Exposing the Big Game

Forget Hunters' Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior

Exposing the Big Game

People wearing animal masks set off smoke bombs in Toronto this weekend

animal rights march toronto

Save Posthttps://www.facebook.com/v2.5/plugins/share_button.php?app_id=100616073343311&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fx%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2F%3Fversion%3D46%23cb%3Df1aeb23b762fb9%26domain%3Dwww.blogto.com%26is_canvas%3Dfalse%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.blogto.com%252Ff1727633c1f66%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=90&href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2021%2F09%2Fpeople-wearing-animal-masks-smoke-bombs-toronto%2F&layout=button_count&locale=en_US&sdk=joeyhttps://platform.twitter.com/widgets/tweet_button.f88235f49a156f8b4cab34c7bc1a0acc.en.html#dnt=false&id=twitter-widget-0&lang=en&original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2021%2F09%2Fpeople-wearing-animal-masks-smoke-bombs-toronto%2F&size=m&text=People%20wearing%20animal%20masks%20set%20off%20smoke%20bombs%20in%20Toronto%20this%20weekend&time=1632168050284&type=share&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2021%2F09%2Fpeople-wearing-animal-masks-smoke-bombs-toronto%2F

Stay in the loop with the blogTO newsletter

https://www.blogto.com/city/2021/09/people-wearing-animal-masks-smoke-bombs-toronto/

Get the latest news sent daily to your inbox so you’re always in the know.Contact us or unsubscribe anytime.ShareTweetSave this Article

Animal rights activists marched through Toronto streets over the weekend, wearing animal masks and carrying smoke bombs. 

On Sunday, Toronto Animal Rights March walked through parts of downtown to spread a message of “ending the war on animals.” 

“The war on animals is real, it’s merciless, and it’s happening every single minute of every single day,” a spokesperson for Toronto Animal Rights said. “Hundreds of millions of animals are under attack in slaughterhouses, laboratories, and farms… and the perpetrator is us!” 

animal rights march toronto

Some demonstrators at the march wore rabbit masks and carried an army stretcher with an attacked real-life looking coyote, to symbolize that animals are being hurt. Image via Jenny Henry.

During the march, several “die-ins” happened, where demonstrators laid on the ground lifeless while playing the sounds of distressed animals over a speaker. 

The march ended at Old City Hall with activists reading aloud Rose’s Law, a plea for a bill on the rights of all animals. 

Toronto’s animal rights community has hosted a slew of other marches, one in 2019, where the bodies of dead animals were carried throughout the demonstration. 

Organizers of Sunday’s march say they are “imploring the people of Toronto to open their eyes to what’s happening to animals, and make a change to a more compassionate lifestyle.”

“Great Wake” for the Turkeys

Prayer Circle for Animals #454

November 25, 2019

https://upc-online.org/turkeys/191127_prayer_circle_for_animals_454_great_wake_for_the_turkeys.html

Our Daily Noon Prayer
“COMPASSION ENCIRCLES THE EARTH FOR ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE”

And Our Prayer for the Week from Judy Carman
TURKEYS DANCE, PLAY, EMPATHIZE, PROTECT AND MOURN.


UPC sanctuary turkey, Amelia. Photo by Davida G. Breier.

We know that turkeys are people too, have emotions, and value their lives and the lives of those they love. Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, has written a special tribute to turkeys.

Please read it and share it widely, especially with those who still think, ironically, that they must kill and eat turkeys in order to give proper thanks. In her article, she notes, “An emotional behavior in turkeys that has been said to ‘defy logic’ is ‘the great wake’ they will hold over a fallen companion.

In one episode cited by A.W. Schorger, in The Wild Turkey…, the wing beat of a turkey hen who had been shot ‘brought a flock that stopped beside the dying bird instead of running away as expected.’” Imagine the millions of turkeys who have been murdered in just the last few weeks. With no turkey friends left to hold “the great wake” for each of them, it falls to us to do so.

Prayers and mourning this week for every precious turkey who has been killed for “Thanksgiving” meals in America.

