Is PETA Justified In Killing Healthy Animals?

On the subject of whether PETA is justified in their stance that all and feral cats should be rounded up and killed instead of using TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and all pitbulls should be killed:

I’m 41 years old and have been rescuing nonhuman animals for over 30 years now. For the past 4 years I’ve been “officially” rescuing, socializing, and re-homing stray and feral cats (I’ve been Vegan for 2 years btw). I currently have 15 in my rescue (my 2-room apt.) and my family has 8 more in the other section of our house (15 rooms in a broken down 130-year-old home in Ct.).

I don’t hate any one person or any group of people. I try not to hate at all. I try to focus on love, respect, justice, and kindness, for all sentient beings.

However, there are some things I dislike very much about PETA.

PETA kills 85% of the healthy animals that are surrendered to them (not euthanizes, that is a term that means killing only in the circumstances of catastrophic illness or injury). PETA’s stance on pitbulls (as stated publicly by Ingrid Newkirk herself) is that they should all be killed, simply because they are “dangerous.” Despite the fact that smaller dogs account for a larger proportion of the attacks on humans each year.

Newkirk also believes that all healthy feral and stray cats should be rounded up and killed, “to prevent their future suffering.”

In my work, I’ve had to release some cats back to where I trapped them. Believe me, it was not my first choice. If I could have found homes for every single animal, I would have gladly done whatever I could to see them safe and sound indoors for the rest of their lives. However, there are just not enough safe homes for animals around here as we would want. A small percentage of cats, even with socialization (and I’m an expert on that) will not tolerate staying inside for the rest of their lives, especially when they’ve lived most of it outside. It’s a hell of a job trying to get most feral cats to even tolerate being touched, let alone being kept indoors 24/7. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just difficult.

Still, I managed to get at least 45 kittens and quite a few adult cats adopted out in the time I was most active in rescue. I TNRed many, many more.

Would it be better to put all the stray cats in homes? Of course. Are there some strays that will die a painful, slow or pointless death? That would be yes as well. But the truth is, many of those cats can live perfectly long, healthy lives if they are taken care of in feral colonies by responsible, loving people. We need many, many more of those people.

Killing healthy animals by the thousands is not only not going to help this problem, but it will actually make it worse. Taking strays and feral cats out of their neighborhoods and killing them actually increases the number of cats in those neighborhoods, since the ones left behind will ramp up their reproductive cyles to fill the niche left by the missing cats. TNR actually halts that process and decreases the number of cats overall. I’ve personally seen this happen many times.

And killing them is incredibly immoral. Killing healthy animals is not the answer, no matter how you dress it up as “humane” or “painless.” The truth is, nonhuman animals have a fundamental right to live out their lives free from the threat of being killed simply because we don’t want to be responsible for their suffering. Guess what? We are responsible. We got them into this mess, and killing them is NOT the way to get them out. It makes much more sense to give them moral justice and be compassionate at the same time.

True justice means choosing to let healthy animals live their lives and face their end on their own terms, not arbitrarily choosing to end the lives of some because we can’t find a better solution than to just destroy who we can’t control. We can never know for sure which cats will live long, happy lives outdoors and which ones will suffer. Justice is not always about reducing suffering. There is a moral reason to allow nonhumans to remain outdoors, if your only other option is to just kill them outright.

“TNR has been going on for many years and apparently it does not work, otherwise there would eventually be no more feral cats.”

1. Killing healthy animals is immoral. It does not matter if it “works” or not (it doesn’t, it makes more cats, not less). If you think it’s not immoral, then why not just kill homeless humans too? Because you think humans matter more than nonhumans? We don’t. Each nonhuman values their lives just as much as each human does. Might as well kill millions of humans to reduce their population too.

In addition, each life of each individual “prey” animal is not more important or valuable than each life of each cat. Killing is not the answer. It never is.

2. TNR has never been done on a large enough scale to effect the entire population of cats in each country. There are still huge numbers of cats in large numbers of areas in many countries where TNR has never even been considered… those people either just ignore cats or kill them in a misguided attempt to curb their populations. And cats travel when they need new food sources or territories. So unless enough people stop supporting killing of healthy animals and start contributing to the TNR efforts, we’re going to keep having these problems.

