Animal Rights Urban Legends

A recent email to several mailing lists I’m on left me baffled. It detailed a woman who had apparently called to book an airline flight for a dog. According to the email,

The guy (named Al in Denver’s cargo office) told me there was a 4 hour layover and was I sure I wanted to ship them. I said I did and he told me he would book them into a kennel facility if they exceeded the 4 hours there. I said if that is policy then that would be fine. He put me on hold to reserve the kennel I guess and then came back and said he’d book my flight but was calling PETA on me. No humane society or explanations about why he was concerned for a 4 hr layover. Just sicking PETA on me.

The email then goes on to detail how the woman is now afraid that PETA is going to ‘show up at her door’, and explains that Peta now has undercover operatives placed within airlines, in order to track the way that people ship their dogs.

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Peta STILL Kills Animals, and Tessa Goes to Dagestan

(A note: I am completely bogged down with work at the moment (and happily so, since nothing makes me more gleeful than new websites to muck around with!), so I am going to be blogging lightly and answering email tardily for the next week or so)

Looks like 2008 was another great year for animal murdering over at Peta HQ! Peta, who managed to adopt out 17 animals in 2007, have pushed that number down to just 7 in 2008.  Way to go, Peta! That’s an extra ten animals ‘saved’ from a life of servitude as a human companion!

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Why is anyone still giving money to HSUS?

It’s amazing the bits and pieces that can all eventually come together after a day or so of web surfing.

A comment on the Bad Rap Blog tipped me off to the fact that, while HSUS said “no thanks” to helping the suffering Pit Bulls of Oklahoma, they were right there when a recent North Carolina dog fighting bust went down. According to an article in the Wilkes Journal Patriot,

The 127 pit bulls were taken away with help of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control personnel with four vans. A tractor-trailer belonging to the Humane Society of the U.S. also was used to transport dogs.

On the HSUS website, a press release about the raid says

“The raid of this suspected dogfighting operation is the culmination of an extensive investigation, and dogfighters everywhere should worry that they could be next,” said Chris Schindler, deputy manager of animal fighting law enforcement for The Humane Society of the United States.

“We are grateful to the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office and Wilkes County Animal Control department for acting quickly and efficiently against this suspected dogfighting operation.”

It is a felony to possess a dog for the purpose of dogfighting in North Carolina. Those involved in illegal dogfighting can receive four to 10 months in prison.

What I find most telling is what this press release (so full of praise for the work of Wilkes County officials)  fails to reveal – that a successful prosecution will lead to the immediate death of every Pit Bull confiscated in the raid, puppies included.

He said the pit bulls were being kept as evidence at an undisclosed location until the completion of court proceedings in the case, with a goal of moving through court as rapidly as possible.
“If the state wins the case, the dogs will be euthanized, as called for under the county’s Animal Control Ordinance, based on the dogs being trained and used for fighting,” he said, adding that the dogs were therefore considered dangerous.

Wilkes Journal Patriot

No condemnation of this policy is found on the HSUS website. On the contrary, this singular fact is conspicuously absent, although calls for more donations to help ‘end dog fighting’ abound. In fact, right next to the press release is a banner touting the HSUS’ $5,000 bounty for information on suspected dog fighting operations. Seeing it there, and knowing HSUS’ “Kill ’em all” policy on Pit Bulls, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the bounties some areas pay for the bodies of dead wolves. I can hardly think that a stance of ‘death to all fighting Pit Bulls’ is also conducive to convincing people to turn the dogs in – unless, of course, you plan to do your level best to prevent the general public from ever learning that the only Pit Bull HSUS cares for is a dead Pit Bull.

Of course, there’s also the distinct possibility that HSUS’ $5,000 bounty kill fee reward is actually a scam, as the author of this blog asserts.

I find it quite striking that when live Pit Bulls (by which I mean, Pit Bulls that were alive, and were going to remain alive) were involved, HSUS wanted no part of the situation – but when dead Pit Bulls (by which I mean, Pit Bulls that will be murdered killed euthanized as soon as the case is completed) were involved, HSUS could send transport trucks across the country. Apparently, while Pit Bulls can be quite useful tools for raising money, HSUS isn’t quite so keen on spending any of those funds to actually keep them alive.

