction—towards sensational headlines.

But we cannot ignore repeated red flags either. PETA and their employees have been investigated on this issue again and again and again, and since their founder stands behind this model, it’s hard to believe that these practices will not continue.

This is important to note: As these recent allegations have come out, PETA maintains their stance that euthanasia is the best option for these animals.

As someone who has adopted many animals over the years, as well as volunteering in no-kill shelters, I cannot support PETA’s stance on euthanizing animals. What they neglect to mention in their position statement is that most no-kill shelters use networks of foster homes for any animals they cannot house on site. Through education and volunteerism, the no-kill model is sustainable.

According the No Kill Advocacy Center:

“If every animal shelter in the United States embraced the No Kill philosophy and the programs and services that make it possible, we would save nearly four million dogs and cats who are scheduled to die in shelters this year, and the year after that. It is not an impossible dream.”

The Companion Animal Protection Act has already been introduced in seven states and support continues to grow nationwide. In 2012, over one new no-kill community based shelter was established weekly in the U.S., with save rates between 90 and 99 percent.

The answer here isn’t massive euthanasia; it’s education.

1. Choose rescue pets, if possible from local no-kill rescues.

2. Spay and neuter your pets.

3. Support no-kill shelters with your donations and your voice.

And tell PETA that even though they sometimes get it right where animal cruelty is concerned, we will not support them due to their senseless and excessive euthanasia tactics.

*{CCF seems to have their own agenda on this front. The fact remains that the Virginia Department of Agriculture has numerous concerns about the facility. Thanks to our reader Asha for the head’s up.}


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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


20 Responses to “The Truth about PETA & Those Horrible Photos? This is Why I Don’t Support PETA.”

  1. asha says:

    Actually they did respond, here is the link:

  2. asha says:

    From the link I posted above: "This campaign is the work of the deceitfully-named Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a front group for Philip Morris, Outback Steakhouse, KFC, cattle ranchers, and other animal exploiters who kill millions of animals every year, not out of compassion, but out of greed. These companies are worried about the strides that PETA is making that are changing their industries and compelling them to take animal welfare concerns seriously, so—since they can’t argue with us on the facts of the animal abuse they fund—they hope to scare people away from caring about animals by spending millions on smear ads, mailings"

  3. Yes, their response is always the same, and is unfortunate. They continue to claim that euthanasia is the only workable solution, when clearly, it isn't. The investigations into their facilities (several are linked in the post) do not support their claims that they only receive sick and elderly animals. In fact, there are reports of PETA reaching out to "help" local shelters that are overburdened, only to euthanize all of the animals they remove.

  4. I've edited that portion to reflect this. While the CCF obviously has their own agenda, the Virgina Department of Agriculture had found many problems with this facility. I also linked to several instances of PETA being investigated for these issues, and could have added many more. I'm glad that they have raised awareness on some issues, but Ingrid Newkirk's background and her bias against no-kill shelters is resulting in tragedy here.

  5. They have stated that euthanasia is the sad but necessary solution. And yes, they are transparent about it, as I stated. What is unfortunate is that they continue to ignore the strides being made by no-kill groups, including legislation, when their resources could be better used to that end.

    I have linked to a great deal of info on no-kill shelters, as the info PETA bases their position on is mostly outdated, but happy to add more if it's helpful.

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Sad but necessary does not equal "ideal."

    Amen, let's all support true no kill shelters, as long as their solution isn't leaving animals in cages for the rest of their lives.

    I think folks do confuse "no-kill" with "true no-kill"…many no kill shelters do in fact result in killing. We're all united is seeing the problems: breeders, esp disreputable ones, puppy mills, pet shops, not enough spaying/neutering…I think showing bags of dead animals is a bit…unfair. You could show the same that came via no-kill shelters, for example.

