Pretend PETA Apologist

I really had to chuckle when I got this whine — it’s not from a reader, but rather an apologist for an organization I wrote about last year. Deborah, who didn’t say where she is, stumbled across the page on my site about the “controversy” and wrote:

I’ve included some information on Center for Consumer Freedom that you name as your source for your PETA information. CCF is a front for a lobbist [sic] group. I hope you will reconsider posting the PETA ‘information’. If you don’t want to remove the PETA information, at least inform the readers that your source is a front group.

She clearly didn’t actually read the page.

What she was referring to is my PETA page — a story about how the poorly named “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” kills animals put in its care, plus some backup information taken from copies of documents PETA itself filed with government agencies which were posted by (yes) an anti-PETA group, which shows they kill most of the animals put in its care. (Neither PETA nor Deborah claim the documents are bogus, just that they’re posted on an “anti-PETA” site, as if that makes them less accurate.)

Missing the Entire Point

Had Deborah actually read the page she criticized, she would have seen that all of this is already discussed on the page — I did, in fact, “inform my readers” about the nature of the anti-PETA group. I also published, unedited, a statement from PETA officials in response to the page.

But Deborah isn’t interested in a debate; all she really wants is to try to bully me into removing the page since it criticizes one of her pet (heh heh) organizations or, failing that, to try to discredit the other side of the debate, as if her side is pure and objective.

She Wants Pure and Objective?

There is pure and objective truth: PETA does kill animals. It’s undisputed, even by PETA itself, as clearly shown on the original page

So what is the real effect of Deborah’s attempt to stifle debate? It gives me a reason to write about it again, bringing it to the attention of thousands of readers who missed it a year ago, plus thousands more who subscribed since then, plus anyone who now comes and reads past editorials.

That’s wonderful, Deborah!

Again, the page that Deborah brings to your attention is here. The link to PETA’s response, which I published without editing, is linked at the very bottom of that page.

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11 Comments on “Pretend PETA Apologist

  1. Everyone seems to miss one other point: PETA isn’t dumping bodies in “the” trash; it’s dumping bodies in the middle of the night in someone ELSE’s trash! That’s a separate criminal offense for which the organization ought to be prosecuted. Even if they were dumping newspaper, instead of corpses, the fact that they’re doing it in another entity’s trash receptacles is, well, reprehensible.

    And that they’re dumping decomposing bodies in plastic trash bags…well…

    What scum. What ecologically insensitive scum.

  2. Whatever the “facts” about this case it points out how unfairly you conduct arguments. Do you select only the lamest readers to argue with? I never see them make the strongest most obvious arguments, and they always turn to whining.

    I accept the facts as presented and yes I am a supporter of Peta. I question their actions in this case as anyone should. Your main point is the hypocrisy of a group that purports to protect animals. Along the way however you discredit the org. in two completely unfair ways.

    First, you claim they don’t have the money to care for these animals because they spend their tax-free donation dollars supporting terrorism.

    Wow, innuendo and association presented as fact–way to go! You know that no peta dollars go to “terrorism” but that doesn’t stop you from referring obliquely to the association some people make between peta and ALF.

    Second, you never even consider the explanation that peta gave. It’s not what I would choose, but they do have an arguable point. Almost all “humane” society animals are killed, but some are tortured in animal experiments first, or killed in painful ways.

    Let’s review. You’ve ignored peta’s arguable point and smeared them by association. I do have to admit you almost addressed an issue by lamely contending that animal overpopulation is not as bad as it used to be. Great, now we only need to kill 1 million animals a year instead of 2.

    You are a hypocrite, Brad: you accuse me of quite a few things, most notably condemning without evidence …without having any evidence of that whatever. You then make up evidence to try to justify your points, and then go off on wild tangents that have nothing to do with the points you’re trying to make, and then feel smugly superior. Astounding.

    Do I only publish letters which poorly argue the point? Nope: I choose letters that are representative of those which come in — including from an official PETA spokeswoman. That you find those opinions “lame” and “whining” is pretty funny. Yep, they are lame and whiny, even when they’re official opinions. Congratulations for understanding that!

    Next you go into funding. I didn’t say they had no money, I said they took in $29 million the year before, but chose to spend it on other things, which clearly they do since they killed 86.3 percent of the animals they took into their care — including animals that they went around collecting from shelters. Can you provide an alternative explanation for this fact? And remember that the 86.3 percent figure isn’t “innuendo,” it’s an official PETA-supplied number.

    Did I say, or even imply, that they spent $29 million on terrorism? Of course not; I said they apparently had “other priorities” than taking care of animals, as shown by the numbers PETA reports. Do you dispute that? On what basis? Yep, I did bring up the concept of terrorism (but not ALF — you made that connection, I never named them!) — and then I immediately and clearly attributed that to a different site, and linked to them. I’m not hiding a thing. Either are you: you just make unsubstantiated claims, and call my arguments “unfair.” Uh huh. I think anyone who reads this page will have an opinion about that.