In the tradition of the great wake of turkeys, which may be millions of years old, may we each find ways to circle around these fallen companions of ours, honor them, acknowledge their beautiful souls, and mourn their loss and the terrible ways in which they have died. Yet in our grief, let us also give thanks for our undying vision that one day soon all turkeys everywhere will be free from the ignorance and violence of human beings.

This vision we hold is more real than all the killing that is happening now. We rejoice in knowing that it is more real for the simple reason that it is the true way of living for humanity. We ask for and give thanks for the never-ending divine assistance, the love of the universe, that gives us strength to never give up until all turkeys and all beings are free from human domination and violence. We see the day coming soon when all human beings will advance in consciousness and join us in reverence and love for all life.

May all beings live in joy and harmony together sharing this world of love as brothers and sisters. I give thanks for you, dear Prayer Circle members. You are shining the Light of Truth so that one day soon, all beings will be free. Thank you for your faithful prayers, your visionary thoughts, and your devotion to truth. Because of all of you, compassion is encircling the earth for all beings. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all beings everywhere. Thank you all for your devotion to truth, love, liberation and peace for all beings.

With love, peace, and gratitude from Judy Carman, and from Will, Madeleine, and the Circle of Compassion team.


PLEASE VISIT the Circle of Compassion website for “A prayer a day for animals;” and the Daily Noon Prayer. To help expand this ministry, donations are gratefully accepted.


UPC sanctuary turkey, Amelia. Photo by Davida G. Breier.

Dog Falls Into Canal And Starts To Drown, Until The Group of Dolphins Comes To Saves Him

Dolphins have always been admired for their beautiful form and graceful swim style. But there is more to these marine creatures than meets the eye. They are actually intelligent animals, capable of relating to each other ways. These dolphins proved their compassionate nature when they discovered a dog drowning. When a Doberman fell into the canal on Marco Island, Florida, there were no humans around to rescue him. No one knew that he had fallen in, and it started to look like the pup was out of luck. Luckily, someone did come to his aid.

The beings that helped the drowning dog were not humans; they were dolphins. The dolphins noticed the pup splashing around in the water and swam closer to investigate. They quickly realized that something wasn’t right. The dog was stuck in the canal. The wall that separated the water from the land was too tall for the Doberman to climb. He became frantic as he began to lose hope that someone would save him.

The dolphins may not have had arms or legs, but they found a way to help the dog. They swam around the area making as much noise as possible. “In fact, they made so much noise that some people who lived nearby happened to hear them and investigated why they were being so loud,” Snackay reports. “Then they noticed the dog trapped below the wall in the canal water.”

Finally, a rescue was under way. Firemen rushed to the scene and brought the dog out of the water. He was quite shaken up, but on the whole he was okay. If it hadn’t been for these dolphins, the dog most likely would not have survived. The firefighters estimated that the dog had been trapped for as long as 15 hours – that is a long time to keep swimming, especially if you are not a marine animal. To make matters worse, the pup had to go all that time without anything to drink. Since the canal was full of salt water, trying to take a sip would have only dehydrated him more.

This was one strong dog, but he owes his recovered safety to these compassionate dolphins. They recognized a problem and did whatever they could to restore him to his life on land. This story is a reminder that humans are not the only intelligent beings on the planet. There is a whole network of animals who are capable of forming strong bonds and developing emotional responses. As we continue to learn more about ocean life, we can build a closer community with these creatures.

If we try to live as one with the animals, this world would be a much better place. We should teach our children from very young age that every life matters, and every creature should be treated with kindness.

Vets Refuse to Treat Farm Sanctuary Animals Because They Disagree With Their Stance Against Animal Agriculture

Lead Image Source : Spring Farm Sanctuary

VEGAN CELEB MILEY CYRUS LOSES HOME, BUT RESCUES ANIMALS FROM CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

Vegan Celeb Miley Cyrus Loses Home But Rescues Animals From California Wildfires
News Editor, LIVEKINDLY | New York City | Contactable via: kat@livekindly.co
 

Vegan celebrity Miley Cyrus was just one of many to lose her home this past week in the California Woolsey Fire. Despite this, the star says that she is grateful that she was able to rescue her pets and make it out alive with her fiance, actor Liam Hemsworth.

