2008-06-15

Why I'm Not A Member of PETA




As many of you are aware, I have reverted back to becoming a vegetarian over the last few months. I am also an animal lover, as I own two dogs, and one cat, which results in a large investment in Febreeze, Oxyclean, lint brushes, vacuums, and Purina. People often as me if I am one of those animal right "PETA people" I can honestly say no, I don't support PETA. I fit the profile of a typical person that would join PETA, I love animals, I don't eat meat? Why not a member of PETA?

To be honest, my first foray into the vegetarian lifestyle back in my teens, I was a member of PETA. I bought the books, attempted to picket in front of Bloomingdales in protest of fur sales (my momma nipped that in the bud with a quickness), I was attending meetings with an animal rights group here in Dallas. I was going to save all the animals. Of course this was high school, and I was a bit dramatic, and I have since become more apathetic towards saving the whole entire world.

Don't get me wrong, I still try to do my part. All of my animals are neutered and spayed. None of my animals came from breeders, but rather a rescue. I don't trust many breeders, as there are many "backyard" breeders out there, that don't do enough responsible breeding (they allow inbreeding, encourage breeding of recessive genes for cuteness), and frankly it is much cheaper to get a "full breed" from a rescue than a breeder. I am nerdy and concerned enough to research this. I don't believe in declawing cats, docking tails, or clipping ears (even though my doberman came with a docked tail, notice his ears are floppy and my cat came declawed). I consider those things kind of cruel, even though I can understand cat declawing to an extent when I see my cat with her clawless paws "scratching" against a couch, a wall, or my legs.

So what about PETA scares me?

The Scientology, cult like aspect of it's leaders and followers. We got the celebrity angle, lots of celebrities support PETA. In matter of fact, they use that spin to attract new members. Be like Pamela Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix, they don't eat meat, and they love animal liberation!!!!! They are intense in spreading the word, like evangelists. If you join, you are encouraged to drop off pamphlets, inform people about the error of their ways in eating meat.

Another thing that scares me, the intensity of some of their members in their quest for animal liberation.

My husband is still eating steak, and he has no plans to stop. I don't plan on stopping him. Per some members I am a traitor, and I should divorce my husband on the grounds of meat eating. I can't do that. He supports my vegetarianism, I support his meat eating. I still cook for my husband, meat and all. I just don't cook meat for myself. My only concern with my husband is how we are going to raise the kids? Vegetarian or not? He thinks it is cruel, but I don't. I think it is more cruel to raise your kids on McDonalds and other fast food, but that is how he was raised, so he is defensive about it.

Another thing that bothers me is the intensity level people take their definition of vegetarianism. It is no longer considered to be vegetarian if you partake in milk and eggs, vegan is the only true vegetarian now. Pescatarians, better step off, you might as well be eating cow. Instead of taking a positive spin and getting excited people have decided to omit red meat, red meat and chicken, or meat all together, just milk and eggs, these people are still lumped in with the general population as killers.

I know vegetarians who have attempted to make their dogs and cats vegetarians. Incidentally both animals, although now domesticated in the wild would get most their nutrition from meat, they are avid hunters in the wild. It is safe to make a dog vegetarian, even though I don't do that to my dogs, and it is an absolute no no for cats. I think making my dogs, who would naturally be eating meat in the wild, into vegetarians is kind of mean.

PETA's politics are questionable to me.


You want people to be cruelty free, but you euthanize animals. They want investigations into a horse's death, but they themselves kills hundreds, if not thousands of animals on a regular basis, with questionable methods of euthanizing animals. They think companion animals should be freed, but yet they purposely take animals from shelters and rescues (in particular, no kill shelters) for the purpose of killing them. If PETA attacks restaurants and other companies for their cruel ways, why are they being cruel themselves.

They encourage and support breed specific legislation. If you don't know I own a doberman, and pitt mix. I would be devastated if I was told I would have to euthanize either of my animals because they were considered dangerous, not due to past actions of themselves, but because of their breed. I am obviously against this, and I will say I was never a fan of pitt bulls prior to me owning one. I do think there should be mandatory owner training and education on bully breed dogs, so that people can understand the seriousness of the responsibility associated with these dogs. Statistically speaking pitt bulls don't attack people more than many other breeds of dogs, but because of their strength, when they do attack, it is much more severe and damaging. A pitt can kill you and severely disfigure you, a chihuahua can only try to. I can't support an organization that would try to take my dogs from me. In the past before pitts, dobermans, rottweilers, and german shepherds received bad raps as well. I have a feeling the next dog to get the wrath is the Mastiff. As like pitt bulls they were crated for fighting, but unlike pitt bulls, who were made for fighting and killing other animals, mastiffs were initially bred for battle with humans and animals, they are one of the oldest breeds out there. I digress.

Just FYI before people get it twisted, I would be dead if someone came into my house and broke in. The pitt would lie on her back and pee herself out of fear, and the doberman would stay asleep, the only time he would awake is if he felt his food was in trouble.

They give money to the Animal Liberation Front and the North American Earth Liberation Front. These are basically terrorist groups. They bomb things, they break into buildings. They take a good cause too far.

PETA in my opinion is not a good organization for people who love animals. I understand their theory, but they take things too far, and in my opinion are very hypocritical. The money they use to secure celebrities could go to creating animal sanctuaries and rescues. It seems they are more about trying to spread an agenda than actually resolving the issue they are supposedly fighting for.