PETA news(ish) to repost

Nathan J. Winograd (Director, No Kill Center), “Shocking Photos: PETA’s Secret Slaughter of Kittens, Puppies.” Huffington Post (2013-04-02)
With thanks to MUAer JoshuaP for bringing this to my and other Green Boarders’ attention.

Warning: contains graphic images.

Warning: kinda sorta not news. I’m sorry if this is news to you, but PETA’s been clear for aaages that they “euthanize” un-adoptable rescued animals. For all the time I’ve known of PETA’s existence. What is news to me is the extent to which killing isn’t the exception but the rule. And the cynical manipulation of kind, good-hearted, well-meaning people to get their money. Which said people might think is going towards the maintenance of shelters and their inhabitants. And running fleets of mobile spaying vans. Not to killing animals off as cheaply as possible, spending lavishly on advertising campaigns, those vans having a quite different and darker purpose, and… um… wherever else the money goes…

As my grandad used to say: “where there’s brass, there’s muck / where there’s muck, there’s brass.” I was often perplexed as to which was which, and when to use one version of the phrase rather than the other. He would nod, wink, and say I’d got the point.

Caveat: it remains to be seen

how prevalent this implementation of the policy is. This may vary from place to place, and state to state, with variations in state legislation. On the muck/brass relations, it would not surprise me to find other brass-spreading were one to do some muck-raking at the executive and judiciary levels of power in certain places. Not making any allegations, just… I would of course be shocked and horrified, as that is an expected natural human reaction. But I wouldn’t be entirely surprised. What with a liking for brass being just as human.

I for one have never donated to PETA: I dislike their patronizing, imperious and imperialist, America-centric, arrogant attitudes. And use of bullying cult-speak. And anti-feminism. Adding to the list of their attributes that I dislike and that upset me: anti-humanist, anti-human, stupid and idiocratic, research-weak, fear-mongering and manipulative—one of their several forms of human-animal-abuse, abusing humans—and, if you’ll forgive my chronological snobbery, a bunch of self-promoting big-mouthed crass vulgar arrivistes.

I’m prejudiced, in that c/o the anti-war and Oxfam connections (and an internationalist humanitarian trait going back nearly 150 years), my family’s been involved with BUAV for yonks, viewing PETA as a rather insular and provincial upstart. I know, always blame the family and, um, European snobbishness… But I’ve had the good luck always to live in places where there were animal shelters and grass-roots activism. Sure, I’m happy to donate to genuinely inter-/trans-national organizations (ex. the Red Cross & Red Crescent). But I’m at least as happy donating, or giving time and service, to grass-roots local ones, helping build local community.

And that’s the first thing I’d advocate. Build, grow, and protect locally.

Also, all sympathies to those who were taken in by PETA’s (very slick smart) campaigning, and believed in them. I’m not going to be snarky about blind belief vs. always being sceptical. This is not the moment. PETA did a terrible thing, in manipulating and abusing good people. And yes, that’s abuse. Obviously not on the same scale as the abuse against vast piles of dead animals—piled so high, and thrown ignominiously into trash-bags, de-individualized, and whatever the parallel term is for “dehumanized, impersonalized.” But PETA has been doubly guilty of abuse. I’m angry. I would imagine most people would be, especially those who’d been duped.

Please repost (and comment on the original), and ask its author questions and ask PETA questions, as you see fit.

Thing #2 I’d advocate: This is not a matter of trusting or believing one source of information (or ideas, or principles) over another. It’s not a matter of belief at all. It’s a question of weighing arguments and facts. And, in the (probable, I hope) event of doubt—doubt on either or (I hope) both sides—ask questions, to both sides, directlyIf one side, or the other, or both, have uttered untruths: that’s a problem. If they’ve been, to quote Mrs T, “economical with truth”: problem. If they don’t answer, or don’t answer properly, or don’t answer the question you asked them; if they ignore you or patronize you: big problem. If they’ve uttered truths, but not been fully upfront about their funding, external associations, personal backgrounds, individual principles and other agendas… that’s also a problem, but it’s a different problem. 

