All animal advocates are not alike. In fact, there are two VERY different viewpoints about how animals should be seen. Today I’ll give a brief primer on the difference in the two camps.
In one camp are the Abolitionists. Abolitionists believe that animals have rights and should not be used by people in any way. They promote a vegan lifestyle. They don’t believe any animals should be used to test any products ever. And they don’t believe animals should be kept as pets. Abolitionists believe wearing fur is wrong because animals should not be used to clothe humans. Period. PETA is an abolitionist organization.
And then there are the Welfarists. Welfarists believe animals can be used by humans, but only if treated humanely. They feel it’s OK to “own” animals. It’s OK to eat animals and animal products. But they do not believe animals should be used by humans when other means are available. For instance, welfarists oppose wearing fur because there are plenty of other options out there that don’t involve killing animals. The Humane Society of the US is a welfarist organization.
On more than one occasion, abolitionists and welfarists have stood on opposite sides of issues relating to animals. We have very different ideas on how animals should be treated, so this is to be expected. One issue the two sides disagree on is what to do with feral cats. Abolitionists believe the best thing to do with them is to kill them- humanely, of course. Welfarists, on the other hand, promote Trap-Neuter-Return efforts to manage populations of unowned cats.
When you know the differences in the belief systems of these two sides, you will better understand why we don’t all get along.
It also makes it less likely you will fall victim to the tactics of those industries that oppose ANY efforts to improve the plight of animals- namely animal agriculture and restaurant industries.
So, when you hear the message that PETA kills animals, or that the HSUS does not give money to local rescues, you have to ask yourself who is spreading that message, and what is their motivation for doing so. Most likely, it’s someone with financial incentive to keep the internal war stirred up.