Written by PETA
Our "weapon of mass distraction" struck again today when PETA bombshell Pamela Anderson delivered a package to the mailbox directly across the street from the Vancouver office of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Personally I'd watch her drop off her electric bill, but this piece of mail has lives depending on it: Anderson was sending Prime Minister Stephen Harper a letter and more than 500,000 petition signatures imploring him to cancel next month's seal slaughter.
Environment Canada's new data show ice levels at a 30-year low in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Anderson is appealing to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to spare what is expected to be a historically low number of seal pups from next month's seal slaughter.
"The absence of this birthing habitat will have dangerous consequences for the entire seal population," writes Anderson. "I ask that you heed your own government's assessment and call off this year's commercial seal slaughter in light of this unique environmental situation."
Was your signature sealed inside that envelope? Sign our Facebook petition and join over half a million people who have already let Harper know that we won't rest until he calls off the annual massacre for good.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Thanks to PETA's investigation and the great job done by Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, officials, Holly Crawford—the woman who disfigured several kittens in hopes of selling them as oddities on eBay—has been convicted of cruelty to animals and may face up to several years in jail!
In December '08, an eBay shopper tipped us off to Crawford's auction of a miserable-looking kitten with a docked tail and heavy jewelry through much of his body. Crawford marketed him as a "gothic kitten." The ad read: "[S]ix weeks old floppy eared pure black gothic kitten.14 gauge ear piercings.14 gauge submission ring on the back of the neck. docked tail with 14 gauge barbell on the end of the nub. comes with 14 gauge surgical steel jewelry and decorative submission lead." Yes, not only had Crawford repeatedly pierced this kitten (which is bad enough), she had also "docked" his tail with a rubber band—and all without any anesthesia. Oh, and she'd done this to his littermates as well!
Posing as interested buyers, PETA learned that one of the kittens had already ripped out a piercing and that Crawford was waiting for the wound to heal before she pierced him again. During conversations with PETA, Crawford stated that the kittens could be walked by an ornamental leash fastened to the "submission rings" in their necks. The woman said she had done it to these tiny animals because she thought it was "neat." In addition to inflicting immense pain and disfiguring these beings, Crawford had effectively impeded their hearing, physical balance, and psychological health, according to court testimony from a veterinarian.
We submitted information to local authorities, Crawford was charged with cruelty to animals, and all the kittens were confiscated. A year later, she went to trial and—thanks to a blistering prosecution that included testimony from PETA investigators—Crawford was found guilty!
As we await Crawford's sentencing, please keep in mind animals who depend on you as their witnesses. Speak up for any animals you know of who are being abused. Remember, they are voiceless. It's up to you!
Written by Logan Scherer
After the death of yet another orca trainer by frustrated, tormented Tillikum, retired Price Is Right host and outspoken animal defender Bob Barker issued a plea to SeaWorld to move Tillikum and its other imprisoned sea animals to sanctuaries.
Well, the list of celebrities speaking out against the use and abuse of orcas is starting to read like a Hollywood "Who's Who" and includes the following stars:
(Laz, if you're reading, we'd love to have you join our campaign to free whales. Call us.)
So, we'd like to know: How are you getting the word out about SeaWorld's cruelty?
Written by Karin Bennett
Ellen playing sweet to Simon's tart was reason enough to watch this season of American Idol, but ever since the Top 24 were revealed, we've also been tuning in to support vegetarian contestant Michelle Delamor, who easily made it through last night's vote to become one of the Top 10 ladies.
We haven't "Fallin'" this hard for an Idol hopeful since compassionate country star Carrie Underwood's now-iconic performance of "Alone."
Eyebrows are shooting up in the animal protection world, as SeaWorld has hired professional animal entertainer Jack Hanna to sing its praises in public. Given his own record of responsibility for numerous animal attacks (including an incident in which a chimpanzee he was using in a public display bit off a 5-year-old girl’s finger) and his history of using underage animals who should be with their mothers instead of in noisy crowds and under bright lights, Hanna seems a good fit for SeaWorld. Despite its heavy public relations efforts, the marine park has a long history of getting away with murder while turning a fast buck. For example, the statements from SeaWorld about what a surprise, shock, and accident it was that the orca Tilly had drowned and pounded a seasoned trainer to death in Orlando deserve careful scrutiny. It was the third time that that particular orca had killed a human being (Tilly’s son also killed a trainer last year in Spain), both other deaths having also been dismissed by the amusement park as "accidental" when they were likely anything but. The marine amusement park environment is rife with deaths, close calls, and injuries.
