Some animal rights groups are the “real deal”…and some, dear friends, are not.
If you’ve got time to watch vacuous “reality tv” shows, (by the way, there’s no such thing – its all scripted), you most definitely have time to investigate the organizations you’re supporting from your hard-earned pay-cheque.
To be more specific, are you satisfied with boiler-plate messages in your inbox from [insert an animal-rights group here], or have you actually swapped messages, (emails, phone-calls) with a staff-member in a designated department?
Does the group you support have an “open door” policy which allows its list of donors to volunteer, or come see the work being done ‘on the ground’? Soi-Dog would be a great example of this exact thing, and they do truly marvellous work.
Have you read any reputable, independent articles about your favourite animal-rights charity? Do you know how long they’ve been operating, or any specifics about the individuals who saw a need, and got to work answering it…?
The reality is, supporting animal-rights or rescue-groups comes with a duty of both personal responsibility, and due diligence, so unless you enjoy supporting your friendly neighbourhood scammer, its just as important to educate yourself on who the legitimate groups are as it is to haul out your cheque-book or credit card the next time you see one of those heart-breaking videos of neglect on tv, or online.
And please, don’t give me a hard time about this – if you’ve got time to play “War Robots” in the smallest room of your home, you’ve got time to investigate the charitable organizations you believe you believe in.
Now, why-oh-why is this important? Permit me to enlighten you…
There are animal-rights organizations…and there are “animal rights” organizations, varying wildly in their focus, mission statements, strategies and goals.
Let’s compare and contrast two of them…
PETA, founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco, was inspired by Peter Singer’s book “Animal Liberation”.
Its mandate – at least initially, was to expose companies and governments engaged in (lets be perfectly honest here), horrific and often utterly invaluable experimentation on everything from beagles to monkeys.
In its earliest iteration, PETA would then publicly litigate against these bodies, which opened the previously “sanctioned” and secretive practices of the offending organizations, universities, and government-funded companies to close scrutiny by Joe/Jane Q. Public (you and I, in other words), via the documentation provided by courtrooms around the world.
Had PETA stuck with this mandate, most sane individuals on this little mud ball hurtling through space would have little or no cause to loathe it, the constituent actors who continue to run it, or the Kool-Aid drinking celebrities who front for it.
What am I referring to?
Behold – exhibit “A”:
Prefer to examine something more recent?
Permit me to introduce you to exhibit “B” which contains collected data right up to 2017.
[**NOTE** This link contains highly disturbing content NOT suitable for children!]
In response to Stanford Law School grad Nathan Winograd’s letter inquiring “…how, as an animal rights organization, PETA could oppose non-lethal programs for feral cats in shelters, and why her organization advocates they be rounded up and killed, Ingrid Newkirk’s response was:
“We do not advocate right to life for animals.”
In Mr. Singer’s book – in his own words (when asserting his stance there is “…nothing absurd in the idea that the basic principle of equality applies to so-called ‘brutes’.”), he as much as states animals – while being undeniably different from human beings, are entitled to expect the same conduct toward them we would extend to anyone regardless of their gender, race, or creed.
And in extending rational conduct toward others regardless of their gender, race or creed, rational human beings agree these other humans have the right to live!
(This goes to my own personal views, and support for the acknowledgement-of “person-hood” in non human beings – please read the entire article:
As countless “electric church” performers have done since the era of tent-revivals, it seems evident under even the most cursory of examination, Ms. Newkirk has cherry-picked and reinterpreted her purported messiah’s message in order to justify some (apparently) sociopathic urges.
Don’t believe me…?
Exhibit “C” – more of Ms. Newkirk’s own words, (exposing her naked prejudice toward Pit Bulls):
“I would go to work early, before anyone got there, and I would just kill the animals myself… I must have killed a thousand of them, sometimes dozens every day.”
