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Problems with PETA

For many years I have had a shop on CafePress. As with this web site I use the shop to promote responsible pet ownership, a love and respect of the animals that share our lives, and dog related activities. Recently CafePress announced that it was going to directly promote and encourage four charitable organizations. Among them was PETA. I can only assume that the powers that be have a very shallow understanding of PETA. They are certainly no friend to our companion animals. I thought that reprinting my letter to CafePress might help explain.

I am deeply disappointed in the CafePress decision to support PETA. I am actively involved in educating and encouraging improvements in our relationships with our companion animals. PETA is no friend to cats and dogs. Given the past pet friendly history of CafePress I cannot fathom the support of such a pet unfriendly organization. Has CafePress really changed that much?

PETA's kill rate in their "shelter" exceeds those of most comparable shelters. In 2007 they killed 1,815 of the 1,997 animals they took in. In 2008 PETA killed 2,182 out of the 2,216 dogs and cats impounded. More than 75% of shelters do a better job than PETA, with fewer resources. These kill rates are documented in the records of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Has CafePress simply failed to investigate the charities it supports, or does it truly wish to contribute to this behavior? In a December 2, 2008 interview with George Stroumboulopoulos of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Ingrid Newkirk agreed that PETA does kill adoptable animals. Mr. Stroumboulopoulos asked: "Do you euthanize those pets, the adoptable ones, if you get them?" Ms Newkirk responded: "If we get them, if we cannot find a home, absolutely." PETA's kill rate can be explained in part by the fact that many of the animals they took in never got the chance for adoption. They went directly from pickup to death.

You could hardly have missed the news reports on the arrests of PETA employees Andrew Benjamin Cook and Adria Joy Hinkle for the dumping of freshly killed dogs and cats. Note that PETA did not condemn the killing, only agreed that dumping the bodies was against policy. Many of those killed without any opportunity for adoption were puppies and kittens.

If you like, ignore the PETA critics and take the facts as they are. What could possibly logically explain the PETA kill rate, the behavior of the PETA employees, and their support by PETA?

Is CafePress also anti-pet? That is what PETA is about. They believe that domestic animals should not exist. Their actions described above are perfectly in keeping with that belief, which is why the arrested employees were supported, not condemned, by PETA.

While local organizations (e.g. BAD RAP) advocate for the welfare of pit bulls by providing support, mentoring, consultation, and education, PETA advocates for banning them entirely. Such advocacy based purely on genetics is hardly something I would expect CafePress to support. Yet, as can be seen in this newspaper article PETA is perfectly willing to use a tragedy to further their goal of eliminating Pit Bulls entirely. "The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked Dorchester County Council to ban or restrict new ownership of pit bulls after Brian's death."

Breed bans have done nothing for public safety but have resulted in killing thousands of family pets based on nothing more than their genetics. How can CafePress support an organization with such twisted policies?

At the moment I'm ashamed to have a store on CafePress. I feel like just selling things through CafePress makes me complicit in the support of an organization that exhibits what I see as reprehensible behavior toward our companion animals. I hope that CafePress will investigate and reconsider their support of this animal unfriendly organization.


Diane Blackman


Note the PETA tries to explain their kill rate by claiming that the animals were not taken in for adoption, that the owners surrendered them to be killed. Problem Number One with that explanation - If it is true, then PETA falsely reported numbers to Virginia. The reporting is required for animals taken in for the purpose of adoption. If it was never intended to offer the animals for adoption then they should not have been reported as shelter animals. Problem Number Two - Any organization with a tiny fraction of the resources of PETA could save most of those animals through evaluation and rehabilitation. Problem Number Three - in court testimony in the case of improper disposal of the killed animals shows that the people turning them over to PETA expected at least a good faith attempt to find them good homes.

You should also notice what happens when people report numbers, truthful numbers, that are unflattering to PETA. They threaten lawsuits. The remedy for unflattering speech is not suppression but satisfactory explanation. In researching factual information I noticed that several links to PETA were no longer valid. For example, PETA used to explain their philosophy on pit bulls on their own site. Those who disagree with PETA linked to it as evidence of their complaint. Does the disappearance of those pages indicate a change of policy or hiding of it? We can't tell.


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Copyright © 2010, Diane Blackman     Created: Decemeber 31, 2010     Updated:    

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