Thursday, June 21, 2012

Save animals from the gas chamber - support Daniel's Law

Having previously posted on the use of gas chambers in animal shelters, I feel compelled to inform my readers of Daniel's Law, which will ban the use of gas chambers in US states; named for Daniel the "Miracle Beagle," who survived a gas chamber in an Alabama shelter. He was subsequently rescued by Eleventh Hour Rescue and placed in a loving home in New Jersey. Fittingly, Daniel was named for the Biblical figure who survived being put in the lion's den.

Daniel's Law is currently in the process of being passed in Pennsylvania, and Daniel himself has a profile on Hero Dog Awards, where you can vote for him and/or make a donation.

According to his profile,
Daniel has taken nicely to the fun-loving life of a dog in a house with four other dogs. However, Daniel has also become quite the celebrity with appearances on local, national, and worldwide news outlets, highlighted by an exciting appearance on Anderson Cooper Live. Such renown has brought Daniel the opportunity to make a difference. Daniel’s adorable face and affable personality have made him a hero dog to thousands of his other canine brothers and sisters as he has become an advocate for shelter adoptions and anti-gassing laws in various state legislatures. "Daniel's Law" will soon be passed in Pennsylvania to outlaw the use of the gas chamber.
Just click on the links above to see how you can show your support for Daniel's Law, either by spreading awareness, writing to your local senators, or making a donation.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Help me find a home for Riley!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Humane Society of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota, here is the mission statement from their website:
The Humane Society Fargo Moorhead is a non-profit organization dedicated to:
  • The prevention of cruelty to animals
  • The education of proper and humane care of animals
  • Finding permanent, loving homes for our animals
The Humane Society Fargo Moorhead (officially known as ‘Humane Society, Inc’)  was organized  in 1966 to serve the animals and communities of Cass and Clay counties. We are a pound rescue organization that takes in animals from the three municipal pounds after their time is up and their owners have not claimed them. Before the animals arrive at our facility, they are examined by veterinary staff and given all the appropriate vaccinations. These animals stay with us until they are adopted and we provide medical care as needed. Every effort is placed into the rehabilitation and placement of all of our animals. 
Our Mission is to care for, protect and place animals for adoption in life long homes, and to prevent cruelty to animals by educating our community in the proper and humane care of all animals. 
We are located in the Yunkers Farm Park in North Fargo. Please stop by for a visit! 
1201 28th Avenue North
Fargo, ND 58102
I came across Riley's photo and he reminded me of my own cat, Caramel. When I read his story, I knew I had to help this poor darling find a home. Doesn't he look like a sweetie?

Poor Riley...he's been waiting nearly 6 months for a home. Six months ago, a man stopped into our shelter with his daughter's cat...she left it with him, and he was on his way to Mpls. and threatened to just dump the cat alongside the road on his way out of town. That's how Riley ended up in our care... He was lucky in that we had been able to prevent him from being left like that, but unlucky in the fact that he's been with us for so long. Riley is much like Plato, the office cat, in some respects. Neither tolerate large amounts of petting, and Riley seems to get some entertainment out of "play biting" when he gets overly stimulated. But that's no reason he should have to sit in a kennel for months on end...who knows, perhaps some of it is out of pure frustration from the situation he is in. So, let's show Riley some love and find him a new home soon!
My Caramel has that "play biting" habit as well, and was given up by his previous owner, but luckily never had to spend any time in a shelter; he was delivered directly to me. Every cat should be so lucky.

Riley is a domestic short hair, not declawed, and up to date with his vaccines. For more information, visit the FM Humane Society's website. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A lesson in saving your pet with CPR

I came across this photo on Facebook and knew it was essential that I shared it with everyone I know. Humans aren't the only ones that can be saved with CPR. 

Those wanting to do further research on first aid for pets can look into taking classes with PetTech, or downloading the Pet Saver App on your iPhone, iPad or Android. Another useful source is

There are also books on the subject available on Amazon, or the Red Cross Store.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The truth about greyhound racetracks

We’d like to believe that certain forms of sadistic entertainment are a thing of the past, such as dogfighting, cock fighting and bear baiting. While the public endorsement of such blood sports has declined, they are far from being a thing of the past; underground fighting rings are frequently raided by police, while other exercises of animal cruelty are publicized to audiences who lack knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes. One of these blood sports is greyhound racing.

