Opponents

DIRECT QUOTES FROM GROUPS

The best way to get a clear understanding of the animal rights philosophy is to listen to the advocates who speak out in support of it. Here is a sampling of their comments:

 

Ingrid Newkirk, Founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA)

"Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They're all mammals." (Vogue, September 1989)

On hoof and mouth disease in Europe: "I openly hope that it comes here. It will bring harm only for those who profit from giving people heart attacks and giving animals a concentration-camp like existence. It would be good for animals, good for human health and good for the environment." (Reuters News Service, April 2, 2001, article by Alan Elsner)

On animal rights arson and violence: "Would I rather the research lab that tests on animals is reduced to a bunch of cinders? Yes."

(New York Daily News, Dec. 12, 1997)

On dog breeding and pet ownership: "People don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats…if people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek it with their own kind." ("Animals" Magazine, May/June 1993)

On dog breeding and pet ownership: "Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought on by human manipulation. We would no longer allow breeding. As the surplus of cats and dogs declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship-enjoyment at a distance." (Harper's Magazine, August 1988)

 

John Hoyt, President, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

"There is a developing ethical consciousness within our society and culture that views the exploitation of animals for any non-essential purpose as wholly inappropriate." (Speech to Greyhound racing executives, August 29, 1984)

 

Michael Fox, Vice President, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

"The life of an ant and the life of my child should be accorded equal respect." (Associated Press, Jan. 15, 1989)

"Regarding human kind as the very center and pinnacle of existence is a disease of arrested development."

(Speech to World Congress for Animals, June 20, 1996, Washington DC)

"We are not superior. There are no clear distinctions between us and animals." (Washingtonian Magazine, February 1990)

 

Wayne Pacelle, Senior Vice President, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

"We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of selective breeding. One generation and out."

(Animal People, May 1993)

 

Roger Caras, President, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

 "People should not breed dogs and cats." ("Throwaway Pets," PBS Production, 1993)


Pennsylvania Citizens Against Greyhound Racing

The following is an actual E-mail response from the Pennsylvania Citizens Against Greyhound Racing website, to an inquiry from the webmaster of Greyhound Lover's League:

"Our mission at this site is, through education, to challenge the inherent integrity of breeding and racing greyhounds for monetary gain. Following are statistics for you to digest. Credit goes to Greyhound Network News for compiling these facts which are based on published reports by the National Greyhound Association (NGA) and State Racing Commission reports. If you are dismayed or in disbelief, we suggest that you question the NGA."

They call their information "facts" when in reality, they are misrepresentations of the figures taken from the NGA records, along with some figures that are not published anywhere. Read on.

"For the period 1989 through 1998:

65,001 greyhound litters were registered by NGA.

426,407 (minimum) pups were born based on an average of 6.5 per litter."

The table below, taken from the American Greyhound Council's website, shows that records for these totals were not kept prior to 1995. Where are the PCAGR figures originating?

"342,022 pups were individually registered at 18 months old.

84,385 discrepancy (19.79%) between pups born and those registered at 18 months.

200,000 (at least) greyhounds unaccounted for after comparison of published. numbers and the estimated total number of dogs still racing, breeding or adopted."

These figures are totally false and their conclusions even further from the truth. All pups born MUST be registered with the NGA--even the stillborn--to track the output of the sire. Stillborn pups average (conservatively) one per litter. There are also the pups that don't live more than a few days, due to congenital problems or the mother accidentally lying or stepping on them. These two groups alone would total in the neighborhood of that 84,385 total cited. Add to them the dogs that 'wash out' before 18 months and are never registered as racers; the registration of racing greyhounds is totally up to the discretion of the owners.

The last figure of unaccounted for dogs is terribly misleading. We have already seen how the number 'born' is not relevant so let's examine the other 116,000. Some dogs die of (or are euthanized due to) natural causes, diseases like kennel cough (which can kill your dog after a visit to the vet if you're unlucky), accidents and dog fights. Others are given away by their owners when their careers are over, kept by them as pets or are adopted with no records showing the adoptions. Indeed, adoption groups are not required to notify the NGA of dogs they place and rarely do. In fact in many cases dogs fitting ANY of the above descriptions are not reported as such. The only dogs for which dependable records are kept are those currently racing.

