Saturday, September 21, 2019

PETA Goes After Robert Irwin and The Tonight Show

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"Australia Zoo Entrance-3=" by Sheba_Also 43,000 photos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

PETA is predictable.

In their never ending quest to normalize anti-exotic animal captivity, they have now extracted publicity by going after some of the more famous and prominent figures in the industry. Recently, they’ve garnered the animosity of the general public by criticizing the late Steve Irwin on his birthday. Unphased by the vitriol, they are now taking aim at his son and demanding that 'unqualified' individuals should not be permitted to interact with exotic animals.

PETA doesn’t actually care about public safety, of course.

Being the manipulative, slimy, zealots that they are, they are using the misguided laws that have been penned to keep the public away from ‘dangerous’ exotic animals as a way to enforce their view that the public should never come into contact with non-domestic animals and that captivity should end. By keeping the public and exotic animals separated, PETA can dismantle the structure of the exotic animal industry brick by brick.

Therefore, they pretend they are worried about ‘non-qualified’ people handling exotic animals, and this just shows why there shouldn’t be such laws in the first place. 

Can the Irwins help people realize this?

While hating exotic pet owners and zoos appears to be on the rise, much of the same people who hold these beliefs have a soft spot for the Irwin family. This is evident in that Robert Irwin can still utilize exotic animals for entertainment without a resulting public outcry.

So, PETA has stepped in to try and fix that.

"Animals suffer every time they're exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props"

Of course, much of the animals on these programs exhibit a level of calm that I envy and wish my dog (or even myself) had when going on public outings, but surely they must be ‘suffering’. Most people might laugh at PETA’s statement, yet judging zoos and exotic pet owners in the same exact way has become mainstream.

I have to reiterate again that much of the anti-captivity sentiment is bafflingly coming from the exotic pet owners themselves.

For instance, Grant Kemmerer is the exhibitor who has rented out the animals to The Tonight Show for Irwin to display. The general public often thinks that these animal visitors come from respected zoos and may be surprised to find out that they almost always originate from the exotic pet trade.
Kemmerer has obtained the necessary licenses to conduct his business but I see no mention of any special credentials to work with exotic animals.

Kemmerer doesn’t outright denounce people keeping exotic animals as pets, but he does fib a little on his webpage. 

He says:

“There is a misconception sometimes with the public that you can go online and buy an exotic animal and have it delivered to your door. This is simply not true, even websites that show animals for sale are only doing business with legal buyers and sellers, i.e. people with proper licenses and/or permits.”

Not true, I’ve purchased several ‘exotic animals’ without any licenses (nor should I need them) and have even recently had them delivered to my door (with animal transporters). This may be mostly true for large cats, bears, and other obviously dangerous animals (but not always). He also says:

“We support the permits and processes required for legal ownership since these animals in the wrong hands can be dangerous and have very specialized requirements for proper care.”

Kemmerer is being intentionally vague. He must know that the “permits and processes” vary by state, region, and municipality and in some areas, might even make it impossible for him to conduct an exotic animal business. Some laws are lenient, others stringent, and others non-existent. No two are the same.

Yet Kemmerer is trying to reassure visitors to his website that the evil exotic pet trade, as envisioned by the disciples of Big Cat Rescue and similar organizations, is well-regulated and ‘regular’ people can’t get their hands on unspecified ‘exotic’ animals. And of course, he supports these various laws, as long as they don’t affect him.

In almost every case people like Kemmerer began their careers as inexperienced exotic pet owners with no formal education in animal care or even the loosely related animal sciences.

It’s normal and expected for these same people to denounce the exotic pet trade (often to a much less subtle degree than Kemmerer has) in order to pander to the public so that they can feel good about enjoying the animal interaction without supporting a hidden exotic pet-owning criminal.

If only the public would stop unknowingly agreeing with PETA’s ideology while scoffing at their attempts to shame the Irwin family, then they might see that behind the Irwin’s glowing smiles, they are ‘guilty’ of the same sins as those detestable, faceless exotic pet owners.

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