Greyhounds are an ancient breed thought to have originated in Egypt. Sometime before 900 A.D., they were brought to England by traders, and later brought to America by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. They are the fastest dog breed in the word, able to run up to 40 miles per hour. They are intelligent dogs with a gentle, laid-back disposition, and are generally good with children. Because they are often timid, early socialization is important. Their coat is smooth and short, therefore easy to groom. Aside from a brisk daily walk, they are relatively low maintenance and make wonderful pets.

In pop culture, racing greyhounds are often portrayed as pampered pets of the upper class that revel in racing and win big trophies. In reality, the daily existence of a racing greyhound is no picnic.


These dogs spend the majority of their lives in crates, pens or fence enclosures, with limited human contact, for 18-22 hours a day. Bedding in these enclosures are things like shredded paper or patches of old carpets. Many tracks use wooden crates, which are not only fire hazard but are also hard to clean; as a result they are often urine-soaked and unsanitary. 

Animal welfare investigators often find the greyhounds infested with fleas and ticks, carrying potentially deadly diseases. Rescued greyhounds more often than not test positive for worms and parasites—illness that are easily preventable with vaccinations. Dermatitis is also common, along with bad teeth and gums. The dogs also often suffer from untreated injuries, such as missing or broken toes, broken hocks and musculoskeletal injuries.

Not only that, thousands of wild and domestic rabbits are killed in the greyhounds’ training process every year, as the dogs are made to pursue and kill them in order to learn to run faster. Although the use of live lures is illegal in most states, these laws are often difficult to enforce.

Also unsanitary is the diet of most racing dogs. They are routinely fed what is known as 4-D meat, the meat of dead, dying or diseased animals. The meat is sold cheap as it is deemed unfit for human consumption by the USDA. Predictably, dogs that are fed this diet often get seriously ill.

At this point you may be wondering, why are the greyhounds treated so badly if they’re a source of income for their owners? Surely an unhealthy dog wouldn’t be a good racer. It wouldn’t be practical to mistreat a moneymaker, right?

Well, caring for dogs costs money. Neglecting dogs is cheaper.

In most cases, the owner/investor of a racing greyhound is not the same person who is responsible for the day-to-day care of the dog; that’s left up to the trainer and their assistants. The owners only have to sit back and let the dogs bring in the money.

Given that greyhound racing is first and foremost a business, the dogs themselves are expendable, depending on how much money they generate. Every year the industry breeds tens of thousands of greyhounds in an attempt to produce “winners.” Although the average lifespan of a greyhound is 10-12 years, racers are usually disposed of after 4 years in order to bring in a fresh batch; sometimes younger dogs are disposed of due to injury or lack of racing potential.

Once they’re not useful anymore, they’re either put up for adoption, sold to research labs, returned to breeding facilities where they serve as breeding stock, or sent to foreign racetracks in developing countries.  Thousands of these greyhounds are euthanized each year due to lack of available homes, including around 7,000 puppies at breeding farms deemed ineligible for the racetrack, and another 11,000 retired dogs. Given that money is the top priority, these greyhounds are often disposed of with the least expensive methods, such as gunshot, bludgeoning, abandonment and starvation.

Of course, the wellbeing of greyhounds does not matter to the state racing commissions that oversee and regulate the industry. Their primary function is to protect the state’s financial interest; therefore the industry is not governed by the federal Animal Welfare Act or any other such laws.

Luckily the Human Society of the United States has been doing its part to investigate industry abuses and initiate and support legislations to ban greyhound racing. They also educate the general public of the inherit cruelty of the industry, thereby gaining more momentum for the movement. Seven states—Idaho, Maine, North Carolina, Nevada, Vermont, Virginia and Washington—have banned greyhound racing, while 46 tracks operate in 15 other states, 19 of which operate seasonally; the rest operate year-round. Two of these states widely publicize the sport on local news outlets.

The only reason the sport became legal in many states was because lawmakers thought they were a way to raise revenue. However, the industry has taken a nosedive in the past twenty-odd years, and the generated revenue currently amounts to less than one percent of a state’s annual income.

So not only is it inhumane, it’s also economically unsound. Tell me, why is this still legal?

If you would like to take part in banning the practice of greyhound racing, head to If you’d like to look into adopting a retired greyhound, head to or check your local animal shelters. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nim Chimpsky by Elizabeth Hess

Hindsight is 20/20, especially when it comes to scientific studies that are revealed to have been miscalculated only in retrospect. Such is the true story behind Project Nim, an experiment that revealed the long-term consequences of exploiting a primate for research. A result of interviews and historical records collected by journalist Elizabeth Hess, Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human is a tragic, funny and maddening story of misguided attempts at scientific advances resulting in animal cruelty, and a character study of a much loved yet much mistreated chimp.

