Really, really odd editorial attacks animal welfare and Cory Booker

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I found a very odd editorial today on the New York Post website. It was one of those columns where the text strayed so far enough away from reality that you keep thinking the punchline is coming and it’s revealed as tongue-and-cheek.

Writer Eliyahu Federman calls out Senator Booker for being a vegan. And then Federman cries that Booker would have the nerve to promote his position. Isn’t that what every elected official does?

Would Federman ever call out an elected official for agreeing on Federman’s position on abortion (for example), but then slam that elected official for promoting that position with legislation? It’s just really odd to read someone suggesting that politicians are wrong for simply promoting a political position.

Federman also doesn’t seem to support a bill to limit the use of antibiotics in livestock. The writer does not realize how important that effort is.

The writer goes on to praise Booker for rescuing pets in trouble or homeless. And then slams Booker for promoting a no-kill shelter. It is clear Federman doesn’t know what a no-kill shelter is.

Quote – “This was just silly: The need to “put down” sick, aggressive, injured or suffering animals may be a sad reality, but it’s one that even The Humane Society and PETA recognize.”

Federman just didn’t bother to look into the issue. “No kill” doesn’t mean the shelter doesn’t euthanize suffering or aggressive animals. Why would people who shelter animals allow suffering?

It’s fine if Federman doesn’t like Booker. That’s politics. But slamming him in an area where Federman is not at all well-versed was a huge misstep.

Federman calls it “animal-rights extremism.” So not eating meat and voting for bills that promote public health and promoting shelters are extreme positions to Federman? Really?

Federman’s editorial actually serves to paint Booker as a very compassionate person who cares about issues beyond his own back yard. Since I’m not familiar with Federman’s previous writings, maybe it’s possible that this was the actual mission.

If so, the editorial succeeded in being a promotional piece for Booker.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

The promotion of horse racing is disgusting

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This time year, with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness coming up, some networks are busy promoting horse racing. Of course, NBC is worst offender, as it televises this nonsense every year.

Thankfully, we are seeing actual news coverage of horse racing. We just action in response to these stories.

Credit goes to the New York Times for being one of the news outlets actually engaging in journalism on this topic. Back on March 24, a story ran under the headline – “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys.”

The subhead read – “The new economics of horse racing are making an always-dangerous game even more so, as lax oversight puts animal and rider at risk.”

The article reports an extremely troubling statistics. An average of 24 horses die at tracks across the US – EACH WEEK!

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

The attacks on the Humane Society, ASPCA and PETA are really attempts to block anti-cruelty efforts

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It happens constantly. An article or column or blog post reports on an undercover video showing abusive acts inflicted on animals or reports on legislative efforts supported by animal-welfare groups – and the attacks follow in the comment section.

People crawl out to slam PETA, the Humane Society of the US, the ASPCA or whatever group might have taken the video or pushed for the protection of innocent animals.

It’s time to call it what it is – pure propaganda in an effort to divert the reader’s attention from the effort to protect animals from abuse.

Every time an HSUS representative is quoted in an article about an anti-puppy mill bill, the propagandists slam the organization with wild accusations that show the person commenting is clueless to what the mission of the group really is.

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PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

PETA’s video report on the abuses in horse racing

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PETA released the following report this week, with undercover video concerning the horrors of horse racing. The New York Times focused on the news as well.

When profit motives are mixed with animals – most notably here with animal racing – the outcome is routinely horrible for the animals.

Now is the time to ban horse racing and greyhound racing. For every day that passes, horses and dogs are dying at alarming rates, while countless more are suffering.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Clueless commentary misrepresents the animal-welfare movement

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Once again, we find someone trying to justify the abuse of animals – as somehow something that should be protected as freedom.

An individual named Michael Rubin produced an editorial for Commentary Magazine, which was posted on March 19 under the headline – “Are Animal-Rights Activists Really Concerned About Animals?”

The writer jumps into two huge propaganda strategies often used by those who wish to defend the abuse of animals. He calls it “animal rights” and he attacks PETA.

In reality, the movement is about animal welfare and yes, we feel animals should be protected from abuse. If he wants to call that animal rights, fine. But anyone suggesting animals should not be protected from abuse is way over on the extremist end of the scale.

And look, PETA is PETA. It sometimes uses provocative means to draw attention to animal abuse. No matter what opinion anyone might have about PETA, talking about it does nothing to alter the reality animal abuse.

But Rubin goes beyond these two diversions to defend the use of animals – particularly elephants – in circuses. First, the use of hooks to train elephants is terrible. Secondly, elephants belong in their natural habitats.

He claims elephants are “healthy and stimulated” in circuses and “often become bored and depressed” when their entertainment days are over. And he uses the typical greyhound-racing defense in calling them working animals. And then he attempts to make two wrongs into a right by suggesting the dangers of poaching means it’s okay to pull them from their habitats for circus entertainment.

The far better option is putting the full effort into protecting the habitat from poaching.

Rubin certainly has a right to express his opinion in a commentary, but this doesn’t mean he can get away with misrepresenting the animal-welfare movement. And certainly he needs to educate himself in the area of animal suffering and self-awareness.

And getting back to the headline, he does nothing to show “animal-rights activists” are not concerned about animals.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

No-Kill advocate Winograd vs. PETA

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There is a back-and-forth building between no-kill advocate Nathan Winograd and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Winegrad and others have slammed PETA for the number of animals euthanized at its shelter in Virginia. PETA has responded by stating the dogs there are too unhealthy or too dangerous to adopt out. Officials there claim the animals taken into the shelter are from surrounding areas and have been rescued from horrible situations.

The charge is that 96 percent of the animals taken in during 2011 did not make it out alive.

Now, an International Business Times article reports PETA has responded with a video, suggesting no-kill shelters are turning away pets when their kennels are full and are telling those showing up to drop animals off that they will need to do so at local municipal shelters.

This sort of debate has been going on for some time now. I tend to try to separate myself from this back-and-forth. Animal welfare groups don’t need to go after each other, when the villains in the story are those who are the source of the problem. While puppy mill operators and people who continuing allow their pets to breed new homeless pets continue to hide untouched the shadows, this debate goes on.

Maybe there’s enough blame to spread around, but the focus should be placed on those who are the source villains.

I fully support the efforts of the no-kill shelters, but until we fix the problems, the euthanasia of homeless pets will continue. Until our state legislatures get serious about puppy mills and funding spay/neuter programs and join forces with animal welfare groups, the problems will go on. Until the federal government gets serious about these problems, they will go on.

Until those who are uneducated about the need for spaying and neutering and about the horrors of puppy mills become educated, it will be difficult to fully solve the problem.

We’ve ALL got to work together – within a Pack Mentality – to solve this crisis. Far too many homeless are dying every year. We can make excuses, but excuses don’t save lives.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic