Beating Your Head Against the Wall of PETA’s True Believers
Yesterday one of the most thoughtful and intelligent pieces I’ve ever read on PETA was published by Barkpost and written by Arin Greenwood. The piece, entitled “PETA’s Shelter Euthanized 72% of Its Animals Last Year. That’s a Problem and It Needs to Change” is one in which Ms. Greenwood does an amazing job of threading together a lot of seemingly little pieces — all of which point to the sick and twisted philosophy PETA holds about companion animals and how this philosophy leads to a kill first policy in its “shelter.”
What I’ve come to understand, after all this time, is that PETA’s approach to companion animals, to pets, doesn’t actually make sense — unless you hold the perverse belief, which I do not, that many animals should die to be saved.
These are the words of someone who believes in intellectual honesty and wants to be absolutely the best advocate (I think of her as a warrior but we’ll use advocate here) she can be for animals. These are not the words of someone who has an agenda, or who is trying to sell something. Anyone who follows her advocacy even peripherally knows this. Please, read her piece. It is so important.
For the most part — like vastly most part — the response to Ms. Greenwood’s piece in the comments on Barkpost and FB are extremely supportive. Many people know the truth about PETA and many people are, rightly, furious at their deceptions and killings. And then there are PETA’s defenders, the ones who make you want to beat your head against the wall because how could anyone who claims to love and respect animals excuse their killing? It’s maddening! I think these people fall into a few different categories.
First you have those suffering from cognitive dissonance. These folks are good people but they simply cannot reconcile the truly positive things the organization does with the truly evil things the organization does. The disconnect is too great for them so they just continue to believe in the goodness of PETA.
Then there are people who believe this really is just about overpopulation, and not about PETA’s better off dead philosophy. They defend PETA to the end without even thinking about it, they justify the killing of thousands of animals, and the fact that PETA kills thousands without ever attempting to rehome them. There’s no critical thought process, it’s just accepting PETA’s lies.
Folks in these two groups, I have found, can be open to learning the truth but they have to first be open to the fact that they might be wrong about PETA, that all these years they really have supported an organization that believes companion animals are better off dead, and that is a profoundly bitter pill to swallow. So I encourage them to research the hell out of it, the truth is there, you just have to think critically and independently.
Then there are the True Believers. These are the people who know damn well what the truth is and they defend PETA to the end with lies, allegations, snark, nastiness, and fabrications that hold kernels of truth. These people are a waste of breath and I generally have a “do not engage” policy — though I’ll admit I broke that today. These people are toxic and generally not worth the time it takes to type a response.
So this can be frustrating — this slog towards exposing the truth about PETA. I know I’m not the only one who feels it. I used to get so frustrated, I wanted to just throw my hands up and say “Nothing will ever change, this is pointless and stressful and hopeless.” Then someone, a woman who, like Arin, is a warrior for animals, reminded me that this battle is a marathon, not a sprint. In other words, she spoke the language of the runner — my language — and made me realize something. Here it is …
Things may change or they may not. Together we may stop PETA’s killing, it’s also possible that we won’t. But here’s the thing — do we have a choice other than to fight? Is it really in us to throw up our hands and sit on the sidelines? To look back when all is said and done, when nothing has changed and PETA is still killing, and think “I didn’t do all I could to stop this slaughter.” Over the past year I have met some of the most incredible people, people who spend countless hours advocating, fighting, observing, digging — these people are heroes to me. These people are focused and passionate. And they are unstoppable.
You have a choice. You can be someone who can’t wrap your head around the hypocrisy so you just stay in the same place and support PETA regardless. You can be an apologist for unhindered killing, someone who will justify PETA’s actions for no reason other than “they’re PETA.” But if you are truly someone who cares about the welfare of animals don’t you want to be certain you’re not supporting an organization that believes animals are better off dead? Don’t you want to find out for yourself rather than just take PETA at their word? Because, at the end of the day, it’s not really the “why” of how we act that matters so much as the consequences of our actions. And whether you’re a True Believer or someone who just can’t bear to think PETA is killing for the sake of killing, either way you’re supporting people who kill animals in a twisted attempt to prevent abuse.
And if you decide to research, and you discover the truth and want to help stop PETA, we are here, we are focused, we are unstoppable. And we will welcome you in this fight.