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Archive for the tag “lawsuit peta”

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.

I Stand With Maya — and With the Family Seeking Justice for Her

Maya, a tiny slip of a dog, and a family who loves her may just be the ones finally able to shed light into the darkness of PETA. Just over a year ago Maya was stolen off her porch and killed. Not by dog fighters or a person who enjoys harming animals, or any other of the usual suspects, but by the largest animal rights group in the world — PETA. And now Maya’s family is suing PETA, and the two women who stole and killed Maya, for upwards of $9.7 million dollars.

Even as much as I know about Maya and what happened to her I learned new things from reading the suit, which you can read here.

  • On the same day PETA stole and killed Maya, who belonged to the Zarate family, they also appear to have stolen and killed a dog who belonged to Mr. Zarate’s niece.
  • While I suspected the women who stole and killed Maya were the same women who had been working to gain the trust of the Zarate family and others at the trailer park where they lived the lawsuit confirms it: “Carey and Wood came to the Park and began to ingratiate themselves with the residents in order to build trust with the residents.” PETA has claimed that Maya’s theft and death were the result of mistaken identity, that the women thought she was a different dog. These women who spent time gaining the trust of the Zarate family, who spent time with Maya, didn’t realize that the dog they first tried to lure off the Zarate porch and then snatched off the porch, was Maya? It’s utterly ridiculous and now we know that these these women knew Maya, they knew the Zarate family, I assume they knew Cynthia, the little girl who adored Maya. And after grooming this family in order to gain their trust, much the way human predators groom their prey, they stole and killed their dog.
  • Carey and Wood “told residents that they would be trying to find good homes for the dogs they captured.” Which is exactly what PETA says in order to gain custody of the animals they then kill. They don’t say this because they honestly are going to attempt to re-home animals, they say this because they know nobody will hand over animals if they know the animals will be immediately killed. That’s the pattern of behavior. It’s what I was told to do when I worked for PETA, it’s what PETA employees are still doing. By any means necessary.
  • Mr. Zarate, who had installed a security camera on his porch that ended up capturing Maya’s theft, believes that when PETA representatives came to his house to apologize for killing his dog they had ulterior motives. “During the visit, the PETA representatives asked about the video and were visually searching for the camera. It was apparent to Wilber that the real purpose of the visit was for PETA to ascertain the location of the security camera and to learn the extent to which PETA’s illegal actions had been captured on video.” This makes perfect sense — they weren’t actually sorry for stealing and killing Maya, they were assessing how much damage control would be required.
  • “PETA believed that given the socio-economic status of the residents, PETA could take the pets and kill them without any repercusssion to PETA.” Absolutely. There is a reason they target people who don’t have a lot of resources — because those are the people less able to fight back.

As a mother this is the part of the lawsuit that pulled at me: “Cynthia experienced extensive and severe emotional distress. Among other things, she cried for weeks, became lethargic, lost sleep, refrained from eating and lost weight.” I have watched my children grieve for both animals and humans, I have watched one of my children experience the trauma of being badly bullied, I have watched my children as they say goodbye to people they know they will likely never see again. All of this hurts, all of it makes me want to wrap my children in my arms and shield them from any further pain and suffering. After reading Cynthia’s reaction to Maya being stolen and killed I felt myself relating to Mr. Zarate on a different level — not just as someone who knows he’s speaking the truth but as a parent who has watched her children suffer. And my heart just hurts for him, and for Cynthia.

This family who PETA thought would never be able to fight them is doing what few people have the courage to do — they are standing up to a Goliath of an organization that is known to sink to the lowest depths in order to stop anyone who dares to speak the truth about them, they are standing up for a beloved family member, they are standing up for the pain a child has had inflicted upon her. I hope that this lawsuit will finally convince other past employees to come forward to add their voices to the truth the Zarate family is speaking. I know there must be former employees who are also parents — think of what it would mean to you if someone hurt your child as badly as Cynthia has been hurt. Wouldn’t you do absolutely everything you could in order to fight for your child? Wouldn’t you hope others who could help in that fight would stand by you? They are battling a powerful opponent who has deep pockets and wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who knows the truth about PETA spoke out in support of this family? I, for one, will continue to do that. I will continue to stand for Maya, for Cynthia, for a father who has had to watch his child grieve a terrible betrayal and loss, and for Black Boy. You have my full support and admiration, Mr. Zarate, and you are an example to my children of what it means to do the right thing even when it’s the difficult thing. Thank you.

 

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