Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, went ballistic over the past couple weeks releasing two open letters on a popular animal rights news list that ended up getting her banned temporarily from the list. Both letters featured Feral charging that other animal rights groups were not abolitionist enough for her taste.
On June 26, 2001, Feral and Great Ape Standing & Personhood co-founder Lee Hall unleashed an letter ripping into In Defense of Animals over a National Institutes of Health contract for taking care of chimpanzees. The IDA put out a press release saying they were disappointed that the NIH had awarded the contract to a company that breeds animals for medical research purposes.
Feral and Hall in turn attack IDA for its implicit concession that it is okay to keep some chimpanzees in captivity. For example, consider this paragraph from Feral and Hall,
Your Release quotes Representative James Greenwood’s statement that the NIH “already has more chimpanzees than necessary.” IDA’s use of this reason to oppose the contract ignores the reality that Chimpanzees should not be owned by exploiters — “necessary or not. The very fact that the law considers research on Chimpanzees “necessary” both justifies and codifies the human right to torture non-human great apes.
In a follow-up press release dated July 3, 2001, Friends of Animals slammed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals without naming the group specifically. According to FOA’s press release,
During the last several months, one group professing to advocate
animal rights activism — has been promoting McDonald’s. Now this organization is giving the nod to Burger King’s new endorsement of “humane standards” for animal slaughter [a clear reference to PETA]. Not surprisingly, another animal welfare association has jumped on board to laud the fast food establishment’s reform measures. Meanwhile, a coalition of groups is busy advocating a “reform” initiative in Florida to make the farming of pigs more “humane” before they are slaughtered.
Instead of using pressure tactics to force changes in the way animals are slaughtered, FOA is clear that abolition of meat eating is the only acceptable goal,
It is time for all of us who care about animals to accept one clear and simple fact. There is no such thing as humane animal agriculture. The life of a “farmed” animal is hell from the moment of birth to the moment of slaughter. The improvements that are being pushed by such welfare-oriented animal groups will do nothing to prevent animal suffering, or advance the goal of animal rights.
It is a very good day when PETA is attacked for being too soft on animal rights.
Open letter to In Defense of Animals. Priscilla Feral and Lee Hall, June 26, 2001.
Abolition, Not Reform. Priscilla Feral, Press Release, July 3, 2001.