    For just one example of backup on that terrorism charge (which I found via Google on the linked site in about 5 seconds): “Despite its deceptively warm-and-fuzzy public image, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has donated over $150,000 to criminal activists — including those jailed for arson, burglary, and even attempted murder. In 2001, PETA donated $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front, a criminal organization that the FBI classifies as ‘domestic terrorists.'” (Specific source page. Note that doesn’t say ALF either!) That’s not “innuendo,” it’s simple fact. You said you accepted even uncomfortable facts. Well, do you or don’t you? You claim I “know” PETA money doesn’t go to terrorism, yet I “know” that it has. So much for that accusation, eh?

    (You might want to argue that ELF isn’t really a terrorist organization, that it’s unfairly portrayed that way by the government. That could be a valid argument — certainly the government is quick to use the “terrorist” label — but you didn’t make it. I don’t think it would be terribly successful, though, considering objective reading of reasonably objective coverage of their activities pretty clearly supports the charge.)

    Your next charge: “you never even consider the explanation that peta gave. It’s not what I would choose, but they do have an arguable point.” I beg to differ: I did “consider” it — I even published it. I simply chose to argue their “arguable point.” Even you admit it’s pretty flimsy, but seem to think I need to accept it. Nope. I presented both sides and came to my own, supportable, conclusion, rather than accept their unsupportable one. So much for your “accepting the facts” yet again.

    Then you make the wild accusation that humane societies kill animals too, but that “some are tortured in animal experiments first, or killed in painful ways.” Talk about innuendo! I link to evidence. Yours is…?

    So “let’s review.” I present both sides. I let the other side have space — unedited — to argue their side, points which even you disparage. Rather than parrot some party line, I come to my own conclusion and not only publish it openly, but allow others to argue with it. Sounds like a rather honest and (dare I say?!) “fair” approach to me, yet you find that a problem because…? Oh, yeah: you don’t agree with it, even though the facts are on my side — facts you claim to agree with. Well, let’s not let facts get in the way, eh? I’ve supported my basic claim: PETA kills most of the animals put into its care, rather than help them live good lives. What was your argument again? Oh, right: that coming to a logical conclusion based on fact is “unfair” because …uh, well, you didn’t support that contention whatever, so I can’t be sure why you think that.

    And your summary? You blow off the unarguable fact that 1 million animals a year are not killed via the “humane society” approach, compared to nearly 90 percent killed by PETA. Wow: aren’t you the humane fellow: a million animals per year not killed means nothing to you, while PETA kills most of the animals it takes in. Well, it does matter to me, and it matters to millions of other people who actually do care about animals, unlike PETA. Thanks for making my point even stronger. Real people care; PETA, and their supporters like you, simply don’t. And I think anyone who reads this objectively will agree that is a “fair” conclusion. -rc

  3. I once read or maybe heard a celebrity (I forgot who it was) say PETA REALLY means “people eating tasty animals”. Now, that’s my organization! LOL!

  4. PETA has gotten much worse than the first time you reported.

    According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in 2006, PETA killed over 97% of animals that were left in its care (1). The Norfolk City Animal Control facility (a city-run facility in the same city as PETA) had just over 65% kill rate (2). (Source 1, Source 2 [link removed, no longer online])

    A couple more years, and PETA can claim perfection in killing.

  5. I am not a PETA supporter but I can sympathize with a few of there founding views of no true cruelty to the animals such as in the monkey experiments they uncovered. I do support the euthanization of a large portion of homeless animals (just not donating the corpses to the neighbor’s trash), but this mass euthaniztion seems to be more Anti-Peta. For the record I am on the anti side when it come to PETA specifically.

    Having said that I submit that even in Wikipedia is conformation of most of what you said, even down to the ALF and ELF group association. The democratic, liberal (stereotypical) view is to look past the 90% bad portion of the organization and to support it as a whole for the 10% good that they do or could potentially do. The only problem with Wikipedia is that they slant to supporting PETA.

    To be sure, if you read my original PETA pages you’ll see that I explicitly state that I don’t think PETA is “100% evil” (but “I think they may be doing more harm than good.”) I’m positive that some really good people get involved with the organization — and I’m positive a lot of them quit in disgust later. -rc

  6. Three cheers, Randy!

    Without belittling, and by only presenting evidence, you let Brad and the many others who seemingly enjoy attacking you know that:

    1) You only report and comment on facts;
    2) You do indeed answer readers other than the “lamest” – or at least those who claim to be above that category;
    3) You’ve given us a very clear picture of how some of the most loyal advocates of “rights” groups are much more interested in vocalizing their opinions rather than intelligently arguing and supporting the works they support.

    Again – three cheers! Keep up the great work!

    I’m glad you found it thought-provoking. -rc

  7. What is wrong with People Eating Tasty Animals (PETA)?

    Oh wait.. you are talking about the other group.

    I don’t mind the concept of being pro-animal, but there is a point to where it gets counter-productive.

