The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) found itself in the crosshairs of pit bull lovers. Their decision to join a coalition calling for a nationwide ban of pit bulls doesn’t seem to be ethical treatment, does it? In fact, PETA tried to explain it away after the negative backlash, but comes across as even more sinister.
PETA is an animal rights organization, rejecting any assumption of human superiority and the using of animals for human benefit. The organization defines the use and abuse of animals as for food, clothing, entertainment, or as research subjects. Therefore, PETA is not only against things like cock fighting, dog fighting, and bullfighting, but is also against eating meat, fishing, and pest control.
So, to be very clear, in PETA’s worldview, all animals are victims of human oppression, abuse, and exploitation. There is very little gray area here. We are not talking just the inhumane practices of a few. Even the benign treatment of animals is wrong, in their opinion, if that behavior is ultimately for human benefit. This is important to understand in order to realize how bizarre and inconsistent PETA’s position is on pit bulls.
PETA Joins Anti-Pit Bull Coalition
Earlier this month, it came to light that PETA joined a coalition of over 50 pit bull attack support groups. These group’s collective agenda is to have pit bulls banned across the United States, and this includes therapy and police dogs. So, we are talking about even those pit bulls who have done anything wrong.
The coalition is preparing to launch a new website—NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay.com. The stated intent is to bring public attention to the struggles of victims and communities dealing with pit bull maulings and fatalities. The coalition claims attacks have increased over that last three decades, and this coincides with a rising population of pit bulls.
Their call to action is for citizens, policymakers and elected officials to support breed-specific “solutions” to resolve the perceived problem. This includes bans on breeding, and mandated sterilization of all pit bulls. The ultimate goal is to force these types of dogs—labeled as pit bulls—to be illegal within the United States, and to have the existing dogs either euthanized or forced to die out.
PETA’s Longstanding Anti-Pit Bull Position
In PETA’s own words, their position on pit bulls was formed before the organization’s founding:
Let’s be frank here, Ingrid E. Newkirk’s opinion of pit bulls was shaped by human garbage. She worked in an urban area where thugs, gang members, and drug dealers exploited and abused dogs. Her opinion was also shaped by the trash who would raise pit bulls for dog fighting. However, while intellectually PETA seems to understand that it is the abuse causing the dogs to become aggressive, they still label all pit bulls as dangerous.
PETA’s Intellectual Dishonesty
The backlash was so severe that PETA needed to issue a press release on October 19th entitled, Why PETA Supports Pit Bull–Specific Protection Efforts. Protection for who? What PETA supports is a ban of pit bull breeding, and a legal requirement that all pit bull dogs be spayed or neutered.
Essentially, what they support is for pit bull breeds to be forced to die out. They don’t see this as discrimination of pit bulls. They somehow—in their twisted logic—perceive this as the protection of these dogs. They love these animals so much, they believe they just should not be allowed to exist. Does that make sense to you?
The one good point they make is that pit bulls are “macho status symbols.” However, they are “macho status symbols” for a very specific type of human garbage that is abusive and without respect for any life, let alone the life of a dog. That is not the pit bull’s fault.
PETA Is Victim Blaming
Pit bulls are the AK-47 of the dog world. The U.S. Assault Weapon Ban of 1994 forbid the manufacture—for civilian use—of only specific semi-automatic firearms that the law defined as assault weapons. However, much of the ban was based on cosmetics, and left similar weapons available simply because they did not look militaristic. This is fundamentally what calls for breed-specific bans—in this case pit bulls—are doing as well.
What happens if there are no more pit bulls? The filth who exploit and abuse pit bulls will just move on to another type of dog, Any dog can be abused to the point it becomes vicious. It is only the pit bull’s reputation that makes it a target. Causing a certain type of dog to go out of existence changes nothing, except prove PETA’s love of animals has limits based on irrational fear.