January 29, 2008
As someone who has a journalism degree, I know the difference between a news story and a column ("PETA supporters barking up the wrong tree," Marc Folco, Jan. 27). However, even in a column, it is wrong to print deceptive information.
As a columnist, of course, Mr. Folco can state his opinion. But he does a disservice to The Standard-Times readers by not verifying the accuracy of his information first.
My letter to the editor was intended to point out that what Mr. Folco calls a "reliable news release" is anything but that. It's a biased press release that he didn't investigate. If he had, he would have learned that PETA does not operate an animal shelter and that the animals relinquished to PETA were not intended to be adopted.
Unlike Mr. Folco, I had contacted PETA after reading the Center for Consumer Freedom's press release. According to their response, "PETA provides free euthanasia services for local residents who have very sick, critically injured, or geriatric companions but can't afford to take them to a veterinarian."
PETA also euthanizes animals for shelters in North Carolina, which "has the second-highest kill rate per capita in the country � 35 animals killed annually for every 1,000 residents � and most do not die a humane death. When we step in to properly euthanize animals (at no cost to the participating shelters) as we do in this instance, our involvement prevents animals from being shot to death with a .22 caliber firearm, gassed to death in an rusty metal box, or injected with a paralytic that causes slow suffocation without loss of consciousness. "
For this reason, it is important to adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters and rescue organizations and to spay and neuter one's own pets.
Finally, if one truly wants to help animals, adopting a vegetarian diet is an empowering decision, for in the United States alone 10 billion land animals die each year for their flesh, the majority of which are chickens who suffer terribly.