PETA/HSUS: two sides of same coin

As you may read elsewhere in this issue, PETA recently had its tail caught in a wringer.

PETA is an acronym for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” But most hunters and dog-lovers have long understood PETA, which is a vehemently loud, publicity-seeking anti-hunting band of wackos, has little to do with loving animals.

It’s about scarfing up money from gullible pet owners.

Well, the bloom finally is off that decaying rose, and it was stripped, petal by rotten petal, inside a courtroom at Winton, a tiny Hertford County town whose claim to fame is great hickory shad fishing each spring at the Chowan River, which slowly courses through the Mayberry-like village.

Winton was the site of a trial that revealed PETA, instead of treating animals well, systematically killed dogs and cats it picked up at animal shelters in northeastern North Carolina. Two PETA workers were caught putting dead pets in a Piggly Wiggly dumpster — minutes after they assured shelter employees PETA would have no trouble finding homes for the animals.

The jury-selection process kind of set the tone when a half-dozen PETA lawyers used preemptive challenges to dismiss potential jurors for a litany of barricades to justice such as: (a) wearing a Bass Pro Shops T-shirt; (b) admitting to being a hunter; (c) being a health-care worker; and (d) owning seven dogs. four cats, a rabbit and a fish. PETA couldn’t chance being judged by radicals such as anglers, hunters, hospital nurses and pet owners.

The trial revealed other interesting facts, such as PETA has killed 14,400 pets since 1998. PETA’s lawyers, defending employees Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook, asked Hertford County Superior Court Judge Cy Grant to grant a defense motion to exclude evidence of other crimes. Obviously, Hinkle and Cook didn’t want evidence introduced they had in the past killed more than the 31 dead dogs and cats whose “good home” turned out to be a supermarket trash bin. Judge Grant denied the motion.

But PETA isn’t the major threat to hunters and anglers. The real danger comes from Wayne Pacelle, former Fund for Animals director who now is president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a notorious anti-hunting/anti-fishing group.

Pacelle heads a 10-million member organization with a $120 million annual budget that makes the NRA look anemic. He recently crowed about preventing hog farming in Arizona and beating down the NRA to halt dove hunting in Michigan.

He wrote Jan. 24 in the Ventura County Star: “In congressional contests and statewide ballot campaigns, the 2006 election brought decisive victories for the cause of animal protection and left the callous to lick their own wounds for a change.”

Pacelle likes to quote his mentor, Cleveland Amory, that he’s in the business of “giving cleats to little old ladies in tennis shoes.”

Even though the Winton jury found PETA’s workers guilty only of littering and not animal cruelty, its own hubris and stupidity left PETA’s claims of caring about mistreated animals in tatters. But not to worry. If you know anything about HSUS, any PETA employees who lose their jobs won’t be out of work for long.

I’d bet there’s a fish costume somewhere in an HSUS closet.

About Craig Holt 1382 Articles
Craig Holt of Snow Camp has been an outdoor writer for almost 40 years, working for several newspapers, then serving as managing editor for North Carolina Sportsman and South Carolina Sportsman before becoming a full-time free-lancer in 2009.

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