mom2nomads

ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

Archive for the tag “PETA”

Just One Kitten …

This past weekend we were at a wonderful celebration with friends — a birthday party filled with lots of laughter and joy — when we stumbled upon this kitten.

We had just arrived at the party when one of the kids ran up to another and said “there’s a kitten over there!” and pointed off into the distance. I remember thinking to myself “oh no …” because cats here are very often left to fend for themselves. I left Eric to get our youngest, Ry, settled in (poor kid has a full leg cast because he knows one speed when he’s in goal — full throttle, and this was a paintball party so he needed some extra care) and walked in the direction the child had pointed. I saw a group of kids squatting around a tiny orange and white kitten whose eyes were so matted with mange he couldn’t open them, and I thought to myself “well, shit.” I could tell he wasn’t going anywhere, could tell he would be lucky to be able to move, so I continued on to greet friends and when Eric joined me I said “there’s a kitten over there who needs help, we’re taking him to the vet, we’re not leaving him here.” He nodded and walked back in the direction of the kitten, our youngest hobbling after him on his crutches. A few minutes later they came back, Ry sat in the chair next to me and said “mommy, we’re not leaving him here.” “No, baby, don’t worry, he’s coming with us and we’ll get him help.”

A few hours later he was on an exam table being poked and prodded by a vet. He took blood for a panel and tests, gave him fluids, a shot for mange, prescribed an antibacterial shampoo we are to bathe him in every four days and, after his blood tests came back and an infection was detected, antibiotics. We told him we thought he seemed to be maybe eight weeks old and he said that looked to be right. We also told him it seemed like he was very close to death and, again, he nodded and said yes.

We brought the little guy to our house, got him all set up in a bathroom. I placed a blanket down and set him on it, he sank into it without even moving, and I ran to get him food and water. The vet clinic didn’t sell wet food and all we had was the dry we give our cats, so I soaked that in warm water for a minute and went back to the little guy. The moment I entered the bathroom he tilted his nose up and ran towards me — but it wasn’t me he wanted, he smelled the food. I set it in front of him and he ate like I’ve never seen anyone eat before — voraciously and with absolute abandon. I sat with him and, when he was done, began to stroke the fur on his body. He was filthy, covered in fleas and flea dirt (he’s not yet strong enough to be given the treatment for fleas), mange, dead skin — and he began to purr with a motor you wouldn’t believe, I got tears in my eyes as he fell asleep purring on his blanket.

This is him when I went in to feed him after he’d been with us a day — he didn’t want to eat, he only wanted me to hold him. So we sat like this for quite a while.

This was our snuggle time on the porch this morning.

And this is him an hour ago — after he filled his belly and fell promptly asleep — purring. For the moment we are calling him “Cito,” as in “Pobrecito.”

So here’s our greatest fear for him, there’s a possibility he’s feline leukemia positive. The vet is concerned because for a case of mange to be this bad, especially in such a young kitten, there’s the chance he has an underlying condition, and that it is leukemia. We should know by the middle of the week, and we are all on pins and needles. I realize it’s no longer automatically a death sentence, but it certainly will make finding him his forever home more of a challenge.

So here we are, with this sweet, mange-filled, tough as nails kitten. And animals like him always make me think about the choices we make as rescuers. When I worked for PETA, had I picked up this kitten I would have taken him back to headquarters and injected him with a lethal substance — and I would have called it humane, I would have called it ending his suffering, and I would have been absolutely wrong. Thank God I am not that person anymore. Thank God I no longer work for an organization that believes rescue means a quiet death. Thank God I know better.

He might not make it, all of the challenges he is facing — the malnutrition, the dehydration, the mange, the infection — might be too much for his tiny body. But we have to try, and we have to follow through on the promise I whispered into his ear when I scooped him up in my arms “never again, little one. Never again will you be alone or hungry or cold. You’re safe now.” And even if the worse happens at least he’s known love, at least he’s been held, at least he’s not hungry and suffering on his own. At least he has laps, and a foster mom who will hold him for hours, and a foster dad who, when he feels his lap get warm while holding him, calmly says “he peed on me, I’m going to go change. At least we know he’s not so dehydrated anymore!” before handing him to me with great gentleness.

