When you point out that HSUS or the ASPCA or PETA or even Best Friends have done things to harm animals and have betrayed the cause they are pledged to protect, invariably someone responds with the claim that they should not be criticized because they do “so much good for animals.” The argument that we should ignore all the bad things organizations have done because they allegedly also do good things is disturbing. In effect, they are saying that, “HSUS/ASPCA/PETA/Best Friends do so much good, they should have carte blanche to do terrible, irreversible, life ending things, too.”
Even if it were true that these groups do “so many good things” for animals, it does not entitle them to a blank check to call for the killing of two-week old puppies or to fight a bill that would have ended the cruel, painful gas chamber as HSUS did. It does not entitle them to fight progressive legislation that would have saved 25,000 animals a year who had a rescue group ready, willing, and able to save them as Best Friends did. It does not entitle them to send kittens to their deaths because they have a cold as the ASPCA did, or to kill dogs like Oreo and Max who had a place to go. It does not entitle them to seek out and kill 2,000 animals a year as PETA does.
And yet that is the argument apologists are making on behalf of those organizations. Moreover, the paradigm of killing continues as long as we give it such legitimacy. So my questions to those who make these arguments:
- How much killing is acceptable to you?
- How many deaths are you willing to allow them before you draw the line?
I’ll start: zero. First, do no harm.