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Last night, ARFF representatives attended a workshop held by the FWC at Fort Lauderdale City Hall (see above). We knew it was going to be an interesting evening when the first thing we heard when we walked into the room was, “Someone has to explain to the public what animal rights is all about.”

The speaker was Alan Rigerman, a collector of cougars, exotic reptiles and other animals (Mr. Rigerman was profiled by Miami New Times last month). The meeting was poorly attended, so Mr. Rigerman had plenty of time to talk about animal rights. At one point, he held up ARFF’s newsletter and read aloud our Board of Advisors. We weren’t entirely sure what his point was, but we took it as a compliment. Although the meeting was about captive wildlife regulations, he accused animal rights activists of hypocrisy for using conventional medicines.

Another speaker called activists “fearmongers,” and accused us of wearing leather shoes.

We didn’t want to waste our time during the meeting to address these accusations, which we’ve heard many times before. But just in case Alan reads this . . . .

1. Use of drugs and vaccines. As much as we’d like to, we can’t turn the clock back to undo experiments that involved animals. But what we can do is change the future by encouraging the use of non-animal research and testing methods. Click here to learn more about animal experimentation.

2. Leather. Most animal rights activists do not wear shoes or other products made out of leather. By refusing to purchase leather, they are refusing to support an industry that is directly linked to factory farms and slaughterhouses. Of course, many synthetic shoes these days can easily be mistaken for leather. For tips on shopping for non-leather goods, visits PETA’s Synthetic Alternatives to Animal Skins shopping guide.

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