(Originally published February 11, 2008)
Once upon a time, I thought that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was okay. I admired founder Alex Pacheo's successful effort to free the Silver Spring monkeys: take a look at the photo here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Spring_monkeys and you'll see why that effort was necessary.
But that was then. This is now. And if a report by Lisa deMoraes in today's Washington Post is correct, tonight PETA will cross the line between being merely off the wall to being downright despicable. The vehicle for such outrage: a PETA commercial scheduled to run after tonight's telecast of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Here is a link to the commercial:
To equate buying a dog from a responsible breeder (I'm not talking about puppy mills here) with causing the death of an animal shelter dog is ludicrous. Reputable breeders do far more than PETA to promote the spaying and neutering of canine companions, not to mention the adoption of unwanted dogs into loving homes. Writer and blogger Christie Keith -- who's been involved in both breeding and rescue -- correctly points out that "there is no reason to kill ... animals [in shelters] or stop preserving dog or cat breeds through breeding. You can do both." Which is, in fact, what many breeders do.
I've acquired dogs from reputable breeders, and I've adopted dogs from shelters -- and l have loved them all dearly. I've volunteered for shelters and rescue groups, and I'll continue to do so. But tonight and tomorrow night, I'll watch Westminster without guilt.