Justin Bieber, who is still famous for reasons unknown, is at daggers drawn with animal rights group PETA, who disapproved of the child pop star’s decision to spend $35,000 on two pure-bred cats, which isn’t decadent at all. PETA saw the news of Bieber’s purchase as an opportunity to spread the word about the consequences of buying rather than adopting pets. Here’s how the organization’s senior vice president, Lisa Lange, put it:
“Baby, baby, baby, nooooooo. Justin Bieber could inspire his fans around the world to save a life by adopting a cat from a local animal shelter—rather than fuelling the dangerous demand for hybrid cats, contributing to the animal overpopulation crisis, and proving that when it comes to helping animals, his stance so far is ‘I don’t care.’”
Bieber seems to have a penchant for what are known as “exotic pets.” In 2013 he accepted a monkey as a gift and tried to bring him on tour. The monkey was denied entry into Germany and taken away by border officials. He wound up in a German zoo.
Bieber addressed PETA’s comments on Instagram, writing:
“PETA go focus on real problems. Like poaching, and animal brutality. [You’re] tripping because I want a specific kind of cat? [You] weren’t tripping when I got my dog Oscar and he wasn’t a rescue. Every pet we get must be a rescue? I believe in adopting rescues but also think there are preferences and that’s what breeders are for. PETA go help with all of the plastic in the ocean, and leave my beautiful cats alone.”
The Independent reached out to PETA for a response, which was provided by president Ingrid Newkirk.
“Sorry, Justin, but you must think more deeply about this issue: When millions of animals are losing their lives every year because not enough people adopt—choosing instead to shop—the animal overpopulation is a ‘real problem.’ That’s what ‘sucks,’” Newkirk said. “PETA urges you to spend just one hour in a municipal animal shelter with us—we think you’ll understand how hard it is to look into the animals’ eyes and know that because people pay breeders, many of them will pay with their lives. You have the power to be a great role model on this issue—your behaviour guides that of tons of your fans—so please put that to good use.”
I wouldn’t count on Justin Bieber, who recently challenged Tom Cruise to a MMA cage fight before backing down, using his ill-gotten fame responsibly. But that’s me.