mom2nomads

ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

Archive for the tag “Maya the chihuahua”

PETA’s Bully Tactics — How They Dragged my Family into the Line of Fire

Yesterday I wrote this blog alluding to the fact that PETA was attempting to bully me into silence by attempting to put into jeopardy something sacred to us — the loss of which would do serious harm to my family, to my children. At the time I wrote the blog I was not able to give more details, shortly after I published it I was given the green light to do so. Had I known that was going to happen I would have just written yesterday the blog I will write today. But, not knowing when I would be given the green light, and after talking to my husband about the parameters of what was appropriate to put on my blog in the meantime, I went ahead. Because I believe it is important people know as much as possible about how PETA attempts to bully people who speak the truth about their killing. Today I can write about what happened.

On June 15 an attorney representing PETA wrote a letter to my husband’s boss chock full of false allegations against Eric and against me. They accused him/us of “false and malicious attacks” against PETA, ethics violations, misuse of government property, and attempting to “interfere with PETA’s business,” a violation of Virginia law. As if killing animals is a business. They accused us of using Eric’s position in order to further my “scheme” against PETA. Bottom line, they attempted to jeopardize Eric’s job, our livelihood, in order to get us to shut up about their killing. They put at risk my entire family.

While Eric and I both knew none of these allegations were true it’s still extremely worrisome to have a letter like this sent to one’s boss. This is his job, his career, the way we support our family. Additionally, the oath Eric took when he joined the FS is something he did with respect for our country and for the people he serves — serving with integrity is at the core of that.

Eric contacted an attorney, specifically about the allegations of ethics violations, sending him both the letter and a link to my blog. The attorney looked everything over and responded that there was nothing improper about our actions, no ethics violations had occurred. Which we knew but it was calming to hear that from an attorney.

As for the allegations of “misuse of government property” it was also determined that he did nothing wrong. Eric is allowed, by his employer, our government, on his breaks, to use his computer for limited personal use of social media. In other words, he can make a comment as a private citizen on a FB post about PETA while he’s taking a coffee break.

More attorneys were contacted and they agreed with the initial assessments. They also stated that Eric and I were acting within our rights, as private citizens. We have first amendment rights and those are not signed away when you work for the government or when you are married to someone who does. Additionally, they stated no libel or slander had occurred as long as everything we’ve stated is true. Which it is. Honestly, would PETA be trying this hard to shut us up if we were lying? Their not scared of lies, they’re scared of the truth.

There are other things they stated about me that were laughable, really, and not even worth my time. But the last thing I want to address is PETA’s assertion that I am using my position as a Foreign Service spouse to further my efforts to expose them. In order to back up this assertion they cited a few things. First, that in my letters to members of the Virginia General Assembly, I stated that Eric is a diplomat currently serving at our embassy in Honduras. Yes, I did write that. Let’s put it into context, this is what I wrote:

My husband is a diplomat, currently with the American Embassy in Honduras, and over the course of our various postings I have volunteered for shelters and rescue groups in developing nations. Their efforts on behalf of animals put Ingrid Newkirk’s to shame. I have also worked in a small shelter in Montana, and volunteered at another shelter in Virginia. Neither in America not abroad have I ever seen a shelter with kill numbers as high as PETA’s. It’s unheard of.

Context is important. You can read the entire letter here.

Second, they cited the “About Me” section of my blog where I state that I am a Foreign Service spouse. Um, yeah. When I started this blog I did it, in part, with the intent of documenting our lives as nomads, specifically as a Foreign Service family. I am a Foreign Service blogger, I belong to a community of Foreign Service bloggers. Our blogs are resources for members of our community, for people considering joining the FS, and for expats. Need to know what the schools are like in Ghana or Ireland? We can hook you up. Looking for lists of the pros and cons of various posts? We’ve got your back. People search for our blogs because they need information — I’ve been contacted countless time by folks who have been looking for info on various posts, see that we’ve been to one or two of them, and have questions. And by people new to the FS, or considering the FS, with questions about raising kids in the FS, moving animals internationally, or just generally “what’s it like?” Finally, as a Foreign Service blogger, I am obligated to state on my blog that the opinions and views I express are mine alone and do not belong to my FS husband or his employer. Which leads to the other purpose of my blog — to express my personal opinions and beliefs. Mine and mine alone. ‘Nuff said.

They also seem to have a problem with my statement that “we serve,” they even added an emphasis to the word “we.” One of the things we try hard to instill in our children is the responsibility they have as Americans living overseas and, specifically, as Americans officially representing our country. They, we, have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a way that shows respect to our host country and to represent our nation in the best way we can. We signed up for this together, as a family unit. We all make the sacrifices this life entails, we all reap the benefits. So, yes, we serve. We are a Foreign Service family. And added that emphasis.

So that’s what happened. PETA tried to put our livelihood at risk in order to get us to stop telling the truth about the thousands of animals they have killed, and about the countless animals who are at risk in the present and future. Eric’s response to PETA is at the end of this blog. Here’s my response to PETA: If you ever drag my family into this again, if you ever again attempt to put at risk my children, I will dig in deeper, I will push back harder, I will stand up taller. I am not scared of you.

Eric’s response:

A List of Ways You Can Fight PETA’s Killing Machine

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:

Injured runner may bite

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: sandy.adams@vdacs.virginia.gov

2. Dr. Carolyn Bissett, the State Veterinarian: carolyn.bissett@vdacs.virginia.gov

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 daphnan@peta.org.