Last night I posted a video to my FB page of him content in my arms. I was gently swaying and rocking him, the same way I swayed and rocked my own children when they were babies.In the video I said he didn’t want anything but to be held. One of my friends, and very favorite people, commented “You are Cito’s lifeline. You are his mother. You are the first iota of safe, peaceful rest he’s had since he can remember. Of course he doesn’t want to leave your arms.” I cried when I read that — because it’s true. And because I am so beyond grateful for the privilege of being able to help him, and so grateful for a husband who just nods when I tell him we can’t leave the kitten, and for children who say “we aren’t leaving him.” That is rescue. Unless an animal is truly beyond hope it isn’t our job to make like and death decisions, it’s our job to try our hardest to love them, to help them fight, to give them the physical and emotional sustenance they need in order to know life is worth that fight. That is rescue. Do you hear me, PETA? That is rescue.

*For anyone who would like to follow Cito’s journey, if you’re on FB, all my posts about him are public. And because, contrary to what PETA supporters have said about this blog, this isn’t an anonymous blog, my name is Heather Harper-Troje. Come see what Cito is up to!

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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.

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.

Using Bigotry to Defend Theft and Killing — Well Done, PETA

Yesterday I spent a few hours reading through the latest court documents in the lawsuit against PETA (you know the one I mean, the one against them because they stole and killed a little girl’s dog). Predictably, it’s full of lies and half truths and, man, are PETA’s lawyers snarky. But what really got under my skin is PETA’s attempt to smear Maya’s family. This is typical PETA behavior — they’re bullies and anyone who dares stand up to them becomes a target, which I know from personal experience. But what is especially heinous about this particular smearing is the not so subtle racism and xenophobia they’re employing. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised, since PETA supporters also employ bigotry in order to try to silence truth tellers, and PETA never steps in to put a stop to it. But, holy hell, it’s low.

Time and time again Wilbur Zarate, the father of Cynthia, the little girl whose dog PETA stole and killed, was asked about his citizenship status, the citizenship status of his family members, the status of his green card by PETA’s attorney during his deposition. He even went so far as to ask if Cynthia was born in the US or in Mexico. Because Mr. Zarate’s citizenship status is relevant to the fact that PETA stole and killed his little girl’s dog how? From the beginning PETA has stated that the Zarate family is suing them in order to make money, which is offensive but not a shocking thing for them to say. But to bring into all of this the heritage of the Zarate family is a bridge too far even for PETA.

Here’s what I see: I see a massive labyrinth of an organization trying to shut up by any means necessary the one family — the ONE — who has dared stand up to PETA. I see PETA stating that Mr. Zarate is only after money and then, in order to further smear him, question his citizenship status. And here’s the larger picture — I see PETA asserting that anyone whose native language is Spanish, and/or is of Mexican heritage, can and should have their citizenship status questioned. Because, why the hell not? And, geez, if someone is in the US illegally how dare they stand up for their family, right? Some folks are just supposed to sit down, roll over, and ignore it when heinous things happen. Here’s what I see as PETA’s primary message to Mr. Zarate — “don’t you know your place?”

When you stole and killed a little girl’s dog, and it’s just the latest smoking gun in a pattern of behavior going back nearly twenty years, THIS is all you have left. The emperor has no clothes, so you throw everything you can at the victim. You know, the guy whose little girl’s dog was stolen and killed contrary to Virginia law. A dog who was not the only animal killed that day. The fact that PETA is using bigotry and xenophobia in order to defend themselves is offensive and shocking — as is the fact that the day of Maya’s death was just another day at the office for PETA employees. And keep talking, PETA, because the more your representatives say the more they reveal the moral wasteland at your core.

PETA’s Silence About Cyber-Stalking Speaks Volumes

When unhinged people are tweeting out the most vile insults, lies, and accusations in your name, and you likely know it, what responsibility do you have to put a stop to that? This is a question PETA should be asking itself because this is exactly what has been happening on Twitter.

