Two Animal Rights Organizations Take Off the Gloves
Best Friends Article on PETA’s Involvement in Killing Pets In North Carolina Starts the Fur Flying.
The March-April magazine of Best Friends Animal Society (respected for running one of the best no-kill shelters for pets with no other place to go) included an article on PETA.
The article included a picture of a sign in Times Square, NY, that said “PETA Kills Animals.com”. Text declared that two workers from PETA were charged by police after they put bodies of animals that had been killed into a dumpster behind a food store. The article noted that since authorities could not prove malice, the charges were dropped to littering.
The piece in Best Friends Magazine went on to say that PETA does wonderful work. That they are known for the all the good that they have accomplished in so many areas of neglect and abuse to animals. Best Friends suggested that they stay out of the area of shelters and decisions that go along with them.
Carrie Edwards, of PETA Foundation admitted that PETA was well known for their belief that feral animals and homeless pets are better off dead than in danger or worse and she claims they have never hidden this feeling.
In a letter, of March 19, 2007, PETA accused Best Friends of “...false and slanderous statements...”. They insist that there was a political agenda in North Carolina that Best Friends did not address.
Edwards states that PETA was invited by a police officer in North Carolina to “...stop local pounds from killing cats and dogs by gassing them in filthy, leaky boxes, shooting and even suffocating them.” Edwards said they humanely euthanized these unwanted individuals and that the two workers were finally convicted of only littering because they disposed of the bodies in a dumpster.
PETA is clear to point out that their protocol includes cremation of the bodies of the animals they kill and that they “...truly regret this act and have taken numerous steps to see that it (dumping) never happens again.”
Best Friends was accused of being disingenuous by not pointing out in their article that PETA has a highly active spay-neuter program which enables them to sterilize hundreds of animals every single week. They go on to say, “However, we make no bones about our opposition to limited-admission shelter policies (misleadingly called “no-kill” shelters) because we have seen the tragic problems they inevitably lead to.”
They also objected to the use of the inclusion by Best Friends of reference to the organization who sponsored the billboard, saying they are known as an anti-animal rights group and that the number of animals killed was exaggerated.
Who is right? Edwards said, in a phone conversation, that these animals would ultimately suffer, so they were certainly better off dying quickly and humanely. No-kill shelters are just hoarders, as far as PETA is concerned, she added.
Think the Best Friends folks, whose raison d’etre is sheltering homeless and handicapped animals, might take offense at anyone killing animals who don’t have homes... simply because they don’t have a home at that moment?
Besides, isn’t killing the unwanted puppiesand kittens just because they are born kind of like blaming the victim?
One would wonder, if people with these attitudes would see unwanted human children as better off dead than in foster care. After all, there is so much abuse in the foster care system... and what about those pesky older folks who eat up most of the medical dollars? They shouldn’t suffer. After all, isn’t it where we are all going?
Heavy topic, but what is the problem? Is it specism? Well, now that is a good question. (Specism is like racism, but by species rather than race.) Let’s even put aside the ethical issue of the right to take a life. The oddity of PETA, (People For the Ethhical Treatment of Animals) who helped Janie Masi of TRS rescue a lobster (“Heaven Finds a Home”) several years ago, killing cats and dogs without a nod, seems out of focus. How does one protect a creature who is just “food” to most folks and casually kill a cat or dog, one of a species considered a family member and even a child in our society as a solution to homelessness? Seems like fodder for FBI profilers.
So what is the problem? Is PETA overwhelmed by trying to solve all the problems of the (animal) world? Who says anyone has the right to play “God for a Day”? There is that specism again, So how do you tell the good folks from the bad folks?
Best Friends’ suggestion that the shoemaker stick to his/her last might be a good idea. When bakers start to make cars instead of cakes, the product generally suffers in quality.
If PETA wants to weigh in on this problem, one would expect a group like them, dedicated to ending suffering for animals (not their lives!) to come up with a better solution.
Edwards, however, in a phone conversation, rejected possible other solutions like putting money into developing birth control for feral dogs and cats (as there is for roaches and deer) as just the same as spay and neuter. Really? Doesn’t surgery require capturing a feral cat/dog first? She also rejected the possibility of buying some land to house them after neutering/or using birth control as just more terrible times. The suggestion of using some of the funds donated to them to hire a marketing company to help with adoptions went unanswered. So what is it, their way or the highway?
TRS is clear about one thing: PETA has lost our financial support until they stop the killing. They are good folks, but way off the mark in this case.
To us at TRS, they are doing what they accuse others of doing and WE TOLD THEM TO GET OUT OF THE KILLING BUSINESS.
If you feel the same way, please let them know.
You can contact PETA at www.peta.org. 757-622-7382. or CarrieE@peta.org.
You may contact Best Friends at www.BestFriends.org.