The Flaming Vegan

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PETA Kills?
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PETA Kills?

One day I was reading Flaming Vegan while i was eating lunch, and a comment on a blog caught my eye. Someone mentioned in their comment that PETA kills animals. The person included a link to check it out. I have to admit, I was blindsided. When I thought of PETA, I thought of over the top, flamboyant protests, with stunts so outrageous that the news media is on it in a heart beat. I thought of them as an advocacy group that tried to overall improve the lot of all animals, from the victims of factory farms to the stray on the street. Honestly, I didn't even know that they ran a shelter. I immediately clicked on the link.

What I found was agonizing. I've done rescue on a grassroots level. I've done the kind of rescue where you physically interact with a colony of feral cats and try to catch, spay, neuter, feed and adopt out kittens after you've tamed them and brought them back to health. For years we fostered kittens. I'm a "think globally, act locally" kind of girl, so I never personally interacted with an organization the size of PETA. The organizations I'm familiar with haul puppies and dogs up north from the bowels of kill shelters in the south, then distribute them to foster families that care for them until they get a permanent home. The animal is assimilated into the family, and once a family of their own is found, the cycle repeats. I was not prepared for what found.

In a nutshell, they run a kill shelter. Their 2012 percentage of kills exceeds many of the shelters that admit that they're kill shelters, and announce to the rescue goups that they are a kill shelter, SO COME AND GET 'EM. They're been brought up on charges for improperly disposing of bodies. The stories were heart wrenching, and covered many years. I contacted an animal advocacy group in a local state to find out if it was really true. I wanted them to tell me that everything I had read was lies. instead, I got "scolded" for daring to question the actions of the almighty PETA. Seriously?!? He said it was uninformed people like me that gave PETA a bad name. He was more interested in helping the animal trapped in the cycle of factory farming than the little guy on the street. Though I have to admit I've been tempted to steal a calf out of a veal pen a time or two, I know my limitations and am more equipped to save cats and dogs than livestock. I don't eat animals, and hope that I can influence and educate people other ways about factory farming. I truthfully want them all saved. 

It turns out I'm not alone in thinking that PETA's actions are hypocritical. Many reputable animal rights groups oppose PETA. My husband contacted PETA, and they wrote back. He received a much more profesional letter than I did from the group in the next state. Yes, they admitted that they euthanize, and added that they report all of their numbers to the state as they are required to do. They did not include the numbers. 

I understand that sometimes the kindest thing that you can do for an animal is to put it down. When they are sick and in pain, or dying, and there is no hope of recovery, the kindest thing you can do is end the suffering. I am not talking about hat kind of killing. 

So friends, check it out! I'm afraid that this blog might stir up a hornet's nest, but I promised myself I'd tell everyone I know. Spend your charitable dollars elsewhere, with a group that's more above board. I don't know how I missed this piece of news, but everyone I've talked to except one friend who runs a horse rescue, had no idea either. Check out the actual numbers, read the police report you'll find, ask your local rescue what they know, see where  ETA's money actually goe . Maybe you'll find that they aren't what you thought they were either. We have a right to know.

PS: Thank you to the person that opened my eyes. I'm not sure you want the limelight in my blog, or I would include your name. I am sure that since you're so passionate about the topic, you'll find this. 

Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)

