mom2nomads

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Archive for the tag “PETA lawsuit”

One Door Closes … my thoughts on the settlement of the Maya/PETA lawsuit

Over the course of the last few years I’ve written many times about Maya, a tiny chihuahua who was stolen from her porch, and killed just hours later, by two employees of animal right’s giant, PETA. Maya’s family went on to sue PETA for the theft and killing of Maya; recently the case was settled and PETA agreed to pay the family $49,000 dollars.

But anyone who has been following this case, and thinking critically about it, knows that Maya was not a “tragic mistake,” as PETA lawyer Jeffrey Kerr stated. In fact, the day Maya was stolen and killed, PETA also killed several other animals who lived in the same mobile home park as Maya — including two kittens, one puppy, and two dogs; that’s a fact that is documented by PETA’s own records. Furthermore, over the past thirteen years, again, according to their own records, PETA has killed 32,744 animals. Let that number sink in for a second, because it’s shocking and horrifying. So while Maya’s theft and killing was tragic, it wasn’t a mistake — it was PETA standard operating procedure.

I, and many others, have been fighting hard to expose PETA’s routine and callous killing of adoptable companion animals. So I will admit to being a bit gutted when I learned that Maya’s family had decided to settle the lawsuit, as the discovery process and the trial would have shone a very bright light on the pattern of PETA’s killing. But I’ve stated time and again that I would do whatever I could in order to help Maya’s family find justice — and the form that justice takes is not up to me. I am a mother and, as a mother, my priority in all things must be my family –most importantly, my children. Wilbur Zarate, Maya’s guardian, is a father and, ultimately, he had to do what he believed to be best for his family, for his child whose dog was stolen and killed. So while I am disappointed, I have a lot of empathy for the Zarate family, and for the hell I’m sure they’ve gone through with this lawsuit. I hope this settlement brings them closure and peace, and that they feel justice has been done. And I have so much admiration for them because they are the only family who has had the courage to stand up to PETA and to demand justice for their beloved companion animal.

I think it’s important to remember that PETA’s willingness to settle this lawsuit, in itself, demonstrates guilt — and not just in Maya’s theft and killing. In my opinion, and the opinion of those who know the truth about PETA’s killing, this was a pretty predictable end. While we were all hoping mightily this would go to trial we knew PETA would do whatever they could in order to prevent the discovery process, and in order to prevent their leadership from being under oath during a trial. I believe the things that would have been revealed would have proven the truth about PETA and the animals they routinely kill. And that is a not something PETA wants evidence of spilling out all over the place.

So this chapter of the fight is closed, and that’s okay. It doesn’t change what they did to Maya, or to her family. And it doesn’t change the fact that every year thousands of animals are killed at PETA headquarters and in PETA vans. It is my understanding that PETA is holding over the heads of people who were set to testify against them, including myself, the threat of lawsuits and that, any day now, I’ll get a letter from the charming PETA attorneys stating such. Once again, they are using the tactics of a bully to try to silence those of us fighting to reveal the truth about them. And, in response, I will tell them the same thing I always tell them — I am not scared of you, I am not threatened by you. I will not sit down and shut up and, as I’ve said before, each time you threaten me or my family in order to get me to do so, I only dig my heels in harder and deeper. I know the truth, and I know it from my time as one who held your lethal needles, who saw photos of the animals you killed and dumped in garbage bins in North Carolina, who watched the video of a tiny dog being stolen off her porch and whisked into a deadly van. I will continue to fight for the legacy of Black Boy, who saved me. He paid for my salvation with his life, and I will never let PETA forget his name. I will continue to fight for Maya, and for the thousands of anonymous animals PETA kills every year. So buckle up, PETA, because I’m in this for the long haul.

For anyone who wants to know more about my experiences while working for PETA please check out Nathan and Jennifer Winograd’s newly launch Podcast, Up at Daylight. I feel honored that their inaugural podcast is an interview I did with the Winograd’s, entitled “Inside the PETA Kill Room,” and I am so grateful for their tireless voices in the fight to reveal the truth about PETA’s killing.

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PETA – it’s not just the dog owners they’re lying to

It’s no secret that PETA kills the vast majority of the animals they take in at their Virginia headquarters — they admit to this, though lie about the circumstances, and my own experience as a field worker for PETA’s Community Animal Project gives me firsthand knowledge of their killing.

