No Tucker Max, not PETA!

You may have heard about Planned Parenthood turning down Tucker Max’s 500k charitable donation on the grounds his misogynistic past marred the gift.

Now PETA is asking for the donation.

Let’s beg him not to do this. Instead of giving money to the dog-killing animal rightsists, how about a donation to pro-test and put a thumb in the eye of the anti-research pet killers? Send him a message, donate the money to a pro-science group.

Here’s my email to Tucker:

Hey, I hear you’re looking to give a charitable donation and now PETA is saying they’d be happy to receive it. As a pet owner, doctor and biological researcher I’d beg you not to do this. PETA, and it’s sleazily named Humane Society of the United States (not to be confused with your local, unaffiliated Humane Society), euthanize far more animals than any other animal rescue organization, place almost no animals in homes, and have been caught dumping euthanized dogs in dumpsters. Further, their anti-science agenda has been well established. They’re against any use of animals in research, even though that would mean essentially a halt in progress in the biological sciences.

Instead would you consider giving to the ASPCA?

https://donate.aspca.org/donate/Donations/TN/Guardian_TN_S.aspx

They are the real animal welfare organization that is responsible for the local shelters performing the majority of pet adoption.

If you really want to stick it to the self-serving PETA activists, give to the pro-research group PRO-TEST which stands up for biological research.

http://www.pro-test.org.uk/

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Comments

  1. #1 Jean Paul
    April 6, 2012

    You’d think an organization that tosses 100,000’s of unborn into medical refuse dumpsters and was founded by a raving eugenicist wouldn’t have any issue with taking money from someone like Tucker Max.

  2. #2 Sarah Barnett
    April 6, 2012

    I work at HSUS, and we help all animals – from working to end the seal hunt, to confronting the cruelty of puppy mills. I’m not sure where you received the information stated above from, but I’d like to clarify. We don’t run local shelters – while we often work together, we don’t operate as an umbrella organization. On that note, there is no national org. that does. I can’t speak for the other groups you mentioned, but I can tell you that our animal rescue team works with local agencies to rescues thousands of animals each year from cruelty and neglect. I’d really encourage you to read more about our work, before attacking it. For those interested in reading our policy on animals in research, here you go: http://www.humanesociety.org/about/policy_statements/statement_animal_research.html

  3. #3 Ashley
    April 6, 2012

    PETA does not operate a traditional animal shelter, they are more of a shelter of last resort. They take in animals who no one else wants, and offers them a humane and dignified death. I find this extremely noble, given that 8 million dogs and cats will enter animal shelters this year. Do the math: there are too many animals, and not enough good homes. One of the easiest solutions to this problem is spaying and neutering, which Tucker Max’s donation would directly fund.

    As for medical research, PETA advocates for the best kind of research: the kind that helps humans without hurting animals. Simply put, animals are anatomically different from humans and do not provide good models for treating diseases.

  4. #4 Tim T
    April 6, 2012

    So you instead suggest giving the donation to an industry that kills millions of animals each year? What an idiotic statement.

  5. #5 jaspercat
    April 6, 2012

    Tucker Max and PETA are a perfect match–both irreverent and not afraid to say out loud what everyone else is only thinking. This suggestion of Tucker Max giving to a pro-vivisection group is just absurd. Euthanasia would be a welcomed relief to animals who are poisoned, burned, starved, and cut up in laboratories.

  6. #6 Emily
    April 6, 2012

    PETA is not an animal shelter and they would use that money to help so many animals. Animal testing is a horrible practice, how can you promote such cruelty? Sick

  7. #7 Joel
    April 6, 2012

    So you think torturing dogs before killing them is better than compassionate euthanasia? Ridiculous!

  8. #8 MarkH
    April 6, 2012

    PETA dumps Euthanized animals in dumpsters, possibly overwhelmed from the fact that they kill 95% of adoptable animals that come into their shelters – far in excess of what your local humane society or SPCA manages. The ASPCA or the American Humane Society or your local humane society, are far superior organizations for animal welfare.