As Jason Hribal writes in his soon-to-be-released book, Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance, Tilly and two of the other orcas came from Sealand of the Pacific in Canada, a facility that closed shortly after all three whales were involved in a fatal attack on a trainer. That attack, "carried out by Nootka, Haida, and Tilikum left the park in a public relations freefall. Administrators promised changes. New safety procedures would be initiated. Physical contact between the trainers and whales will no longer be allowed. Guardrails will be installed along the poolside to prevent slips or bites." All the same things that SeaWorld is saying as it hopes for the story of the trainer’s death to go away. But in Canada, back then, public pressure did not let up. As Hribal writes, "Between the daily protests at the park's front gates, national demands that the orcas be released back to the ocean, and the city council's entrance into the debate, Sealand’s will crumbled. In August of 1991, the park reached a startling decision. 'After a lot of thought and discussion,' the director clarified, 'it was decided killer whales should be phased out.' … The twenty-nine year old institution had closed permanently."
Fact: Violence against animals often leads to violence against humans. Conclusion? Require felony animal abusers to be placed on a public registry.
Sex offenders and arsonists are already required to be on registries, and soon California will consider a recently proposed bill that would require the same of animal abusers. By making residents aware of animal-abuse offenders in their community, California legislators would protect both animals and their human constituents.
California banned the use of gestation crates, battery cages, and veal crates when Prop 2 was passed. Then the state put an end to tail-docking of cows. West Hollywood recently banned the sale of dogs and cats at puppy mills, and PETA is opening up a new office in Los Angeles. Conclusion? If the Golden State passes this new bill (and stops abusing its unhappy cows), I will declare it the best state ever.
Shari—an enthusiastic PETA supporter—chatted up tons of rodeo attendees in her community last week about the abuse of animals used in rodeos, in which human performers use electric prods, spurs, and bucking straps to irritate and enrage bulls, horses, and other unwilling "costars" into participating in the show.
Shari's dedication to speaking out for animals is unrivaled. Last year, she participated in the International Day of Protest for elephants at the San Antonio Zoo and held her own anti-Ringling demonstration. She also demonstrated as a caged monkey outside NASA headquarters in Houston and then drove back to San Antonio to step into a human meat tray the next day. And that's only a sampling of her tireless efforts to save lives.
Ready to take action yourself? Get started today!
Written by Logan Scherer
After unveiling our plan for a spay-and-neuter billboard featuring Tiger Woods, our phones rang off the hook and our inboxes were inundated with tons of feedback from supporters and skeptics alike. Among the rapid responses? A courteous call from Tiger's lawyers asking that we pull him from the ad—a request that PETA quickly honored.
Now that we've left Tiger off the billboard, we're looking to replace him with another oh-so-familiar face: continent-hopping, scandal-producing Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina. Our potential slogan? "Your dog doesn't have to go to South America to get laid."
Ask a million different people what happiness is, and you might get a million different answers. Happiness is … a warm dog. A choice. A girls' night out.
Now animal agriculture proponents are talking about launching an ad campaign boasting, "Happiness is a dead animal." That's right—the communications "whiz" who proposed the slogan has got people arguing that it's high time "to take a positive approach and tell [the public] to go ahead, eat that dead cow, it's OK."
Wow. I mean, wow.
When farm operators and immature steak addicts are done yucking it up about this ad campaign, they'll still have trouble explaining how "it's OK" that downed cows are left to languish for days; that male baby chicks, who are "useless" to the egg industry, are ground up alive; and that farm workers get away with kicking, stomping on, and otherwise abusing animals. Good luck telling that umpteenth heart attack victim's weeping wife and children how "it's OK" that all those bacon cheeseburgers helped make their loved one obese and unhealthy and his ticker to conk out at 50 years young.
We're not concerned that this ad campaign will actually get the green light. Oh, no, no, no. That's not it at all. We've already seen this type of sophomoric pro-meat push on T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. Yawn. Been there, done that.
At this point, the biggest concern we have about this moronic ad campaign is that they'll decide not to run it. Someone might figure out that farm operators will have an even tougher time convincing anyone—from Jane Doe to legislators—that they care one bit about the animals in their charge if they announce to the world that they believe "Happiness is a dead animal."
Some say Olympic snowboarder Greg Bretz "won" an informal McNugget-eating contest by downing 60 blobs of fried chicken bits. But judging by the dazed expression on his face in the second photo, I'm thinking that even he agrees: major biff!
Regardless, we've asked Greg to lay off the McNuggets until McDonald's adopts a less cruel slaughter method. McCruelty in the U.S. and Canada refuses to improve slaughter methods for birds, instead allowing suppliers to break chickens' bones and scald many of them to death—never mind that controlled-atmosphere killing (CAK), approved for use in the U.S., is already used by McDonald's suppliers in Europe.
