POP GOES THE WORLD By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 11 April 2013, Thursday
Taking action even in little, but concerted, ways, can bring about positive change.
Recently, CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) Welfare Philippines, after conducting a social awareness campaign, brought about an end to a planned program by Manila Polo Club to round up and send spayed and neutered cats on their premises to the Makati City veterinarian’s office, where they would be euthanized after three to five days.
CARA’s Tanya Guerrero said on April 6, “We are happy to announce that the Board of the Manila Polo Club has decided to give the club’s cat colony a reprieve. They will work with CARA and their concerned members to establish feeding areas and a vaccination program…We would also like to commend the Manila Polo Club Board for being open-minded and for agreeing to the more effective and humane solution. Thanks as well to all of those who supported this cause and helped spread the word.”
Elimination of the spayed and neutered “insider” cats that have lived at MPC for years would allow non-spayed and -neutered “outsider” cats to come in and reproduce, creating even more problems for MPC. Moreover, cats keep down the rodent population in the horse stables and elsewhere on the premises.
Awareness helps but even if people know about the problem, action must be taken for any change to come about. What’s needed is for caring and dedicated people and groups to actually do something – write letters, make phone calls, approach decision makers.
Be wary, though, of wolves in sheep’s clothing, or those who pretend to be what they are not. The other day, online news source Huffington Post carried a story by Nathan J. Winograd, director of the No Kill Advocacy Center, exposing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s “secret slaughter” of puppies and kittens. It seems that not all of the animals brought to PETA to be sheltered make it out of the premises alive.
Says Winograd, “The vast majority – 96 percent in 2011 – exit the facility out the back door after they have been killed.” He adds that the animal bodies are stored in a “giant walk-in freezer PETA installed for this very purpose.”
The freezer allegedly cost nearly US$10 thousand, “paid for with the donations of animal lovers who could never have imagined that the money they donated to help animals would be used to end their lives instead.”
Over the last 11 years, Winograd alleges, “PETA has killed 29,426 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other domestic animals.” The animals are not even put up for adoption. According to a report by the Virginia Department of Agriculture, “Ninety percent [of the animals] were euthanized within the first 24 hours of custody.”
Winograd supplied HuffPo with an abundance of photographs of slain animals, along with a “postcard written and signed by Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s founder, admitting the PETA does not believe animals have a right to live.”
This, says Winokur, is contrary to the public perception of PETA as an animals rights organization.
In another one of those curve-ball coincidences that the universe is wont to hurl, MST published the other day a letter from Jason Baker, vice-president for PETA’s international operations. In it he scored Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim for not allowing Manila Zoo’s aging elephant Mali to be relocated to a sanctuary “at no cost to taxpayers” (he did not elaborate how).
This call to give Mali a “chance at a better life” at a “wonderful sanctuary where she can thrive” is at odds with the expose on how PETA treats small animals in the United States.
The lesson learned is that we must carefully choose the organizations we support. Are you sure your donations are being spent in the manner you intended? In the Philippines, there are several organizations that are hands-on in working for animal rights, welfare, and adoption. Check out which these are and lend a hand as a volunteer or pet parent.
This is no small matter. The Mahatma said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
How we treat even the smallest of our fellow creatures is a measure of our own humanity. ***