When the first creatures crawled out of the primordial ooze, it signaled the beginning of a race… more correctly, it was a marathon, but for this article, we’ll call it a race. A race of superiority to some extent, but mostly a race of survival. Through a combination of luck, skill, ingenuity, intelligence, and evolution (opposable thumbs helped us hold guns AND post two thumbs up signs… hallmarks of civilization), when the dust settled man was the top of the food chain and lorded over the rest of the creatures on this foul rock we call earth. That is undeniable, yet some people still cling to the idea that ALL creatures are created equal. They aren’t. Animals may be cute and cuddly, but they are oftentimes dumber than a box of rocks. I like animals (some are quite tasty), but for the most part, I DO NOT believe that animals have a moral right to exist at the expense of humans.
This is a long post… if you don’t wanna pile drive face first into a wall of text, don’t continue… seriously… you’ve been warned.
There are a lot of people in the world who believe that every creature on the planet is sacred. They believe that each creature has an inherent value and as such, it should be protected from evil. This idea is beautiful in a way that I can’t argue against. No creature should suffer torture in the guise of entertainment for humans, but that doesn’t mean I believe animals should all be protected from “harm.”
The problem is that there are also people in this world who believe that anything that befalls our non-human brethren is evil. They tend to believe that all animals should be protected, even at the cost of human existence. These are the “all or nothing” types who rail against the idea that human need trumps an animal’s right to exist.
Before I start to look at the kooky world of animal rights activists, I should preface my post with this: I love animals. I would never wish any animal to be tortured or killed for sport or with malice. That is the operative word… Malice. So we can be on the same page… torturing a cat because you like hurting things is wrong and should be met with some legal action (if not outright castration because I don’t want your kind to reproduce… ever). Killing animals because it makes you feel good is a sign of an unbalanced, possibly psychopathic, human and should be dealt with accordingly. People who pit one animal against another for the sake of gambling are no better than the little retarded kid who tortures cats for fun and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (if not systematically flensed and dipped in alcohol and then set afire). These are undeniable acts of cruelty.
The problem I have with most animal activists is that they don’t really have a grip on reality and have a great deal of trouble recognizing true cruelty from imagined cruelty.
There was a time when animal rights activists had a very sensible view of animal welfare. It wasn’t difficult for these groups to pick out the bad guys. Unfortunately, those days are long gone and now, anyone who owns an animal or owns products made from animal materials is a target of these nutters.
For all intent and purpose, there are three flavors of animal activism. The Human Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Animal Liberation Front. The first, the humane society group, believes in saving animals from abuse and misuse. The second, PETA, believes that animals must be protected and promote an ideology of protection “by any means necessary.” These people are willing to do just about anything, short of outright violence (at least publically), in order to achieve their goals. The last, ALF, believes that violence is the only way to protect animals from humans. For this piece, I’ll keep my focus on PETA, but will mention the others often.
No conversation about animal rights can be had without discussing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Some media outlets have described PETA as “by far the most successful radical organization in America.” The funniest part of that quote is actually using the word “radical” to describe their political leanings. In case you aren’t paying attention, there is no significant distinction to be drawn between radicals and extremists. They simply choose the word “radical” because of the connotation, which is not as negative as the word “extremist.” A radical brings to mind a 60s-era hippy, while an extremist brings to mind a turban-wearing, bomb-accessorized fanatic with an axe to grind against baby Jesus. See, the people who control PETA are not dumb. They use various marketing tactics to ensure the money flows from the pockets of unsuspecting morons and into their war chest. Since PETA needs as much money from as many idiots as possible, it is clearly easier to get that money if they avoid being labeled as a terrorist organization, but… that is essentially what they are.
PETA wants to totally, and completely liberate all animals from the yoke of human servitude. This means that animals and animal by-products should not be used as food, clothing, entertainment, companionship, labor, science, research, or sport. They are even opposed to seeing-eye dogs. Seeing-eye-dogs? Are you kidding me? Get rid of seeing-eye-dogs and you can pretty much guarantee seeing four or five dead blind people stacked up like cordwood on every busy intersection in the US.
All modern dog breeds evolved from wild dogs eons ago. They sought out humans because they were an easy source of food (scraps, bones, etc). They have forged a symbiotic relationship with humans, offering protection and companionship in exchange for food. There is absolutely no rational reason to wish to free dogs from human interaction. If you wanted to free the rest of the animal population, it wouldn’t be so bad I suppose, but dogs? You can free all the cats you want. Cat’s are only one genetic marker removed from rats afterall.*
PETA and other animal liberation groups like the Humane Society of the United States, want to change how humans and animals interact. Actually, they want force humans to avoid interacting with animals completely. They are going far beyond trying to improve the lives of animals, instead looking to prevent ordinary humans and animals from forging mutually beneficial relationships.