“Completely [devastated] by the fires affecting my community. I am one of the lucky ones,” Cyrus wrote on Twitter yesterday. “My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that’s all that matters right now.”

She continued, “My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong. I am grateful for all I have left. Sending so much love and gratitude to the firefighters and LA country Sheriff’s department! If you are interested in getting involved see next tweet…. Donate $ , Time , Supplies. I love you more than ever, Miley.”

Cyrus then followed up with a list of organizations, charities, and companies that are providing relief to those affected by the wildfire, including the California Fire FoundationDirect Relief, and the California Community Foundation.

The award-winning Cyrus isn’t shy about the love she has for all animals – she even dedicated her 2015 album, “Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz,” to her deceased companions. That same year, the singer toldthe New York Times that spending time at home with her pets is one of her favorite activities.

According to People Magazine, Cyrus’s extended four-legged family includes Barbie, a former lab beagle rescued by the Rescue + Freedom Project, Emu the dog, who the singer immortalized in a tattoo in 2017, and former shelter pups Happy, Mary Jane, Bean, Milky, Dora, and Tani.

The award-winning artist is also mom to four rescue cats – Kiki, Lilo, Shanti Om BB, Harlem – and a pig named Pig Pig (formerly known as Bubba Sue), who Cyrus posed with on the cover of Paper magazine in 2015. Last October, the singer-songwriter even took a break from touring to help care for her beloved pigs. “Literally the only reason I’m not touring is because of those [censored] pigs. That’s how much I love those pigs,” she said.

Cyrus’s compassion isn’t just limited to her companion animals. The star has been a vegan since 2013 and has used her 40.4 million strong social media following to stand up for animal rights and to promote cruelty-free fashion. Last December, Cyrus and her sister Noah received a Libby Award, an annual awards ceremony hosted by peta2, for “Best Voice for the Animals” for their work in promoting compassion towards animals.

Help David Go to Switzerland

 https://www.gofundme.com/helpdavidtoswitzerland
On the eve of his 104th birthday on 4 April, Exit International’s oldest Member, Emeritus Professor David Goodall (Wikipedia), announced his intention to attend the Life Circle service in Basel, Switzerland for an assisted death.

29309230_15243227290_r.jpegProfessor David Goodall, Australia’s Oldest Working Scientist

With an Exit Member number of #1848, David Goodall has been a member of Exit longer than most people.

Well organised to the end, he thought he had his plans in place. However, it seems that David’s advanced age has finally caught up with him.

29309230_15243227560_r.jpegAt work in the 1950s.

Very recently he has realised that things were not going to be as easy as he anticipated. He is now left with little alternative other than to travel to Switzerland.

With the cooperation of the good people at Life Circle in Basel, Exit has been able to organise a fast-track for David.

He will be accompanied by his long-time friend and Exit’s West Australian Coordinator, Carol O’Neil.

Carol and David plan to leave Perth for Basel in early May.

29309230_15243227940_r.jpegCarol & David at an Exit workshop in 2016

A pathetic state of affairs? You bet!

Especially given West Australia is currently considering the introduction of a voluntary euthanasia law; a law which the West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has said would not help a person like David Goodall who is not sick.

Elder abuse? Quite possibly.

Age discrimination? Absolutely.

Who is David Goodall?

Born in London in 1914, Professor Goodall is an eminent botanist and ecologist. A graduate of Imperial College of Science and Technology  (University of London) where he received his PhD in 1941, David came to Australia in 1948 to take up a lecturing position at the University of Melbourne .

29309230_15243901370_r.jpeg
David was awarded a Doctor of Science from Melbourne University as well as an honorary doctorate from the Università degli Studí di Trieste  in Italy. He held a range of academic positions in the UK, US and Australia (CSIRO ) before retiring in 1979.

