Animal rights activists are often hypocrites. PETA celebrities wear leather and eat meat. PETA itself kills pets by the truckload. And now one notable activist in Colorado, who was appointed by the governor to a state board, has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after being accused of hoarding animals in deplorable conditions.
Ellen Kessler is an aggressive animal rights activist who was not afraid to accuse other people of mistreating animals. She was appointed in 2020 to a state veterinary board, where she quickly made her holier-than-thou viewpoints known:
During her time on the vet board, she was part of a vegans’ protest in the meat section of an Arvada Costco.
Her appointment almost immediately generated controversy because of derogatory statements she made, primarily on Facebook, about farmers and ranchers. In one post a month after her appointment, she said that “4-H clubs don’t teach children that animal lives matter.” She reposted a story in August 2020, also on Facebook, that alleged dairy farmers sexually abuse their cows, likely referring to artificial insemination, a routine practice in the industry for at least 60 years.
On Jan. 22, 2022, she called ranchers “lazy” and “nasty,” responding to a Facebook post by first gentleman Marlon Reis, a friend of Kessler’s. She resigned from the vet board two days later.
As luck would have it, just days after she resigned she had a handyman over to her house to fix her furnace–and he noticed there was a lot more that needed fixing:
The visit by the furnace company came on Jan. 28. The employee said he had to wear a mask due to the smell. When he went into the basement, he said he walked through “a path of stuff” and, while working on the furnace, Kessler had told him she had birds down there.
The employee told the Humane Society “the condition in the home is deplorable. The home has trash stacked to the ceiling and a person must walk in paths amongst the refuse in the basement when servicing the furnace.”
The basement contained “caged exotic birds, with excrement polling [sic] below and the pool drains like a river to the floor drain.”
Another employee said he saw mice, both dead and alive, throughout the home.
Some of the photos, viewable here, are just awful.
Two of the birds belonging to Kessler died. “Of the 13 birds, all doves and cockatiels, one died the night before they were removed by the sheriff’s department. Another had to be euthanized upon arrival at a veterinarian’s office. The vet reported all of the birds were stained with feces and in ‘rough’ condition, caused in part by malnutrition and improper care by Kessler. Some birds were missing feathers, others had overgrown nails,” reported Colorado Politics.
According to the publication, the governor’s partner indicated he would pay for an attorney for Kessler. Kessler reportedly received a deferred sentence and assessed a fine of about $1,400.
Is that a fair punishment? We have to imagine that if someone else–say, a rancher–was accused of the same crimes, Kessler would be advocating for a harsher punishment than the one she received.