I just did a radio interview on PETA’s campaign of companion animal extermination, based on my Huffington Post expose. Toward the end of the interview, the host asked me about killing rats for medical research and when I tried to speak out against that, too, I was cut off. I want to be clear: I do not oppose PETA because of what they are supposed to be. I oppose PETA because they are not what they are supposed to be.
Over the last two decades, PETA has willfully and systematically worked to undermine the welfare and rights of our nation’s companion animals. In addition to seeking out thousands of animals every year to poison with an overdose of barbiturates, PETA is one of the most vocal opponents of efforts to end the neglect, abuse and killing occurring at shelters across the country. PETA undermines the efforts of animal lovers to reform their local shelters, even when those local shelters horrifically abuse animals. They campaign to expand killing, urging shelters not to work with rescue groups, not to foster animals in need, to ban the adoption of many animals, and to round up and kill community cats. They defeat desperately needed shelter reform laws which have been introduced in states across the nation—laws that have been proven to save hundreds of thousands of lives in those states which have passed them. And by continually perpetuating the myth that No Kill animal control shelters do not and cannot exist, PETA is one of the greatest barriers to building a kinder, gentler America for our nation’s companion animals.
Although over 80% of Americans believe that shelters should not round up and kill community cats, PETA calls on local governments to reject TNR in favor of trapping and killing these cats. While many Americans share their homes with “Pit Bull” dogs whom they consider cherished members of their family and while activists are working to reform the unfair stereotypes that lead to the mass killing of dogs classified as “Pit Bulls,” PETA has called for a ban on their “adoption/release,” irrespective of their temperament.
When animal lovers have criticized their local shelters for killing full-term pregnant animals (even animals in active labor), rather than sending those animals into foster care or transferring them to rescue groups to give birth, PETA has written public officials encouraging them to continue this practice. When animal lovers have complained of sadistic abuse and systematic neglect of animals in shelters, PETA has written public officials encouraging them to ignore reformers and maintain the status quo.
That is why I fight PETA.
But if they did none of these things; if they actually worked to solve problems rather than exploit animals for shock value, fundraising and media coverage while engaging in a systematic effort to exterminate them; if they actually loved animals; if they tried to save them; if they believed in the right to life, rather than the right of people to kill them; and if the Butcher of Norfolk and her acolytes were not associated with the organization; I would be a supporter because I believe all animals deserve the right to live and all the other rights that naturally flow from that.
I hold this truth to be self-evident: that all human and non-human animals are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. And because I hold that truth to be self-evident, I fight.