Murmurs from the Information Age
I worked in wild animal rehab for three years. For those of you who don't know, the ultimate goal of rehabbing wild animals is to get them to the point of being able to be released back into their natural environment. The point is NOT to make friends with the animals, because if they become human-friendly they'll almost certainly be killed, or become dangerous to humans. If an animal does become too human-friendly it can't be released and the only thing you can do is euthanize it or make it into a demonstration animal. We went to great lengths to make sure this didn't happen unless the animal was already non-releasable (e.g., a bird with a missing wing).
PETA members were a pain to us in two different ways. First, the less extreme members would volunteer but had no actual interest in doing any real work. They were there to demonstrate that their 'special relationship with the Great Mother Gaia' would allow them to charm any animal into their arms, as if life was somehow a f#cking Disney movie. Of course, the animals were wild and therefore having none of it, and the stupid PETA c#nts would invariably wait until they weren't being monitored, sneak into a cage, corner a damned animal (which at this point was scared shitless), and then they'd get attacked. This happened EVERY SINGLE TIME. They honestly believed that their special snowflake status would work some weird voodoo on the animal, who would then become their best friend. Instead, they'd get bit/scratched/torn up and need treatment which we could ill afford, and this after doing their best to avoid anything that smacked of actual labor.
Best part? Almost every time these dumb motherfuckers would go ballistic and blame US - yes, US - for the animal being hostile. They'd say that we "brainwashed" or "tortured" the animal, and they knew that because - ta da! - the animal would never have attacked them otherwise. We'd done something horrible to the animal, which is why it couldn't tell some random nasty human apart from a sacred PETA butt-boy. As much as we loved volunteer labor, we eventually added a question to our interview process that asked folks if they were part of PETA, and if they answered affirmatively we'd say we already had enough volunteers but we would be sure to get back to them when we had an opening.
The second kind of PETA member would try to sneak onto the property and open cages to scare the animals out. We're talking about badly injured animals, or orphans, who'd be dead in a few days, if that. Fortunately we had a couple of "attack lamas" and some very territorial dogs, and they'd always raise a ruckus when these #ssholes came around. I gotta say, it was f#cking hilarious to see some PETA dipshit running full bore, screaming, with two pissed-off lamas on his heels. Note: the lamas were generally mild-mannered, but for some reason they'd go nuts if anyone who wasn't on staff, or with staff, tried to open a cage.
Aside from seeing a PETA freak chased by lamas, my best moment was seeing a passle of PETA (three, iirc) trying to deal with a great horned owl in the hospital section of the center. The great horned owl is a large bird, and this guy was a monster for his species. They opened his cage, he objected to them trying to towel and grab him, and he flew out (not far, his wing was injured). They thought that they could talk him into calming down (PETA magic), but the owl had already decided they were #ssholes and any time they'd get near he'd spread his wings (very impressive for this guy) and shriek.
I walk into the hospital to find the owl loose and three PETA types babbling at him, they tell me they "don't need help". Sure you don't, which is why the owl is loose, flying around on an injured wing, and screeching - which is something they only do when they're really distressed. So, I hold out my arm, wait until the owl is focused on me, and say "here". The owl takes off and lands on my arm, careful not to tear it to shreds with his massive claws as I'm not wearing a glove. Great horned owls are bloody smart birds. PETA pricks are speechless, then become almost savagely angry - the jealousy is obvious, as a worthless meat-eating 'prole' has somehow managed to outdo them in the space of a few seconds. I'm senior on staff, so I order them out of the hospital, telling them I'm going to cover the rest of their shift. They object, I tell them to get the hell out or face the consequences with the center owner, and they finally leave.
What they didn't know is that when I was young I worked on farms and was a bona fide animal charmer. Only kids are real animal charmers - it wears off once you hit puberty - but I still had some of the mojo. Because of this, the animals at the center were much calmer and far more cooperative with me than anyone else. When the owl came in he took an instant liking to me, so I'd let him out of his cage will I did hospital rounds, sitting on my arm or shoulder. He was always very careful not to turn my body into hamburger with his claws and grateful to get out of the cage to stretch his wings for a bit, so it worked out very well all around. When the owl saw me he instantly took up his usual place because we'd done this before and he most likely saw me as a protector against the crazed PETA predators who were trying to eat him.
The three I kicked out were tossed from the volunteer program. They went and complained to the owner of the center, who told them to get lost and never come back. That was the final straw in terms of us deciding to reject any volunteer who was affiliated with PETA (i.e., they chased an injured animal around the hospital rather than get help as they were trained to do, lengthening his recovery time and putting him in danger of sustaining even worse injuries).
I hate PETA. I will always hate PETA. I eat meat and own pets, and I've done more for wildlife and the environment than any ten PETA tw#ts put together. F#ck the lot of these eco-terrorists.
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