Thursday, March 30, 2006

PETA and Pet Slavery

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Dear internet diary,

Recently I was disappointed to find that a dear friend of mine had done publicity work for PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I haven't kept in touch very well with my friend, and assume she doesn't know much about PETA's activities and retarded positions on animals. I'm pretty sure she doesn't, because in the publicity shoot, she asked the audience to "spay and neuter your pets."

Sure, PeTa believes in spaying and neutering. But does PeTA even believe in pets?

(Pets) are slaves, even if well-kept slaves." --PeTa's Statement on Companion Animals.

"The cat, like the dog, must disappear..... We should cut the domestic cat free from our dominance by neutering, neutering, and more neutering, until our pathetic version of the cat ceases to exist."
-John Bryant, Fettered Kingdoms: An Examination of a Changing Ethic, PETA 1982, p.15.

In a perfect world, all other-than-human animals would be free of human interference, and dogs and cats would be part of the ecological scheme, as they were before humans domesticated them and as they remain in some parts of the undeveloped world.---PETA pamphlet, Companion Animals: Pets or Prisoners?

"One day we would like an end to pet shops and breeding animals [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild."
-Ingrid Newkirk, Chicago Daily Herald, March 1, 1990
Found at Animal

Even if keeping pets is slavery, PeTA advocates keeping pets from shelters. So I suppose, if we should rescue pets from shelters, we should also make slaves of people. If they are going to make the argument that pets are slaves, then they should by all means either release their own pets immediately, or keep people as slaves if said people would be better off. That is, if they want to remain morally consistent. I'm weird that way.

Similarly, PeTA sees eating and killing animals as a "holocaust." If so, they should also kill human beings, since they do a much better job killing animals themselves than they do finding slave owners for them. According to the state of Virginia, PeTA killed about 90% of the animals it bragged about saving.Many Humane Society branches claim an 85-95% adoption rate in its shelters. If I ever lost my pet, I think it would fare much better with the local dogcatcher than its likely deadly fate with a PeTA group--which tends to protest the dogcatcher.

I say, if you love animals, you do not love PeTA.


Anthony said...

Very good post. I'm an animal lover/vegetarian myself but I dislike the practices of Peta. It doesn't help that they have support from some pretty big names in Hollywood though.

I read some stuff on their site awhile back and it's full of flawed logic. For example,

"if we were supposed to hunt and eat meat, why can't we eat meat raw and why does the idea of killing our own meal make us sick to our stomachs?"

For course, they neglect the fact there are many tribes in the world who do not get sick to their stomachs kiling their own meals and inuit natives do eat raw meat. Of course, because this is Peta, nobody questions it.

Thanks once again for the great post. If only we could spread this out.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Don't forget that it's not just tribes that eat raw meat. Steak tartar, oysters, raw tenderloin tips, sushi, most cured meats, many raw food restaurants that serve meat, etc. Ask any real chef, and they'll tell you. So it's not just "rugged" people that eat raw meat. It's businaess men and the french.

But again, animal lover doesn't have to be "slash vegan." But it's kinda like "people lover." We don't have to love everybody. We love individuals. It's kind of dishonest to say one loves all people. When you don't know they exist, it's kinda disregarding the individual. Same goes with animals. When we love all animals, we love them as a mass of furry things, disregarding what the word even means. Do we love bacteria? Cockroaches? Mosquitoes? Those parasites that burrow into the brains of hornets? Hornets? No, we "love animals." Furry, beautiful animals, because, like with "loving women," they are beautiful. But all women are not beauiful, and neither are all animals. Some people do "love bugs," as a study, as an interest. But the individual bug? Nah. People love animals as they love people: as a matter of principle--as long as we don't think about it.

The Science Pundit said...

I like your post. I think I heard the audio yesterday on FTM.

One of the things that groups like PETA always get wrong is the assumption that the ancestors of our pets were living in some wild utopia before we humans came along and kidnapped and domesticated them. A while back, I saw a television special on dogs that made a very convincing argument that, at least for dogs, just the opposite is true: they (sort of) domesticated us.

