Most would agree that the killing of escaped exotic animals from a farm near Zanesville, Ohio about a month ago was a great tragedy and loss of life. After all, it’s not like the animals were rabid or that they deliberately broke out of their enclosures at the farm.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the largest animal rights organization in the world, has been understandably outraged by the killing of these exotic animals (edit: and Super Mario, for that matter). They are calling it a “massacre” and have been calling on Ohio officials to make a ban against the ownership of zoo animals.
Each article about animal abuse on the PETA website is accompanied by images and graphic descriptions of animals abused, tormented and languishing without food, water or proper veterinary care. The article about the exotic animals’ escape from the Ohio farm is no exception.
In my view, there are some sins against animals that are unforgivable: fighting pit bulls (or any other kind of dog), the deliberate abuse of any living creature, keeping animals in zoos (unless they are kept there for health or breeding reasons), puppy and kitten mills and others.
But sometimes it seems that PETA values animal rights over human rights and the dignity of human lives. PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has been quoted as saying, “Would you be opposed to experiments on your daughter if you knew it would save fifty million people?” when asked her opinion on the experimentation on five thousand rats or five thousand chimpanzees if that would bring about the cure for AIDS. Newkirk also opined that the world would be, “an infinitely better place without humans in it at all.”
PETA is notorious for its controversial advertising and publicity tactics. In one ad, the organization that equates victims of the Jewish Holocaust with animals that have been slaughtered for their meat. Another ad advocates vegetarianism, but pokes fun at overweight people. PETA itself agrees that its tactics are extreme because “we have learned from experience that the media, sadly, do not consider the terrible facts about animal suffering alone interesting enough to cover.”
Some other animal rights and welfare groups do not like to be affiliated with PETA. PETAkillsanimals.com makes bold claims that PETA kills far more animals than it adopts, uses scare tactics to get children to stop drinking milk and is against using animals to find cures for cancer, AIDS and other diseases.
It is fine to stick up for cruelty against animals and give our animals the best care and attention we possibly can. But PETA, which uses scare tactics and holds animal lives at equal value with the lives of people, can often do animals more harm than good. Do you think PETA will succeed in its mission to stop animal abuse nationwide? What do you think about PETA’s advertising tactics?