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  1. Melissa Nott
    Melissa Nott
    They feel justified in their actions and, just like any other ethical issue, the coin has two sides. I agree with you that the prospect of all that euthanasia is heart wrenching. PETA explains that they feel it is the most humane choice, in their eyes, when you consider the massive number of homeless animals in the world. I think perhaps they even consider themselves to be the "dumping ground," the place that bears the brunt of the sadness and pain, so other shelters can be no-kill. I don't like this either. It makes me emotionally uncomfortable, and makes me wonder if there is not another solution. According to PETA, spaying and neutering would be the best solution, and until that becomes more widespread, they must keep doing what they're doing. I don't like it, not one bit, and because I can usually see both sides of an issue, it is impossible for me to say whether they are right or wrong. One thing I do know is that it sounds terrible.
    1. Melissa Nott
      Melissa Nott
      Oh, and the charitable work you have done sounds very interesting. I would love to read more about it! The type of work you do DOES kind of fly in the face of the PETA kill philosophy, doesn't it? Perhaps we need more no-kill workers to speak up about their side of the issue! Thank you.
      1. beachgurl
        Our years of rescue had a crazy side. Now all of our furry children, except one 7 year old dog, are senior citizens, one in hospice.Out of respect for their golden years, we aren't fostering anyone at the moment. One of my daughters has a Red Bone Coon hound mix that came from a South Carolina kill shelter. We babysit often. He's still a pup. You can almost hear my old crew groan when he pulls in the driveway. My husband's a merchant seaman. He never knew what he's find when he came home off the boat. The 2 funniest were when he got a friend to give him a ride home from the airport and walked in the kitchen only to be met with a year old Malamute wolf highbred who chose the highest ground to greet him - the kitchen table. Another time I picked him up and when he went to get a shower he was met by a room full of wild kittens. It was hilarious.
    2. beachgurl
      Hi Melissa! One thing that bothered me most is that it's documented where perfectly healthy and adoptable animals go in one door and are brought out another is less time than it takes to go to eat lunch. There ARE too many homeless cats and dogs. Education is definitely key, as well s stronger legislation to control puppy and kitten mills, and affordable spaying and neutering. PETA is so well connected with the celebrity world that if that announced that they ran a no kill shelter, their name alone would draw folks in to adopt. PR wise they aren't upfront. The digger I dug, the worse it got.
  2. Veganara
    Voted.Great blog. Yes I heard this some time ago too, shocking. Especially when you consider how much money PETA is sitting on! Surely they could use some of that to run no-kill shelters for these poor animals? Sadly they are a very hypocritical and corrupt organisation these days, although they started off well. I don't support them any more. You might be interested in my latest blog here What Was Angelina Thinking? Do check it out if you get a chance. :-)
  3. janetwinikoff
    I respectfully disagree with this post about PETA. No organization is perfect but much of the misinformation about PETA and other national animal protection organizations is originating from an alliance of pro-hunting, pro-animal testing, pro-factory farming and pro-breeding businesses. They cleverly set up websites with humane sounding names that make all sorts of allegations. But if you dig deep enough and start looking at who runs the sites, you'll see whose interests they are really representing - and it's not the animals. Here's the "about us" page from one: "PETA Kills Animals is a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the full range of choices that American consumers currently enjoy. In addition to malicious animal-rights activists, we stand up to the "food police," environmental scaremongers, neo-prohibitionists, meddling bureaucrats, and other self-anointed saints who claim to know what's best for you." Does this sound like a pro-animal group to you? PETA as well as shelters that take in all animals regardless of physical condition or behavior, are forced to make difficult decisions. These shelters have a responsibility to ensure that animals are not suffering physically or mentally. The also have a responsibility to not knowingly put the public at risk by placing aggressive or potentially aggressive animals up for adoption. I hope we can stop sniping and name-calling with labels like "kill shelters" and "PETA kills" and address the real problem - irresponsible people and greedy anti-animal businesses. Wherever you stand on the euthanasia issue, consider who is out there blocking progressive spay/neuter efforts and supporting pet stores, greyhound racing, and puppy mills? Who is really dividing us? Outside influences are pitting us against each other. For those of you who are animal activists, let's agree to work cohesively on aggressive spay/neuter programs and progressive adoptions and stop allowing ourselves to be divided. Studies have shown that the only reason we can now discuss the goal of zero euthanasia of healthy animals is thanks to forty years of hard-hitting spay/neuter campaigns. But we have more work to do.