After his retirement, he edited the 30 volume series of Ecosystems of the World with over 500 authors.

29309230_15243895140_r.jpegDavid with his edited series: Ecosystems of the World

29309230_15243901980_r.jpegAt 103, David travelled by gyrocopter to the remote Kimberley station (Kachana) near to Kununurra to visit the eco sustained cattle station of Chris and Jacqueline Henggeler.

29309230_15243903380_r.jpegAt Kachana, David was back ‘in the field’ courtesy of the station’s tractor service.

David will be remembered for the burst of media in 2016 that followed the decision by Edith Cowan University  to take away his office.

See: ABC News 

The University argued the working scientist was a safety risk to himself and others.

In response to this unwelcome age discrimination, David went public and the University acquiesced, eventually providing him with an alternative, ground floor office closer to home.

See: BBC News  & BBC World Service  (audio)

WHAT NEXT FOR DAVID?

Having celebrated his 104th birthday in early April, David has decided wow is the time to go. Indeed, if his plans had gone accordingly, this birthday would not have happened and he would not be in the dilemma he now finds himself.

29309230_15243898570_r.jpegDavid on his 104th Birthday (4 April 2018, in Perth). His birthday cake was a cheesecake, his favourite.

It is just crazy that at the very time the West Australian Parliament has a committee inquiry to determine if their State should pass a voluntary euthanasia/ assisted suicide law, that one of its oldest and prominent citizens should be forced to travel to the other side of the world to die with dignity.

29309230_15243899590_r.jpegDavid receiving his Order of Australia in 2016

As if to add insult to injury, the West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has now pre-empted the Committee’s findings  stating that the WA Parliament will only consider a law for the terminally ill.

Of course the Premier has added that he feels ‘sympathy’ for David’s plight.

The calculated politics of the Mr McGowan’s remarks are breath-taking, although hardly surprising since Mr McGowan’s reported mentor is Kim Beazley.

Kim Beazley is well remembered for banding together with then Prime Minister John Howard, to overturn the Northern Territory’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act in 1997.

Be that as it may, rarely in living memory can one recall a senior citizen being treated with such disdain and even contempt by a Premier of the day.

The situation of Professor Goodall drives home the absolute limited value of an end of life law that is based solely upon a person’s health status.

As Dr Philip Nitschke argued in his presentation to the WA Parliamentary Committee in April, it is totally unacceptable for a law to discriminate between the sick and everyone else.

All rational adults deserve a peaceful death at a time of their choosing.

Forcing the ‘well’ elderly to travel overseas is exporting a problem, rather than addressing a growing social need. Shame!

David Goodall is a life-long economy class flier.

To do otherwise offends his egalitarian sensibility.

On this occasion, Dr Philip Nitschke has convinced David to upgrade.

It is a very long way from Perth Australia to Basel Switzerland at any age, especially104!

Philip says he doesn’t want the stress of the flight to kill him.

Exit will be reporting on David’s journey to Switzerland in the coming days and weeks.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Like citizens of the Reich, we look away as species fall  

http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/like-citizens-of-the-reich-we-look-away-as-species-fall-20171207-h010kh.html?btis

Compassion fatigue is kiling off our fellow creatures.

  • Anson Cameron

I notice I have begun to avoid elephants. And rhinos. And polar bears – though I love those pale nomads best. Any time a wildlife show comes on with a pachyderm and a wobbly calf at foot I switch channels. I know what’s in store for that little fellow. And a white bear staring in bewilderment out to sea waiting for pack ice to form has me scrambling for the remote. What else is on TV? NCIS Anywhere will do. Something light. Maybe a movie about a class reunion where one guy has become a CIA assassin since leaving school.

Even Attenborough has become a sort of hospital for the incurables, too sad to visit. (I knew a man who spent five years in The Hospital For Incurables in Heidelberg, before getting out, marrying, having a family, and a lauded 60-year medical career. They changed the name of the hospital to The Austin). I’m on tenterhooks watching Attenborough these days. “High above me is a slumbering orangutan” I wonder is David whispering so he doesn’t wake the ape, or the loggers at their siesta nearby?

