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PETA/Center for Consumer Freedom

So, Spored to Death sent me an email about the Center for Consumer Freedom's claims that PETA kills animals. Two PETA employees were charged with maliciously killing animals by euthanizing them, illegally disposing of dead animals, trespassing, and obtaining property by false pretenses back in 2005 in Virginia. Considering PETA is supposed to be an animal rights organization, this seems pretty outrageous. My first thoughts were "who the heck is the Center for Consumer Freedom, really?" and "PETA's crazy enough to do something like this."

Ok. First question. Who is the Center for Consumer Freedom. The Center for Consumer Freedom is a front for the tobacco, restaurant, alcohol, and meat industries. They used to call themselves the Guest Choice Network. It was founded by Rick Berman, a lobbyist whose firm represents the tobacco companies, beer distributors, hotels, and restaurants. This group goes after anyone or any organization that criticizes tobacco, obesity, alcohol, and pesticides as well as anyone pro-environment, pro-animal rights, etc.

Berman launched the Guest Choice Network in 1995. Its initial funding came entirely from the Philip Morris tobacco company. "I'd lke to propose to Philip Morris the establishment of the Guest Choice Network," Berman stated in a December 11, 1995 letter to Barbara Trach (http://www.prwatch.org/documents/berman/berman600k.pdf), PM's senior program manager for public affairs. "The concept is to unite the restaurant and hospitality industries in a campaign to defend their consumers and marketing programs against attacks from anti-smoking, anti-drinking, anti-meat, etc. activists. ... I would like to solicit Philip Morris for an initial contribution of $600,000."
In a 1999 interview with the Chain Leader, a trade publication for restaurant chains, Berman boasted that he attacks activists more aggressively than other lobbyists. "We always have a knife in our teeth," he said. Since activists "drive consumer behavior on meat, alcohol, fat, sugar, tobacco and caffeine," his strategy is "to shoot the messenger. ... We've got to attack their credibility as spokespersons."

They like to use the "nanny" angle to make their arguments more attractive to people. As you all know, nothing whips up outrage in an American more than the thought of someone trying to tell them what to do. We never did quite get over that aspect of our teen angst phase. If you want to get them frothing at the mouth, start in with the "for your own good" stuff. It extends beyond laws that force people to do something (wearing your seatbelt, for instance). They don't even want to know what the issue is. They don't want you labelling their food with information, they don't want to hear any reports that say what they're doing might be unhealthy. Somehow, they manage to equate staying ignorant about something with being independent. Gotta love that teen angst.

Second - PETA's crazy. Well, in fact, they are. They do the craziest things that makes me wonder if they're actually a front for the meat industry. When Timothy McVeigh was on death row, these lunatics asked him to become a vegan.

I believe that your decision to go vegan would help the movement for compassion toward animals, and I am certain that if you made the choice prayerfully, it would profit your soul. As a Christian, I believe in acts of repentance, and it seems to me that you might benefit very much from such an act.

You'd think there would be some more productive way they could promote animal welfare and veganism, right? But no, let's go get a guy who murdered over a hundred people to become a vegan. That's how we're going to convince people and win them over to our cause. At the very least, if they're going to preach veganism, they should start with their own. PETA employees are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian. Some of them are. Some of them aren't. If they think veganism is the way to go, shouldn't they be working on convincing their own staff instead of some guy who everyone hates and is about to be executed?

Things like this make me suspect that they just want people to think animal rights proponents and vegetarians are cracked in the head. I feel they hurt more than they help. So, now, 2 of their staff are accused of killing and dumping animals that could have made good pets. Not only that, PETA is being accused of killing thousands of animals all the time. What is their response? Is it shock and dismay at what was done in their name? Is it a denial of such ridiculous charges that PETA would kill animals? Have they suspended both employees until such time as the investigation is completed? Alas, no.

[T]he president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Friday that animal cruelty charges against two employees won't stick.
Hinkle has been suspended from her job until the investigation is over. Cook remains on the job, according to PETA.

And i particularly like this gem:

"PETA has never made a secret of the fact that most of the animals picked up in North Carolina are euthanized," Newkirk said.


So, there's no denial that the animals were illegally killed by the staffers. They just object to the accusation that they killed them cruelly. And regardless of innocent until proven guilty, as some sort of good faith gesture, shouldn't they do something to restrict the work the second employee is doing? Mebbe keep him on desk duty? Why was Hinkle suspended and not Cook? Well, according to the PETA president, Cook was just along for the ride. Um....yeah, but, doesn't that mean he was also along for the killing and the dumping?

And what about this line about how they never made a secret of "euthanizing" most of the animals they picked up? It doesn't exactly properly address the accusations. She's basically saying, "I don't understand what all the fuss is about. We never said we didn't kill animals."

OMG. My head hurts. This is the group fighting for animal rights? Now do you see why i think they're a front?

What do you do if both sides are despicable? Wait it out and hope they kill each other off.

By min | June 26, 2006, 1:25 PM | Liberal Outrage