    1. Veganara
      That's a very thought-provoking comment Janet. Of course, it is very hard to know what to believe really, isn't it? There is so much misinformation out there. It could well be, as you say, that PETA is being smeared by the animal-exploitation businesses.
      1. janetwinikoff
        Thanks, Veganara. I have worked in the field of animal protection for more than twenty years and would suggest that animal advocates dig deeper into websites and blogs that claim to be about animal welfare but focus all of their efforts on accusing other groups of wrongdoing. No animal organization is perfect but most do the very best that they can. It's important that we consider our sources of information when there's finger-pointing involved. I'm always wary of websites and blogs that spend their time and energy bashing other groups and individuals rather than promoting their own efforts to save the lives of animals. If someone has concerns about an organization, I hope they'll consider reviewing credible news sources that fact-check and reveal both sides of the story.
    2. beachgurl
      Thanks for commenting Janet. I was actually hoping I'd get comments from both sides of the coin. i am aware of that organization. And I do agree that when you except animals in any condition hard choices are going to have to be made. That being said, I'm convinced from other sources that they are euthanizing more than the ill and dying. With all the resources they have, and the name they've made for themselves, it isn't necessary. They are in a position to be a role model for shelters. Just because thy have done powerful positive advocacy doesn't they shouldn't be held up for scrutiny on this topic. Peta's kill numbers are through the roof, and the CCF didn't have a thing to do with that. They had one of the highest percentages reported in 2012.
      1. janetwinikoff
        Thanks for responding, Beachgurl. I don't work or volunteer for PETA so I can't comment on their euthanasia policies. I can say that there are several factors that responsible animal advocates take into account when making euthanasia decisions and that such decisions are taken quite seriously. It could be that the animals are sick. It could also be that behaviorally, the animals are so challenged that they are either not safe to be placed or no one will step up to adopt them and they will be caged for the rest of their lives. If an agency accepts all animals including dangerous dogs, the intake rate will be high and the euthanasia rate may be greater than a rescue group that takes in more desirable animals. That agency has a responsibility to provide for an animal's physical and psychological needs and also has a responsibility to not put the public in danger. I am guessing that PETA's euthanasia decisions are based on multiple factors including the physical and mental condition of the animal as well as any displays of aggression that might put a foster volunteer, adopter or child at risk. You mentioned that PETA had corresponded with you. Since they seem responsive, it may be helpful to ask about their policies. I believe it all goes back to all of us working together for aggressive spay/neuter laws. Every companion animal deserves to be loved and cared for responsibly. Unfortunately, organizations that exploit animals for commerce repeatedly block spay/neuter efforts and support puppy mill and pet store interests. BTW -here's a great article on what shelters and rescue groups need to provide to the animals in their care. It uses something called The Five Freedoms as guidelines for the humane treatment of animals.
        1. beachgurl
          Thanks again Janet. I am fully recognizing that there are instances where an animal needs to be euthanized. In the Spring I had to euthanize my 21 year old cat who was dying of cancer. I have a problem when a healthy viable animal comes in one door and goes out the other, dead, quicker than you can blink an eye. Just because an organization comes under the animal rights umbrella doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held to standards, or questioned, or be required to disclose their activity. Many large animal rights groups oppose PETA; many others feel that to question any action PETA does is sacrilegious. It reminds me of the "gold old boys club" mentality. We cover up and support no matter what. I can't do that. I encourage everyone to do a little research of their own. Check out what the big news networks have reported, dig up the kill stats, look at police reports, makes some phone calls.... etc.
  4. LiveHealthyNow
    Immediately I spread this information, thank you. voted. I hope you enjoy my post, take a look
  5. SKimball
    As some comments have basically pointed out already, the dominate voice criticizing PeTA in this area is not other animal activists but, rather the CCF. Their PeTA Kills site has more money behind it than 50 PeTAs so, it pops up on the internet everywhere. Here is PeTA's response which does not pop up everywhere:
  6. deepam
    sorry to hear that
  7. pftsusan
    Thank you for sharing. I'm on the fence about PETA. I don't consider ethuthanizing an animal because they are in pain, dying and nothing else medically can be done for them; killing them. We send them to a better place, with angel's wings to rest in peace. But euthanizing a healthy animal is killing them.


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