Like a citizen of that infamous Reich, I am developing a gift for turning away and pretending not to know. Why should I, out of some sense of moral duty, be made to watch the last unicorn have its horn hacked off as an aphrodisiac? How am I advantaged by knowing the forests of Siberia are now booby-trapped and that the last tigers are being gunned down remotely?

I have compassion fatigue for the planet. It’s cowardly, and treacherous, this impulse to turn away from the beloved, doomed species and places. But I’ve noticed I’m far from alone. A lot of people are looking away. “I can’t watch nature docos any more. It’s all too sad.” How many times have you heard that? Surrendering to the inevitable is prudent. But surrendering to the inevitable is sometimes what makes it inevitable.

It’s not just sadness at the incessant shrinkage and massacres – it’s guilt as well. Who wants to rehash the marriage that failed because of their own bastardry? Who wants reminding of their conviction for fraud? Rather look away.

I realised, when I started to avoid the elephant, that it would become extinct culturally before it actually went under in the wild. And that hearing of the death of the last elephant will be like hearing of the death of Keith Richards. Firstly, surprise he was still alive at all. Then a sort of fatalism. “Well, Jumbo, old boy, you had some pretty dubious habits, what with ranging the veldt and being large. No one expected you to last this long doing that shit.” We’ll be inured to the death of each species by the time its extinction occurs.

A recent University of New South Wales study found a 70 per cent decrease in water birds in the Murray-Darling basin in the last 30 years. An apocalypse slotted neatly between Richmond premierships. Again, I feel the same impulse to look away as I would seeing a truck bearing down on a toddler. Seventy per cent. Not a fact you can un-know – but neither should I be forced to bear witness. Should I? What is my responsibility here?

Maybe IT geeks will build a virtual ark. Maybe the natural world can be recreated as a computer simulation where the defeated species of our planet live in a binary environment, not summoned forth two-by-two as was Noah’s method, but with ones and zeros supplied by lab-nerds. But then … maybe not. Why would we bother simulating a world we let die in the first place?

Nature was once red in tooth and claw; dark forests amok with wolves and briny deeps bristling with sinister leviathan. We were her victims then. Until there was a brief parity of about 200 years in which we romanticised her, looked upon her as a great green God-given cathedral. (Even as we hacked away at her). Now she has become our victim. The oceans are brothy warm and croutonned with plastics. The forests piecemeal, vestigial, slashed with boardwalks. Globetrotters drag contrails across de-hawked skies.

But … recently a pallid cuckoo flew into my window. I heard the bang and found it on the porch sofa. It had one eye bulging and its head lolled. I brought it water but it didn’t drink. A goner. I went inside. It sat semi-conscious and palpitating for five hours. A goner. Until at sundown my daughter saw it fly away.

(Compassionate) Turkey Preparation 101

Wash your turkey
Dry well
Stuff
Add a little water
Bake
Share with Guests

Check out the video on FaceBook at:
https://www.facebook.com/DawnWatchInc/videos/145617769495212/
OR
http://tinyurl.com/y7yzv5kl

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/theKarenDawn/status/932773151917801472

On YouTube: https://youtu.be/8F4c_HtiDPc

And please share it if you like it.

Happy Turkey Day!

Yours and all animals,’
Karen Dawn
DawnWatch Inc
http://DawnWatch.com

In Defense of PETA: Compassion in a Callous Time for Human History

 http://altdaily.com/features/news/121-opinion36/7652-in-defense-of-peta-compassion-in-a-callous-time-for-human-history

Written by Jesse Scaccia on 11 March 2015.

