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Joe Miele's response is below
"Clueless" Animal Rights Activists
by Virginia H., August 2005
The dissention in the ranks of animal rights advocates is
one of the primary reasons sighted by outsiders for ignoring all of us. There
are many examples every day. Here's just one.
Joe Miele's circulation of negative information about
animal rights activists continues. This time he poured fuel onto the fire of
destructive information from other media sources about Jim Willis (that
information was wildly misleading at best, as we've later learned). We're
accustomed to this sort of "search and publicize all negatives" from the Center
of Consumer Freedom, and others against animal rights.
From Joe Miele:
Jim Willis is a steadfast
defender of "responsible breeders." Please
read the following quotes: Peace, Joe
"I bred only a couple of litters
myself, and was very selective about whom I would allow to take the kittens.
That experience gave me an opportunity to learn about the tremendous
responsibility individuals have to breed in order to improve breeds and
protect their longevity. I also learned about the abuses and cheating of
"I have friends who breed and show animals responsibly, and rescue animals.
I respect that."
Please read the interview at the link he provided and draw your own conclusions.
Here's what I noticed: The
interview was 4 years old. Joe could have said "Jim Willis has defended
responsible breeders." Instead, Joe chose to say "Jim Willis
is a steadfast defender of ...."
WHY does Joe go the extra mile to paint a negative
picture of Jim Willis. And WHY, when Jim needs support the most from his fellow
AR advocates, does Joe find something negative to say and feel compelled to run it up the flagpole.
To what end? What is the intent?
Joe has said, when asked about this, that he didn't write the articles from which
he was quoting. But his quotes hurt the AR movement and give fuel to those
against our movement. Thus, these actions can hurt animals. His defense is the
same as that of a person wearing fur and saying,
"But I didn't kill it." Joe should know better.
Perhaps you'll appreciate the irony of an animal rights
activist (me) criticizing an animal rights activist (Joe Miele) for circulating
an article criticizing
and animal rights activist (Alicia Silverstone).
Joe Miele's circulation of an article critical of Alicia Silverstone (see below)
calling her "clueless" was widely circulated by Joe through animal rights support groups
such as Penzelda and AnimalsInNeed.
It is widely known that few people have done as much to
help animals as Alicia. Yet, with one (admitted) mistake, she is lumped in with
callous celebrities such as JLo. Shame on animal rights groups for thinking that
this criticism doesn't turn off people to our movement. Nobody wants to join a
movement that requires perfection to avoid personal attack from their own.
And none of us, even vegans such as myself, are perfect (I
recently learned the bakery that I frequent is owned by a man who supports his son's
hobby as an avid hunter to far-off locations).
Circulating Joe's letter has turned people away from our
movement (six have written us, calling our entire movement "hypocritical" and
"impossible"). Losing support will cost animals their lives.
To what end did the circulation of the article serve? Even if the result of criticizing Alicia
was a million
e-mails and letters to her, complaining about her faux pas, those e-mails and
letters couldn't accomplish anything (except dishearten). Alicia was aware of her mistake. Activists'
time was wasted. This also costs animals' lives.
Alicia Silverstone Clueless About Mendels Fur Links
Actress and animal activist ALICIA SILVERSTONE twice sported a gown
designed by J MENDEL despite the fashion house's penchant for using fur.
The vegan star has previously forced successful US clothing company ANNE
KLEIN ditch a fur jacket from their range, and refusing to wear not just
fur and leather but also silk and wool on her now-cancelled television
show MISS MATCH.
But crafty Mendel persuaded the sexy 28-year-old to wear one of their
silk dresses to the Los Angeles premiere of her new film BEAUTY SHOP,
according to PAGE.SIX.COM, and it didn't occur to Silverstone that the
garment was made in the same factory as their fur clothing.
Silverstone said in the past, "I think wearing fur is unacceptable...The animals are tortured so badly. Nobody should be wearing fur."
A spokesperson from animal rights organisation PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL
TREATMENT OF ANIMALS (PETA) insists, "She frequently writes personal
letters to designers. She wants them to stop using fur."
I noticed that you seem to have a problem with some of the things I post to
animal rights e-mail lists. That's fine, as long as the information you quote
On your page
you say some things that are not true. From this page I quote "Joe Miele's
circulation of negative information about animal rights activists continues."
You then paste half my e-mail. To be fair, you should post the rest of it which
also contains pro-breeder statements made by Mr. Willis.
" Good breeders, if they don't look beyond their own circle, won't know what I
am talking about, because they are breeding for both conformation and
temperament. Unfortunately, because they are good breeders and are home-raising
a limited number of puppies, they are not the major supplier of Basset puppies
in the US, and that's a sad fact now true for every breed."
"Nurture is critically important, which is why I advise getting an older puppy
home-raised by a competent breeder, and why I think puppy mill-born dogs
transported long distances to mall pet shops is one of the WORST recipes for
creating companion animals."
Perhaps posting this would undermine your argument?
Jim Willis is the source of this negative information, not me. The words are
attributed to him and it is he that you should take issue with for supporting
breeders. Mr. Willis is indeed a steadfast defender of "responsible breeders."
In private correspondence I had with Mr. Willis several months before the tragic
fire, Mr. Willis continually defended his position that we should support
"responsible breeders." When confronted with the statistics that prove the
tragedy of companion animal overpopulation, Mr. Willis refused to accept that
all breeding is irresponsible and should never be condoned.
If you have evidence that Mr. Willis has had a change of heart on this subject,
I would be happy to see it. I will then issue a retraction of my earlier
e-mail. If you do not, then I would appreciate you removing the line where you
wrote: "Joe Miele's circulation of negative information about animal rights
activists continues." Mr. Willis is not an animal rights activist, and your
very web page is the source of the information. If you did not wish it to be
circulated you should not have posted it to a public web site.
Also, you incorrectly wrote " Joe has said, when asked about this, that he
didn't write the articles from which he was quoting." This is incorrect and I
would appreciate it being removed it from the web page. No one asked me
anything about the Alicia Silverstone article (which is factual in content) nor
did anyone question me on the Jim Willis quotes (which are also factual, if your
web page can be trusted as a source).
If you take issue with the things I write you can always come to me directly. I
will provide you with references to back up my statements. If you choose not to
do this and instead to write things about me on your website, make sure you have
your facts straight.
I look forward to any evidence you have that proves that Mr. Willis does not
support breeders, and I also look forward to your removing the incorrect
information about me that you posted to your website.