Project Nim was an attempt on the part of Columbia University psychologist Herbert Terrace to disprove Noam Chomsky’s theory that the capacity for language belongs exclusively to humans. Taken from his mother at birth, Nim was placed in a human family in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and raised as one of the children, while taking lessons in American Sign Language. Yet as human as he was, it soon became clear that Nim’s feral nature could not be contained, and the experiment was subsequently deemed a failure. When Project Nim ended, the chimp was abandoned by the only family he knew, and rotated throughout various facilities, from a chimp breeding farm to a medical research lab. It was his signing ability—along with the fame he amassed as a result of the study—that would save his life.

Given that Project Nim took place during the 70s, the personal dramas of the people involved were influenced by the zeitgeist of the era: a time of increasing political activism, hippie culture, the sexual revolution and women’s liberation. By detailing the cultural backdrop, Hess successfully provides some rhyme and reason to the uninformed and deplorable actions on the part of the researchers, from substance abuse and marital infidelities to punishing Nim with solitary confinement. Additionally, Hess always makes it clear that there are few clear-cut heroes and villains, and that their intentions, whether good or bad, have little bearing on the outcomes.

Hess characterizes Nim himself as not unlike a human child: mischievous, playful, unruly, and endearingly creative in his means of disobedience. But the professionals involved would eventually realize the hard way their own cardinal sin of anthropomorphizing a primate; a fact that became clear during attempts to socialize Nim with other chimpanzees after a lifetime spent with humans. What appears infuriatingly obvious to modern readers was not so to these seemingly intelligent psychologists and linguists whose actions are now considered not only despicable but completely foolish.

Alternately humorous and heartbreaking, Nim Chimpsky is a story that needs to be told; a cautionary tale of the treatment of animals as research subjects, and the unpleasant truth about the price of scientific discovery; as much a morality tale, and a fun, charming story, as it is an educational biography. 

When did saving animals from extinction become Sophie's Choice?

You would think that saving animals from extinction is a pretty straightforward goal, right? Not at the St. Louis Zoo, where zookeepers "are increasingly being pressed into making cold calculations about which animals are the most crucial to save." According to a New York Times article by Leslie Kaufman, "Some days, the burden feels less like Noah building an ark and more like Schindler making a list."

For example, the priority of saving the ruffed lemurs - a species native to Madagascar - from extinction is currently taking precedence over the lion-tailed macaque:
Now scores of these black-and-white ruffed lemurs are being bred here at the St. Louis Zoo and at other zoos across the United States as part of a broader effort to prevent their extinction.  
But Ozzie, a lion-tailed macaque, will never father children. Lion-tails once flourished in the tops of rain forests in India, using their naturally dark coloring to disappear into the height of the jungle. Though there are only about 4,000 remaining in the wild, not one among Ozzie’s group here in St. Louis will be bred. American zoos are on the verge of giving up on trying to save them. 
According to Dr. Steven Monfort,"the director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, part of the National Zoo in Washington," this means of unnatural selection is due to zookeepers placing entertainment value above conservation, and thus lacking the resources to save more species and not neglect others:
Dr. Monfort wants zoos to raise more money for the conservation of animals in the wild and to make that effort as important as erecting fancier accommodations for their captive collections. Zoos, he said, should build facilities — not necessarily open to the public — that are large enough to handle whole herds of animals so that more natural reproductive behavior can occur. And less emphasis should be placed on animals that are popular attractions but are doing fine in the wild, like African elephants and California sea lions, Dr. Monfort said, adding that they should be replaced with animals in desperate need of rescuing.
He wants all zoos within the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to aim higher on conservation efforts. “I am comfortable with raising the standards for zoos so that eventually it will be harder and harder to be accredited unless you are doing that,” he said in an interview. “If you can’t keep up, then you probably need to be dropped off the bottom.”
Indeed, the function of zoos has evolved over centuries, given that the first zoos were purely for the entertainment of the general public:
In their first century, American zoos plucked exotic animals from the wild and exploited them mainly for entertainment value, throwing in some wildlife education and a touch of preservation. When wilderness began disappearing, causing animals to fail at an accelerating pace, zoo officials became rescuers and protectors. Since the 1980s, zoos have developed coordinated breeding programs that have brought dozens of animals, like the golden lion tamarin of Brazil, back from the brink.
Some remnants of the olden days still persist, shortchanging species who are currently in need. The article goes on to describe how the St. Louis zoo spent $18 million on a new pool for sea lions - a species that is now thriving in the wild - instead of expanding breeding space for endangered species, or building a new pool for the walruses. This was due to the sea lions' popularity; they were the ones drawing in the crowds, not the walruses.