    HSUS is a bogus animal welfare organization, it is in reality an animal rights organization with creepy high school dropout ALF members like JP Goodwin promoting themselves as experts in rescue when his previous stated goal was the elimination of all animal agriculture, and is generally a shoddy charity that spends little of it’s donations on actual animal welfare. Looking at it’s evaluation on Guidestar you read their own submitted statement of what they did with 100million dollars in the previous year:

    In 2010, HSUS animal care centers provided emergency treatment and sanctuary to nearly 16,000 animals. HSUS teams deployed to 51 emergency rescues in 2011, saving nearly 11,000 animals from puppy mills, animal fighting operations and egregious neglect. Five HSUS undercover investigations exposed horrific abuses at industrial egg, pork and turkey facilities. Federal bills to strengthen a shark finning ban, require accurate labeling of fur items, and prohibit animal crush videos are signed into law. States enacted 98 pro-animal laws and regulations, including the nation’s first ban on the sale of whole battery cage eggs. Hellman’s mayonnaise pledged to convert all 350 million eggs it uses annually to cage-free, while Kraft Foods, Walmart, Subway, Burger King, IHOP and other major companies decrease their purchases of eggs from caged hens.

    100 million raised and they helped 16,000 animals? And saved 11,000 puppies from mills? Knowing they kill 95% of their adoptable animals this is a terrible use of money. So if they saved 27,000, and euthanize 95% of adoptable animals that they rescue (even assuming 100% adoptable this looks bad), they have a budget of 100 million to help 1,358 animals find homes and the rest they kill. Compare this to the local humane society in Montgomery County where they are located which has a 3million dollar budget:

    During 2010, MCHS continued its strategy of re-focusing and restructuring by consolidating activities to conserve resources.

    Part of MCHS’s mission is to reduce the number of homeless animals in the County through education about responsible pet care, the importance of spaying and neutering, dog training, adoption counseling, etc.

    ADOPTIONS: More than 2,800 animals were placed in new, loving, adoptive homes that received counseling about responsible pet care.
    FOSTER HOMES: 530 animals received foster care.

    LOST PET ASSISTANCE: MCHS staff devoted about 2,500 hours of staff time to connecting lost pets with their owners.

    ANIMAL SHELTERING & CARE: MCHS received and cared for more than 9,200 animals.

    VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS: More than 135 volunteers provided nearly 4,800 hours of time on animal care, patron assistance and special events.

    HUMANE EDUCATION: More than 1,700 children and youth took part in 35 in-classroom educational programs with close-up introductions to companion animals and emphasize the responsibilities of pet ownership, the importance of spay/neuter, etc.

    COMMUNITY OUTREACH: MCHS participated in 16 programs in the community, from speaking engagements to distributing materials at community events, reaching about 2,500 people.

    The reality is the rescue and welfare wing of HSUS is just window dressing. This is an animal rights advocacy political organization. The humane society of a single county places more animals in homes, and helps more animals for 1/30th the cost.

    HSUS, PETA, PCRM and ALF are all the same. Their goal is animal liberation, and if people understood their agenda, they would lose their broad base of support.

    If you care about animal welfare give to your local humane society, give to the ASPCA or AHA, or adopt a pet of your own. Don’t give money to these anti-research, anti-pet, anti-farming media whores.

  9. #9 Alka Chandna
    April 6, 2012

    Hi Mark,

    I expect you know that more than 72,000 dogs are used in experiments every year in the U.S. (see page 42: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_welfare/content/printable_version/2007_AC_Report.pdf), and that dogs (specifically beagles) are the favored animal for toxicity testing. Is it awkward for you, as someone who professes to care about dogs, to promote the use of dogs in experiments that are sometimes painful and invasive, and often deadly? Have you given any thought to where the bodies of dead dogs used in laboratories are disposed? Did you imagine these animals were given last rites and burial in a family plot?