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 …

Never provoke an injured runner

Let’s go …

Molding the Narrative

Yesterday I wrote an entry about Mary Tully’s blog piece about me. One of the things Ms. Tully was seeming to imply with her piece is that Douglas Anthony Cooper has, possibly, lost some faith in me. Mr. Cooper decided he needed to set the record straight on that and he wrote, in part, this:

For the record: I remain utterly convinced in Ms. Harper-Troje’s scrupulous honesty; nothing in her account strikes me as anything but rigorously accurate.

She responded to Mr. Cooper and several comments, back and forth, followed. Then, poof, they disappeared. So Mr. Cooper opened another discussion, which also seems to have disappeared.

This is the trick PETA and PETA apologists use: mold the narrative. If something doesn’t fit their version of the truth, or if the discussion has gone somewhere they don’t like because truth has been revealed, or if someone challenges them, the solution is simple. Delete it. Block them (both PETA and Ms. Tully have blocked me on Twitter and PETA has blocked me from commenting on their FB page). Which shows me that they are afraid of open, honest dialogue. So they do everything they can to mold the narrative to what they want people to believe. There are a lot of comments on my blog that are either not factual or just flat out rude towards me. I was asked by several people why I don’t delete them and I completely understand why someone would wonder this. Nobody likes to see nasty things written about them, it’s not fun. And why leave misinformation up? My philosophy about misinformation is this: I trust that anyone who really wants to form an opinion about this will do their research and research will reveal both misinformation and truth. My philosophy about personal comments is this: folks can call me every name in the book, they can spew lies either about me or about PETA, I don’t care. And my reason for not caring is twofold:

1. Their opinion of me means nothing.

2. I know I’m telling the truth so their lies, also, mean nothing.

This is me, again, channeling the honey badger. Because, really, what does it matter? If I know I’m telling the truth people can say what they like and it doesn’t change the truth. Period.

The narrative mold is always based on either out right lies, or things that have enough of an element of truth that their entirety seems believable, or they are verbal slights of hand meant to distract from the real issue. Miss Tully’s blog about me is full of all three of those things. But why delete comments that challenge you if you know you are telling the truth? Any lie that someone writes or says means nothing. And I find if I just let people speak or write their lies then, eventually, they’ll either run out of steam or shoot themselves in the proverbial foot.

From the very beginning I have asked people to do their research, think critically, make up their own minds. I’m not the only one who has revealed PETA’s practices towards the animals they take in, there is evidence of it in other places, what happened to Maya the chihuahua is just one example. My biggest frustration is that I know there are many other former CAP employees who know the truth and I cannot understand why not one has come forward. All it would take is one or two more people to stand up and let the truth be heard. One or two. That’s it. I know it’s scary, I know it’s intimidating but, I swear, I will have your back and so will many, many others. Remind yourself of this:

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

To be clear, I am not saying PETA is evil. Despite the assertions of Ms. Tully and some others, I am not a PETA hater, I have no bones to pick with them. I hope CAP goes on to continue to do the great field work it does. However, that work should not include the killing of animals. That is evil. I believe that and so do a great many other people.

In the interest of folks getting the full picture, I’ve decided to post the screen shots of the deleted comments on my blog so anyone who wants to read them can do so.

MaryTullyDialogueComplete

Screenshot

Two Kittens, One Puppy, Two Dogs — All Killed by PETA the Same Day As Maya. THIS is SOP.

Lately I’ve been enjoying my life getting back to what I consider to be normal — still working on trying to get the truth out about PETA, and advocating about this to our elected representatives, as well as working on some other things I’m hoping will help shed light on PETA. But mostly just going about my daily business. My dad is here visiting so our family took a long weekend to beautiful Lake Yajoa, on Friday we leave for another long weekend, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras, at the end of March we are undertaking a grand adventure to the Guatemalan ruins of Tikal. Planning these trips, dedicating myself to my running streak, enjoying our family, and making sure our home is humming along smoothly have taken up most of my time, and I’ve very much enjoyed that because it’s what I love to do.

But I came across this information and it was shocking. Well, not shocking for me because I know it’s SOP for PETA. But I’m hoping it’s shocking for others in the sense that people will see what PETA really does, what they will continue to do unless they are stopped.

Maya Wasn’t The Only Animal PETA Killed That Day:

Records from VDACS show that at least two kittens, one puppy, and two other dogs were also killed

These are not things invented by PETA detractors, these are from PETA’s own records, records they submitted to the state of Virginia. They can be seen here. Animals killed that day include:

• Two four month old kittens
• A six month old puppy
• A one year old Lab-mix
• Another Chihuahua

Why were these animals killed? Are we supposed to believe that two four month old kittens and a six month old puppy were so sick, or otherwise unadoptable, that PETA had no options but to kill them? Since their surrender/intake forms are so lacking in information (seriously, these are pathetic intake forms — no details about the animals, no details about why the animals were surrendered or why a decision was made to kill them) we can only make guesses about why they were killed. My own belief is that PETA intentionally keeps their records bare bones because the less information provided about the conditions of animals, and the reasons for surrender, the harder it is to prove that they are killing healthy, adoptable animals. But those of us who know the truth about how PETA operates CAP know they were killed because that is SOP — regardless of the condition of the animal, regardless of the adoptability of the animal, regardless of the reason for surrender.

It absolutely pains me that so many animal lovers and advocates still do not see the truth about PETA. The only way the killing of adoptable animals by PETA will be stopped is for that to change. We need more ex-employees to come forward, we need people with firsthand knowledge of PETA SOP to speak the truth about them. When enough of us are shining light on this it will no longer be ignored, lies will no longer be believed, and adoptable animals who deserve a chance to live will no longer be killed in alarming numbers. We’ve got  to do this, I am begging others to come forward, together we can stop the killing.

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