Last week Ringling Brothers, the most successful, long-running circus in the history of North America, announced that they would be ceasing the use of their signature attraction, elephants, by 2018. Ken Feld, the president of Ringling’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the New York Times, “There’s been, on the part of our consumers, a mood shift where they may not want to see elephants transported from city to city.”
Transported, of course, is something of a euphemism; these mythical beasts of the jungle are beaten to submission by nasty little weapons called bullhooks. The ‘mood’ Mr. Feld is claiming has shifted is nothing of the sort. What has changed is awareness: enough people know what the animals are put through, and with that knowledge comes a moral clarity that what’s happening is, without question, wrong.
Meet the mood shifters.
**
Daphna Nachminovitch and Laura Brown sat on the floor and let their faces be licked by the kind of puppies PETA’s critics will have you believe they are eager to kill. We were in PETA’s now infamous shelter, located at 501 Front St. here in Norfolk. Unlike many of the shelters I’ve visited across the country, PETA’s animal care units are spacious, calm, and well-attended with toys, food, and clean bedding. It’s also the only shelter I’ve ever been to that sits on the fourth floor of an office building, with cut out windows between the dogs, kittens, and bunnies and the employees working a few feet away.
petaa111
Brown & Nachminovitch.
According to Nachminovitch, Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations, in 2014 alone PETA spent more than $1,000,000 on companion-animal services in Virginia and North Carolina. This included visiting and tending to more than 5,500 backyard dogs in 65 cities; helping more than 1,500 indigent families keep their animals by providing free medical services; custom-building and delivering 285 doghouses (6,138 total doghouses since the program’s inception in 1998); behavioral counselling for more than 2,500 people to help them keep their animals; and providing euthanasia services for more than 500 animals belonging to loving guardians desperate to alleviate their animal companions’ suffering.
“I don’t think people have a good idea of what we do here,” said Brown, a shelter specialist. “We’re here 12 hours a day, and on emergency pagers after that.”
Rachel Bellis works in cruelty investigations and, like many PETA employees, regularly takes a break to play with the animals. “Every animal is an individual. Every animal is looked at,” she said. “I’ve never worked with more compassionate and dedicated people in my life.”
It hasn’t been all puppies and kittens at PETA of late.
A recent incident that brought fresh attention–including an act by the Virginia General Assembly–to PETA’s shelter program was presented by the Pilot like a scene from a Stephen King story: “A little girl’s pet Chihuahua disappeared from her family’s mobile home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore…” What happened broke a number of PETA protocols: the dog was taken without speaking to the owner; the animal was euthanized prior to going through established processes, including not keeping the dog alive for 5 days, per state law. PETA since fired the contractor who violated these rules and has publicly apologized.

“It’s too complicated for a short sentence,” Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA, told me when asked about PETA euthanizing animals at all. “That is what is happening, people want a soundbite and they reduce it to kill shelter or no kill.”

In order to understand the euthanizing at PETA, one must hold what might appear to be two contradictory concepts in their head at the same time: that one of the most prominent animal rights organizations in the world euthanizes animals, and that they do so while purporting that these acts strengthen, not dismiss, their ethical integrity.

In Newkirk’s own words:

“We weigh the situation from the animal’s perspective as best we can, as you would in any situation where you’re trying to help and abate suffering. Every animal we evaluate. If it’s an animal that is unlikely to be adopted, given that most people want small, fluffy, house-broken, and pleasant animals, or if the animal is crushed in an accident, or kept in a way that has made the animal unsocial or aggressive, or if the animal is on his or her last legs, or the time has just come, then euthanasia is a godsend. It’s a blessing. It’s a way to provide the most peaceful, traumaless exit. It’s a privilege to be able to give it to them.”

PETA, of course, did not cause the animal overpopulation problem. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in 2013, the total number of animals who entered VA shelters was 242,087, with 64,727 euthanized and 4,417 unassisted deaths. An unassisted death is the epitome of euphemism: these are animals under the care and custody of shelters they depend on to keep them from suffering and dying slowly, in pain. PETA’s spay/neuter program has serviced over 112,000 local animals over the past 10 years. Do some simple math and you realize that PETA has kept millions of animals off of our streets, out of our shelters, and never setting paw in clinics where euthanizing, sadly, must occur.

