ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

The Truth About PETA: Another Former Employee Comes Forward

Five years ago I wrote the first of many pieces on my experiences as a field worker for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The piece, “Rescued By Black Boy: how a neglected dog set me back on my path, away from PETA,” detailed a job that was the opposite of what you might expect. You would think a field worker for arguably the most powerful animal rights organization in the world — whose job included working in the most impoverished areas of Hampton Roads and beyond, investigating cruelty and abuse cases, taking in animals, some of whom were well loved but many of whom were neglected at best — would be tasked with rescuing, nurturing, and rehoming animals in need. But nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, I was instructed to lie in order to gain custody of animals — to tell people we would do our very best to find new homes if they would only surrender custody of their animals. Then I was instructed to kill those animals and make NO effort to rehome them. And I was berated and ridiculed by leadership when I spoke up about wanting to adopt out animals rather than kill them immediately.

Contrary to PETA’s assertion that nearly every animal who enters through their doors, or ends up in their vans, ends up dead because most are beyond saving, the vast majority of the animals surrendered to PETA during my tenure were healthy and highly adoptable, and I am positive this is still the case today.  Some may have needed a little rehabilitation — either for health reasons or socialization reasons — but that’s nothing shelters don’t deal with on a daily basis. Except for PETA’s “shelter,” because it is not a shelter, it is a place where animals are brought to die.

PETA’s response to my initial blog, and those that followed, was to call me a “disgruntled employee” who was fired for my “instability”  (in stark contrast to a performance review shortly before my firing where I was called an “excellent” employee and given a raise, of which I have proof if you click on the attached link) and was now on the warpath for vengeance. Fifteen years after I was fired. They then proceeded to attack me, and sit back while others attacked me for them.

For five years I have waited, hoped, prayed, for another former PETA employee to come forward about PETA’s euthanasia practices, about how employees are instructed to lie in order to gain custody of animals, about what it’s like to work in an organization many (rightly so) refer to as a “cult.” And now someone has, in a piece entitled “When the Crusade for Animals Falls Victim to Oppression.” Tears filled my eyes as I read her piece, partly because it is painful to read about such difficult experiences, and partly because I was so grateful to finally be vindicated. All along I, and those who know me, and many who don’t, have known I was telling the truth about PETA. But I so desperately wanted someone else to come forward, to show that I am not the mentally unstable, vengeful person PETA claims. Not because I care about what anyone thinks of me personally but because it would expose them as the liars they are –demonstrating how they have lied about me in order to protect their “shelter.” And, in small part, because their character attack was so brutal that, at its worst, they attempted to jeopardize my husband’s career by fabricating several lies about us. In that moment my mother bear instincts kicked in hard and the fight became deeply personal. To finally have another firsthand account, one more voice telling the truth, to expose PETA’s practices, is something for which I am eternally grateful.

Today we are two voices, tomorrow we could be four, the next day more. I, once again, ask former employees to join us in speaking the truth because, trust me, we are much stronger together. Working for PETA, in that toxic place, was soul crushing. I am deeply grateful to Black Boy — he was my savior and my angel, and he paid the ultimate price for that. But  because he made me see how far I’d strayed, animals like my Cito, plucked off the streets of Honduras, are alive — I thank him every day for that and so much more. I say to other former employees that speaking out, fighting their killing, making amends, is healing. Without it, I could not have healed from what I allowed myself to do at PETA.

And, to PETA, I hope you’re prepared. While I have been quiet lately I have not forgotten my promise to Black Boy and to Maya — to never stop fighting and to never let them be forgotten. I am not going anywhere, I am in this until the end. And the only way this will end is when you stop killing the animals you should be saving.

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11 thoughts on “The Truth About PETA: Another Former Employee Comes Forward

  1. Bill Ferrell on said:

    Heather, mom2 nomads, I just read your new blog, and Iam so proud of you. What a nasty horrible enemy PETA is, and Iam so sorry I too am glad this new person has come forward. Best wishes and good luck. Love. Betsy

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  2. Love you, Heather. Love your heart. Thank you for continuing to fight the good fight.

  3. Muriel Reilly on said:

    Thank you Heather ❤️

  4. So sorry to hear that you went through all that. As an animal lover myself that would hurt me beyond belief to know perfectly healthy animals were still being put down. Heck any a animal unless there is no quality of life hurts to have them be put down.
    I am glad you are not alone in your fight against Peta and I hope that more will shed the truth about them.

  5. Renee T. on said:

    Heather, I believe Peta picked up my cat from behind my house near wooded area. I called them, went to their building in Norfolk and was lied to. All I want to know is if they have him and what happened to him. Jenni from CAP said ” We don’t have him, we didn’t trap him. I’m 100% sure. I would never lie about that.” I’m beside myself with not knowing and just trying to find my boy. What should I do?? How can I know if they took him??

    • Hi Renee, I’m so sorry this is happening. Why do you think they took him? Were they trapping in your area? You must be frantic. I would call back and demand to speak with Daphna Nachminovitch, who, along with the president of peta, is the driving force behind Community Animal Project. I have also messaged a friend who has a lot of experience dealing with peta locally (I live in Miami) and asked for her advice. I will let you know what she says.

    • Renee, please message No Kill Hampton Roads on Facebook with as much information as possible. And check your city shelter. Maybe if they trapped your cat they brought him to the shelter and just don’t want to tell you. But make sure you go to the shelter in person. I’m so sorry he’s missing, I hope you find him. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

  6. Renee, please message No Kill Hampton Roads on Facebook with as much information as possible. And check your city shelter. Maybe if they trapped your cat they brought him to the shelter and just don’t want to tell you. But make sure you go to the shelter in person. I’m so sorry he’s missing, I hope you find him. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

  7. dcinfowarrior on said:

    I just saw this part:

    “But PETA went one step further. It made sure that employees not only understood this concept, but that it was also embedded into our operating principles. All employees are carefully groomed through issues training (a senior employee dictating PETA’s stances on animal issues to room full of wide-eyed new hires) and videos to ensure they have fully adopted the “us versus them” mentality: people who support every single euthanasia decision the organization makes at all times, versus everyone else. And that “everyone else” category was defined by two types of people: hoarders who stuff their houses with mountains upon mountains of animals to avoid euthanizing them, and followers of the meat industry-backed Center for Consumer Freedom, which runs the infamous “PETA Kills Animals” website in order to exploit the organization’s euthanasia numbers and undermine the animal rights movement as a whole.”

    What was it that Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Darth Vader?

    “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

    What was it that George W. Bush said after 9/11?

    “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

    PETA is the Darth Vader and George W. Bush of animal rights.

  8. dcinfowarrior on said:

    Sorry but PETA will never change their ways. The only thing which will stop PETA is if the Justice Department gets involved and has PETQ shut down and Ingrid Newkirk put in federal prison where she belongs.

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