Ok ... my reactions to yesterday's article are as follows...
PETA's position on the killing of rescued fighting dogs is a blaring example of the graven contradictions to be found within PETA's policies and actions. It reminds me of people that claim to love animals, yet continue to eat them. You cannot truly care about animal rights and welfare and turn around to gorge yourself on their flesh. Along those lines, you cannot truly support the ethical treatment of animals and turn around and advocate their murder.
These dogs were victimized by humans from the start - trained to fight and kill for "sport" and "entertainment". The arguable position that they are "unsafe and unserviceable" is due purely to human influence. Killing them, because it would be easier for us, isn't much different than continuing to eat them for the same reasons. Caring for animals, advocating for them, doing everything you can to ensure they are not enslaved, tortured, and slaughtered means that you don't eat them and certainly don't advocate their death when the alternative will take a bit of time and effort on our part. It is our responsibility to ensure dog-fighting, and other crimes against animals, stops. But until it does, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to rehabilitate both the animals and the humans involved.
Ingrid Newkirk has completely lost sight of herself and her mission. With disdain, she refers to these animals as "celebrity dogs" while PETA parades every celebrity they can sink their claws into in front of us all - clad in chard dresses and lettuce bikinis.
She states that rehabilitating these dogs isn't a good use of time and money, which is comodification at its most insidious. And she does so apparently without a thought of the money that PETA spends on their questionable ad campaigns and ridiculous media stunts. Couldn't that money be better spent? Like ... I don't know ... on animal rehabilitation programs and no-kill shelters.
According to Nathan J. Winograd, author of Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopluation and the No Kill Revolution in America, shelter killing is believed to be the leading cause of death for healthy dogs and cats in the United States.
Newkirk goes on to state that the Vick dogs are "the least likely candidates for success". Um ... so we should just kill them? These dogs are the way they are because humans trained them to be that way, similar to the effects of bad parenting on children. So when a child victim of abuse comes forward to report his or her abuser, should we kill them as well? Perhaps. After all, it'll take a whole lot of time and money to normalize them. It may be in our best interests, as a society, to become friends with their abusers instead, much like Newkirk has done with Vick. That way, we can take advantage of their fear of being held accountable for their crimes and use them as publicity tools.
I'm being sarcastic, of-course, in case you can't see the snark oozing out of your computer monitor.
Finally, Newkirk goes on to fault Best Friends Animal Society and other proponents of rehabilitation, stating that the Vick dogs simply produce a "much more exciting story that comes with money attached to it."
What?! Did that just come out of the mouth of PETA?!
Hi pot. Meet kettle.
I think Rhoden did a great job with this article and I wholeheartedly agree with his conclusion: "If a dog can be rehabilitated, rehabilitate; if a life can be saved, save it."