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Archive for the tag “PETA”

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

 

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.

 

The Thread That Binds for PETA: Death

PETA is still in very hot water over its support of Breed Specific Legislation and is trying mightily to spin the truth. But the truth is the truth, we must keep our focus on it. And this is the truth — when you dig deep into the way their actions impact companion animals you can see that they have one common thread — animals end up dead.

Let’s just get some facts out there.

First Fact: During the months of July, August, and September, PETA took in 630 animals and 490 of those animals were killed. You can find a statement by Virginia Senator Bill Stanley about those numbers here. Sadly, these are typical numbers for PETA. In 2014 they took in 2,631 animals and killed 2,324. You can find more information about their shockingly high kill rate here.

Second Fact: PETA kills adoptable animals without ever trying to rehome them. I know this from my firsthand experience as a PETA field worker. We know this because of Maya, the dog they killed shortly after stealing her from her home. We know this because of the animals in North Carolina who were killed in a PETA van and whose bodies were dumped like trash. Patrick Proctor, a veterinarian who asked PETA to find homes for a mother cat and her kittens, stated of their deaths

This is ethical? I don’t think so.

PETA states that its kill rate is so high because they provide a free humane euthanasia service for people whose animals are suffering. Was Maya suffering? Were the mother and babies suffering? Were all the animals found in the dumpster suffering? Are people still naive enough to believe that?

Third Fact: PETA advocated for all dogs seized from Michael Vick to be killed, stating that saving them was not “a good use of money” or time. Now, I may be missing something but last time I checked the purpose of animal rescue was to rescue animals, not to write them off as a waste.

Fourth fact: PETA supports Breed Specific Legislation, they have for years. Since recently partnering with some vehemently anti-pit bull groups — Dogsbite.org and Daxter’s Friends to name two — PETA has been getting hammered on social media sites. Their feeds on Facebook and Twitter are full of people who are rightly outraged that an “animal rights group” has decided to align itself with organizations who have as their main objective the annihilation of any dog with a certain appearance. Let’s get this straight, you cannot call yourself an animal rights group and work with people who refer to dead pit bulls as “pit bull dog meat” or who write diatribes about the different ways to kill pit bull type dogs. And you cannot call yourself ethical when you partner with people who assert that folks who have pit bulls only do so for the purposes of fighting and bestiality. You can see examples of those statements here. These are some real winners PETA has chosen as friends.

Fifth Fact: BSL is BSL no matter how you spin it. In what I can only assume is an attempt at damage control, PETA has decided to stop using the term “Breed Specific Legislation” and start using the term “Breed Specific Protection.” But we’re just going to keep calling what they’re endorsing what it actually is — Breed Specific Legislation. In order to defend their support of BSL PETA has stated that their actual objective is to promote the spaying and neutering of pit bulls. The problem is that BSL and the promotion of spaying and neutering aren’t the same thing — they may overlap in that spaying and neutering can be a tiny part of BSL but BSL is so much bigger. Spaying and neutering saves lives, BSL results in death — just look to Colorado as an example of this. PETA asserts they support BSL because it is in the best interest of dogs. If that were true why are they the only major animal welfare/rights organization supporting it? The National Canine Research Council has an extensive list of groups who oppose BSL, as well as research that proves it is not effective in reducing dog bites.

What is the common thread that binds all of these facts? Killing. It sounds harsh, especially when we’re talking about a group that is considered to be one of the staunchest defenders of the lives of animals. But ultimately, when all those facts are boiled down to their bare bones, the common thread is killing. Dogs who were tortured and forced to fight are called a waste of resources. Maya, a healthy and loved chihuahua, was stolen and killed. Thousands upon thousands of animals have died at the hands of PETA employees. And we’re to believe that they were all too ill or old or aggressive to save? Seriously? Does any of that reflect an organization that values life? No — it reflects an organization who believes animals are better off dead than living with humans and that is a supremely twisted philosophy.

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