At this point I have lost track of how many new Twitter accounts have popped up in the past week targeting me and other Twitter users who are trying to spread the truth about PETA. New ones open, they get reported, Twitter mutes them so they don’t pop up in our feeds, and many are getting suspended. Mike Flynn, who has also been a target of this harassment, summed it up well today:

The tweets that have been aimed at those of us who are speaking out about how PETA has killed, and continues to kill, thousands of companion animals are pretty vile — fat shaming, LGBQT shaming, use of the word “retarded,” tweets of a sexual nature (including tweets of a sexual nature tagging PETA2, which is the PETA Twitter account for children), creepy “I will follow you wherever you go” tweets. And, my personal favorite, venomous accusations that I abuse my children and am raising them to hate.

So here’s the deal. You can argue that PETA can’t be held responsible for the tweets of their supporters. But this is targeted, nearly constant, harassment that PETA has been tagged in so you know they are seeing it. Any organization with any standards at all would have shut this down days ago by saying they don’t want this nastiness and cyber-bullying committed in their name. If anyone came to my “defense” with assaults like this I would tell them to knock it off, I would distance myself from them immediately, I would support the person being cyber-bullied — as would most people and organizations with any sense of ethics. But PETA, with their silence, is at least passively supporting this cyber-assault to continue — that speaks volumes about the depths to which they are willing to stoop to continue their killing.

So let’s take a look at some of what this person is tweeting out in PETA’s name.

We have fat shaming:

We have anti-LGBTQ slurs:

 

We have the use of the “R” word:

 

We have creepy stalker talking about the stalking:

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And the cyber-stalker ridiculing one of the people he/she is stalking:

These are only a tiny fraction of the tweets that are floating about, and there are others against people who likely had no idea what they were stepping into when they confronted PETA about their killing that I will not put here because the ugliness is unbelievable. Frankly, I don’t expect PETA to come to my defense, but the tweets I won’t put here are personal attacks, and have targeted someone who is young and should never be on the receiving end of this kind of nastiness.

I will post some of the tweets targeting myself and another Twitter user.

Tweets of a sexual nature, including tweets that were tweeted at PETA’s account that is specifically for children:

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Tweets stating that I am abandoning and abusing my children:

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New Twitter account that are clearly targeting me and Cathy:

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This tweet, by someone who has been tweeting with the stalker/s, seems to sum up their philosophy nicely:

There is no doubt for anyone who knows right from wrong that these tweets are reprehensible, reprehensible enough that I wonder about the sanity of the person who is writing them. But the larger picture is this: why is PETA silent about them? Even if they’ve only seen a fraction of them, that fraction is enough. I’ve only shown a fraction here — there are many, many more. What I’ve highlighted here displays so much hatred, so much venom, so much bigotry, so much misogyny, so many lies. But that’s okay, because it’s “no holds barred,” right? Is this what PETA believes? Why are they tacitly supporting this cyber-stalking and bullying? If you are on the side of right you don’t need to stoop to name calling, humiliation, and lies. So what does the fact that PETA is passively supporting exactly that say about them? There is as much truth in silence as there is in raising your voice. PETA is speaking volumes.

PS. I apologize for the screenshots with a lot of blank space, I can’t link to tweets from accounts that have been suspended and I just didn’t have time to edit the photos. But if anyone wants to know what the 20 best Supernatural episodes are, you can click here! Ya gotta have a sense of humor to get through it, folks.

 

 

 

More Questions Surrounding PETA’s 2015 Stats

I’m in no mood to fight the PETA battles today but something vitally important was just published — and it’s all based on the statistics of PETA and other area animal agencies.

PETA, Where Are the Missing Animals” is the title of the blog piece just published by Nathan Winograd. Mr. Winograd broke down some numbers — self-reported by PETA to the state of Virginia — and, unlike PETA, numbers don’t lie.

In 2015, PETA claims to have transferred 446 animals to other “Virginia Releasing Agencies,” and it lists on it’s VDACS paperwork where each animal was supposed to have gone. However, Mr. Winograd also has the numbers for the other VA agencies and this is where the massive red flag comes in because the numbers don’t add up. The entire blog is vital information for anyone who cares about animals so I encourage everyone reading this to read it. For now, let’s look at some of the most glaring red flags.