Of course, as the recent cases taught us, the insistence of Wilkes County that the operators of Wildside Kennels should be actually found guilty in a court of law before the Pit Bulls are murdered slaughtered euthanised must be quite frustrating to HSUS. After all, why wait for a court decision? It certainly wasn’t necessary in the Pat Patrick case, where all of his dogs were put down before he’d even had his day in court – an action taken with the full support of HSUS, and their ‘dog fighting Czar’ John Goodwin. Blue Dog State does a phenomenal job of re capping the horrors of the Floyd Boudreaux and Pat Patrick cases – horrors not related to ‘dog fighting’, but to the needless extermination of dogs only suspected of being used or bred for fighting. As Blue Dog State points out, Boudreaux and Patrick both had their charges tossed out – but that didn’t save their dogs. To HSUS, the only tragedy in these cases is the fact that the court cases were lost, and not the needless deaths of literally hundreds of dogs, or the suspension of the rights for the accused to be innocent until found guilty (a grace we should be applying to their dogs, as well).

A recent comment by Jennifer of Adamant Bulldogs tipped me off to HSUS’ recent activities in San Luis Obispo County. Seems that the San Luis Obispo County shelter asked HSUS to come in and help them to overhaul their antiquated shelter system. Aside from the colossal waste of money that this whole fiasco involved (topping $22,ooo!), the recommendations included this sentence (emphasis mine):

The HSUS recommends that no dogs seized from dogfighting operations, even puppies, be placed for adoption or transferred to placement partners.

The full report can be downloaded here, and the specific section mentioned is section 9.9 . In the event that the report disappears, I’ve done a screen cap of the actual section. It just gets progressively stupider, the more you read.

This all cohered into a post for me when I was watching the Dogtown episode on the progress of the Vick Pit Bulls who are being offered sactuary at Best Friends. Aside from the fact that the HSUS was one of the “Animals Rights groups” who called for the  murder extermination euthanization, there was the tidbit thrown out at the end of the show that “The Humane Society estimates one million Pit Bulls are euthanized every year”. Well, yes – at their recommendation, and if the HSUS had their way, that number would be even higher.

So, here we have HSUS, busily fund raising on the backs of fighting Pit Bulls with one hand, while calling out for their death with the other. Isn’t there a name for that kind of behaviour, over above the obvious one of ‘hypocrisy’?

As Gina always says, “Why is anyone still listening to PETA?“.

Can I now add my own?

Why is anyone still giving money to HSUS?“.

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Idiotic Quotes from Peta & Ingrid Newkirk

Oh, I know – it’s an easy target to choose, simply because almost everything that comes out of their mouths is completely moronic, but hey! Sometimes a girl just needs to vent a little bit, especially in light of Peta’s recent comparison of the AKC and the KKK.

1. The smallest form of life, even an ant or a clam, is equal to a human being.
-Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

2. We feel animals have the same rights as a retarded human child.
-Alex Pacheco (PETA)

3. Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughter houses.
-Ingrid Newkirk (PETA)

4. Pet ownership is an “absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation.”
-Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

5. Arson, property destruction, burglary and theft are “acceptable crimes” when used for the animals’ cause.
-Alex Pacheco (PETA)

6. Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, “We’d be against it.”
-Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

7. “Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all mammals.”
Ingrid Newkirk – Founder, PETA

8. “Humans have grown like cancer. We’re the biggest blight on the face of the planet.”
Ingrid Newkirk – Founder, PETA

9. “…Eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship, enjoyment at a distance.”
Ingrid Newkirk – Founder, PETA

10. “We have a lazy, sick society. People bring diseases on themselves. [People should] avoid getting the disease in the first place.”
Dan Mathews – PETA spokesperson

11. “Homelessness drives me crazy! I take responsibility for everything that happens to me. Everyone can pull themselves up. I have more sympathy for animals because they don’t deserve anything that happens to them. They’re innocent.”
PETA member – “What Becomes a Zealot Most?”, GQ Magazine November 1993

12. “In a perfect world, all other than human animals would be free of human interference, dogs and cats would part of the ecological scheme.”
PETA’s Statement on Companion Animals

13. “Probably everything we do is a publicity stunt…We are not here to gather members, to please, to placate, to make friends. We’re here to hold
the radical line.”
Ingrid Newkirk – Founder, PETA

Peta or Puppy Mill?

I have a temper. I know I have a temper, I acknowledge I have a temper, and I do my best to control my temper. Email can tend to be my weakness – stupid questions cause me to type before I think, leading me often to wonder why we don’t have a ‘ten second I changed my mind delay’ button we can use to get email back before it soars out over the ether. Since Bill Gates has yet to invent one, I decided that starting a column which basically begs people to send me stupid questions might not be such a good idea — the questions might need to be answered, but by a calmer person than me.

That’s where Pat Pearce and Kathi Liebe come in.