The thesis was that the dog is the world's greatest social parasite. So just like the louse and the retrovirus, the dog has evolved a dependency on its host. But unlike other parasites, the dog has been able to take advantage of human society and culture to latch onto. And it's very good at it. (Who doesn't love a puppy?)

Basically, dogs started out as wolf packs that specialized in following around human hunters and living on the outskirts of human settlements. (The special went to some African villages where semi-wild dogs still live on the outskirts.) Some wolves were able to do better by getting closer to the humans. Over the years they evolved (by natural selection) to become tolerated, then accepted, then finally loved by their human hosts.

Therefore the dog was already fully domesticated when we finally got into the act and started selectivey breeding them for our own purposes. So looking at dog evolution from that perspective, PETA's comments seem all the more silly and ridiculous.

Hellbound Alleee said...

This is interesting. I can't help but wonder where raccoons and opossums might be going. I read somewhere (can't remember) that the raccoon population exploded in cities in north america after it was populated by Europeans and their garbage cans and dumps. Racoons are simply not the same as they used to be. I don't know how interested people would be in domesticating them, but people have changed them, and they sure as hell are changing people. Racoons in my yard and my parents' yard don't run scared from us at all. They have moved in and won't leave unless a trap is involved. People do make pets of them, as they do with squirrels more and more. I wonder if the racoons are sort of like the wild dogs? Maybe.

D said...

And yet again, someone gets it right and it apparently doesn't make much difference.

The sooner those nutballs are past-tense, the better.

Survivor said...

WOW, are you guys missing the point.
""If they are going to make the argument that pets are slaves, then they should by all means either release their own pets immediately, or keep people as slaves if said people would be better off. ""
Exactly. If you release your pets they will die because they have no idea how to exist in the wild. The idea is to gradually eliminate the 'pet' variety of cats and dogs and let the wild ones breed naturally. Comparing human and animal slaves is like comparing apples and oranges.

If we still had Victorian era workhouses where people were incarcerated for stealing a loaf of bread because they were starving, then yes, it would be better if people 'adopted' them as slaves than to leave them there.

I am no lover of PETA. People are built to eat meat. Cavemen didn't risk their lives hunting game because it was fun.

But if you're going to attack Peta's logic, please understand it first!


k9dancer said...

PETA has an annual budget of more than 31 million dollars. Compare
that to the city of Los Angeles, which has a paltry $20,314,323
budget. source:

Let's see how PETA compares with LAAS. Figures for LA are 2008; PETA
numbers are from 2006. These figures are for LA dogs & cats only;
they also take in reptiles, horses, rabbits, poultry, etc. PETA
numbers are for dogs, cats and 1 chicken.

PETA took in 9,637 companion animals.
They returned 6,575 to the owners, leaving them with 3,062.
PETA transferred 46 to other agencies.
They adopted out 12.
They euthanized the rest: 3004. That's over 98% euth'd of the 3,062.
(These PETA figures do not count the animals that were illegally
euth'd by PETA employees that lead to animal cruelty charges.)

Los Angeles city took in 54,008 dogs & cats.
Minus Dead on arrival 1556 = 52,452.
Returned to owners 4,622; that leaves 47,830.
Adoptions to public & rescues = 20,994.
New Hope adoptions (old & special needs that are released to rescue)
were 5,297.
Others released to rescue were 914. Total adoptions = 27, 205
Escaped 63.
Stolen 6.
Died (not euth'd) 939.
Euthanized 19,617. That's 41% of the 47,830.

So Los Angeles city shelters (there are 5, I believe, that share these
funds) have 65% of the budget of PETA. They save 59% of their dogs
and cats (we haven't even added in the other animals that use this
budget), while PETA manages to save 2%. LA also takes in six times as
many dogs and cats as PETA does.


I found some more recent info on PETA's stat's: This is for 2007.

In 2007, PETA took in 8362 companion animals.
6466 were returned to owners, leaving 1896.
35 were transferred to other agencies.
They adopted out 17 (that's 5 more than the previous year).
One died in the facility.
They euth'd 1815. That's a 96% euthanasia rate (a huge improvement
from their 98% euth rate for the previous year).
Now this is really interesting: their wildlife stats for 2007: Out
of 181 animals, 5 were picked up dead, and 5 were released to the
wild. 171 wild animals were euthanized. Of the living wild animals,
they killed 97%.
Am I the only one asking why?