First,  the records for the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter. According to PETA’s records, they transferred 7 dogs and 27 cats to PRAS. According to PRAS they received exactly this number of animals from PETA: 0. In fact, they didn’t receive any animals at all from any other shelters. So where are those 34 animals PETA claims to have transferred to PRAS? It’s possible, I suppose that PRAS would list any animals it receives from PETA as being an “owner surrender” but, considering there is a nice big column for “Animals Received from Another Virginia Releasing Agency,” and PETA is a licensed animal shelter, it doesn’t seem likely.

Here’s another Mr. Winograd points out, Norfolk Animal Care Center:

Likewise, while PETA claims it sent 70 cats, 22 dogs, and two “other companion animals” to the Norfolk Animal Care Center, Norfolk reports taking in only 61 cats, 31 dogs, and two “other companion animals” from Chesapeake Animal Control and Virginia Beach Animal Control. It does not report taking in any from PETA.

So now we’re up to 128 missing animals. Where are those 128 animals? 128 cats, dogs, and “other” animals. We know, again by PETA’s own numbers, that they killed 1,502 animals in 2015. And we know that we have 128 missing cats, dogs, and “other”s. 128 animals don’t just go missing from a shelter, something happened to them. And if we know these animals are missing because there are no records of them at the agencies they were supposed to have been transferred to how do we know all the other animals PETA claims it transferred to area shelters were really transferred? How do we know they’re not just missing too? Again, Mr. Winograd has some possible explanations for the number discrepancies so please read his blog.

Let’s say PETA actually did make a clerical error to the tune of 128 animals, hypothetically. What does that say about their capabilities? It’s pretty dismal. And how does that reflect upon their other record keeping abilities?

The more sinister explanation, of course, is that PETA falsified their records to keep their already outrageous kill rates just a little less outrageous. I assume it’s illegal to falsify state records? Obviously, we can’t prove this is what happened to the 128 animals who are unaccounted for, right now this is just a question mark. But, man, that’s one hell of a question mark.

 

 

 

 

Beating Your Head Against the Wall of PETA’s True Believers

Yesterday one of the most thoughtful and intelligent pieces I’ve ever read on PETA was published by Barkpost and written by Arin Greenwood. The piece, entitled “PETA’s Shelter Euthanized 72% of Its Animals Last Year. That’s a Problem and It Needs to Change” is one in which Ms. Greenwood does an amazing job of threading together a lot of seemingly little pieces — all of which point to the sick and twisted philosophy PETA holds about companion animals and how this philosophy leads to a kill first policy in its “shelter.”

What I’ve come to understand, after all this time, is that PETA’s approach to companion animals, to pets, doesn’t actually make sense — unless you hold the perverse belief, which I do not, that many animals should die to be saved.

These are the words of someone who believes in intellectual honesty and wants to be absolutely the best advocate (I think of her as a warrior but we’ll use advocate here) she can be for animals. These are not the words of someone who has an agenda, or who is trying to sell something. Anyone who follows her advocacy even peripherally knows this. Please, read her piece. It is so important.

For the most part — like vastly most part — the response to Ms. Greenwood’s piece in the comments on Barkpost and FB are extremely supportive. Many people know the truth about PETA and many people are, rightly, furious at their deceptions and killings. And then there are PETA’s defenders, the ones who make you want to beat your head against the wall because how could anyone who claims to love and respect animals excuse their killing? It’s maddening! I think these people fall into a few different categories.

First you have those suffering from cognitive dissonance. These folks are good people but they simply cannot reconcile the truly positive things the organization does with the truly evil things the organization does. The disconnect is too great for them so they just continue to believe in the goodness of PETA.

Then there are people who believe this really is just about overpopulation, and not about PETA’s better off dead philosophy. They defend PETA to the end without even thinking about it, they justify the killing of thousands of animals, and the fact that PETA kills thousands without ever attempting to rehome them. There’s no critical thought process, it’s just accepting PETA’s lies.

Folks in these two groups, I have found, can be open to learning the truth but they have to first be open to the fact that they might be wrong about PETA, that all these years they really have supported an organization that believes companion animals are better off dead, and that is a profoundly bitter pill to swallow. So I encourage them to research the hell out of it, the truth is there, you just have to think critically and independently.