When I decided to start a page called ‘Ask the French Bulldog Experts‘, I knew I needed some breeder experts less likely than myself to call people ‘dumb asses’ at the drop of the hat. Pat, in particular, has shown herself to have the ability to answer even the silliest questions with unflagging patience and good humor (Kathi, on the other hand, is my alter ego, and more like to respond with a reply starting with ‘Dear Idiot’. Ha!).

I knew we were opening the floodgates, but for the most part the questions have been sincere inquiries about the ethics of breeding. The law of averages being what it is, though, it makes sense that we were due for a missive of world class stoopid proportions. Enter today’s correspondent.

Her initial email was baffling, but seemed to be the typical ramblings of a ‘dog breeders are all mercenary assholes’ Peta acolyte:

From: xxxx <>*
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 16:31:28 -0600
Subject: Ask the French Bulldog Breeder

Why do you people breed your dogs, if not to make money? If you are better than everyone else that breeds dogs you should only have dogs for pets not for profit.

It really gets annoying to read all these webs sites that bad mouth all breeders but themselves, seems to me the only reason to have a litter of any kind of puppy is to profit from it. And the people that breed Frenchies want an outrageous price for their pet quality puppies….and you know as well as I do that not every puppy is show or breeder quality. But you all want that all mighty dollar for your litters of puppies….

Thanks for another PETA moment at your site………….

Now, I know I should have left this one to Pat, but come on – it was early morning, I was coffee deprived, and the first thing I read is an email from some AR wackjob accusing me of only breeding dogs for money. Where that money is supposed to be, I’d dearly like to know, because I’m almost going to have to take out a house loan to pay off Solo’s vet bills, but I digress.

Since I’m an imperfect person, here’s my response –

I’m sorry, was there a question in all of this, or did you just write to get in more obnoxious twat practice?

Pat, on the other, emailed me lamenting that there didn’t seem to be any opportunity for education in the original email. See? I told you she was a better person than me.

To good to hope that the Peta wank would let it lie with just one email, I soon enough found this in my in box –

thank you for your reply……pissed you off didn’t it………..just like your self righteous web page pisses off other breeders that are doing what’s right without bad mouthing everyone else on their sites.

You could probably sell just as many dogs without printing the PETA crap. If people like you continue to publicize their crap one day we will have NO rights to even own a dog or eat meat in this country…..The government through the special interests groups have already taken away more of our freedoms than I care to go into….. So if bad mouthing me because I had an opinion works for you…. Have a fine day …………..

Go ahead and print this in your blog Dickhead !!!!!

Well, now I’m confused. Apparently she’s not the Peta wank – I am. It seems she thinks I’m some sort of dog breeding undercover front for Peta, dead set on stopping people from eating meat or owning pets (because we know how pro dog breeding Peta is). I truly and honestly don’t know what point she was trying to make — that being pro ethics equals being pro Peta? That Pat and Kathi’s extraordinarily polite answers to the questions people have so far submitted somehow align them with the Animal Liberation Front? That when the moon is full, the crazies come out and write emails?

Either way, my less than patient response was this –

What on earth are you blathering about? Where have we EVER supported PETA, you idiotic little twat? Where have we ever done anything but expose PETA as the self serving, money grubbing liars they are? Are you talking about articles where we’ve posted things like “PETA Kills Animals, No One Outside Hollywood Surprised”? Yes, I can see how that could be taken as being supportive of them (that’s called sarcasm).

And where on earth have we ever bad mouthed dog breeders? Are you even aware of who you are emailing, or are you off of whatever meds you’re supposed to be taking? Did you miss the part where you emailed ‘Ask the DOG BREEDER’, or did you mis read that as ‘Ask the AR Nutjob’?

I’m not bad mouthing you for having an opinion, I’m bad mouthing you for having a serious lack of any kind of reading comprehension skills. Two different things altogether. Also, you’ve mistaken ‘ironic amusement at your stupidity’ for ‘pissed off’. Yet again, two different things.

But, feel free to continue. I like a nice long thread.

Yes, I know I didn’t handle it well. Yes, I know I should have been more polite, more rational and less impulsive. But, hey! That’s what Pat and Kathi are for.

I’d write more, but I have to go picket a KFC – and pick up some dinner while I’m there.

ps: turns out I’m good company – The Pet Connection people have also been accused of being both pro Peta and pro puppy mills. Read their entry on it here – but I’ll bet they’ve never been accused of being both simultaneously, and by the same person.

* Identifying details such as name, email address and home state removed. Don’t say I never do anyone any favors.