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Direct Action Everywhere says killing animals is violence:
Despite being well acquainted with the killing, Direct Action Everywhere chooses to look the other way because associating with PETA means exposure and prestige for its own organization, even when doing so violates the principles they claim to champion.
DxE calls on people “to recognize that every silent act of acquiescence, which we rationalize as a matter of ‘convenience’, ‘decorum,’ or ‘bridgebuilding’, is a betrayal of the individual animals whose brutally-tortured bodies are screaming out for us to stand up for them.”
DxE further calls on everyone to “to speak and act with the political urgency and rhetorical clarity that would be the natural result if we were the ones whose heads were on the chopping block” because “every animal (human or non-human) has an equal right to be safe, happy, and free.”
Yet, they do not extend these rights to the thousands of animals PETA kills every year. Instead of speaking and acting with “political urgency and rhetorical clarity” against the killing, DxE partners with PETA, standing side by side with members of that group at collaborative protests, thereby encouraging the public and the grassroots animals rights community to ignore PETA’s killing and regard PETA as a legitimate voice for animals.
Wayne Hsiung, the founder of Direct Action Everywhere, went further, calling Newkirk “brilliant,” stating that she has “astounding strength of character,” and that she is “the leader this movement needs.” Although well aware of PETA’s duplicity, Hsiung prostrated himself before Newkirk, calling his past criticism of her organization “untimely” and “unwise.” What did she do to change his mind? She gave his organization “a huge shout-out” at the 2016 Animal Rights Conference, a conference where ground rules for speakers specify that no one is allowed to criticize, or even mention, PETA’s killing to the thousands of activists who attend. Instead, conference organizers, beholden to PETA for sponsoring the conference, encourage attendees to do what Hsiung did: lionize and celebrate those who kill.
Ingrid Newkirk will give the keynote at “California Convergence,” a DxE conference in Berkeley on Oct. 20, 2017.
This outspoken embrace of Newkirk not only condones and amplifies PETA’s views that dogs and cats should be killed, it legitimizes an animal killer to a whole new generation of animal rights activists, increasing PETA’s power, wealth, and influence and enabling PETA to use those to the great detriment of companion animals in shelters, in homes, and in our communities.
This photo, taken by a PETA employee, shows pit bull dogs killed by PETA.
People who love animals don’t celebrate those who harm them; they condemn them. People who champion animal rights don’t give a platform to the views of those who advocate for, even practice, their systematic and relentless killing; they speak out, loudly and without equivocation, for animals threatened with violence and death. And people who turn a blind eye to the killing of one group of animals because they benefit from a relationship with their killer lack the moral authority to condemn others for doing the same.
If the people of Direct Action Everywhere want to teach the people what it truly means to respect and stand up for animals as its members have claimed its mission to be, they must start by first practicing what they preach, and what the many other vegans who have already rejected PETA have done: repudiate rather than collaborate with animal killers. Otherwise, the important message Direct Action Everywhere members claim to be championing in our public spheres will continue to be tainted by the hypocrisy of their messenger.
Because partnering with animal killers is not activism; it’s violence.