Wednesday, April 4, 2007

PETA Kills Animals, NAVS Doesn't


A couple of entries ago, I got a comment from a reader about PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals].  She asked if I knew they got caught killing animals. I was not aware of this. However, I have wondered why PETA has been keeping a low profile lately. So I Googled PETA KILLS ANIMALS and I found a website devoted to the issue:


http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petaKillsAnimals.cfm

I also found an article in the San Francisco Chronicle entitled Better Dead than Fed that really takes PETA to task for what they've been doing to animals that should be adopted out [sorry if this link is kind of temperamental]:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/06/23/EDG11DC9BK1.DTL

Here's an excerpt:

DON'T BE FOOLED by the slick propaganda of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The organization may claim to champion the welfare of animals, as the many photos of cute puppies and kittens on its Web site suggest. But last week, two PETA employees were charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty each, after authorities found them dumping the dead bodies of 18 animals they had just picked up from a North Carolina animal shelter into a Dumpster. According to the Associated Press, 13 more dead animals were found in a van registered to PETA.

If you would like to give money to an animal rights group that believes in kinder, gentler tactics, there is one I can recommend -- NAVS.  The National Anti-Vivisection Society.  They've been around since the early part of the last century. 

Years ago a friend of mine went to work for NAVS, which wasn't NAVS then, it was still The National Anti-Vivisection Society, an impossible name to say let alone remember. It took years for them to wise up and shorten their name to NAVS. Now you can Google NAVS and their long, endless name comes up.

At the time my friend went over to the dark side, PETA was, and still is, the sexy animals rights group. They had the easy name and the media spotlight.

I didn't realize that there were activists who didn't believe in throwing blood on people who wore fur. I also assumed they all would get in your face if you weren't a vegan. Or picket your house if you called your dog and cat 'pets', instead of "companion animals."  NAVS, it turned out, was more middle of the road, although they finally asked a receptionist to find other employment when she kept wearing a fur coat to work.

One day my friend called and asked if I would write some radio PSAs [commercials] for their group. And I went over to the dark side myself for several years.

I learned right away that NAVS was a more rational, less volatile organization. They kept a low profile. I could still feel safe if I accidentally wore leather shoes to meetings, or carried a leather purse, and I never felt pressured become a vegan, although I tried to eat salads when we went to lunch. I liked the fact that the executive director was a mom with five kids, which said to me that she wasn't going to put anybody in harm's way to attract media attention. Unfortunately with their long, impossible name and unwillingness to start riots, nobody had heard of them.

With an unfortunate name and a dearth of PR, I am sure YOU'VE never heard of them either. Not that I, personally, didn't do my best to try to help raise awareness. After my friend called, I wrote and produced radio PSAs for them over several years.

Radio stations sometimes have a hole in their line up of commercials because someone cancels a spot, so they will run a PSA from some non profit group that can't afford the price of a thirty or sixty second commercial. The more they like your commercial, the more airplay you get.

Every time the very amusing or sometimes, heart-tugging, spots I wrote aired around the country, NAVS would get a load of calls at their 800 number. But still, nothing like the attention PETA's outrageous guerilla tactic PR events have generated over the years. Frankly PETA has overshadowed any other group's efforts  to the point where most people think they're the only animal rights group.

So check out NAVS' web site.  They provide grants to all kinds of worthy animal causes -- from sanctuaries helping to retire chimps from medical testing, to groups who save animals from disasters like Katrina.

They offer large, detailed models of frogs to schools so kids don't have to kill and dissect animals in science class. They even have computer programs for medical students so they don't have to practice operating on live dogs, which are always put down even if they could survive.

One of the most useful things they offer is a book that lists all the companies that don't test on animals. Especially the cosmetic companies, where testing on animals is not only cruel, it is not required.  

You can Google NAVS and find them. Or, here's a link:
http://www.navs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=index

If you do contact them, tell them Mrs. Linklater sent you.

2 comments:

mutualaide said...

Off to check it out.  Thanks for a worthwhile post.  Uhm, that is not to say that your other aren't --nevermind, I'm making it worse.

ladeeoftheworld said...

PETA and NAV are both excellent groups.  PETA didn't kill animals.  A misguided not-too-bright human did.

I do a lot of animal rights work.  I'm actively involved in several organizations. While I admit I find PETA's antics a bit over the top, I support them 100%.