Perhaps he'll decide to follow Olympic medalist and snowboarder extraordinaire Hannah Teter's lead, who, when asked about life at the Olympics, scored gold in the hearts of caring people around the world when she quipped, "They have McDonald's at the athlete village, so I'll hit that up every morning. … Not!"
Written by Karin Bennett
Vegan? There's an app for that. Electronic pie-throwing? There's a tweet for that. Animatronic shadow-detecting? Thanks to some talented students at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, there may be a system for that sometime in the very near future.
Chris Nadovich—director of laboratories in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Lafayette—was so intrigued by our request to the Groundhog Club's Inner Circle to replace Punxsutawney Phil with an animatronic groundhog that he created a project for his students, asking them to develop a shadow-detection system that would help an animatronic Phil "see" his shadow. Right now, five teams of two students each are slated to begin working on this project, which will be completed by the end of April.
We can't wait to see what Nadovich's class comes up with. In the meantime, we're already working on a name for the new technology. Our suggestion: "iShadow." What would you call the groundbreaking (and groundhog-liberating) innovation?
After reading PETA's news release announcing that footwear giant Nike has banned exotic skins, I had to pinch myself to make sure that I wasn't dreaming. I'm not, and neither are you. According to a newly revised policy, Nike and its upscale affiliate Cole Haan will stop selling skins from alligators, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, ostriches, fish, and marine mammals.
This fabulous decision was made after the footwear giants were sent PETA Asia's undercover video footage, which details the gruesome, intense suffering that the exotic-skins industry inflicts on animals. We asked Nike to "just do it." And it did!
Nike is the world's leading shoe manufacturer. Its 2009 sales topped $19 billion, and it operates in more than 160 countries, with approximately 675 Nike-owned retail stores operating worldwide. Cole Haan stores operate in Canada, Japan, and 25 U.S. states. Nike and Cole Haan are world leaders in trendy footwear, and now they've joined H&M and Overstock.com as trendsetters for animals.
After you kick up your cruelty-free heels, please take a moment to thank the companies for their compassionate decision.
Ever wonder where SeaWorld gets its "performers"?
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
President Obama's new proposal to help pay for the healthcare revamp by taxing tanning salons is almost as brilliant as that tanning-bed afterglow. Obama's tan tax—which some proposals have put as high as 10 percent—attaches a monetary price to the health risk that tanners take when they expose themselves to radiation.
Now, as it turns out, some people have this tan tax business all mixed up, but in their confusion they've actually come up with a great idea. Perhaps addled by the toxins that he breathes every day, a leather tannery employee has sent us hate mail about the "PETA-based tan tax" that he fears could hurt the leather business. We're thick-skinned (geddit?), so the vitriol doesn't get to us, but we really like this tannery tax idea.
Although the president hasn't yet officially included leather tanneries in his proposal, it would be a terrific next step in raising funds for healthcare—especially considering that governmental agencies have already deemed tanneries to be a threat to human health and the environment. Most leather produced in the U.S. is chrome-tanned, despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing chromium to be hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding one tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average. Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. And each chrome-tanning facility wastes nearly 15,000 gallons of water and produces up to 2,200 pounds of solid waste—including hair, flesh, and trimmings—for every ton of hides that it processes.
Leukemia, lung cancer, environmental destruction, and the exploitation and mutilation of cows—we can't stand any of it. How long do you think it would take a new "tannery tax" to ruin tanneries that are already destroying our health and the planet?
In a historic first, decades in the making, Madeleine Pickens—founder of the National Wild Horse Foundation—has secured a spot on a soon-to-be-formed national committee dedicated to ending the crisis faced by thousands of wild horses across the country.
Pickens' solution to the crisis—in which the animals are currently confined in usually unkempt pens where they are often subjected to extreme temperatures without shade and with little to no room to roam—is to create a wild-horse sanctuary to provide long-term care and protection for the animals. She recently met with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to tell him that paying ranchers or other contractors to warehouse wild horses until they die is an unacceptable method of dealing with the horse population, and her proposed solution prompted Salazar to announce the formation of a committee to address the issue.
Right now, more than 30,000 wild horses and burros are in holding facilities. Please lend your voice to them: Join Pickens in urging senators, congressmembers, and other government officials to stop the capture of thousands of American wild horses immediately.
Earlier this afternoon, another trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando was killed after being pulled into the tank by an orca named Tilikum (or Tilly, for short). According to a witness, the whale, who has been involved in two previous fatal incidents involving human beings and who our captive wildlife director, Debbie Leahy, describes as "12,300 pounds of sheer rage," leapt out of the tank and grabbed the trainer by the waist, pulled her into the water, threw her around like a rag doll, and then held her underwater until she drowned. SeaWorld officials canceled the dolphin and whale shows for the rest of the day, but SeaWorld remains open (have they no shame?!) and will continue to exploit and abuse these captive animals despite the many horrific injuries and deaths of trainers and animals that have occurred throughout the theme park's history.