Since the first time I blogged about Black Boy, the dog who saved me from going too far down the PETA True Believer path, PETA has been working hard to discredit me. They’ve said I was lying, that I am a vindictive ex-employee who invented a “hateful fantasy” in order to enact revenge against them for firing me. Never mind the fact that I have nothing to personally gain by speaking about my experiences, or that I have been the target of a smear campaign and cyber bullying because I’ve been speaking out. Or that they sent a letter full of lies to my husband’s boss to try to get us to shut up (accusing us of “false and malicious” attacks and attempting to “interfere with PETA’s business”), and potentially endangering my husband’s career with their libelous claims.

I spoke out because I needed to make amends for the things that I did while I worked at PETA, because I wanted Black Boy to have a legacy of change and truth, and because I wanted to help the family of Maya, the dog who PETA employees stole and subsequently killed. Maya’s family is suing PETA and I have stated time and again in this blog that I will do whatever I can in order to help them find justice.

One of the ways PETA has attempted to discredit me is by saying the Community Animal Project (CAP) (the department responsible for the killing of Maya) didn’t even exist when I worked there so how could I possibly have knowledge of the work their field staff does? In fact, in court documents filed for PETA in the Maya case, PETA attorneys state, in reference to my blog and what I’ve written about PETA and their killing, “Indeed, at the time the blogger worked at PETA, PETA did not operate an animal shelter and did not have any program that would have performed the services provided at Dreamland II” (the trailer park where Maya’s family has their home, the home from which Maya was stolen before she was killed). This is a screen grab from a memo in support of motion to strike filed by PETA’s lawyers, from which I pulled the above quote, implying that I am lying about the fact that I was a field worker for CAP.

peta screengrab1

And this is the performance appraisal I received, which lists my position as “Fieldworker” and my department as “Community Animal Project.” I’ll also note, contrary to what PETA has alleged — that I was a poor employee — that I received an overall rating of “excellent” and was, in fact, given a raise. One of the people who signed the appraisal was PETA President, Ingrid Newkirk.

PETA Performance pg 1

PETA Performance pg 2PETA Performance pg 3

Obviously, my performance appraisal shows that the statement made by PETA’s attorneys, and filed in a court of law, is demonstrably false, and was designed to damage my credibility. In the end, it’s PETA who has the credibility problem.

PETA: Lie Away, Doesn’t Change the Fact that Your Shelter is A Slaughterhouse

I’ve written many times about Maya, the dog who was stolen and killed by PETA employees, about the lawsuit Maya’s family has filed against PETA, and about my desire to do whatever I can to help Maya’s family find justice. Things in the legal realm are well under way, and the most recent thing to happen is that PETA responded to the individual complaints against them. For a spot on run down of PETA’s latest lies, er, response you can read the most recent blog piece by Nathan Winograd, “It’s the Family’s Fault We Stole and Killed Their Dog.

There’s no point in reiterating what Mr. Winograd has already concisely laid out so I only want to touch on one thing. I was reading through PETA’s answers yesterday and when I got to point 19, the point addressing my blog and my employment with PETA, I was a little shocked. After I wrote my initial blog piece about Black Boy, the dog who ultimately saved me from going too far down the evil rabbit hole that is the cult of PETA, PETA predictably responded by writing me off as a vindictive ex-employee out for revenge — a plot for revenge, apparently, that took me 15 years to cook up.  Because I’m just that slow. Whatever. Then came the point where PETA attempted to put into jeopardy my husband’s job with lies and, frankly, libelous accusations. That pissed me off, because when you mess with Eric’s job you mess with my family — my children. And that is beyond the pale. But their threats were hollow and we all knew it so we shook it off. Then came the relentless cyber bullying by one, or several, anonymous Twitter users — all in PETA’s name, all tagging PETA (so they were seeing it), which they did nothing about. My own moral compass would have led me to do whatever I could to stop attacks — attacks of a sexual nature, attacks that made racial and anti-LGBTQ slurs, attacks that accused me of abusing my children — in my name. PETA, not so much. But all of that was predictable so I rolled with it. And my older kids (who are on Twitter and, therefore, saw everything), bless them, handled the attacks with grace.

But when I read PETA’s latest lie about me I was a little gobsmacked because it was so out of left field.

Upon information and belief, the blog author is a prior employee of PETA who was terminated after a few months because her instability prevented her from doing her job.

