I like animals. I like most animals more than I like most people. I prefer to leave wild animals alone as much as possible. When I see wild animals in their natural habitat, I tend to just admire them from a distance. When I was in the Boy Scouts, I made a point of learning the habits of possibly dangerous animals so I could avoid them whenever possible.
I’ve had pets my whole life. My first pet- a cat named Smokey- shared my life for 23 years. I’ve shared my life with dogs and cats and mice (sometimes all at once), and get along with most domestic animals.
I try to avoid killing animals unnecessarily. Since my wife freaks out at the sight of a spider, I get the spider-chores. Rather than killing them, I try to collect them and carry them outside. When ants invade the house, I prefer destroying their scent trails to wiping out their nests outside (I make an exception for fire ants). On the rare instance a mouse manages to get into the house without getting hunted to extinction by my cats, I try to catch the critter and release it outside. If I could deal with roaches in this fashion, I would do so. Unfortunately for the roaches, the only practical means of controlling them is to kill them in large numbers.
I eat meat, but have no illusions as to the origins of the meat I consume. I’ve killed chickens for my family’s consumption, butchered a hog, and even dressed out a deer the one time I tried hunting for food. I wear leather garments, drink milk, eat cheese, and generally enjoy the benefits of being a member of the top omnivorous species on the planet.
I support our local “no-kill” animal shelter, encourage others to spay/neuter their pets, purchase”free-range” meat for my own consumption (and avoid fast-food restaurants), and provide food for the local birds and squirrels in the winter.
But I absolutely refuse to support or have any sympathy for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Two years ago, PETA members were caught dumping the bodies of dogs and cats into a dumpster behind a convenience store in North Carolina. The van they were driving held several empty cages and a tackle box full of syringes and drugs used for euthanasia. It turns out that PETA routinely”liberates” animals from pet stores and kills them, dumping the carcasses into refuse bins in rural areas. According to some PETA opponents, PETA has euthanized more than 14,000 cats, dogs, and other such pets since 1998.
When a blizzard threatened to kill hundreds of cattle in Colorado, the Governor asked PETA to pitch in some money to help. Despite their high-sounding ideals, the PETArds couldn’t be bothered. If animals feeling pain is what they’re trying to prevent, why not help save the cattle? Is it better for the animals to starve and freeze to death?
Precisely how does this equate with “ethical” treatment?
There’s a KFC down the road from where I live. Several times a week, PETA holds a “protest” outside this establishment. As far as I can tell, none of the other KFCs in town get protested. Three other restaurants specializing in chicken can be found within two blocks of this particular KFC, but they never get protested, either. The only major difference I can find between this particular KFC and all the rest is location: A major intersection near a freeway. These “protesters” only show up when the weather is clear and even then only between noon and 1PM. The neighborhood in question is predominantly black, but every one of the “protesters” are white. None of them live in the area- they travel to and from the “protest” in several vans. I managed to speak with one of these PETArds. He told me that they get paid to drive to that particular KFC and protest.
What’s the matter, PETA? Isn’t that KFC serving dismembered chickens at other times of the day? Is that particular KFC the only one which serves cooked meat? Do they only serve meat when the weather is nice?
In the interest of fairness, I visited PETA’s website. They blithely equate their cause with the struggle to end slavery. Their advertising tries to equate the meat industry with the Holocaust. They also claim to be a strictly non-violent organization, but they seem to finance a lot of people and organizations that have been convicted of domestic terrorism. PETA claims “animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other purpose“. Does this include Seeing-Eye Dogs? Pets?
Here’s a novel idea, PETArds. If you want to live your lives without using animal products (or products tested on animals), that’s your business. Knock yourself out. Your right to those beliefs stops when it comes to trying to force me to live the way you want me to.
I have a low tolerance for stupidity. After looking at PETA and the actions of the PETArds, I’ve discovered that my tolerance for hypocrisy is even lower.
Current status: Obstreperous
Current Music: Cygnus X-1, by Rush