Still need a bit more convincing…? I enter into evidence, exhibit “D”:
As Nathan Winograd notes on his website, https://www.whypetaeuthanizes.org :
“…PETA’s position that animals can and should be killed subverts the entire foundation upon which all social justice movements are inherently based: the right to life.”
I take it you’ve got a clear picture of what underpins PETA’s motivations – as it pertains to the proverbial “message from the Home Office”…?
Right then, so lets run headlong back to the land of sanity, and examine the love and dedication exhibited by the truly human staff of Wildlife SOS https://wildlifesos.org/.
Beginning in 1995, a small group of individuals struck out with the intention of “…making lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest, and wildlife wealth.”
Its now one of the largest conservation groups in South Asia.
Known primarily for their efforts to rescue elephants abused and exploited by both the tourism and religious sectors of Indian society, Wildlife SOS has undertaken rescues of everything from Sloth bears to jaguars, created human/wildlife-conflict mitigation programs, and undertaken anti-poaching and tribal-rehabilitation educational-outreach programming.
Some of the Sun and Sloth bears Wildlife SOS has rescued were stolen as cubs from the wild, and thus would never be able to return to a fully “wild” state.
Where Ms. Newkirk (aka: Pennywise) would’ve gladly given these beautiful creatures a lethal injection, then patted herself on the back with the delusional belief they’d be “happier” for having been needlessly slaughtered, the founders of Wildlife SOS, Geeta Seshamani and Kartick Satyanarayan, see how deserving all the non-human beings who’ve come into their care are of their right to live free of pain, fear, and abuse.
Geeta, Kartick, their veterinary staff, and everyone else who works with them have chosen to take responsibility for the evils of others, and demonstrate to the rest of the world what we’re capable of when we become what we’re meant to be…good stewards.
There’s a reason why we’re moved to tears when we see an elephant like Raju – rescued from bull-hooks and abuse after 50 years of literally living in chains, taking a dust-bath, or sleeping peacefully in the long grasses. We know and feel the rightness – the justice – of his much deserved freedom…of his inarguable right to be, and we quietly give thanks under our breath for the bravery, the empathy and the intestinal fortitude of people who take the task of this “righting of wrongs” onto themselves.
There is literally no comparison between these organizations.
No rational, informed, thinking person could agree less with individuals like the Ingrid Newkirks of the world.
The naked insanity of believing having pets shouldn’t be allowed, that killing adoptable animals is better than finding loving homes for them, that one was “improving” the lot of Pit Bulls by gleefully lethally injecting them…this is psychopathy.
One is left with the conclusion – because the list of options is short, folks, the Pamela Andersons of the world are looking for perverse ways to stay in the public eye through associating with these veritable “Scientology of animal-rights” cults.
Couched in the assertion “eating meat is evil”, they bounce up onto the band-wagon of “animal rights” organizations like PETA, then irresponsibly let the chips fall where they may, all the while vacuuming up photo-ops their exhausted agents can’t procure, anymore.
A word to the wise, Pamela…I sincerely doubt Oscar Wilde was in any way thinking of this kind of behaviour when he stated:
“…there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
Admirable, and sadly necessary as it is to put a massive spotlight on animal abuse, neglect, and torture, it is, in my view, nothing short of negligent, lazy and dangerous to ignore facts for the purpose of promoting a (presumably???) personal narrative.
I mean really…? You’ll sign up for cancer-causing boob-implants, but you won’t investigate “animal-rights Scientologist” Newkirk?!
Wait…I think I’m detecting a theme here…
So, dear reader, please, do your homework. Look thoughtfully into animal-rights organizations you feel represent your beliefs, and ask questions, then donate both from your heart and your wallet with a clear and informed conscience. The reputable rescue-groups will welcome this.
What has any of this to do with Falconry, or working with non-human actors in the entertainment industry…?
I’ll answer both those questions when I put forward the debate on “New School versus Old School animal-handlers” or “This is an Art form, not abuse.”.
Be respectful. Chat soon.