Now, I don’t know how that sounds to ya’ll, but it sounds to me like PETA’s legal team is implying I was (am?) emotionally unstable and, therefore, unable to do my job. Which is news to me. I can be kind of flighty, sometimes a little scatterbrained, and, thankfully, my friends seem to think my awkward quirkiness is cute. But emotionally unstable? Wow, PETA, kudos to you for creativity. And for actually surprising me for once. Again, with libel, but I didn’t see this particular lie coming. Because, frankly, the only thing that prevented me from doing my job the way that PETA wanted me to was my humanity.

I suppose they’re trying to paint me as unhinged for the judge. Maybe, once again, they’re trying to intimidate me in the hopes that I’ll sit down and shut up. I can’t control what the judge thinks of me, I can only continue to tell the truth. But I would like, once again, to tell PETA a few things.

First, I am still Honey Badger. I don’t care what lies you put out there, I don’t care what people might assume about me. The only opinions about me that matter are those of the people I love — and they all know I’m telling the truth. Your attempts to soil my reputation mean nothing to me.

Second, I am not backing down. I am still determined to do whatever I can to expose the fact that you don’t run a shelter, you run a slaughterhouse. I am determined to do whatever I can to help the Zarate family find justice in their lawsuit against you. And every time you make up new lies about me the only  thing that happens is I dig my heels deeper into the muck that is the truth about PETA. You don’t scare me, you can’t intimidate me. But keep talking, because with each lie you tell about me, my fire burns brighter. And, once again, I won’t back down.

PETA’s Predictable Smearing of Maya’s Family

A few days ago I blogged about Maya, a tiny chihuahua who was stolen off her porch and then killed by animal rights giant, PETA. Maya’s family, the Zarate family, is now suing PETA. If you’d like to read the lawsuit (which is very enlightening) you can find it here.

Of course, true to form, PETA has already started its smear campaign against the Zarate family — because that’s what they do when people dare to stand up to them. Here is the statement by PETA’s general counsel, Jeffery Kerr:

It’s a money grab against a charity that had been called in to help a community, did its best, and made one tragic mistake for which it has tried hard to make amends. Those efforts have been refused. PETA will mount a vigorous and aggressive defense.

Let’s look at these two statements:

  • The theft and killing of Maya was a tragic mistake. It was tragic but it wasn’t a mistake — it was PETA Standard Operating Procedure. From the people who were targeted (low-income families) to actions taken by PETA workers in order to gain the trust of trailer park residents (telling them PETA would find good homes for any animals who were taken from the park, offering to provide medical care for residents’ animals), to the theft and killing of Maya. PETA claims it only euthanizes animals who are too sick or old or aggressive but within 24 hours Maya — a healthy, well socialized, young dog– was dead. In 2014 PETA took in 2,631 animals and killed 2,324. Killing is SOP for PETA. Killing healthy, adoptable animals is SOP for PETA. I know this because I worked there. I don’t know why PETA targeted Maya but I suspect folks at PETA, and folks who buy into their better off dead philosophy, believed that Maya was better off dead than living in a trailer park.
  • PETA has tried hard to make amends for stealing and killing Maya. How? By bringing a fruit basket and an empty apology to Maya’s family? And the Zarate family is just supposed to say thank you and not hold PETA accountable for their actions. And when that doesn’t happen PETA begins to smear the Zarate family, painting them as money hungry grifters. PETA stole and killed their dog. They went onto Mr. Zarate’s property, stole Maya, and killed her. Even in their apology PETA pointed fingers at the Zarate family, stating Maya was “collarless and without any indicia of ownership.” Except for the fact that she was sitting on her porch and the women who stole her knew she belonged to the Zarate family. But Mr. Zarate is not supposed to try to find justice for Maya, or stand up for what’s right, or hold PETA accountable for the pain his daughter has endured because her dog was killed. He’s just supposed to shrug and walk away. And PETA is outraged that he won’t do just that.

I find PETA’s treatment of Mr. Zarate deplorable and patronizing. I believe they thought they could walk all over him because of where he makes his home and the fact that he’s an immigrant whose second language is English. And they, therefore, saw him as someone who doesn’t have the resources or wherewithal to fight them — PETA’s behavior is offensive. And they were way off the mark in thinking the Zarate family wouldn’t fight them. Because they’re doing exactly that. #JusticeForMaya

 

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