However, focusing more on the endangered species is not as easy as it sounds, as it could lead to overcrowding, which would not be beneficial to a majority of the other animals:
As standards for animal care rise and zoos install larger, more natural-looking exhibits, there is room for fewer animals. 
In the 1970s, the primate house in St. Louis held 36 species of monkeys and apes. Now it has 13. And that narrowing of the species list is likely to continue for another reason. Zoos have come to understand that for animals to reproduce successfully for the long term without inbreeding, they need to maintain much wider gene pools for each animal. There are 64 polar bears in captivity in American zoos, far short of the 200 considered optimal for maintaining the population over 100 years. So zoos have been adding to the numbers of some species while culling others at the same time. St. Louis says it houses 400 more animals but 65 fewer species or subspecies than it did in 2002.
Undeniably, commerce matters, as it brings in the funds needed to expand exhibits and provide more productive habitats for endangered animals. But ideally, once the popular animals bring in the money, it should be distributed evenly among the animals who are most in need of it. But that's just an outsider's opinion, as I am unfamiliar with the inner workings of zoo finances.

The only thing that's for certain is that saving endangered species requires the collective efforts of as many dedicated individuals as possible. Only then can they all have an equal chance to be redeemed from the brink of extinction.

For more information on endangered species, visit the website for the World Wildlife Fund, where you can stay up to date on the latest conservation threats and opportunities to pitch in to save animals in need - both the ruffed lemurs and the lion-tailed macaques, and the walruses as well as the sea lions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chinese Pet Treats Linked to 900 Dog Deaths, Illnesses

PHOTO: Sampson, a 9-year-old fox terrier, died of kidney failure in January. His owners blame his death on Chinese jerky treats.

A recent ABC News article by Cindy Galli details the latest outbreak of pet food-related illnesses and deaths. Pictured is Sampson, a "9-year-old fox terrier" who "died of kidney failure in January." According to his owners, he died of contaminated Chinese jerky treats: 
Just six months after issuing its latest warning about chicken jerky dog treats made in China, the Food and Drug Administration confirms it has logged more than 900 complaints from pet owners who say their dogs either were sickened or died after eating the treats. 
The number of complaints has nearly doubled since the story was first reported by ABC News in March. The FDA says its investigation is ongoing and that it continues to test samples of the popular treats, which dog owners across the country say have caused kidney failure in their pets, resulting in severe illness or death.
The two brands that consumers have complained about are Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch, which are "both produced by Nestle Purina and made in China."

Luckily, Sampson's Terry Safranek,along with other dog owners, are doing their part in spreading awareness of this issue:
Safranek is a member of a Facebook group called "Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made In China," which has grown to 4,500 members and includes hundreds of photos of dogs whose owners claim were sickened or died from chicken jerky treats. 
"We're just the ones who are online. There literally could be tens of thousands of people whose dogs were affected," said Safranek.
The group also keeps its own spreadsheet of victims, ranging from a 1-year old, five-pound Chihuahua named Kiarra to a 111-pound German Shepherd named Floyd.
For more information, and for the latest updates, head to or join the above-mentioned Facebook group. In the meantime, check the labels on any pet treats you buy in the future.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Take Action - Help Ban Animal Gas Chambers

What comes to mind when you hear the term “gas chamber”? The Holocaust, most likely. Its genocide program is perhaps the most widely documented use of gas chambers in history. Within concentration camps, one gas chamber was large enough to kill as many as 2,500 people at once.

Deaths within gas chambers are extremely slow and painful, as the commonly used hydrogen cyanide gas takes its time to suffocate its victim, leaving them gasping for breath, choking on their own vomit or, in some cases, slamming their heads against the chamber walls to put themselves out of their misery. If not killed, Holocaust victims slipped into comas and were subsequently buried alive in mass graves.

Nowadays, of course, we look at such mass cruelty as a regrettable thing of the past; a practice that is thankfully no longer in use. However, that is not the case. Of the 35 states that allow capital punishment, five of them—Arizona, California, Maryland, Missouri and Wyoming –currently still endorse gas chambers, though their use is rare compared to other means of execution.

