I figured that this would be a good place to let all new members learn about why I ([Name removed by request], the group host) created this group and what it's all about.
You see, I love animals. All animals. As you can see from my profile page, I spend a lot of time campaigning for the not-so-cute-and-cuddly animals out there that are often forgotten in discussions of animal welfare, for example snakes, other reptiles, and sharks. I am adamantly opposed to animal cruelty and will fight - hard - against it whenever and wherever I can. So why would I oppose an organization called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals? It sounds so perfect, right? The truth is, that there are numerous reasons why I oppose PeTA!
1. PeTA Kills Animals
Yup, that's right. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals... kills animals. Since 1998, PeTA has 'put down' (euthanized) 23,640 perfectly adoptable kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats - instead of finding homes for them. PeTA’s Animal Record report for 2009 (these reports are filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) reveals that PeTA killed 97% of the dogs and cats in its care last year. During all of 2009, PeTA found adoptive homes for just eight pets out of the 2,366 it took in. PeTA opposes no-kill shelters and founder Ingrid Newkirk advacates the killing of all pit bulls - she wants the breed abolished. Learn more about Newkirk's and PeTA's animal-killing ways here.
2. PeTA Opposes Pets
I don't know about you, but I love my pets - I currently have two snakes, one Russian tortoise, and five cats. I pamper them and give them the best lives I possibly can. But PeTA does not want me to have them. This is not some sort of propoganda - PeTA opposes the keeping of pets. According to their website, "We at PeTA very much love the animal companions who share our homes, but we believe that it would have been in the animals' best interests if the institution of 'pet keeping'—i.e., breeding animals to be kept and regarded as 'pets'—never existed." PeTA also considers pet keeping to be "This selfish desire to possess animals and receive love from them..." PeTA even backs HR 669, a ridiculous and scientifically-bogus bill that would severely restrict or even outright ban the keeping of many types of animal companions (particularly those considered "exotic pets"). PeTA will tolerate the keeping of domesticated animals as pets in the meantime, but as their goal is "total animal liberation", PeTA's hope is that the entire concept of a 'pet' will eventually be phased out - something Ingrid Newkirk admits.
3. PeTA Opposes Zoos
Zoos are very important for wildlife education and conservation. They invest significant sums in conservation and habitat restoration efforts and instill a lifelong love of wildlife and a desire to protect it into many who visit them. I know that if it wasn't for the repeated trips to the Oklahoma City Zoo with my family as a young child, I would not have developed my love and concern for wildlife as strongly as I have. Moreover, many modern zoos (at least in the USA, where I live) have come a long way from the tiny, barred cages of the past, and now strive to provide "enriched environments" for their animals that realistically replicate the animal's natural habitat. Yet PeTA still opposes zoos, claiming that they are 'prisons' that steal animals from the wild and 'enslave' them for human entertainment - and ignores the fact that not only are most of today's zoo animals captive-bred, but many species of animals thrive in captivity, which is contrary to PeTA's calim that all zoo animals are 'deprived' and 'suffering'. Those arguments of PeTA's that are legitimate and sensible are really arguments for zoo reform, not total abolition of zoos. PeTA is correct that many zoos (as well as aquariums such as Sea Circus, er, I mean "Sea World") are truly cruel and crooked institutions. But good zoos, such as Australia Zoo and aquariums such as Monterey Bay , most definitely exist and these should be supported rather than condemned.
4. PeTA Disrespects Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) was a wildlife icon and a friend to animals everywhere. His entire message was one of love, respect, protection, and appreciation for wildlife. But PeTA could care less, branding him "The Crocodile Harasser", a "cheap reality TV star", and claiming that "Irwin invaded animals' homes, netted them, taped their mouths shut, removed them from their natural environment, and used them as living props". After Irwin's death, PeTA's Dan Matthews stated that "It comes as no shock at all that Steve Irwin should die provoking a dangerous animal. He made a career out of antagonizing frightened wild animals, which is a very dangerous message to send to kids.” PeTA later refused to apologize to Irwin's family for this statement.
There are others as well, but these are the major reasons why I, an animal lover, oppose PeTA. If you love animals but oppose PeTA for any reason, please join the group!