Plus, it’s not a case of “we TNR cats for ____ years and then we’re done.” It needs to be mandatory until domesticated cats don’t exist anymore. If we stop TNRing while there are still cats extant, the problem will just resurface. We don’t need more people thinking that it’s morally justifiable to violate nonhuman rights through thinly disguised violence, no matter how well-intentioned. What we need is for more people to go Vegan and educate others on Veganism, which will eliminate the problem of domestication entirely. And in the meantime, the only morally justifiable stopgap measure is TNR, combined with rescue and feeding our nonhuman family Vegan wherever and whenever possible.

3. Human breeding of cats is still ongoing. Even if we TNR almost all the ferals and strays, we’re still going to have more intact cats getting out into the wild and adding to the homeless cat population. Breeding for fun and profit needs to end.

Newkirk and PETA also regularly praise the people who institutionally exploit animals so they can sell flesh, dairy, eggs and honey for their “Happy Meat” and “Humane Slaughter” programs.

All of the big “Animal Organizations” are corrupt and useless when it really comes to helping animals in any significant way. If you want to understand why, I have some info here:

Sub-Section 1B16b5:
PETA:

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/media/links/p2900/newsweek-magazine.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/nathanwinograd/photos/a.159167054107547.34833.159092957448290/776534612370785

“Deconstructing PETA’s Thinking”:
http://thevegancommunicator.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/deconstructing-petas-thinking

“PETA: A Corporate Tangle Of Contradictions”:
http://veganismisnonviolence.com/2012/04/02/peta-a-corporate-tangle-of-contradictions

“When Sex Doesn’t Sell: Using Sexualized Images of Women Reduces Support for Ethical Campaigns”:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pone.0083311

“PETA fat-shames in ‘Save the Whales’ campaign”:
http://feministing.com/2009/08/17/peta-fat-shames-in-save-the-whales-campaign

“PETA Names Part-Time Animal Abuser and Misogynist Ricky Gervais Person of the Year”:
http://veganfeministnetwork.com/peta-names-part-time-animal-abuser-and-misogynist-ricky-gervais-person-of-the-year

“PETA cool with lobster death – if at the White House”:
http://washingtonexaminer.com/peta-cool-with-lobster-death-if-at-the-white-house/article/2530980

“PETA employees’ prosecution exposed a shocking (and deadly) practice”:
http://www.examiner.com/article/peta-employees-prosecution-exposed-a-shocking-and-deadly-practice

“PETA’s Death Cult, Part 1: Celebrities Getting Naked in the Name of Euthanasia”:
http://dysarm.com/petas-death-cult-2

“PETA’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad History of Killing Animals”:
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/petas-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-history-of-killing-animals/254130

“Controlling an animal as deadly as a weapon” or how PETA advocates killing all pitbulls:
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Controlling-an-animal-as-deadly-as-a-weapon-2629558.php

“Don’t turn your back on feral cats” or how PETA advocates killing all feral cats:
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Don-t-turn-your-back-on-fe-by-People-for-the-Eth-101022-19.html

“Strange but True… PETA’s stance on Feral Cats…”:
http://www.feralchange.org/#!petas-policy-on-ferals–seriously/c10cq

https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/the-moral-confusion-in-single-issue-campaigns

We don’t need PETA, HSUS, ASPCA, and all these huge, bloated, “Animal Charities” to save all the homeless cats and dogs, completely put an end to domestication, and help all the animals of the world. What we need is for me and you and everyone else to go Vegan, rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication and educate others about these issues.

If you’re not already Vegan, and you think animals matter morally, then please go Vegan. It’s easy and great for you, incredible for the animals, and wonderful for the planet. If you’re already Vegan, please educate non-Vegans about why they should go Vegan. Please rescue, volunteer, adopt, foster, spay, and neuter the nonhuman refugees of domestication whenever you can. Please feed your nonhuman family Vegan where you can. These things are the most important, morally responsible things to do and are desperately needed by everyone.