    I am still angry that the “Christian Vegetarian Association” (CVA) members were outside a Honeybaked Ham store around Easter telling my kids that eating animals was bad and they were going to hell. These nutcases screamed at my kids about “don’t kill the piggies” and “you’ll get horrible diseases” and so forth.

    My kids were upset, but they are Christians also and my oldest daughter (12) said “You are wrong. Go read the Bible again. You call this being Christian? You are supposed to be nice to others!”

    My favorite vegan related quote – “I am a Vegan. Not because I like animals. It is because I hate plants!”

  8. In support of Randy’s comment that PETA may not really care as much for or about animals as they would like us to believe: even more appalling among the statistics on euthanasia (i.e., execution) in the sources posted by Rob in Washington is the pathetic infrequency of PETA’s relocation successes compared with those of the Animal Control and Pound Facility. According to an April article in Newsweek, that may be due to the fact that “PETA has emerged as a strong proponent of euthanasia”. If PETA were actually interested in animal rights, would they not at least be able to match the relocation statistics of the often overworked and overtaxed (resource-wise) public animal control agencies?

    Regarding PETA’s priorities in spending, I’ve been over their site with a fine-toothed comb and if it anywhere says anything about alternatives to euthanasia I certainly have not been able to find it. The same Newsweek article presents information showing that, at best, PETA’s emphasis on euthanasia as a solution to the problem of unwanted, mistreated, or homeless animals is shamefully archaic:

    “‘Over-population is a myth,’ says attorney Nathan Winograd, whose recent book ‘Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America’ chronicles the rise of the no-kill shelter movement. ‘With better outreach and public relations, we can find homes for virtually all of the healthy animals we are now killing.’ As proof he points to a string of communities across the country whose shelters have managed to stop euthanizing all but the sickest animals. Bonney Brown, executive director of the Nevada Humane Society, says that in 2007, the first year her group went ‘no-kill,’ her shelters managed to save 90 percent of the 8,000 animals they took in.”

    Sorry, all you PETA supporters, but in my opinion, you have been hoodwinked by the PETA hype.

  9. Hmmm – I am NOT a PETA supporter in any way, shape or form; but I have to take exception to Rob’s remarks (which were published in This Is True today).

    Rob states that “PETA killed over 97% of animals that were left in its care”. By following the links Rob provided, you see that PETA took in 9,637 animals and euthanized 2,981. That’s more like 31%.

    Rob then linked to the Norfolk City Animal Control and Pound Facility figures to use as a foil for his argument. NCAC took in 5,358 animals and euthanized 3,046 of them. That would be 57%.

    Summary – PETA took in 5,878 more animals and euthanized 65 fewer animals. NCAC euthanized 57% while PETA euthanized 31%.

    Rob’s numbers are only valid for animals not reclaimed by their owner – but PETA does a much better job in the “reclaimed by owner” category, they beat NCAC 68% to 13%.

    So, based on Rob’s sourced links, Fluffy is more likely to be returned to me and less likely to be euthanized if he’s in PETA’s hands than if he’s in the hands of the Norfolk City Animal Control and Pound.

  10. To explain the statistics I quoted for Jim’s sake:

    PETA received 9637 animals in 2006. Of those 9637 animals received, 6575 were reclaimed by an owner. That leaves 3062 animals left in PETA’s care. 12 were adopted out, and 46 were transferred to another facility, and 3 died while in the shelter. That leaves 2981 animals which were euthanized by PETA.

    I said, “According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in 2006, PETA killed over 97% of animals that were left in its care” 2981 / 3062 = 97.35%

    Norfolk City received 5358 animals in 2006 and returned 697 to an owner. That leaves 4661 animals left in the shelter’s care. Norfolk City adopted out 993 animals and transferred 573 animals to another facility. 45 died while in the facility. 3046 were euthanized.

    Again, quoting myself, “The Norfolk City Animal Control facility (a city-run facility in the same city as PETA) had just over 65% kill rate” 3046 / 4661 = 65.35% kill rate.

    Jim’s proverbial Fluffy has a better chance of living if he’s turned it to Norfolk City Animal Control than if he’s turned in to PETA. Norfolk City adopts out 992% more animals than PETA does (993 adopted out by Norfolk City – 12 adopted out by PETA / 12 adopted out by PETA = 992% more) and transfers animals to another facility 114.5% more than PETA (573 transferred by Norfolk – 46 transferred by PETA / 46 = 114.5% more)

    All this from a facility that does NOT have the words “Ethical Treatment” in its name.

  11. I don’t know what I was thinking, but the last half of the previous comments are just wrong.

    If Fluffy isn’t picked up by an owner, has a much better chance of living if he’s at the Norfolk City Animal Control than if he’s at PETA. Norfolk City adopts out 8175% more animals than PETA does (993 adopted out by Norfolk City – 12 adopted out by PETA / 12 adopted out by PETA = 8175% more) and transfers animals to another facility 1145% more than PETA (573 transferred by Norfolk – 46 transferred by PETA / 46 = 1145.65% more).


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