Today’s activists want to force you to eat nothing but bark and algae; and wear nothing but hemp, cotton, rayon, and rubber. They want to ban hunting, fishing, zoos, rodeos, animal breeders, and circuses. Some want to permanently end Kosher slaughter. Forget about using animals for researching cures for disease. Not even your goldfish would be safe if PETA had their way.
In the United States today, there are over 100 organizations dedicated to enforcing this animal “rights” mentality. Their annual budgets total more than $200 million. And they’re deadly serious about achieving their goals. The problem is, not everyone takes the time to find out about the groups and ideologies they support. As I have stated time and time again, passion without understanding is a dangerous thing. Considering that children under the age of 16 are THE major target of PETA’s propaganda, the future looks incredibly bleak in terms of rational thought winning out. Kids these days only understand that BAMBI is being killed, not that hunter’s help cull the herd of deer in an ecosystem to prevent it from collapsing. I can forgive children if they fall for PETAs tactics, but anyone over the age of 18 who blindly follows PETA and other animal organizations should be prevented from pro-creating.
I can deal with at great deal of idiocy, but anyone who claims membership to PETA is simply not intelligent enough to breath the same air as I do.
Here are some readily available facts about PETA (blantantly stolen from various websites and non-profit watchdog groups):
- According to government documents, PETA employees have killed more than 19,200 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens since 1998. This behavior continues despite PETA’s moralizing about the “unethical” treatment of animals by farmers, scientists, restaurant owners, circuses, hunters, fishermen, zookeepers, and countless other Americans. PETA puts to death over 90 percent of the animals it accepts from members of the public who expect the group to make a reasonable attempt to find them adoptive homes. PETA holds absolutely no open-adoption shelter hours at its Norfolk, VA headquarters, choosing instead to spend part of its $32 million annual income on a contract with a crematory service to periodically empty hundreds of animal bodies from its large walk-in freezer.
- PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk has described her group’s overall goal as “total animal liberation.” This means the complete abolition of meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, zoos, aquariums, circuses, wool, leather, fur, silk, hunting, fishing, and pet ownership. In a 2003 profile of Newkirk in The New Yorker, author Michael Specter wrote that Newkirk has had at least one seeing-eye dog taken away from its blind owner. PETA is also against all medical research that requires the use of animals, including research aimed at curing AIDS and cancer.
- PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals. This includes a 2001 donation of $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an FBI-certified “domestic terrorist” group responsible for dozens of firebombs and death threats. During the 1990s, PETA paid $70,200 to Rodney Coronado, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) serial arsonist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. In his sentencing memorandum, a federal prosecutor implicated PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in that crime. PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator Bruce Friedrich has also told an animal rights convention that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation,” adding, “Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.”
- PETA activists regularly target children as young as six years old with anti-meat and anti-milk propaganda, even waiting outside their schools to intercept them without notifying their parents. One piece of kid-targeted PETA literature tells small children: “Your Mommy Kills Animals!” PETA brags that its messages reach over 1.2 million minor children, including 30,000 kids between the ages of 6 and 12, all contacted by e-mail without parental supervision. One PETA vice president told the Fox News Channel’s audience: “Our campaigns are always geared towards children, and they always will be.”
- PETA’s president has said that “even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.” And PETA has repeatedly attacked research foundations like the March of Dimes, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, solely because they support animal-based research aimed at curing life-threatening diseases and birth defects. And PETA helped to start and manage a quasi-medical front group, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, to attack medical research head-on.
- PETA has compared Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust to farm animals and Jesus Christ to pigs. PETA’s religious campaigns include a website that claims—despite ample evidence to the contrary—that Jesus Christ was a vegetarian. PETA holds protests at houses of worship, even suing one church that tried to protect its members from Sunday-morning harassment. Its billboards taunt Christians with the message that hogs “died for their sins.” PETA insists, contrary to centuries of rabbinical teaching, that the Jewish ritual of kosher slaughter shouldn’t be allowed. And its infamous “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign crassly compared the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide to farm animals.
- PETA frequently looks the other way when its celebrity spokespersons don’t practice what it preaches. As gossip bloggers and Hollywood journalists have noted, Pamela Anderson’s Dodge Viper (auctioned to benefit PETA) had a “luxurious leather interior”; Jenna Jameson was photographed fishing, slurping oysters, and wearing a leather jacket just weeks after launching an anti-leather campaign for PETA; Morrissey got an official “okay” from PETA after eating at a steakhouse; Dita von Teese has written about her love of furs and foie gras; Steve-O built a career out of abusing small animals on film; the officially “anti-fur” Eva Mendes often wears fur anyway; and Charlize Theron’s celebrated October 2007 Vogue cover shoot featured several suede garments. In 2008, “Baby Phat” designer Kimora Lee Simmons became a PETA spokesmodel despite working with fur and leather, after making a $20,000 donation to the animal rights group.
- In the past, PETA has handled the press for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a violent, underground group of fanatics who plant firebombs in restaurants, destroy butcher shops, and torch research labs. The FBI considers ALF among America’s most active and prolific terrorist groups, but PETA compares it to the Underground Railroad and the French Resistance. More than 20 years after its inception, PETA continues to hire convicted ALF militants and funds their legal defense. In at least one case, court records show that Ingrid Newkirk herself was involved in an ALF arson.
- PETA has even begun to adopt the tactics of an ALF offshoot known as SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty). This group is notorious for taking protests outside the boardroom and into the living room, attacking their targets at their homes.
- In 2001, three masked SHAC members brutally bludgeoned a medical researcher outside his home in England. The lead attacker was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. A few months later, SHAC attacked another research industry employee on his doorstep with a chemical spray to his eyes, leaving him temporarily blinded and writhing in pain. The following year, Newkirk was asked her opinion of SHAC in the Boston Herald. Her response? “More power to SHAC if they can get someone’s attention.”
- By 2003, PETA activists had adopted SHAC’s protest techniques, stalking and harassing fast-food restaurant executives. Not content to write letters and picket the chain restaurant’s offices, PETA’s leaders met with the CEO’s pastor, and visited his country club and the manager of one of his favorite restaurants. PETA activists, one dressed in a chicken suit, even protested at the church of two executives, annoying worshipers by driving a truck with giant screens of slaughterhouse video back and forth along the street.
- In an effort to win more media exposure, PETA has adopted the counter-intuitive tactic of buying stock in restaurant and food companies that serve and sell meat. After buying just enough shares to qualify, PETA’s pattern is to introduce shareholder resolutions that would require animal-rights-oriented practices in the way animals are handled and slaughtered. PETA’s goal as a shareholder, of course, is not to turn a profit. Its resolutions, if passed, would increase the cost of doing business and lower the value of everyone’s investment. The group has claimed that it’s “not trying to remove meat from the menu.” But with a stated long-term goal of “total animal liberation,” pushing for animal-welfare changes is just a first step. PETA’s short-term goals are to economically cripple these companies, force them to increase the retail price of meat, and nudge consumers toward eating less of it.
- PETA collected almost $29 million in donations in 2004 alone, but few donors understand exactly where their money is going. During the past ten years, PETA has spent four times as much on criminals and their legal defense than it has on shelters, spay-neuter programs, and other efforts that actually help animals.From both a moral and a legal standpoint, there are far too many objectionable things about PETA to list here in detail. But the following list is a good start:
- PETA is not an animal welfare organization.
PETA spends less than one percent of its multi-million dollar budget actually helping animals. The group euthanized (killed) more than 1,900 animals in 2003 alone — that’s over 85 percent of the animals it received. In fact, from July 1998 through the end of 2003, PETA killed over 10,000 dogs, cats, and other “companion animals” at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters. That’s more than five animals every day. On its 2002 federal income-tax return, PETA claimed a $9,370 expense for a giant walk-in freezer, the kind most people use as a meat locker or for ice-cream storage. But animal-rights activists don’t eat meat or dairy foods. So far, the group hasn’t confirmed the obvious — that it’s using the appliance to store the bodies of its victims.
- PETA assaults common decency.
PETA’s leadership has compared animal farmers to serial killer (and cannibal) Jeffrey Dahmer. They proclaimed in a 2003 exhibit that chickens are as valuable as Jewish Holocaust victims. They announced with a 2001 billboard that a shark attack on a little boy was “revenge” against humans who had it coming anyway. They have branded parents who feed their kids meat and milk “child abusers.” In 2002 PETA organized a campaign to sabotage a popular Thanksgiving hotline, which provides free advice about cooking turkeys. The group has even contemplated (literally) dancing on the grave of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Colonel Sanders. And in 2003, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk wrote to Yasser Arafat, pleading with him to make certain no animals are harmed in Palestinian suicide-bombing attacks.
- PETA peddles its “animal liberation” food agenda through a medical front group that pretends to offer objective nutritional advice.
A group misleadingly named the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has duped the press into believing that it is an association of conscientious doctors promoting good nutrition. In fact, it is a PETA front group. PCRM and PETA share money, offices, and staff. The American Medical Association calls PCRM a “pseudo-physicians group,” has demanded that PCRM stop its “inappropriate and unethical tactics used to manipulate public opinion,” and argues that PCRM has been “blatantly misleading Americans” and “concealing its true purpose as an animal ‘rights’ organization.”
Taking a page out of PETA’s press book, PCRM has labeled U.S. school lunches “weapons of mass destruction” because they include meat and milk. PCRM’s president, a psychiatrist named Neal Barnard, recently duped Newsweek into covering his “study” (of seven people) supposedly demonstrating that a vegan diet helped prevent type-2 diabetes. In 2002, PCRM was cited in major newspapers more than 550 times. It was identified as an animal-rights organization in only a handful of those cases.
- PETA exploits sick people.
- PETA famously suggested that drinking milk causes cancer, in an advertisement mocking then-NYC Mayor Rudy Guliani with the words “Got Prostate Cancer?” PETA has also erected a billboard reading: “Got Sick Kids? Drinking milk contributes to colic, ear infections, allergies, diabetes, obesity, and many other illnesses.” In 2003 the group held a demonstration in front of a Toronto-area hospital that was under a SARS-related quarantine, spuriously alleging that animal husbandry has something to do with the epidemic’s spread. Upon hearing that Charlton Heston had fallen ill with Alzheimer’s Disease, Ingrid Newkirk suggested that PETA would “toy with the idea that both Alzheimer’s and CJD [Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease] are related to meat consumption.” According to a profile in The New Yorker, she considered “renting billboards that would display a large picture of a gaunt Charlton Heston foaming at the mouth.”
- PETA propagandizes children.
PETA’s website for kids puts a skull and crossbones next to the logo of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and tells the horror story of a fast food restaurant employee who “had taken a patty into the potty with her, then returned and said she had peed on it.” It hands out trading cards to kids that allege drinking milk will make them fat, pimply, flatulent, and phlegm-ridden. PETA also has a child-themed website, and a kiddie-oriented magazine, called GRRR! Kids Bite Back. The name is significant, as it is intended to prep children to identify with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), which has long-used the phrase “bite back” in its promotional materials. In fact, as early as 1991, convicted ALF arsonist and PETA grantee Rodney Coronado was calling his own crime spree “Operation Bite Back.” PETA also sends “humane education lecturer” Gary Yourofsky into high schools — and even middle schools — to promote the “animal liberation” agenda. Yourofsky is a convicted ALF criminal who has said he would support burning down medical research labs even if humans were trapped in the flames.
- PETA distorts religious teachings.
Not only does PETA oppose the age-old Jewish tradition of Kosher slaughter, but the group’s leaders maintain that Jews have misinterpreted their own sacred texts on the subject. They also claim, ignoring mountains of scripture to the contrary, that Jesus was a vegetarian. PETA celebrated Easter in 2003 with a billboard depicting a pig, reading “he died for your sins.” PETA also insists (again, selectively ignoring contradictory evidence) that Muhammad “was not a meat-eater.” In his speeches to adolescents, Gary Yourofsky regularly compares himself to Gandhi and Jesus Christ. PETA’s in-school presentations include the application of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” to birds and turtles — not people.
- PETA opposes life-saving medical research.
PETA has repeatedly attacked groups like the March of Dimes, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Cancer Society, for conducting animal testing to find cures for birth defects and life-threatening diseases. When asked if she would oppose an experiment on five thousand rats if it would result in a cure for AIDS, Newkirk responded: “Would you be opposed to experiments on your daughter if you knew it would save fifty million people?” In addition to opposing any and all medical research that uses animals, PETA also insults medical professionals by arguing, with a straight face, that animal testing is a counterproductive means of finding cures for human diseases.
- PETA devalues human life.
PETA’s efforts to treasure every mosquito and cockroach invariably lead them to hate human beings for using bug spray and RAID. Ingrid Newkirk argues that as human beings, “we’re the biggest blight on the face of the earth.”
- PETA openly supports violence and terrorist activity.
PETA has long-standing ties to militant groups like the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The FBI calls these criminal groups a “serious domestic terrorist threat.”
2 thoughts on “passion without understanding, part II – animal attraction”
Wow. That’s insane! I’m pretty sure my sister-in-law supports PETA, and I’m pretty sure she has no idea what she’s really supporting.
re: Cat’s are only one genetic marker removed from rats. HAHA! You’re so mean! Poor, sweet kitty cats… calling them rats! 🙂
When I first started to read the post, I thought you and I were going to have a fight, but I mostly agree with you. I am a huge animal lover and have 4, I was once for PETA, but you are right that they go too far.
I think d is right, most people do not know what they are supporting, and that is not just PETA, but many groups. Thanks for educating us all.
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