To learn more about Abolitionist Veganism and the issues I’ve outlined in this post, check out The Master List Of Vegan Info:
https://legacyofpythagoras.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/master-list-of-vegan-info

Disclaimer: My only goal with this list is to produce as comprehensive a resource for Vegan information as possible. I am 100% Abolitionist Vegan and 100% against exploitation of nonhuman or human animals, any type of violence against human or nonhuman persons or property, welfare regulation, any form of speciesism, ethnic bigotry, genderism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., any of the large governmental or non-governmental nonhuman animal organizations, “happy meat,” vegetarianism, veg*nism, Meat-Free Mondays, or other forms of reductionism and anything else that makes it seem like any form of violence or exploitation of animals is ok. If any of those positions are endorsed on any site in this list, or any language is used to imply that, it’s not that I included that link because I agree, but simply because I don’t control every bit of information on all of these sites.

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19 thoughts on “Is PETA Justified In Killing Healthy Animals?

  1. Free-roaming domestic house cats and feral cats are a non-native invasive species in North America. Yes, I know that humans are the predominate invasive species, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Cats kill native birds and mammals. Cats also disrupt the food chain for the birds and mammals that they do not eat. TNR has been going on for many years and apparently it does not work, otherwise there would eventually be no more feral cats. Some people even look for feral cat colonies as a place to drop off their own unwanted cats. There are also well meaning “cat people” who rather than see a single cat be put to death, keep tens if not hundreds of cats in their own homes. Eventually the A$PCA and the health Department get called to clean up the mess.

    • “TNR has been going on for many years and apparently it does not work, otherwise there would eventually be no more feral cats.”

      1. Killing healthy animals is immoral. It does not matter if it “works” or not (it doesn’t, it makes more cats, not less). If you think it’s not immoral, then why not just kill homeless humans too? Because you think humans matter more than nonhumans? We don’t. Each nonhuman values their lives just as much as each human does. Might as well kill millions of humans to reduce their population too.

      In addition, each life of each individual “prey” animal is not more important or valuable than each life of each cat. Killing is NOT the answer. It never is.

      2. TNR has never been done on a large enough scale to effect the entire population of cats in each country. There are still huge numbers of cats in large numbers of areas in many countries where TNR has never even been considered… those people either just ignore cats or kill them in a misguided attempt to curb their populations. And cats travel when they need new food sources or territories. So unless enough people stop supporting killing of healthy animals and start contributing to the TNR efforts, we’re going to keep having these problems.

      Plus, it’s not a case of “we TNR cats for ____ years and then we’re done.” It needs to be mandatory until domesticated cats don’t exist anymore. If we stop TNRing while there are still cats extant, the problem will just resurface.

      3. Human Breeding of cats is still ongoing. Even if we TNR almost all the ferals and strays, we’re still going to have more intact cats getting out into the wild and adding to the homeless cat population. Breeding for fun and profit needs to end.

  2. Wanting to believe that “no-kill” is the answer is understandable, but turning a blind eye to the reality of what life is like on the streets is not. Dogs and cats need love, attention, play and to be part of a family … not sitting in cages waiting for a home that does not exist or struggling to survive for another hour on the street. . I applaud PETA and all the open-admission humane societies for doing the heartbreaking, thankless work and those who are condemning them are in profound denial about the scope and scale of this crisis.

    • “I applaud PETA”

      The problem is that PETA is against rehoming healthy animals. Ingrid Newkirk has openly stated that. I suggest you think harder before applauding an organization that murders thousands of healthy animals each year. Why? Well, would you do that to the homeless humans that live in this country?

      I would suggest you consider your speciesism before answering.

  3. What does a Vegan feed the 15 cats that they keep in their two room apartment? Any complaints from the neighbors?

    Why do free-roaming cats get special treatment? If there was a single free-roaming dog (or other domesticated animal) loose in my neighborhood then the animal control officer would be there to remove them within minutes. They would not be TNR’d.

    And yes, I do value the lives of the native animals that once lived on my property more than the non-native cats that roam there now.

    • “What does a Vegan feed the 15 cats that they keep in their two room apartment?”

      Vegan cat food.

      “Any complaints from the neighbors?”

      You asking about the dog-abusing religious nuts next door, or the crack dealers, hookers, thieves and dog-fighting gang-bangers down the block?

      The only non-criminal neighbors I have are all taking care of multiple strays as well.

      “Why do free-roaming cats get special treatment? If there was a single free-roaming dog (or other domesticated animal) loose in my neighborhood then the animal control officer would be there to remove them within minutes. They would not be TNR’d.”