  7. Bonnie says:

    Kate, I agree with you 100%! PETA does bring many issues to light regarding animal cruelty but there are many other organizations who do that and advocate humaneness across the board. Not just for some species They have a weird, twisted logic regarding feral cats and pit bulls. Also with all of PETA's money (A revenue of $34 million), they cannot themselves create a true no-kill shelter. How about instead of using it for their huge advertising campaigns they actually use more to save adoptable animals? I used to donate to PETA until several years ago until I discovered that they were killing healthy animals in their Virginia facility! They noticed that I stopped donating and sent me a letter asking why. I replied that unless they stopped this practice, they wouldn't get another cent from me. North Shore Animal League is a true no kill shelter and rehabilitates animals with serious health conditions and without $34 million dollars. The no kill model works!

  8. Lorissa says:

    If you work at no-kill shelters for any length of time- I have- you will see why they sound pretty in theory, but in actuality don't work so charmingly. They become warehouses for unadoptable dogs. The unfortunate fact is that some of us get to do the dirty work of cleaning up after other people's poor decisions, our societal ills, etc. And to blast a light on one choice that PETA makes is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. THey are on the front lines, doing the hard work that most would rather turn an eye away from. Let's support those who do the dirty work, and look for ways to encourage our society/fellow humans to quit contributing to the problem.

  9. Yes, I have volunteered with no-kill shelters, both in the shelters and for fundraising a great deal. I have not (at least in my area) seen what you describe to be the case. I agree that this isn't a one issue problem. The way we as a society treat pets as disposable accessories instead of family member is disgusting. With the growing no-kill movement and legislation like the Companion Animal Protection act, it would be great to see PETA put their energy and resources into creating real change here.

  10. Tamra says:

    Kate, what do you propose happens to all those animals alive today, Monday April 8, 2013, that no kill shelters will not accept and for which no foster home can been found? The 8 year old lab mix that chews everything in site. The 4 shepherd/pitbull puppies only 3 weeks old that need to be bottle fed. The 10 year old purebred chihuahua with a greying nose and slightly arthritic hips that bites. The gorgeous 5 adult cats coming in together, no cage to put them in, no foster to take them? Today, what do you propose about the math.? Too many animals, not enough space?

    The theory of no-kill is lovely. But they do not and can not take in every animal that is brought to them. And so you have regular shelters and organizations such as PETA that offer a merciful death at the same time they educate and advocate for awareness and overpopulation control methods. Come on, do you really think that PETA WANTS to kill animals?

    I worked for a humane society for 13 years. Hundreds of animals died painlessly by my hand and my compassionate heart. I fought to find homes for all that I could, advocated for early spay/neuter, loved those we could house and of course my own home had it's fill of 4-leggeds. Never once did I WANT to kill an animal. I was always clear that I was the clean up crew, erasing from sight that which others had abandoned and abdicated responsibility.

    There are a small handful of no-kills that are sufficiently funded to have fabulous success rates and still, there are animals that they refuse to accept because they know they cannot be placed. Check it out.

  11. Tiffany says:

    The fact that you site the sham group “Center for Consumer Freedom” at all shows how uninformed you are on this entire topic. How can you NOT have heard of them? Clearly you’ve already been influenced by their smear campaign. They go after PETA, HSUS and even Mothers Against Drunk Driving. EVERY org has a few issues. You do NOTHING to alleviate the suffering of animals by in-fighting with other animal advocates. This is exactly what CCF wants… in-fighting and misinformation and distraction.

  12. Padma Kadag says:

    Tamra…there is nothing humane about euthanasia towards animals. Unless of course we take the literal meaning of humane to represent everything a human(e) is capable of doing. I realize that this is an unpopular view. Animals do not want to die nor do they want to suffer. But they really do not want to die. My dog did not want to die nor did any of my relatives. No one wants to die. There is no compassion in euthanasia other than misguided compassion. For the most part animals are "put down' to alleviate the suffering of the care giver due to their helpless position. If we think that an animal is better off dead, or a human for that matter, and we are not aware what happens to them next after they die…then what is it we are really accomplishing?

