Let me preface this post by saying that NO MATTER WHAT I do not think that it’s okay to torture animals or treat them inhumanely.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know why I’m writing about this. The Huffington post recently tweeted an article about PETA’s latest attack on celebrities who choose to wear animal skin. Here’s their tweet with my response:
Well, apparently I pissed off some lady who supports PETA (of course I did, it’s PETA!) because lo and behold, I just signed on to Twitter and had 3 tweets from this woman. Whoa there lady, callllm down. So here’s what she said – I edited her name and face out but you can see them if you go to Twitter:
Here’s some background on my stance on meat, leather, fur, and animal skin: generally, I don’t like it. I don’t like it to the point where I’m actually looking into going vegetarian when I move to Santa Barbara next week because of the awful news coming out about that slaugherhouse in California. I don’t feel like I can support it at all anymore. When I do eat meat it’s almost always turkey or chicken. I have red meat maybe once every 4 months, at most. I don’t like it, and I really like cows. I want to go veg now because after seeing 10 seconds of the video from that slaughterhouse, I researched how chickens and turkeys are killed, and didn’t like what I was seeing. I didn’t research on PETA’s site. Also, I don’t really like meat enough to eat dead animals anyway. It’s just easier and cheaper than other protein alternatives.
In terms of leather, I don’t like that it comes from animals but it doesn’t bother me as much as fur. Leather is more necessary than fur, it’s something that people have used for thousands of years and it’s something that is extremely difficult to successfully replicate. If synthetic leather comes out that is exactly like real leather I will obviously use it.
Okay, on to fur and skins (snake, croc, lizard, etc.). I don’t like the use of skins because I think it’s a lot like fur – purely for aesthetic use. I think that faux skins made out of leather work just fine, look pretty much the same, and are less frivolous.
I wanted to be a veterinarian for most of my childhood until I realized that I wouldn’t be able to euthanize sick animals because it would make me too sad. I can’t even kill a goddamned spider. I don’t think it’s okay to snuff life out for no reason. THE THING IS — leather and meat? Not for no reason. People need protein to live. It’s a fact. There are obviously many different ways to obtain protein in one’s diet, but meat is the easiest and most effective. Not everyone can afford to go buy whole raw almonds and edamame every day. Not everyone can afford to replace pair after pair of shitty fake leather shoes rather than buying one pair made from real leather that lasts for years. Sorry, but it’s the truth (in my experience.)
My point with all of the above is that I do understand where PETA is coming from. I am pro-animal. That doesn’t mean that I think their tactics work. They’re far too extreme, and I think that they’ve turned themselves into a laughing stock rather than a serious animal rights organization. Not everyone is going to be 100% for or against the use of animal products. Just like me, many people absolutely do not want animals to be mistreated, but understand that we do need some animal products. If I could have it my way, far fewer people would consume meat. Animals would be treated wonderfully in slaughter houses, they would be put to death completely humanely, and they would never, under any circumstances be tortured. Some people don’t think of animals in that way, they think of them as lesser creatures that don’t matter. Those people are gross.
Rather than personally attacking celebrities who wear fur or python boots, rather than posting terrifying videos of animal abuse, and rather than using sex to sell their ideas, PETA should offer solid facts and legitimate avenues for people to help. They should understand that nothing is ever black or white, and what matters most is the humane treatment of animals. Their extremist ways of conveying their messages alienate the people who would otherwise be drawn in and encouraged to help. I can’t even go to their website because the images are so disturbing…how is that helping their cause? Wouldn’t it be better if they offered objective information instead of scare tactics and propaganda? Has anyone ever taken the crazy guy on the street corner yelling about Jesus rising from the dead seriously? No, and that’s essentially what PETA has turned itself into.
When you do go to PETA’s site, the only options offered are to donate to PETA or volunteer with PETA. Maybe I’m not going deep enough, but I’m scared to see images of tortured animals so I’m going to risk writing this a little uninformed. I wish PETA would offer lots of different alternatives, even something as simple as lists of local animal shelters. I don’t support PETA, so I won’t donate to PETA. I support animals, and I’d like to know of other ways to help them. PETA’s site is self-serving. It’s almost as if they’re not really as concerned with helping animals as much as they’re concerned with spreading their version of what help is. Here’s a screenshot from their “Issues” page.
If you can’t read it, here’s what it says:
“Every day in countries around the world, animals are fighting for their lives. They are enslaved, beaten, and kept in chains to make them perform for humans’ “entertainment”; they are mutilated and confined to tiny cages so that we can kill them and eat them; they are burned, blinded, poisoned, and cut up alive in the name of “science”; they are electrocuted, strangled, and skinned alive so that people can parade around in their coats; and worse.” -PETA
This is exactly why I’m not supportive of PETA. I don’t support the fact that they’re sensationalizing their entire cause to get a rise out of people. I don’t think it’s a strong approach. Given the vast number of headlines panning PETA, I’d say plenty of people feel the same way – people who do support animals. PETA groups people into animal haters and animal lovers. Like I said earlier, it’s not a black and white issue. This woman on Twitter basically bashed me for not supporting PETA without knowing me or my views on the matter. My tweet to The Huffington Post wasn’t even offensive. She is a prime example of why PETA is not a constructive organization. By continuously alienating people, they’re not furthering their cause. PETA is smearing hate in the name of a cause that should be fought for with love. Does that seem like it makes sense to you? Let me know in the comments, I do love a good debate! =)
How PETA is betraying vegans and the animal rights movement – honestdog.com (click the links in this one)
PETA’s “Thank You” for Killing Shelter Pets – Huffington Post (click links here too)
PETA to set up graphic booth at Utah State Fair – SF Chronicle