      There are many places in the world where dogs are allowed to roam free and are taken care of by the populace rather than murdered. Many of those places see very little violence caused by animals. The overwhelming amount of violence is caused by humans against dogs.

      This indicates the need for Vegan education, NOT murdering healthy animals.

      “And yes, I do value the lives of the native animals that once lived on my property more than the non-native cats that roam there now.”

      Pure speciesism.

      • But isn’t valuing the lives of the invasive non-native cats over the lives of the native species who lived on my property for decades (if not centuries) before the cats arrived, speciesism as well? I will give first priority to the rabbits, chipmunks, mice, cardinals, etc.

        And yes, I know humans are the invasive species and that Native Americans were on my property before I was.

      • “But isn’t valuing the lives of the invasive non-native cats over the lives of the native species who lived on my property for decades (if not centuries) before the cats arrived, speciesism as well?”

        That’s like saying that we should kill homeless humans in order to stop them from being non-Vegan.

        Killing is immoral. It doesn’t matter if you’re killing one to save a million. That one didn’t value their life less than those million.

        HUMANS are the ones responsible for making the mess of cats preying on other nonhumans. To punish the cats for our mistakes is ludicrous in the extreme. Killing healthy animals that value their lives and their interests AS MUCH AS HUMANS VALUE OURS is immoral, and ridiculously stupid to boot.

        The more homeless cats we kill, the larger the population gets. You DO understand why, right?

        The more cats we make by killing cats, the more prey animals suffer for it.

        There’s a different way that doesn’t involve killing. The Vegan way is to never participate in the option that involves MORE suffering, which killing the cats does, for cats AND prey animals.

      • So if we kill cats, then the cat population gets larger? This doesn’t make sense. It’s like saying that if the invasive non-native cats kill more native animals, then the more native animals there will be.

        Some people have a definite preference for the rights of cats over the rights of native wildlife, and that’s speciesism.

      • “So if we kill cats, then the cat population gets larger? This doesn’t make sense.”

        Actually, it makes perfect sense, if you understand the biology of cats. When you trap and kill cats in a specific area, there is an opening in the territories adjacent to other cats territories. Intact females that are in the adjacent territories reproductive cycles will actually ramp up in order to fill those now-open niches. Since you may have more than one female having more litters at the same time in order to fill those open territories, you will now end up with 2 times as many cats as could fill them, or more. So you have more fighting, and hence more disease from wounds, and more suffering. And many more cats, when those intact cats breed.

        However, when you TNR, the cats are put back into the same territories, which keeps the population down AND new cats from entering, which means the existing cats will live out their lives without breeding while allowing you to find and TNR the rest that you haven’t gotten yet.

        The only way you could use killing to end the problem, is if you could simultaneously trap ALL the intact cats and kill them all… which is not only near impossible, but would cost a shitload more money than TNR AND IS UNBELIEVABLY MASSIVELY EVIL.

        Oh, and there is new evidence that there are a surplus of homes for adoptable pets, AND cats don’t harm native habitats… they actually help them.

        Face it… killing is immoral, AND it doesn’t work. Just start TNRing already.

        Oh and go Vegan.

      • Now I wonder why bother to neuter the cats at all. We wouldn’t neuter poor humans because they already have too many children. Or do we just say that cats have a right not to be killed, but they have no right not to be neutered? Same thing for dogs. Don’t they have a right to breed and to roam free? Or do they just have the right not to be killed?

      • Usurping their bodily integrity is not an ideal thing, but it beats the alternative. When faced with 2 inevitable evils, the only morally justifiable thing to do is choose the lesser of the two.

        As I recall, you’re not Vegan, am I right?

      • I only eat a “plant-based” diet (to maintain my own good health), but I’m not a Vegan in the sense that you are. I still enjoy reading what you write whether I agree with it or not, and I find value in our discussions.

      • Right on. I forgot exactly what your stance was because there someone else with a similar name and I keep mixing you 2 up.

        In your estimation, what is it that you do or think that separates you from being a Vegan?

  4. Pingback: Master List Of Vegan Info | The Legacy Of Pythagoras

  5. Pingback: Welfare-Watch: Observing The Moral Confusion In Animal Welfare And Single-Issue Campaigns | The Legacy Of Pythagoras

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