‘Animal rights groups’ vs. elephants

Why do so many seem so unconcerned that fake litigation was ginned up and used to make money in the name of “charity”?

Two conclusions are inescapable:

1) The average donor to one of these charities has no idea her hard-earned dollars are being used to fund these anti-corporate campaigns, the purpose of which is to deny ordinary people an opportunity they’d never have otherwise: to view these majestic animals up close, in a safe, controlled environment. How many puppies, kittens, and abandoned adult animals could have been spayed, provided shelter and medical attention, and adopted to loving homes for $200,000? Quite a few, according to my favorite animal charity in Washington, the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL.org), from which my family has adopted two angelic dogs.

2) These self-proclaimed “animal rights advocates” don’t really care about animals. If they did, how could they justify burdening Feld Entertainment to the tune of $22 million with ill-founded litigation? That’s money that Ringling Bros. could have spent attending to its Asian elephants and stable of other fine animals. Ringling Bros. has an obvious incentive, as well as a long-established track record, of actually caring for and maintaining its elephant population.

ASPCA reportedly has assets of more than $400 million, raising more than $111 million in cash in 2011 alone. Its co-defendants — equally ferocious in their battle to destroy the family-owned and much beloved Barnum & Bailey Circus — are similarly well endowed. Isn’t it time charitable, animal-loving Americans (and a newly augmented IRS staff) took a closer look at the non-profits that purport to represent their interests? In this economy, and with their as-yet-undetermined tax increase looming, how can they afford not to?

Buckley Carlson, a Washington-based writer and political strategist, can be reached at [email protected].