Then there are the True Believers. These are the people who know damn well what the truth is and they defend PETA to the end with lies, allegations, snark, nastiness, and fabrications that hold kernels of truth. These people are a waste of breath and I generally have a “do not engage” policy — though I’ll admit I broke that today. These people are toxic and generally not worth the time it takes to type a response.

So this can be frustrating — this slog towards exposing the truth about PETA. I know I’m not the only one who feels it. I used to get so frustrated, I wanted to just throw my hands up and say “Nothing will ever change, this is pointless and stressful and hopeless.” Then someone, a woman who, like Arin, is a warrior for animals, reminded me that this battle is a marathon, not a sprint. In other words, she spoke the language of the runner — my language — and made me realize something. Here it is …

Things may change or they may not. Together we may stop PETA’s killing, it’s also possible that we won’t. But here’s the thing — do we have a choice other than to fight? Is it really in us to throw up our hands and sit on the sidelines? To look back when all is said and done, when nothing has changed and PETA is still killing, and think “I didn’t do all I could to stop this slaughter.” Over the past year I have met some of the most incredible people, people who spend countless hours advocating, fighting, observing, digging — these people are heroes to me. These people are focused and passionate. And they are unstoppable.

You have a choice. You can be someone who can’t wrap your head around the hypocrisy so you just stay in the same place and support PETA regardless. You can be an apologist for unhindered killing, someone who will justify PETA’s actions for no reason other than “they’re PETA.” But if you are truly someone who cares about the welfare of animals don’t you want to be certain you’re not supporting an organization that believes animals are better off dead? Don’t you want to find out for yourself rather than just take PETA at their word? Because, at the end of the day, it’s not really the “why” of how we act that matters so much as the consequences of our actions. And whether you’re a True Believer or someone who just can’t bear to think PETA is killing for the sake of killing, either way you’re supporting people who kill animals in a twisted attempt to prevent abuse.

And if you decide to research, and you discover the truth and want to help stop PETA, we are here, we are focused, we are unstoppable. And we will welcome you in this fight.

Why Hide Comments on Shelter Bill Benefiting PETA?

So, this is a curious case of “what the heck …?” Delegate Bobby Orrock is the Virginia delegate who recently introduced a bill that will benefit one organization — PETA. The bill, HB340, undermines a vital piece of animal welfare legislation that was passed last year and it will allow PETA to continue killing thousands of animals a year. Delegate Orrock states on his page that he is not working with PETA and has accepted no money from the Virginia Alliance of Animal Shelters, a group that works very closely with PETA. Which is fine, and very possibly true (though I seriously doubt it). What is curious is his Facebook page.

Delegate Orrock was taking a lot of heat for HB340 on FB, then his page was deactivated. Now it’s back up. He’s still taking heat but I’m wondering if he’s managing it a different way.

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These are screen shots of a post Delegate Orrock has on his page regarding HB340. I commented, as did the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. The curious thing is only I and my friends can see my comment, and only people who have “liked” the VFHS FB page can see their comment. I’ve been told by someone who moderates a FB page that one can make certain comments available only to the commenter and friends, and only to people who “like” a page that has commented. He told me he uses this function when he deems a comment to be inappropriate. Fair enough, when someone is being rude or abusive. But respectful, fair comments being hidden from the public? Is that what moderators of Orrock’s page are doing? They don’t like a comment so they hide it from anyone who isn’t friends with the person who wrote it, or people who haven’t “liked” a page? This way the commenter is none the wiser and thinks everyone can see their comment. It’s a lot more subtle than pressing the delete button. Sneaky, even.

Our democracy relies on open, honest dialogue to function. You would think, ideally, an elected representative would welcome this dialogue. It’s the way we ensure we are truly a democracy, that we are truly hearing all voices, all opinions. Only people who try hard to mold a narrative, people who want to hide truth, to distract from issues, to sway with half-truths, hinder this vital dialogue. I can’t prove this is what those working on Delegate Orrock’s page have done, and there are comments from people who do not support HB340. But it’s rather curious that comments from certain people, and certain groups, seem not to be visible to the public. And if this is what is happening, that’s a sad way for an elected representative to run a public forum. Only people who are scared of the truth hide from it.