“We’d be hypocrites if we didn’t [euthanize],” Newkirk said. “We can’t ignore the animals around our office.”
The unnecessary death of the Chihuahua outshines, and to some, nullifies the major victories, like the big news about the elephants.

“If we’re fighting so hard to stop needless killing of even mice, why on earth would we wish to see anything but happiness and a loving home for any dog, or cat, or bird?” asked Newkirk. “It’s thoughtlessness that plays a role, and the nastiness and absolute bulling. Our poor girls who are out there helping out in the snow in the frigid weather… if people could see what they were doing, they’d be ashamed.”

**

Amanda Kyle, a field worker for PETA, was holding Soup, a Maltese mix who had been adopted from the Humane Society in Portsmouth, then two years later given up with the arrival of a new baby. When Soup was passed on to PETA she suffered from kidney disease, horribly matted-over genitals, urinary tract infection, fleas, ear and nasal infections, and rotten teeth (all but 3 teeth had to be removed). Like many animals left for PETA to take care of, without a miracle, there would be no happy ending for the likes of Soup. petta2Soup settled into Kyle’s lap. One of the lucky ones, Kyle had adopted her.”The vet gave her three months. I wanted her to feel joy,” Kyle said. “She was thrown away on Christmas eve. And this dog had been adopted and then abandoned, a ‘happy’ number for the shelter (whose priority is adoption statistics.)”The relationship between PETA and local shelters is a complicated one.

“I think of PETA does a lot of great things, there’s no question about it,” said Rob Blizzard, executive director of the Norfolk SPCA, which adopted out 770 animals last year. “I’ve been a big fan of their organization for years. I even had them in my will of charities I would leave money to. The question everyone’s asking is, why, with the huge amount of resources they have, isn’t more of an investment being made in those animals? It’s not that they’re not doing a lot of wonderful things, it’s that all of these animals being accepted, we just are not seeing the aggressive effort to adopt them out.”
At some point, it’s something of a numbers shell game–the Norfolk SPCA took in less than half the animals in 2014 it did in 2011, leaving one to wonder where our society expected those unaccounted for or turned away animals to end up. At some point, it’s something of a game of semantics–the Norfolk SPCA euthanizes around 5% of the animals it takes in.
“PETA has and will continue to make an effort to get adoptable animals adopted through our own doors and through transfers to other facilities, mostly the Virginia Beach SPCA,” said Nachminovitch. “Animals for adoption are routinely advertised online, via social media (on PETA’s pages and others’), in print publications, fliers, and more.”
PETA also makes a habit of taking on other city’s problem animals. Last year PETA accepted 249 feral cats from the City of Portsmouth. Up until recently the outgoing answering machine at a Portsmouth Police Department phone line dedicated to animal care instructed citizens to call PETA for help with feral cats.
**
Elsewhere in this building PETA employees are devoting their lives to protecting animals who are being sprayed with perfume and make-up products in their eyes and mouths; animals involved in experiments (in one test series alone PETA saved the lives of 4 million animals); animals used for entertainment (like the elephants who will no longer be beaten or paraded through the streets); and the billions of animals tortured and bloated full of antibiotics and growth hormones in the factory farming industry.
The scenes that play out in the factory farming industry are more horrifying than anything Stephen King ever wrote. Sweet little animals, tortured by the billions, because they don’t have the voices to speak for themselves, because they don’t have the hands to free themselves, because their don’t have the complicated collection of facial muscles to form frowns of distress that humans can recognize. They are tortured by the billions because they taste good.
To call the notion that people who work at PETA don’t actually love animals absurd is to give it too much credit. Like any organization of its size, PETA isn’t perfect, of course, and an amount of thoughtful criticism is not just expected, but helps them evolve. But what’s said about PETA is something very different. It’s a singular rancor, a vulgarity, a beguiling hatred that many in our society exhibit toward the group. It’s so intense–so screaming and pounding–that one gets the sense it is a din meant to distract from something else. It’s my junior psychologist interpretation that the maniacally intense pronouncements toward PETA are a projection of the way factory-farm supporting people subconsciously judge themselves.
Anti PETA by DelphiMember200
PETA, according to the Internet.
I offered this theory to Newkirk, who responded: “A friend of mine said, ‘How can you talk about killing dogs when your breath smells of dead animals, when your coat is made of dead animals, when you have shelves of products tested on animals… how can you talk about no kill?’ I do believe it’s a defensive reaction. Don’t tell me what to do, I’ll tell you what to do.”
The mood, as Mr. Feld from the circus might put it, has been slower to evolve surrounding some of the other issues that PETA advocates for, such as the humane treatment of the pigs that become the best part of a BLT, the cows that become our Big Macs, and the chickens that become our Chick fil A. What happens to these animals on the route to our plates is, to any moral being, sinfully inhumane. You, reading this, know it; you don’t need me to give you details or link to articles. The fact that the factory farming industry is an abomination against the supposedly evolved stature of our species has reached the collective consciousness, if it has not yet shifted the mood.

