Justin Bieber Tells PETA to 'Suck It' After Backlash: 'Leave My Beautiful Cats Alone'
In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange spoke out against Bieber’s recent decision to purchase the expensive Savannah kittens, whom he named Sushi and Tuna, claiming that the singer does not “care” about helping animals.
Posting a screenshot of the PEOPLE story to his Instagram Story later on Thursday night, Bieber wrote, “PETA can suck it.”
“PETA go focus on real problems,” he continued in a second Instagram Story post. “Like poaching, and animal brutality. Ur tripping because I want a specific kind of cat? U weren’t tripping when I got my dog Oscar and he wasn’t a rescue.”
Bieber, 25, added, “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 singer said in a third Instagram Story.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk responded to Bieber’s Instagram Stories in a statement on Friday, saying, “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 crisis is a ‘real problem.’ That’s what ‘sucks.'”
“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,” Newkirk continued. “You have the power to be a great role model on this issue — your behavior guides that of tons of your fans — so please put that to good use.”
On Thursday, Lange told PEOPLE: “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 fueling 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.’”
Shortly after PETA’s criticism, the star posted a screenshot of the Instagram account he created for Sushi and Tuna and asked his fans to follow their account. (He previously promised the kittens’ millionth follower free merch from his fashion line Drew House.)
The felines are part-domestic cat and part-African Serval and were purchased for $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, from the Illinois-based breeder Select Exotics, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Because Savannahs are considered “living room leopards,” they are legally restricted or banned in Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont, according to the Savannah Cat Association.
Other states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia, allow all Savannah cats.
“I’m getting a cat tomorrow and The name will be sushi 🍣 !!!,” he excitedly wrote alongside a cartoon image of a cat. “I can call her sooosh Magooosh and I’m very happy about it.”
Weeks later, Bieber and Baldwin, 22, revealed that they had welcomed another kitty, who they named Tuna.
Along with Sushi and Tuna, the couple also welcomed a puppy named Oscar into their family in December.