Humanity seems to have gotten the idea that execution by gas chamber is no way to treat our follow human beings. But somehow, apparently it is still a fairly common means of executing shelter animals.

An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are cared for in U.S. shelters every year, roughly half of which are euthanized. In more than 20 U.S. states, gas chambers are still in use. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) even lists it as an acceptable means of euthanasia.

Think about that for a moment. A method of execution deemed too cruel and unusual for our worst criminals—serial killers, rapists, pedophiles—is deemed acceptable for use on dogs and cats, simply because no one wants to adopt them.

How, by any stretch of the imagination, could this be considered justice?

While cyanide is the most used toxic gas, some shelters use chloroform for animals under 8 weeks of age. Some shelters in Arizona use T-61, a drug that immobilizes and suffocates an animal without causing unconsciousness, resulting in an even slower and more painful death. One shelter in Louisiana employs the use of acrid exhaust gas; its hot fumes burn the animals’ skin and eyes as they suffocate to death.

At least in the case of human prisoners, they know what to expect as they step into the gas chamber. Animals do not. They are placed in a hot box of sorts, hear the hiss of gas, become dizzy and start to panic, clawing at the chamber’s walls, calling for help that doesn’t come. Generally the process of gassing an animal takes about an excruciating half hour; most of this time, they are alert and conscious that something is terribly wrong, though they don’t know how or what. Needless to say there is nothing at all humane about this practice.

Not only is the use of gas chambers inhumane in itself; abuse of gas chambers is common as well. While most shelters require one animal per chamber and close observation of the process, some employees have been reported shoving many animals in the chamber at once and then walking away. Some don’t even bother cleaning the chamber out; they put live animals in with the dead ones who were executed previously.

These horrible chambers have proven dangerous to employees as well. When improperly maintained or mishandled, the toxic substances can cause illness and even death to those in close proximity. There have been numerous cases of shelter workers dying while operating gas chambers.

Thankfully, state legislations have been taking action to end this barbaric practice, as the No Kill Movement gains momentum throughout the U.S. Within the past couple years, 19 states have passed laws that either ban or restrict the use of gas chambers.

In 2003, in a shelter in St. Louis, Missouri, a Basenji mix named Quentin was, miraculously, the sole survivor of seven dogs placed in the gas chamber at once; the first survivor in the shelter’s 64-year history. A shelter employee, moved by Quentin’s will to live, called the Stray Rescue Organization, which gladly took him in. Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue, would later write the book Miracle Dog: How Quentin Survived the Gas Chamber to Speak for Animals on Death Row. Due to Grim’s lobbying efforts, the St. Louis shelter eventually shut down its gas chamber.

In June of 2010, Grace’s Law was passed in Georgia after a shelter dog survived an agonizing 30-minute gassing session. The dog, aptly named Grace, was subsequently adopted, as is now used as a mascot for the No Kill Movement.

Judging from these cases, what we need to do is spread awareness of this outrageously cruel practice and funding for organizations lobbying against it. I am certain that if more U.S. citizens were aware that this archaic form of torture is still in use, the momentum against it would skyrocket and lead to more human laws and practices when it comes to animal welfare.

If you’re anything like me, the thought of gas chambers being used on friendly, healthy and otherwise adoptable animals makes you physically ill. For ways on how to help, I suggest you visit the following sites to find ways on how you can put an end to this unimaginable cruelty.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

ChipIn to help Tigger!

I saw this post by a Facebook friend and thought I should share it:
Please pass this cat Tigger is in the hospital for a urinary blockage. I was told it would be fatal if it is not taken care of. He may need to go to the ER hospital on Sunday...that is gonna up what I have to pay...his sedimentation (sp) rates are still high, and now he refuses to eat...I am going there to try to coax him into eating and to comfort him. I will take a couple of pictures of him too...he is at least being a cranky butt...and that is good because when he came in he would not move even when handled by the vets. I will keep you posted...please please share this...this bill is so high already and if he has to go to the ER clinic overnight that is gonna push it, but I can't risk not having him there if he is still at risk of a reblockage yet. I will keep you guys posted...much love.
Here's the latest update, lifted from Tigger's donation page:
I came home from work to find my cat Tigger unable to walk well, in pain, yowling, not eating, not drinking, and vomit all over the floor. I brought him to the vet and they told me he has a urinary blockage and that without treatment he would die. They said this is fatal. So I am letting them do the treatment. The breakdown of his bill will be shown on a jpeg I post on here when I scan in the bill. Tigger is a 6 year old orange and white furball cat. He is a therapy animal and I am on SSI and barely can make ends meet, and now I will have a huge bill to pay. A rundown of the things he needed:

