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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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© 2013 Maggie’s Bear

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  • Wandering Mind

    Two things-. First, this is what happens when rights trump obligations. PETA is talking about animal rights, You and I understand we have an obligation to make our world a better place so that rights may be nurtured. Second- emotion is NOT a virtue. You are NOT a better person because you support animal rights (a noble cause) as a priority in life. People, society and culture are the priorities.Period. The Syrians are more important than the kittens ALWAYS.

    • MaggiesBear

      I agree

  • disqus_Li56uZxHMU

    I am quite distraught today. I have family that things came to a head with yesterday. I’ve had to block them on Face Book for crying out loud. They are the Activists that are going to save the world from GMO foods, pipelines, capitalism and on and on.

    What has me concerned is the tsunami of nonsense, and the powerfulness of it. They are so convinced that they are saving the world that you must not interrupt them with questions like can you prove that or show me where that is true.

    The people that incite these Bleaters and Chicken Littles are destroying our Democracy. This is abuse of Democracy and I wonder how it can be changed. I really don’t want to have a Caste system in this country and I really appreciate hot and cold running water. What will this become ………….. ?

    • MaggiesBear

      Most of the things that activists want to save us from aren’t the problem. The problems are child abuse, lack of integrity, entitlement, hypocrisy and outright stupidity. Those are the things that are undermining our societies along with a few others like political corruption, racism and terrorism.

      I think they jump on bandwagons because they are afraid but don’t have a clue how to address the real issues. It’s just easier to let someone else do your thinking for you and join whatever crackpot activist group is currently marching about.

      I’m with you. It took thousands of years to develop air conditioning, indoor plumbing and big comfy chairs and I’m not about to give them up and go back to living like they did in the Stone Age to assuage the hypocritical guilt of a bunch of people whose only real claim to fame is that they know all the words to Koombaya.

  • Anonymous

    i WAS SURFING TONIGHT WHEN I CAME UP INTO YOUR SITE ABOUT PETA; I’M A VEGETARIAN-AND SOMEDAY I WANT TO BECOME A VEGAN. I’VE HEARD ABOUT THIS THAT PETA KILLS ANIMALS-I DON’T KNOW HOW OR WHY-IF IT’S CAUSE THEY GOT TOO MANY-WELL
    THEY SHOULD CALL FARM SANCTUARY AND GIVE THE ANIMLAS TO
    THEM CAUSE FARM SANC THEY TAKE CARE OF ALL THE ANIMALS THAT THEY FIND–I’M GOING TO WRITE TO PETA AND BRING THIS SUBJECT UP-ABOUT WHY DO THEY KILL ANIMALS IF THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO LOVE ANIMALS AND TAKE CARE OF THEM-WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH ALL THEM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THEY ARE RECEIVING EVERY DAY” THEY BETTER BUILD SANCTUARIES FOR THEM ALL AND TAKE CARE OF THEM” AS TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING THAT ANIMALS ARE NOT HUMAN AND NOT EQUAL TO PEOPLE–THAT’S NOT RIGHT-. I LOVE ANIMALS AND I WANT EQUALITY FOR ANIMALS AND HUMANS-THEY MAY NOT BE EXECTALY LIKE US-BUT THEY HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH-AND THEY CAN FEEL PAIN JUST LIKE US! I AM GOING TO FIGHT FOR THIER EQUALITY WITH HUMANS’ LOOK’ YOU EAT THE PIGGY BUT KEEP THAT PUPPY’ WHAT STUPID NONSENSE! WHY EAT THE PIGGY AND KEEP THE PUPPY’ THEY AREN’T DUMB LIKE PEOPLE SAY THE ARE–WE BE DUMB TOO IF WE DIDN’T GO TO SCHOOL! SEND THEM TO SCHOOL AND SEE THAT THEY MIGHT COME OUT SMARTER THAN US’ GIVE ME EQUALITY FOR ANIMALS OR GIVE ME DEATH!!! I MEAN IT’

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      If you had watched the video, you would have learned that PETA actually gets its animals from shelters and then kills them.

      My daughter is a vegan and we respect her choice but the idea that animals are equal to humans is absurd. Animals should not be treated but they are not our equal. They don’t reason like we do and while they are smart, it is a primitive form of intelligence that is designed for survival and reproduction. If animals were as smart as we are, they would have invented technology, built cities and created all of the other things that human beings do. They haven’t and it is because they are not the same as we are.

      That is not an excuse to harm or mistreat them but elevating them to the same level as humans when we have children going to bed hungry, being abused and murdered seems like misguided priorities to me.

      Thank you for your comment.

  • http://www.mycoldprairie.com Tatiana

    I’d have to agree on your position. Although I’m more of an animal lover than most, and I don’t think people should hold themselves in a higher regard than animals (per se), I mean look at the mess we’ve made of the world, we’re hardly a superior species in any regard. However, PETA is a supremely shrill and hypocritical organization that is little more than a death camp for animals, a point they refuse to logically address. There are plenty of legitimate animal welfare organizations doing excellent work without the fanfare, and tackling bigger issues than the animals in relative comfort of the SPCA.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

      we probably agree on more than we disagree about but I don’t think that animals are superior or equal to humans, nor do I think they are more moral. I think we transfer what we believe onto our concept of animals, particularly the cute and fuzzy ones.

      However, I do love animals as you do and deplore any intentional cruelty inflicted on them for no purpose. I applaud the work of groups like the Humaine Society and the SPCA. It is tireless work and they do it well.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16123459288721211812 Bear

    As long as we’re both coming back to the truck from the woods, it’s all good.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18260163276183837210 Patricia Raye

    Awesome… with you every step of the way to the woods and back to the truck!