    Also, is there space in your moral universe to accommodate the notion that humane euthanasia of a neglected, sick, starving dog might be preferable to continued suffering or life on the street or at the end of a heavy chain? You might want to climb down from your ivory tower at some point and see the conditions in which dogs encountered by PETA’s Community Animal Project are forced to live before casting stones.

  10. #10 Becky
    April 6, 2012

    Advocating non-animal tests like computer simulation and in vitro methods, as PETA does according to what it says on peta.org, is about as pro-science as it gets. Anyone who thinks that testing on animals is good science is deluded. As for extremism, if helping animals by supporting spay/neuter is extreme, sign me up. The only extreme I see in this article is the extreme ignorance of the writer.

  11. #11 MarkH
    April 6, 2012

    Is it awkward for you, as someone who professes to care about dogs, to promote the use of dogs in experiments that are sometimes painful and invasive, and often deadly? Have you given any thought to where the bodies of dead dogs used in laboratories are disposed? Did you imagine these animals were given last rites and burial in a family plot?

    No, no, and no. I’m a biologist. I realize there is a cost to performing biological research and that includes the lives of animals. What I object to is the HSUS’ use of the term “humane society” to describe its goal. It is not about the humane treatment of animals, which is also the goal of researchers using animals in the lab. It is about animal liberation. By borrowing the excellent reputations of real humane societies it buys false legitimacy as an organization that promotes humane treatment of animals, while advancing a radical agenda.

    Also, is there space in your moral universe to accommodate the notion that humane euthanasia of a neglected, sick, starving dog might be preferable to continued suffering or life on the street or at the end of a heavy chain? You might want to climb down from your ivory tower at some point and see the conditions in which dogs encountered by PETA’s Community Animal Project are forced to live before casting stones.

    There is space in my moral universe, my question is given that local humane societies perform this role so much better, with a lower euthanasia rate, what is wrong with PETA? What’s wrong with PETA is that they are against animal ownership, they are against certain breeds of dogs even existing (such as pit bulls) and do not care about adoption and providing pets with homes. The slavery of life with humans is worse than euthanasia. I’m not arguing that euthaniasia might be the right choice. I’m just pointing out when it comes to animal welfare, the SPCA and humane societies are doing a better job at doing the same job.

    Advocating non-animal tests like computer simulation and in vitro methods, as PETA does according to what it says on peta.org, is about as pro-science as it gets. Anyone who thinks that testing on animals is good science is deluded.

    Becky, I’m sorry, but that first sentence is about as ignorant as one can be in such a short space. It reflects a total absence of knowledge of computers, physics and biology, and demonstrates how absurd the mission of PETA is. Computers can only be programmed based on the knowledge of a system. Biological research is into unknown mechanisms of gene function, epigenetics, protein-protein interactions etc. How can you expect scientists to create computer models of systems we don’t even fully understand? And that’s if you consider biological systems to be fully deterministic and predictable based on a set of initial conditions, which if you have any knowledge of chaos theory, you would realize is wildly unrealistic. This throwaway reference to “computer models” as being capable of replacing what I do just goes to show how poor the intellectual rigor of the PETA argument is. So, right now, go to pubmed.com and search “computer model”, look through the 3000 or so results you get, and tell me how many represent an example of a computer model of a biological process generating a novel unknown result. Then see how many times the researchers then have to follow up and check to confirm the results in vivo. Show me how useful computers are in modeling biological organisms. I dare you.

    As far as in vitro work like in cell culture, tell me Becky, what are cells grown in? Oh yeah, serum. And where does that serum come from? Hmmm. And the antibodies that we use to study those cells? The biological reagents we use to probe in vitro reactions? Where do they come from? Oh and the cells? Do we all study immortalized cancer lines? Nope. Biology is the study of life, and at every level we rely on biological organisms to provide the reagents and models of development, gene function, disease, etc.

    As for extremism, if helping animals by supporting spay/neuter is extreme, sign me up. The only extreme I see in this article is the extreme ignorance of the writer.

    Pot meet kettle. You presume to call me ignorant, when clearly you don’t even have a high-school level of knowledge about biology, physics, or computers.

