I was a little over ten miles into my run yesterday, I’d been pacing myself to hit fifteen — I was feeling strong and focused. At least until a sudden, worrying pain in my right calf shocked me out of my zone. I stopped running, stretched, walked, started running, the pain shot through my calf again. I stopped, cursed, started, and the pain said “are you insane? STOP!” So I did, because I’ve learned the hard way that running through pain is a very foolish thing. I felt pretty fricking robbed though. I still do. And it’s made me edgy.
Halfway through a cut throat game of Go Fish with our two youngest, our middle child noticed that my leg was taped and wrapped. She got a look on her face that was something between absolute horror and panic and said “Are you injured?” I told her yes, I just didn’t know how badly. She started shaking her head and said “Oh no! Oh God! Oh no! Oh Jesus! NO!” While she can be prone to dramatics, in this case, her reaction was completely warranted because this is not an exaggeration:
Right now I’m trying not to project into the future, or worry about how long this injury will have me out. I’m trying to focus on taking care of my body, letting it heal, and not feeling slightly homicidal. And I’ve got some time on my hands, because I’m supposed to be running right now. So I wanted to blog about ways you can take action in order to help ensure that the recently passed Virginia Bill SB 1381, which will prevent PETA from killing the majority of animals it takes in, is implemented in a timely manner. Along with some other actions you can take.
Currently Virginia is stating that it will take two years to implement this bill. Two years! My husband works for the federal government so I have firsthand understanding about why the wheels of bureaucracy sometimes turn slowly, and I get that change does not happen overnight. But two years? Come on. Considering the fact that lives are on the line that is utterly unacceptable.
So, here’s what you can do, both to advocate for a more efficient time table and to hold PETA accountable. First, you can read this FB post by Nathan Winograd. In it he reminds us why this fight is so important, and he gives us email addresses for people we can contact about speeding up the implementation of SB 1381. That’s the second thing you can do — email them. Let them know, respectfully but forcefully, why taking two years to implement this bill is not acceptable. I’ll cut to the chase for you, here’s their contact information:
1. Sandra Adams, the Commissioner for Agriculture: email@example.com
2. Dr. Carolyn Bissett, the State Veterinarian: firstname.lastname@example.org
You know who else you can email? Daphna Nachminovitch, a PETA Senior Vice-President and the person who heads up the Community Animal Project — the folks who do the field work in Hampton Roads and beyond. Let her know, again respectfully (because nastiness gets us nowhere ) but forcefully, what you think of PETA’s better off dead mentality. Her email address is email@example.com.
Thirdly, if you live in the Hampton Roads area, or if you feel like taking a road trip, go to PETA headquarters. Their address is 501 Front Street, Norfolk. Go to the receptionist, tell her that you are requesting to see custody records of all the animals they’ve taken in for the last five years. Under Virginia law they must provide you with them. You’ll have to look at them on the property, which is a bummer, but that’s the law. Look for red flags (7 pound kittens, anyone?), holes in stories, clues to the truth. In all likelihood they will hem and haw, they will tell you that the person you need to talk to isn’t available, isn’t in the building, blah, blah, blah. I was told by a blogger to whom PETA consistently refers people in order to explain away why they kill that it is your legal right to request and examine animal custody records. So stand firm, don’t let them bully you. Because they love to do that, it’s what goes on. But behind every bully is fear and cowardice, it’s no different with PETA. And don’t let them fool you, don’t fall for their lines about their shelter being a “shelter of last resort.” Maya was a healthy, well adjusted, young animal and, after they stole her off of her family’s porch, they killed her. Along with the other animals they picked up that day. Ask them why, and don’t buy the rogue employee line, it’s a lie.
Another thing you can do, if you’re in the Hampton Roads area, is head on down to PETA and tell them you want to visit their shelter. Again, they will hem and haw. But, seriously, what kind of shelter doesn’t want to show off its animals to potential adopters? If you’re not in the area, or can’t make a trip to headquarters, give them a ring (757-622-7382) and ask for their hours, their standards for adoption, ask about the animals they have available. If you’re feeling feisty you can ask them about the animals they’ve killed. Or, if you’d rather, email them about it, here’s the contact form from their website. Let them know what you think about their better off dead mentality.
Utilize social media, it’s one of our greatest assets. Go to their FB page and ask why they have a 1% adoption rate. Why, over the past 12 years, they’ve killed 31,250 animals. Why, despite the fact that they took in over $51 million dollars in 2014, they only managed to adopt out 39 animals. These are numbers they submitted to the state of Virginia, hold them accountable. Take screen shots of your questions because they love to scrub their FB page and block people who confront them. Tweet at them, tweet at others, tweet at celebrities who support them, utilize hash tags like #PetaDeathCult.
And tell your friends and family the truth! I’ve had so many people let me know that they’ve spread the truth and were greeted with shock, then anger — not at them but at PETA. Because people feel betrayed, sickened, duped. And they should — what PETA does to the companion animals it takes in is sick, and folks should feel betrayed by an organization that promotes compassion out of one side of its mouth and killing out of the other.
For quite some time I have been asking former PETA employees to step out of the shadows and speak the truth. Many have done so anonymously, and their stories have been meticulously documented in this piece by Nathan Winograd. I know, to some, speaking anonymously may not seem like much but it takes courage to speak up, even anonymously. Their testimony is invaluable, and their truths have shed more light on the killing that happens behind the closed doors of PETA, it validates what we know. I hope some of them choose to come forward and attach their names to their truths. But they’re not the only ones who can take action — each of us can take action, each of us can be a voice for the voiceless and someone who stands between PETA and animals who are at risk.
I am determined to see this through. I am determined to see change happen. I am determined to hold PETA accountable. I will not back down, I will not stop speaking the truth. And I’m a little cranky so I’m kind of in my “oh yea, it’s on …” mode.
So this is my theme song …
And this is my mindset …
Let’s go …