PETA has long been asking SeaWorld to stop taking wild, ocean-going mammals from their families and ocean homes and confining them with no semblance of a life to an area that, to them, is the size of a bathtub. No wonder these huge, intelligent animals, like the beaten elephants in the Ringling Bros. circus, lash out after being forced into subservience and forced to perform stupid circus tricks for their food for so long. For years, PETA has been calling on SeaWorld to switch to hugely popular robotic replacements like those used in the amazing "Walking With the Dinosaurs" exhibit. The public needs to stand up now against this cruelty and stop patronizing aquariums and whale and dolphin shows. Please join us in saying, "Enough!"
"Louis Vuitton foxtail handbag accessories make me sick. Please do not purchase those! It's heinous."—tweet from Sharon Osbourne
We're not the only ones loving Sharon Osbourne's compassionate tweet against Louis Vuitton—her wise words have been retweeted again and again by people across the Internet. Sharon—who donated her furs to PETA in 2004—speaks her mind and takes flack from nobody, which is why she's definitely my pick for who's going to win the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Louis Vuitton, because of your bloody bags, YOU'RE FIRED!
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Apparently, people have lost sleep trying to answer this philosophical question. The answer seems obvious to me: Animals live in forests and animals have ears, so they would hear the sound of a falling tree.
How about the one asked by the adorable (and offensive) T-shirt below from our friends at Portland's Food Fight! Grocery?
I know, the answer to this one is a no-brainer too. So go ahead and ante up your answer—in just one sentence. (And keep it clean, guys: no uncensored swear words.) The three people who submit the cleverest, snappiest responses will each score a shirt.
Twilight star Kellan Lutz may be totally convincing as an alpha vampire, but he's got a soft side that could eclipse Emmett Cullen's brute force any day. Lutz poses in PETA's newest "Adopt, Don't Buy" ad with his adorable rescued mutt Kola, spreading the message that every time someone purchases a dog or cat from a pet store or breeder, a door is shut in the face of an animal waiting in an animal shelter or roaming the streets. Check out our exclusive interview with Kellan, who gushes over meeting Kola (spoiler: It was love at first sight!) and has some special words for "Twilighters":
Kellan—who will star in the upcoming remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street—is so committed to ending the nightmare suffered by millions of homeless animals that since shooting our ad he has adopted another lucky dog! Want more compassionate Cullen goodness? Enter our contest to win a Twilight DVD signed by Kellan himself.
It's Spay Day—do you know where your neighbors' cats and dogs are? Or, more importantly, do you know whether they have been spayed or neutered? I do. In fact, one of them is here with me as I write this (and he seems to think that I need to write "#%^)tfr*^lpxc%$#?.>l" here instead of a period). Sam is one of nearly a dozen cats who once belonged to one of my neighbors. The cats came to my attention when I noticed the "free kittens" sign outside my neighbor's house.
I called the number on the sign and offered to get the mama kitty and the kittens spayed and neutered. Rather than being offended, as I feared she might be, my neighbor gratefully accepted my offer. "She just keeps having kittens," she sighed, "and I can't afford to get her spayed." She also agreed to let me find homes for those kittens I could convince her to part with. (I wanted to carefully screen the adopters, which I knew she wouldn't do.)
According to a recent survey, people's reasons for not spaying and neutering their animals usually boil down to simple economics and logistics, rather than a conscious decision not to do it. The neighbor whose cat kept having litters has three kids and is on welfare—she just couldn't afford to pay for the surgery. (Eventually, the bank foreclosed on her house, which is when she asked me to take the remaining animals—Sam, his sister Bibi, and his mother, Tiger.)
Another neighbor doesn't have a car, so I offered to drive her to the clinic for her cat's appointment. Yet another neighbor didn't realize that his 5-month-old female kitten could come into heat any day. Wanting to ensure that this busy single dad didn't put it off until it was too late, I offered to make the appointment and take her myself. He readily agreed, and I did the same with the family's other cat and two dogs.
In total, I have arranged for more than a dozen dogs and cats in my neighborhood to be spayed and neutered at PETA's "Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please!" (SNIP) mobile clinic. In some cases, the animals' guardians were willing to pay for the surgery—it was just a matter of making the appointments and arranging transportation. That was a small investment in time that reaped huge rewards in terms of the prevention of unwanted litters—and suffering.
No matter where you live, there are animal companions in your town who have not been spayed or neutered. Here are some easy steps you can take to make your neighborhood a "no-litter" zone:
Written by Alisa Mullins
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.