I had completely overlooked the wildlife stats for PETA in 2006. Here
they are:
Out of 264 wild animals, 15 were picked up dead.
One was relocated to the wild. 248 were euthanized. More than 99% of
the live wild animals were killed(it comes out to .99598 and change).


Got some good Wayne Pacelle (HSUS President) quotes at this website:

Here is a preview:

"We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding ...One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."

— Animal People News

k9dancer said...

Ingrid Newkirk, founder of PETA, has said, "Even if it resulted in a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it (animal research)." And yet her second in command, Mary Beth Sweetland, is an insulin-taking diabetic, who has clearly seen the benefit from animal research. Ms. Sweetland justifies this by saying, "The animals need me." Clearly, the implication is that the rest of us are not so necessary, so we should not benefit from that same research.

It is true that both PETA and HSUS are political lobbying organizations, but if you believe that they are interested in animal welfare, I beg to differ. If you do any research (just Google "Ingrid Newkirk said" or "Wayne Pacelle said," for example), you will find that their goal is to end all animal/human contact. ALL. It's way past clubbing baby seals. They want to end all hunting, animal agriculture, use of animals in circuses, movies & tv, assistance animals, and animals as pets, to name a few.

Here are a few of Ms. Newkirk's thoughts:

“One day, we would like an end to pet shops and the breeding of animals. [Dogs] would pursue their natural lives in the wild ... they would have full lives, not wasting at home for someone to come home in the evening and pet them and then sit there and watch TV.”
— The Chicago Daily Herald, Mar 1990

“The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats... If people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek it with their own kind.”
— Animals, May 1993

“I don’t use the word 'pet.' I think it’s speciesist language. I prefer 'companion animal.' For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship – enjoyment at a distance.”
— The Harper's Forum Book, Jack Hitt, ed., 1989, p.223

k9dancer said...

More Newkirk quotes:
“There is no hidden agenda. If anybody wonders about -- what’s this with all these reforms -- you can hear us clearly. Our goal is total animal liberation. ”
— “Animal Rights 2002” convention, Jun 2002

“More power to SHAC if they can get someone’s attention.”
— People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president & co-founder Ingrid Newkirk, in The Boston Herald, August 25, 2002

“There’s no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all animals.”
— Washingtonian magazine, Aug 1986

“In the end, I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether.”
— Newsday, Feb 1988

“Our nonviolent tactics are not as effective. We ask nicely for years and get nothing. Someone makes a threat, and it works.”
— Ingrid Newkirk, in the April 8, 2002 issue of US News & World Report , Apr 2002

“Perhaps the mere idea of receiving a nasty missive will allow animal researchers to empathize with their victims for the first time in their lousy careers. I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match.”
— The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nov 1999

“Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation.”
— Harper's, Aug 1988

“I openly hope that it [hoof-and-mouth disease] comes here. It will bring economic harm only for those who profit from giving people heart attacks and giving animals a concentration camp-like existence. It would be good for animals, good for human health and good for the environment.”
— ABC News interview, Apr 2001

“I will be the last person to condemn ALF [the Animal Liberation Front].”
— The New York Daily News, Dec 1997

Here are some of Ms. Newkirk's thoughts about "no-kill:"

"It is a totally rotten business, but sometimes the only kind option for some animals is to put them to sleep forever... It sounds lovely if you're naïve. We could become a no-kill shelter immediately. It means we wouldn't do as much work."
-- Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA President, The Virginian-Pilot, August 1, 2000

"I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself. Because I couldn't stand to let them go through other workers abusing the animals. I must have killed thousands of them, sometimes dozens everyday."
-- Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA President, The New Yorker, April 14, 2003

"We are not in the home finding business, although it is certainly true that we do find homes from time to time for the kind of animals people are looking for. Our service is to provide a peaceful and painless death to animals who no one wants."
-- Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA President, The Virginian-Pilot, July 20, 2005

So if you are interested in the welfare of animals, don't support PETA and HSUS.