Examination, Blood Profile Monitor, Anesthesia-Domitor/Torb/Ket, Urinary Catheter, Radigraph, IV Catheter, IV Fluids, Surgical Materials, Hospitalization (1-3 days give or take depending on his needs), Urinalysis with Sedimentation, Examination (Medical Progress), Polyflex Injectable-Ampicillin-250mg/ml, Buprenorphine Injection, Cyproheptadine 4mg, Zeniquin 25mg, Prednisolone 5mg, Feline S/D Cans (2 weeks), Fluid Pump (daily), Tramadol 50mg, and Hospitalization (for today). The bill is aprox 1,120 if no complications, up to 1,500...if there is. 
Tigger is my world. Please help me so I can help him.
As a cat owner myself, I'm saddened by this. I can't imagine watching my own cat suffer this way. If you are willing and able to help out, please visit the donation page and chip in, or pass this on and raise awareness. Every little bit helps!

An animal activist calls PETA out on shenanigans

Greetings, fellow animal lovers, and welcome to Artemis Temple, a blog dedicated to raising awareness of animal cruelty. The blog's title comes from the Greek goddess Artemis, protector of animals (particularly deer, who she considered sacred) as well as Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wilderness, childbirth and virginity. 

Contrary to what PETA may have you believe, not every animal rights activist resembles those bald Hare Krishna devotees from the movie Airplane!, pestering passersby with fliers and flowers until Robert Stack brandishes his Kung Fu skills and takes them all out. Believe it or not, there are some perfectly sane animal activists out there. You’ve just never heard of them because they’re not the ones setting McDonalds on fire. While standing in the parking lot holding signs. In the nude.

Animal Welfare vs. Animal Rights

When I took an animal science class in high school, I was taught the difference between the belief system of animal rights and that of animal welfare. Animal welfare is the term used for the fair treatment and responsible use of animals to satisfy human needs.

An example of an animal welfare group would be Compassion in World Farming, a UK-based organization that campaigns against cruel farming methods, such as the use of live exports and certain methods of livestock slaughter. A better-known animal welfare group would be the ASPCA (the one with those heartbreaking Sarah MacLauchlan commercials). The basic philosophy is that, even when animals are raised to be eaten and whatnot, they must be treated in a humane manner. I say that’s reasonable.

Then we have animal rights, a philosophy that goes above and beyond the rallying cry for fair treatment of animals. Its basic idea is that animals should be afforded the same rights as human beings: the right not to be property and to be part of our moral community. According to this, animals should not be used for food, clothing, scientific research or entertainment. Alright, I see where they’re coming from.

And then there’s PETA, which, time and again, has proven itself to be little more than a group of misguided, attention-seeking and outright silly activists who provoke ridicule with their antics and general inanity. In the process it makes all those in favor of helping animals look like they all have the mental capacity of a goldfish.

Recent act of ludicrousness number one: while PETA has long been known to use sexuality to promote their cause—most often with models and actresses posing nude with a slogan like “I’d rather go naked than wear fur”—the group recently announced its plans to launch its own porn website. Because nothing gets the message across like butts and bosoms, right?

Recent act of ludicrousness number two: PETA released a statement condemning the latest Super Mario game because the title character is portrayed wearing a tanuki suit, thereby sending the message that it’s okay to wear fur. And while he’s at it, he also promotes flying, throwing fireballs and turning into a statue. How dare he?

Recent act of ludicrousness number three: in honor of Thanksgiving, PETA has launched a campaign attempting to convince the residents of a town in Texas called Turkey to change its name to Tofurkey. And while we’re at it, let’s head to the Middle East and change the country’s name as well.

My Beliefs

Although my personal beliefs lay on the cusp between the two philosophies, I lean more towards animal welfare. I respect animals and believe in humane treatment, and I am opposed to the wearing of fur, the use of animals in blood sports and needless experimentations, and the exploitation of animals in circuses and other such institutions. However, I acknowledge exceptions: though I am mostly a vegetarian, I eat fish for medical reasons, and I favor the use of animal testing as long as the experiments contribute to the medical community and the quality of health care. Needless to say I don’t believe animals should vote or run for office.

As an animal activist, I do have some valid things to say, cases to make and causes to promote, and I certainly do not declare allegiance with groups such as PETA. When a sane, diplomatic activist wants to make their voice heard, please listen. Don’t write us all off.