The hypocrisy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the animal rights movement in general is once again on display for all to see. One of Britain’s leading newspapers, The Daily Mail, just ran an excellent expose on how PETA really treats animals.
The article features a number of shocking, disgusting, and disturbing photographs taken by PETA critic Nathan Winograd. Among other things, it shows pictures of dozens of trash bags found in a garbage dumpster behind a supermarket in North Carolina in 2007. The bags were full of cats that PETA had killed after taking them into its custody with promises that it would find homes for the felines. Instead of putting the cats out for adoption, PETA apparently killed them. Statistics quoted by the Mail indicate that PETA euthanized (that is, killed) 1,045 cats and 602 dogs in 2012.
Particularly bothersome is the fact that Nathan Winograd is a vegan and animal rights advocate. He should be on PETA’s side, yet he isn’t. On his blog, Winograd notes that PETA killed 96 percent of the pets taken in at its headquarters in Virginia in 2011. Winograd also claims that 90 percent of the animals PETA takes in are killed within twenty-four hours.
Long-time observers of PETA won’t be surprised by this. The organization’s double standard has been exposed many times before, most notably on Penn and Teller’s program on Showtime a few years back. Yet average people who know of PETA only for its criticism of meat eating and fur might be surprised by this.
So what’s going on here? What is PETA and why does it behave in this way? The truth is that PETA is not an animal advocacy group like the Humane Society, it’s a radical organization with a bizarre radical agenda. Indeed, it promotes ideas that come right off the lunatic fringe.
The Whacky World of Peter Singer and the Animal Rights Agenda
PETA’s agenda comes from a man named Peter Singer, and in a sane world, would Singer would be dismissed as a crackpot. Unfortunately, Mr. Singer is an extremely influential college professor and philosopher. Currently, he serves as a Professor of Bioethics at Princeton and the University of Melbourne in Australia. Singer is also the author of a very influential book called Animal Liberation. This book is the bible of the animal rights movement and the inspiration for PETA.
In a nutshell, Singer’s nutty ideas can be described like this:
- Animals are living beings that deserve the exact same rights as human beings; there is no difference.
- Any human use of animals, including owning pets, eating meat, using draft animals, or wearing fur, is wrong.
- There is no difference between factory farms for animals and concentration camps for human beings.
- Karl Marx (the father of Communism) was a genius whose ideas are worthy of consideration and study.
- Killing or the abuse of an animal is just the same as killing or the abuse of a human being.
- The killing of mentally retarded children would not be murder.
- Singer has endorsed euthanasia, the killing of the sick, as moral.
- People in developed countries should be taxed to feed the starving poor in developing countries. The fact that almost all starvation in developing countries is caused by Marxist dictators (whom Singer admires) escapes his attention.
- He has argued that there is nothing wrong with bestiality (sex between humans and animals), as long as the animal is not harmed. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk has been quoted as agreeing with this lunacy.
Get the picture here? PETA and the animal rights movement are essentially insane. Their beliefs are not rooted in reality, nor are they based on any sort of traditional philosophy or religion.
Philosopher Roger Scruton has even noted that Singer’s works contain “little or no philosophical argument.” In other words, the Animal Rights Movement’s chief philosopher uses little or no philosophy, yet he is regarded as a genius and a guiding spirit by organizations such as PETA.
The Insanity of Animal Liberation
So PETA’s real goal is to force a set of radical beliefs that border on insanity on the rest of us. Unfortunately, PETA’s brand of madness has become mainstream. Look at the popular attacks on the wearing fur and attempts to ban entertainments such as circuses and rodeos. The same goes for the widespread attacks on the use of animals in medical research.
If PETA had its way, many beneficial uses of animals would be illegal. There would be no seeing-eye dogs to help the blind, no service dogs to help the handicapped, no police dogs, no bomb-sniffing dogs, and no rescue dogs. Large numbers of disabled people would be trapped at home unable to leave the house with service animals. People would die because rescuers would have no way to locate them under rubble. Terrorists would have an easier time sneaking bombs past security.
PETA could even threaten the survival of endangered species because it opposes zoos, which are the only places where some endangered species, such as rhinos and tigers, may survive in the near future because of hunting and the destruction of habitat in developing nations. PETA would close them and allow those animals to die.
Taken to its logical extension, PETA’s agenda would necessitate the banning of horseback riding, hunting, rodeos, horse-drawn carriages, the ownership of chickens for eggs, fishing, and more. It would also violate the lifestyles and basic rights of traditional peoples, such as the Amish and Native Americans. The Amish would have to give up their plow horses and pigs, and Native Americans couldn’t hunt or use feathers in their religious practices.
Animal Liberation Could Lead to Assaults on Rights
Taken to its logical extension, PETA’s sick line of thinking could lead to widespread assaults on individual rights and animal cruelty on a massive scale. One could imagine riding horses being hauled away from their owners and shot or sold to slaughterhouses to comply with the PETA agenda.
Animal liberation thinking could also be used to limit the rights of rural people. This is no fantasy— in Great Britain, PETA helped get some forms of hunting, including fox hunting, banned. PETA probably won’t be able to go after the food industry and its industrialized slaughterhouses, but it could go after family farmers and individual animal owners.
One crusade could be against private individuals that own chickens or livestock. PETA could say that chicken owners are cruel and the chickens should be taken away. Another could be against hunting, which is unpopular and considered cruel by animal liberation fanatics.
Anyone who thinks the idea of something like PETA restricting their rights seems far-fetched should remember this: A few years ago, the idea of laws limiting the size of soft-drink glasses would have been considered insane. Yet today, such a law is on the books in New York City. Therefore, we need to pay close attention to hypocrites like PETA. They can be a threat to innocent animals and our basic rights.