 

 

 

 

PETA Equals Death

There is a new law in Virginia, one countless people fought hard for. It solidifies that a private animal shelter is “a facility operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals.” Nothing terribly revolutionary about that, right? It’s pretty much the definition of a shelter. So why did Virginia need this law? Why did it pass the House and the Senate with overwhelming support? Why did animal welfare advocates breathe a collective sigh of relief when this happened? Because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has its headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia and, at those headquarters, they kill thousands of animal each year.

In 2014 PETA received 2,631 animals — 2,324 of them ended up dead. Let that number sink in for a minute. 2,324 animals dead at the hands of PETA in one year. PETA fought hard against SB1381, the now law that defines what an animal shelter is, because it’s a law that can put a serious kink into its killing practices. Despite PETA’s best efforts the law passed — nobody in their right mind thinks it’s acceptable for an organization to kill thousands of animals a year. Slaughterhouses do that but slaughterhouses don’t pretend to be animal rescuers. PETA does that. You can draw your own parallels.

An organization called The Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters (VAAS), long believed to be in bed with PETA, has hired five lobbyists, presumably to help push through new proposed legislation that would undermine SB1381, and PETA appears to have two more lobbyists waiting in the wings (ever wonder what your PETA donation dollars pay for? Now you know). The proposed legislation, three bills introduced by Delegate Bobby Orrock, would undermine completely SB1381 — the existence of which is threatening to PETA because their “shelter” does not exist to find permanent homes, their “shelter” exists as a front for the killing of animals.

So, we have a new battle ahead and we each have a vital role to play. Because, without each of us, PETA will continue to get away with murder. Here’s what you can do:

1. If you are a Virginia voter contact your representatives, if you are unsure about who your representatives are you can find them here. Please let them respectfully know that you oppose HB157, HB340, and HB156. These are the bills that will undermine SB1381, for a very good outline about what each one does you can go here. Your representatives listened last time, when we were fighting so hard for SB1381, and they will listen again but only if you raise your voice so, please, do send those emails.

2. Wherever you vote, you can pop on over to the FB page of Delegate Bobby Orrock, he’s the person responsible for each one of those proposals. He calls himself an animal advocate, though I’m unsure what kind of advocate believes shelters are for killing animals rather than protecting and rehoming animals. He claims he has no connection to PETA — honestly, does anyone really believe that? You can let Delegate Orrock know what you think about his introduction of legislation that undermines a vital animal welfare law, maybe ask him what his connection to VAAS and PETA is. It’s a fair question.

3.  There has been a group formed specifically to fight this new legislation. It is made up of dedicated animal welfare advocates who will be working hard to ensure SB1381 stays intact — and they need your help. PETA Equals Death is the name of the group, you can find them on Facebook here. Please “like” the page so you will be kept in the loop about the proposed legislation, the fight against it, and what you can do. They can also be found on Twitter. Social media is such an effective vehicle in battles like this, keep an eye out for the hashtags PETA Equals Death is using so you can use them as well. The more we share information, the more we Tweet the truth about PETA, the stronger our fight is.

I’ve been speaking out about PETA for just shy of a year now and what I’ve learned is that it’s a slog. It is ingrained in the minds of animal advocates that PETA can’t possibly be killing animals because who wants to believe that they’ve been lied to all these years? Who wants to believe PETA betrays in the worst possible way not only the public trust but those they have vowed to protect? It’s a tough reality to absorb. But each person — each person — who knows the truth is one more person who will raise their voice and stand up. PETA’s revenue was down by $7 million in 2015 — I think we’re making a difference. So don’t be discouraged with the slog, embrace it as the slow, but vital, march for change that it is.

Animal rescue work is a privilege and each person who considers themselves to be a rescuer — in whatever capacity — has a responsibility to make sure rescue is carried out to the highest standard. PETA falls very short of that standard. They think the only way to prevent cruelty and neglect is to kill animals, it’s a profoundly distorted form of preventative medicine. And they are arrogant. They don’t believe, really, that anyone can stand in their way of carrying out the twisted philosophy of rescue work that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of animals. They don’t believe we can stop them. They are very wrong.

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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