For which reason, here is the other side.

The last part of this post is, verbatim, what PETA themselves have to say about their policy. I’ve edited out the bits that are attacks on other people, so as to retain PETA’s own pure argument. I’ve also not included photos (positive or negative) and anecdotes; again, to cut as much of the rhetoric out and  permit focus on the, forgive me, meat of their points and arguments. There are, of course, many good points; but there are some nasty implied threats in a combination of “spay or else” and the deviation from/perversion of that policy seen above; the ad hominem and kindergarten-politics counters to criticism are even less nice.

For more on the “no-birth” policy in contrast with a “no-kill” one: “Turned Away: A Closer Look at ‘No-Kill’ 

The following is from PETA Saves: The Truth About PETA and Euthanasia.

Over to PETA now:

Like open-admission animal shelters across the country, PETA performs the heartbreaking task of euthanizing animals who are unwanted for one reason or another: because they are aggressive, sick, hurt, elderly, or at death’s door and because no good homes exist for them.

AN ANIMAL SHELTER OF LAST RESORT

PETA operates what could be called a “shelter of last resort” for the most broken animals. When impoverished families cannot afford to pay a veterinarian to let a suffering and/or aged animal leave this world, PETA will help. When an aggressive, unsocialized dog has been left to starve at the end of a chain with a collar grown into his neck and his body racked with mange, PETA will spare him from dying slowly and miserably in someone’s backyard. As Virginia officials speaking of PETA’s euthanasia rate acknowledged to USA Today,

PETA will basically take anything that comes through the door, and other shelters won’t do that.

STOPPING ANIMAL HOMELESSNESS AT ITS SOURCE

We never turn our back on animals who need help, even if the best we can offer them is a peaceful release from an uncaring world. PETA also works every day to prevent animals from ending up abused, homeless, and euthanized in the first place—a fact that […] never mentions on its PETA Kills Animals website.

As we explain in The Atlantic, the statistics that […] reports don’t include the many adoptable animals we have referred to high-traffic open-admission shelters where they will have the best chance of being seen and finding a new home. Those numbers also don’t take into account the tens of thousands of animals whose lives we have improved and saved—by providing free spay and neuter surgeries, sturdy doghouses stuffed with straw, nutritious food, and much more.

PETA spends millions to stop the animal homelessness crisis at its roots. Our fleet of mobile clinics has sterilized more than 80,000 animals—including thousands of feral cats and pit bulls—for free or almost nothing in the last 10 years, preventing tens of thousands of animals from being born into a world already bursting at the seams with unwanted and homeless animals.

We also provide hands-on help to people in indigent communities who don’t have transportation and/or access to veterinary care, most of whom could not afford it even if it were available in their community. Every year, we help keep countless animals out of overburdened shelters by providing free sterilizations and shots as well as counseling to help people work through perceived obstacles to keeping their animals.

While we tackle the animal homelessness crisis hands-on in our own backyard, PETA also spreads the word nationally about what people can do to help. Our print and television ads have reached millions of people with messages about animal adoption, respect, and the importance of sterilization. We’ve called on governors and the White House to promote mandatory spay-and-neuter legislation across the country and more.

SPAYING AND NEUTERING CATS AND DOGS ARE THE SOLUTION

Attacking those who clean up after a throwaway society that thoughtlessly buys, breeds, and discards cats and dogs does nothing to help animals. The only way to stop euthanasia is to stop puppy millsbreeders, and irresponsible guardians from bringing more dogs and cats into a world that does not offer them the chance for a home—and the only way to do that is by passing mandatory spay-and-neuter legislation and implementing a full-scale ban on breeding. We invite every caring person to join us in working toward the day when every animal has a loving home.

ANIMALS ARE FOR LIFE

Are you thinking of parting with your animal companion? Please don’t give up on your friend. With patience and understanding, it’s not too late to work through whatever issue may be coming between you. Check out PETA’s tips and advice on being there for your animal companions for life:

[Excerpts from the] “Shelter of Last Resort” infographic:

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 11.04.39 AM Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 11.05.09 AM

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