    If anyone does want to support an organization that will perform spaying and neutering of pets, support your local humane society. The money will go to real care of real animals in your local neighborhood, not for politicking against use of animals in science or agriculture.

  12. #12 R Starr
    April 6, 2012

    I hope Tucker Max gives his donation to an organization like PETA. They do tremendous work helping animals who are right now experiencing cruelty and abuse whether in animal agriculture, “entertainment” like circuses, or in labs – which yes includes dogs and cats, Mark H. Anyone who professes to care about dogs should be adamently against animal testing.

  13. #13 Lucy P
    April 6, 2012

    It’s a bit disingenuous, to say the least, to condemn PETA for giving suffering and abused dogs and cats (see http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/20/a-gentle-hand-for-the-toughest-cases.aspx) a peaceful, painless death while loudly supporting those who torture and kill animals in laboratories. Also, if you dislike euthanasia (and who doesn’t?) it’s really senseless to try to scare someone away from donating money toward spaying and neutering animals—which would prevent animals from ending up homeless, abused, and euthanized in the first place. PETA acts in animals’ best interests, and I support them.

  14. #14 MarkH
    April 6, 2012

    They do tremendous work helping animals who are right now experiencing cruelty and abuse whether in animal agriculture, “entertainment” like circuses, or in labs – which yes includes dogs and cats, Mark H. Anyone who professes to care about dogs should be adamently against animal testing.

    I care about cats and dogs and all animals, and also I am all for their humane use in research labs. Caring about does not mean I create a moral equivalency between the needs of humans and that of other species, even species I really like such as cats.

    while loudly supporting those who torture and kill animals in laboratories.

    This is again ignorant. Labs in the US are regulated by animal care and use committees, they perform experiments that have only been approved based upon careful evaluation that animals will be treated humanely and are necessary for the research question being asked. Animals care is supervised by veterinarians at all times. The goal of reduction and humane use of animals in labs have been achieved. This “torture and kill” nonsense just shows the ideological ends and dishonesty of the animal rights promoters. The further goal of PETA and HSUS is animal liberation, which is the elimination of all animal research, and therefore the end of biological science.

    I’m all for you guys being against animal testing, but at the same time you have to explain how we will perform biological research without animals. And you can’t reply computers or cell culture because these answers, as described above, are astonishingly ignorant of these methods and their potential for explaining biological phenomena.

    If you are for a complete arrest in progress of biological research then fine, be pro-animal liberation. But if you have even a baseline understanding of what is involved in scientific discovery you will realize that animals and biological research are inseparable. From the serum in which we grow cells, to the antibodies that we probe molecules, to proteins in molecular biologic reactions, to the gene knockouts in vivo, at every stage of biological discovery we use animals and animal products. It’s good and fine to be morally opposed to animal research, I just expect moral consistency. You must also give up on everything in Pubmed. No more vaccines, no more medicines, no more biological discovery, no research into brain-controlled prosthetics, no research into gene function, etc.

    Just to be clear, supporting biological science and rejecting animal research are incompatible. If you’re ok with that fine. We’ll agree to disagree. I will continue to study biology, and medicine, and surgery, and treat humans, and research human disease. You can reject all modern medicine and biological technology and go live on a commune somewhere, maybe die of some easily treatable malady. Whatever. Your choice. But you can’t tell me that biological research is compatible with animal liberation. It simply is not.

    And finally, regarding Sarah Barnett of HSUS’ comment, I followed that link. The very first sentence was a lie

    As do most scientists, The HSUS advocates an end to the use of animals in research and testing that is harmful to the animals. Accordingly, we strive to decrease and eventually eliminate harm to animals used for these purposes. Our concern encompasses all aspects of laboratory animal use, including their housing and care.

    Wow is that a stinker of a lie. Nature polled scientists on the topic, more than 90% said animals are essential to biomedical research and about 80% say animal rights activists are a threat to research. So, the very first sentence of your article is a lie. What are some other HSUS lies?