"For the period 1999 (numbers are approximate based on published records):

27,000 greyhounds entered the racing system-an equal number (or greater) exited the system.

12,000 greyhounds were rescued.

7,000 (minimum) greyhound puppies disappeared.

20,000 (minimum) estimated number of greyhounds were killed in 1999."

Here, even the math is off. If 12,000 were adopted out of 27,000 they assume exited the racing system that leaves 15,000. But they claim 7,000 disappeared and 20,000 were killed. And on what do they base their assumption that 27,000 exited the system that year? If that number was reported they would have quoted it. Again, of the dogs unaccounted for in their figures, many died without being "killed," many were adopted with no records submitted to the NGA, many went into breeding and more were kept as pets or given away as pets by their owners. To assume that every dog these radicals can't account for was killed is ludicrous and arrogant.

Figures for the number of dogs exiting the racing system are not kept by the source cited by PCAGR. But figures for the number of known adoptions are and for the year 1999 that number is 18,000. Below is the table showing the actual reported numbers for ten years. Remember, these are from the NGA, the very source cited by this radical group. (While these figures may not be verifiable, they are shown here because PCAGR somehow claims to derive their figures from them.) 

 

TEN-YEAR TOTALS

 Year

Litters Whelped

Pups Whelped

Pups Per Litter

Adoption

1990

 

52,000

 

3,500

1991

 

52,000

 

7,000

1992

 

49,000

 

9,000

1993

 

43,086

 

13,000

1994

 

42,119

 

14,000

1995

 5,751

37,650

6.55

16,000

1996

5,435

36,688

6.75

18,000

1997

5,419

35,730

6.47

18,000

1998

5,533

35,801

6.47

18,000

1999

5,104

33,256

6.52

18,000

American Greyhound Council, Statistics page http://www.agcouncil.com/

"We have reviewed statistics, researched documented cases of abuses and witnessed the condition of adopted greyhounds arriving from the track. Our position, as a result, is well-considered and adamant. We do sirey the greyhound industry's publications which in no way deter us from our mission-in fact it has spurred us on. The unacceptable conditions in which the racing greyhound lives and dies will continue to exist-unless courageous activists emerge to advocate for the demise of this exploitation of the greyhound breed under the guise of a sporting event."

Yes, they have reviewed statistics and found ways to twist them to make their twisted point. Where they can't twist statistics they manufacture them. And most adoption groups will tell you the dogs they get from the tracks, farms and trainers are in good general health. There will always be exceptions but abused, sick and injured dogs are NOT the rule.

"We will not engage in emotional "shouting matches" with those who choose to defend the racing industry; instead, we encourage you to become educated and suggest that you visit Greyhound Protection League http://www.greyhounds.org/gnn"

Actually, the shouting matches are usually started by these same radical anti-racing and animal rights people. They are in the minority and apparently feel they can make up the difference by making the most noise, typical of any radical movement. The Greyhound Protection League and their publication, the Greyhound Network News, are the source of propaganda used by nearly all groups opposed to greyhound racing. There ARE no other sources of any consequence. So the misinformation perpetuated by this one fanatic group has become the 'bible' of the anti-racing movement.

"Finally: No matter what the horrific statistics, no matter what the documented abuse and neglect records-imagine your greyhound imprisoned in a crate for some 18-20 hours a day and having the only opportunity of running for a few moments every few days. Is this what the greyhounds were born for? Does this justify their birth and premature death?"

Truthfully, all three of my dogs raced and lived in crates (kennels) during their actual racing careers. Prior to the age of approximately one year they lived in runs ranging from roomy to huge with their littermates, playing to their hearts' content. And to say they only got the opportunity to run for a few moments every few days is patently false. The turnout pens are large and they were turned out several times a day for a minimum of 30 minutes (weather permitting) each time--long enough for kennel workers to clean the kennels. And long enough for the dogs to run and play at will.

Finally, this: "Credit goes to Greyhound Network News for compiling these facts which are based on published reports...."

Why don't they simply repeat those published reports if they are basing their "facts" on them?  Because it wouldn't serve their purpose to share the REAL facts.

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