  13. Hmm, don't really see any infighting in any points I've made here, and clearly—yes CCF is not a helpful group.

    My overriding concern here is that PETA, et al, despite the many good things they have done have an outdated stance on no kill shelters. Their time, money and resources would be better spent on joining forces with groups that are making this shift to support the Companion Protection Act and similar efforts.

  14. Well, it's a difference of perspective. You don't have to be wrong for me to be right… PETA has done some wonderful things, but perhaps it's time that they put their time, energy and resources into helping support no-kill groups, of which there are many who are making major progress—not a small handful as was true a decade ago.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  15. Dan says:

    The fact that you could have been hoodwinked by the Center for Consumer Freedom at all says a lot about how thoughtless your approach to this issue is, Ms. Bartollota.

    And placing an asterisk next to the original "citation," with a note that the CCF has an "agenda," isn't journalism, and it isn't disclosure. It's you trying to have it both ways: pretending to be credible without acknowledging the full egregiousness of the literally incredible tack you took to support your preexisting beliefs about PETA.

  16. barbara says:

    I have been trying to adopt a dog for a long time and I just have not found one that I could ethically take for many reasons. Plus the red tape and intense scrutiny is so disheartening… So I have visited a lot of no-kill shelters and my heart breaks for all those dogs who are not going to be adopted -due to behavior problems, temperament, sheer numbers and etc…they live their lives lonely and caged, so deprived of a comforting life condition. Euthanasia is far less cruel than that, I believe. Death is not the horrible end we imagine it to be, death can be a compassionate release. It is not the Grim Reaper, it can be the compassionate Angel

  17. PanOptikum says:

    Thank you for making me aware of that. I am a vegan and I supported PETA so far. But that is simply cruel. Witht he same argument you could euthanize starving and poor people. Everybody can understand that this is beyond thinking!

  18. Dazzle says:

    This whole article (if you could call this non-sense that), is so ridiculous… PETA euthanizes animals instead of “putting their resources toward no kill shelters” for 1 simple reason: they do not believe in pet-keeping. They believe in total and complete animal liberation and are not quiet about the fact that this is their goal. They will never build or support no kill shelters for this reason.

  19. HeartBroken... says:

    the thing is, they are killed within MINUTES of being taken in. being for or against euthanization is only HALF of the problem here! these nimals have never even had a CHANCE at life! i understand that killing animals to save from the pain and loneliness can be appealing but the more we stop puppy farms, the more we close down factories that breed animals like machines, until pet shops stop selling animals to give that poor 8 year old cat a chance, euthanization is sometimes the only choice. but i agree. PETA makes SOOOOO much money from donations and other ways, so why cant they build bigger shelters, take better care of the animals they get? THIS is what the problem is. THIS is what is unethical with this so called ethical group. THIS is what we must codemn. the killing of animals they save because of NO other reson then selfish desire of wealth. animals dont have voice. we need to be that voice…

  20. ratravarman says:

    HERE IS THE 800 LB. GORILLA IN THE ROOM: PETA is an indirect descendant of a branch of thinking in the early movement towards greater population control that came to be known as the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Taking a cue from Robinson Jeffers, the belief is that homo sapiens itself as a species is inherently destructive and must gradually self-eliminate in order to restore the world to a perpetual harmony that human intelligence and avarice can only destroy eventually. In that regard, part of the ideology of PETA is that animals are pure souls that are irrevocably and irredeemably tainted by any contact or use by human beings. This includes any and all pets as well as any zoo animals or domestic livestock, including bees or silkworms. I remember a few decades ago in Whole Earth Review an internal controversy arguing whether domestic livestock should be euthanized or released back into the wild to evolve back to their pre-domestic state. I believe time has answered what the final decision was. Celebrity support from the likes of Bill Mahr, ironic considering his atheism and championship of reason over belief and dogma, is simply due to his own support for voluntary human extinction. Whether some of this report is based in denial or a covert belief in PETA's core ideology is yet to be seen or demonstrated.