    They feature suffering animals in their ads yet only 1% of their budget goes to rescue.

    They do not operate shelters, they do not give money to local shelters. Their entire advertising campaign is a sham that tugs at emotions, while they do not deliver on the implicit promise of the campaign.

    They are a political lobbying organization, devoted to animal liberation, devoted to stopping animal research, that uses sad pictures of dogs and cats to take money under the guise of being a “humane society” even though it devotes 1% of it’s operating income to rescue.

    My local SPCA saves more pets than HSUS does, and it doesn’t have a 100million dollar budget.

    HSUS should come out and be honest for what it is. It is a animal rights advocacy, not a humane society, and it’s use of rescue images is deceptive, sleazy, and manipulative.

  15. #15 anonymous
    April 6, 2012

    Reading these posts it’s clear that PETA has done its PR well. I wish more people were educated about the actions PETA takes. I had a friend who was involved in dog rescue and finding homes for Jack Russells. The rescue group often had to contend with PETA trying to get the dogs first. PETA would euthanize the dogs if they got to them first. These dogs were highly adoptable.

  16. #16 Linda
    April 7, 2012

    Finding a true no kill shelter would be so much better than giving to peta. Caboodle Ranch in Fl. is, currently, petas target for daring to take in unwanted and surrendered cats and daring to give them a natural life in the open instead of living in cages until euthanized. Check them out and take a look with an open mind. Video was taken of supposedly sick and mistreated animals…animals under vet care. Thanks.

  17. #17 Captain Quirk
    April 9, 2012

    I spent a year as a vegan, reading and thinking about the animal rights vs. animal welfare arguments, and so forth. I was pretty committed to veganism and much of animal rights, until I found out that animal rights means opposition to medical use of animals. I had only thought the opposition was to testing animals for shampoo/cosmetics, which is pretty reasonable, since most people can get by just fine using hygiene and cosmetics products made from already tested ingredients, so testing animals for new formulations is mostly unnecessary animal use.

    Modern science and technology have come a long, long way in even the last century, but our technological capabilities aren’t “Star Trek” level. I would love to see our understanding advance to the point where animal use in research is rarely needed, but we aren’t even close to that point, and current animal review processes are specifically for reducing animal use and suffering of animal subjects to the minimum required. These processes are far from perfect, but they do not allow scientists to set up pointless experiments to cause animals suffering (with rare and notable exceptions, such as that monkey study that was not only an egregious abuse of the animals, but so poorly set up as to make their suffering utterly pointless). We are simply far too ignorant of human biology to be able to create computer simulations to tell whether a drug will work and what side effects it will have reliably.

    It’s true that this is somewhat a speciesist view. But I do believe that a certain degree of speciesism is healthy. I disagree that humans are the only important animal to take into consideration or treat with empathy or kindness, but I also disagree that non-humans need to be treated with exactly as much consideration as humans. I don’t think this is wrong any more than I think it is wrong for a human to value their siblings’ lives above those of strangers. It is selfish, but I do not believe it is inherently wrong.

    It’s much more helpful and practical to focus on animal welfare – it’s much more likely that a large proportion of humans will care enough about other animals to minimize their suffering to a large degree than that a large proportion of humans will consider animals their equal to the extent of outlawing pet ownership or consumption of meat, or letting their friend or child die of a disease to save the lives of mice because they were just unlucky enough to get a fatal disease that hadn’t been a cure found before we shut down animal research.

    So – to help animals, advocate things that will have the effect of improving screening/oversight procedures, improving the conditions of farmed animals (I know that AR activists would liken this to telling abolitionists to advocate for treating slaves well, but seriously, why all the ruckus about medical research, when we rarely hear about farming practices? AR activists are hardly silent on the issue, but the focus seems so disproportionate considering the relative suffering/death), spaying/neutering and other things to improve life for cats/dogs, etc. PETA may draw a lot of attention, but other organisations like SPCA do far more good for animals here, now, and tomorrow.