“It is always possible to wake someone from sleep, but there is no amount of noise that will wake someone who is pretending to be asleep,” wrote Jonathan Safran Foer in his spellbinding book, Eating Animals.

To recognize the central nobility of PETA’s work is to also acknowledge the central immorality of an industry, and food lifestyle, that can feel intractably interwoven with the way we see our country and ourselves.
It’s so much easier to hate than it is to go through the process of evolving, which is really, really hard.
*
When conversation turned to the euthanasia process, three of the four PETA employees gathered for the interview started to cry.
“It’s a big overdose of anesthesia,” said Brown. “We treat the animals like they’re our own. It’s the most precious gift I could give someone. I stand outside the door hearing people cry with their animals. I couldn’t image us not being there. Not just turning the animal away but the people away. We’re right there with them, grieving with them.”

Brown also does fieldwork for PETA, finding animals who are being abused, and helping them. They conservatively estimate that last year PETA employees put in over 25,000 hours in the field, where they regularly find animals humans have allowed to wallow at the doorstep of death. There can be love in death, and death in love. The nasty things people say about PETA affect Brown sometimes.
“You can’t help but take it personally,” she said. “But we’re laser focused on the animals. Throw at us what you want, and we’re still going to do the right thing for the animals. Of course it hurts. It’s scary to think about our services being limited. Even if you can’t be respectful of us… Don’t criticize us for those numbers when those are your numbers as well.”
Your numbers, my numbers, all of our numbers. In a perfect world there would be public money put toward rehabilitating every animal with behavioral problems, but that’s hard to imagine in a society that doesn’t rehabilitate its abused human children. In a perfect world there is money for surgeries for every sick animal, but that’s also hard to imagine in a country where so many vehemently oppose health care for all humans. These animals don’t get saved by leaving a comment online calling PETA the devil and then going back to daily life. Many of them, in fact, are beyond saving, it’s just that other facilities don’t have the guts–or moral certitude–to do it themselves.
*
We walked to the room where the animals spend their last final conscious moments on earth. “This is sacred territory,” a sign above the table reads. “Leave your stress and troubles at the door. In here, only the animals we serve matter.”
petttta4

“Those animals stay with me. I have memories, and nightmares,” Brown said. “We’re there speaking for all of them.”

All the anger toward PETA, and the “kill vs. no kill debate,” is also a nightmare. The solutions to this problem are every pet being spayed or neutered; in no one ever getting a pet from a breeder or pet store as long as there are animals in shelters; in a sea change of compassion that recognizes the humanity of these animals–all animals–who love us so damn much.

“If all of the energy targeted toward PETA was put toward solving the crisis…” said Nachminovitch, “it’s the animals who would actually benefit.”

When I asked Newkirk what three words she would want to come to mind when the average person thinks of PETA, she said, “Kindness, kindness, kindness.”
And the mood continues to shift, mirroring the lived compassion of humans, the glow of soul we share with all of the animals whose pain we recognize, and soothe.
Anyone interested in fostering or adopting is encouraged to contact PETA at adopt@peta.org This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .