The PETA Hypocrisy
I want to talk about PETA today or as the acronym spells out; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I’m going to put aside, for a moment, my own personal bias about people who put things and animals ahead of the welfare of other people and just look at PETA and some of its attitudes and practices.
In the video below, a PETA spokesperson debates the NRA. I have no particular fondness for the NRA and personally believe there are too many guns around although I have no issue with legal ownership and use of a firearm. But this debate was interesting, not because of either of the participants but because of a simple question asked by a member of the audience. Take a look and then we’ll talk.
I’m opposed to cruelty to animals or to people either for that matter and speak out and support efforts to end it. My issue is hypocrisy. The SPCA has a pretty good batting average when it comes to finding homes for animals that have been abused or abandoned, significantly better than PETA’s in fact but it is PETA that is constantly lecturing the world about animal rights.
In some jurisdictions, PETA, actually kills somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the animals it takes in and usually without any effort to try and find homes for them. In fact, PETA sometimes goes to various SPCA shelters to “save” animals which it later kills. They number in the thousands. The SPCA, by contrast, has a placement rate in the 75% range. I’ll leave it to you to decide for yourself which organization actually works harder on behalf of the welfare of animals. As seen in the video, PETA considers euthanasia is a kinder alternative for abandoned animals feeling unloved than allowing them to live.
Let’s assume for the moment that animals have the same rights as human beings and seeing as how we now agree they are equal, let’s substitute the word animal with person. PETA’s solution, as suggested in the video, would simply be to kill the majority of people who were homeless or unloved.
Isn’t that lovely!
I don’t actually believe that is what PETA would or wants to do nor do I believe they are motivated by a maniacal desire to kill animals but it does underscore the basic weakness in their position. It demands equal rights for animals but even PETA doesn’t treat animals and people equally. Clearly, if PETA would not kill people the way it kills animals simply because they are homeless, it doesn’t see animals and human beings as equals. If, as PETA suggests, animals have the same rights as people then PETA should be treating animals the same way they would treat people in similar circumstances and clearly, killing people isn’t an option they would consider so why is it acceptable to them to kill so many animals? I find it particularly hypocritical considering how much they carry on about others killing animals for food or medical research.
I do believe, that like too many with a burning cause, PETA has lost its perspective. Consider the reaction to President Obama killing a fly in this video.
Four children die from abuse in the United States every day but PETA, while quick to condemn the killing of fly, remains silent. For me that is clearly a very confused set of values.The simple fact is that it is PETA’s basic ideology as much as their practice that is fundamentally flawed. Nobody should be permitted to harm an animal out of cruelty but that doesn’t mean they have the same rights as human beings and flies definitely are not ever going to achieve equality.
Maggie and I have a dog, Jasper, and a cat, Fat Ass. They’re pets. They are affectionate, sometimes funny and good company and we have a responsibility to care for them and treat them well. But as pets, they don’t have jobs, income or go to school. They accept no responsibility for their share of the mortgage, the food they eat or for emptying the litter box. Neither of them can read, write nor work the remote control on the television which means both are reasonably uninformed about what is going on in the big world, which is a good thing because neither is allowed to vote nor wants to.
Basically they live to frolic. Jasper lives for many things: eating, sleeping, running around the yard and treating the world like it is his personal bathroom. He also enjoys being patted, going for drives in the car and having a fuss made over him. Fat Ass merely lives to sleep, eat and poop. She hates the car, loves Jasper or I and Maggie and tolerates me when there is nobody else around to feed her.
Maggie loves them both and I am on mildly civil terms with them although Fat Ass and I pretty much never speak and we’re both content with that. Are they equal to us? Not even close but that is no reason to treat them badly. They are living, sentient beings and there is no justification for hurting or abusing them but there is also no justification for elevating their status to sharing equal rights with people. They are pets, not ‘non-human companions’. They are animals and that’s all there is too it.The next time PETA starts to lecture the world about the evils of killing animals for food it should take an inventory of the thousands of abandoned animals it has killed simply for which it didn’t have the resources, or couldn’t be bothered, to find shelter.
It needs to stop fretting over the use of animals in medical research and ask itself what alternatives there are to developing necessary vaccines and ongoing research against diseases like cancer and AIDS or diseases that kill animals. Not all medical research is only for human diseases. If PETA can justify killing animals because they don’t have a home, how is it that it can’t justify using animals in medical research to save both other animals and people?.
Hunting is another big issue for PETA and I have no issue with them being opposed to hunting, many are. I personally am not although I think it is a bit ridiculous to walk miles into the bush away from your truck only to shoot something that weighs as much as your truck. I often wonder how hunters get a 1500 lb. moose out of the woods. But that aside, most hunters make good use of the animals they hunt and hunting for food is as old as humanity.
Perhaps PETA should be more concerned with people who hunt other people in our cities. I don’t know how anyone justifies that.
I don’t wish PETA any more harm than I do Jasper or even Fat Ass but I wish they’d stop lecturing the rest of us with their self-righteous hyperbole and think about things before they took down a few thousand more dogs and cats. Perhaps instead of killing them, they could consider turning them over to the SPCA in the countries in which they operate. The SPCA at least has a much better placement success rate than PETA and it seems to me that it is something PETA is supposed to want….isn’t it?
At the very least, perhaps PETA should remember it’s president’s response to President Obama’s murder of a fly
“He isn’t the Buddha, he’s a human being and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act.”
-Ingrid Newkirk, PETA President
That’s good advice Ingrid. Perhaps it’s time for PETA to consider putting it into practice.
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