Undercover work by a veterinary technician affiliated with the almost-30-year-old animal rights activism organization led officials to raid U.S. Global Exotics in east Arlington on Tuesday. They seized an estimated 26,400 animals — including frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, spiders, crabs, hedgehogs, prairie dogs, even sloths and kinkajous — from the Internet-based exotic-animal wholesaler.
They also removed hundreds of animal carcasses and found evidence that some animals had started eating one another because they had not been provided with food.
Not to say that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals hasn't had some similar success stories since it was founded in 1980. It lists some of those successes on its Web site, www.peta.org. But the organization is better known for the street-theater tactics it uses to market its philosophy than it is for such concrete deeds of rescuing animals from deplorable conditions.
The very idea of an Internet-based exotic-animal wholesaler is repulsive. The clear image is of these animals being captured by the truckload in their native habitat, shipped in bulk from wherever in the world that is to the U.S. Global Exotics warehouse in Arlington, shipped in bulk again to retailers and then sold to some end-user. Presumably that end-user is a person, but why does anyone need to own a sloth or a python?
I’ll stick with the basics in a pet: something that obviously loves to play, catch a Frisbee and make noise when there’s an intruder at the house, or just curl up in a ball of fur and be a friend.
Other folks can have their own type of pet, but spiders and lizards and snakes seem pretty worthless in that department to me.
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