Written by PETA
Do it. It’s amazing.
Here’s the big news I was hinting at in the last post: H&M, which recently pledged to stop buying wool from Australian sources that still use the mulesing mutilation (essentially, slicing up sheep’s backsides), has set off a chain reaction throughout Europe: Following H&M’s announcement, 17 other major Swedish retailers have made the same pledge, and a coalition of 31 European retailers have announced that they are considering or have decided to stop using wool from mulesed lambs. On top of all this, 10 Danish retailers have withdrawn their support of mulesing, and the Western Australia Department of Agriculture has announced that it will stop mulesing.
What does this all add up to? The total amount of cancelled orders of Aussie wool from Europe as a result of these decisions comes to 550,000 bales of wool. This is a big wakeup call to Aussie wool farmers who continue to mutilate lambs, and a strong message to wool industry executives that their continued refusal to adopt humane practices will directly affect their bottom line.
For more information on the fallout from this recent outcry against the Australian wool industry, here’s the letter that PETA President Ingrid Newkirk sent to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last week:
I just got an email asking why I never posted about PETA's recent Chipotle victory and pointing out that for activists, hearing about these successes can make a huge difference as far as showing that their hard work is paying off and that, slowly but surely, we’re changing both public opinion and the attitudes of large corporations about how animals should be treated. Which, well, fair enough. So this post’s all about good news. Check it:
All this in just the past couple of weeks. Boo ya!
For a little behind-the-scenes info about our Corporate Affairs Department, which has been an integral part of getting a lot of these things done, check out this piece that recently appeared in The Boston Globe.
I’ve got another victory coming your way, but this one’s so big it merits a separate post. Stay tuned!
At 7 p.m. tonight, at the Paley Festival in Los Angeles, the stars and creators of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are reuniting for a panel discussion about the Buffy phenomenon and the future of the Buffyverse. If you already knew this, then you’ll probably be as excited as I am about the fact that I have, right here, a PETA Files exclusive interview with not one, but two Buffy alumni. And if you have no idea at all what I’m talking about, you need to run (do not walk) to your nearest video store, rent seasons 1 through 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and maybe stock up on food, water, and Depends on your way back so you can watch the entire show uninterrupted. I’m deadly serious here, people.
Amber Benson, who played 'Tara' in Buffy, is starring in the upcoming comedy Kiss the Bride, and Tom Lenk (Buffy’s “Andrew”) is currently performing with the Upright Cabaret in Los Angeles. They are both awesome and I love them. Here's what they had to say:
When and how did you first become aware of PETA's work?
I think it was in middle school. All I can remember was that it had something to do with the B-52's and their "Cosmic Thing" album...
What animal issues are especially dear to your heart?
In high school I worked after hours at a Veterinary office, mopping and cleaning. It was a horrible job and I was not very good at it. And side note, I am TERRIBLY allergic to cats, so vaccuming up cat hair every day might not have been the best career choice. Anyway, there was always a constant rotation of abandoned, homeless pets in need of medical care. They were in pain a lot of time, or being nursed back to health. It was devastating. Some nights I would show up at work and they would just be gone, and I would never know if someone adopted them or if they had passed away. I never asked though...it was just too sad. So clearly pet overpopulation is an animal issue close to my heart. Thank you to PETA for continuing to spread the word about always spaying and neutering your pets.
Do you have any animals at home? If so, tell us about them.
I am currently Godfather....or should i say Dogfather and regular dogsitter to two crazy poodles. Penny and Mr. Teets. Penny belongs to my friend Elisa, and Mr. Teets to my friend Jenny. I once tried to set the two dogs up on a date. Mr. Teets immediately peed at Penny's floor and refused to play with her. I even took them to the dog park. Penny organized a pack of small dogs into chasing her feverishly. Clearly she likes attention. Mr. Teets watched all of this from my lap and silently judged all of them. He couldn't be bothered with their dog-like behavior. Mr. Teets may be under the impression that he's just a very small man. I've attatched some pictures. Penny has recently started modeling. Doesn't she look gorgeous in her purple Bolero coat? And teets in denim sportcoat? Coats made of cotton and acrylic fibers only of course.
What do you think of PETA's sometimes controversial campaigns?
All publicity is good publicity. Controversy gets people talking and sends more people to your website where they can get informed.
Your fans from Buffy know Andrew as the reformed bad-guy who helps save the world from the end of the world. If you could do one thing for animals that you think would make the world a better place what would you do?
I would put this woman behind bars:
Andrew was known for being a story teller. Do you have any stories you could share with us about any animals in your life?
I have so many animal stories, I don't know where to start. I'm actually working on my latest solo comedy show or rather solo tragi-comedy show...tentatively called Tom Lenk's Heavy Petting Zoo. It's a collection of hilarious and sometimes devastating stories about all of the pets I had as a kid. I grew up in an hour north of L.A. in Ventura County in an old Farmhouse complete with barn and underground storm shelter. We had soooo many pets through the years and it was so odd, because we never bought any of them...people would give us them, we'd rescue them, and a lot of times they just wandered into our yard. I had a pet duck, Peepers, that i found in my driveway in 6th grade. We never could figure out where he came from. I scooped him up and he was so tiny, fluffy and yellow. He was too young to be away from his mother or live outside, so i fashioned him a little house out of a cardboard box, complete with a warming light in case he got cold...and he stayed in my room. I named him Peepers because at night he would start peeping so loud! I think because he missed his family. :( I would pick him up and hold him and he would nuzzle up against my stomach and finally go to sleep. Then I would gently put him back in his little house, and of course he would wake up again and I would repeat this process several times through the night. Finally I realized he just wanted to know that someone was there. For several weeks, I ended up sleeping on the floor next to his box with my arm dangling inside it. The mere sight of my hand inside the box calmed him for some reason. When he became an almost full sized adolescent duck, Peepers had his own fenced in yard complete with child's swimming pool. His own puberty was mimicking my own. His once tiny high pitched "peep" was gradually and awkardly becoming a deep adolescent "quack". And since he was an orphan and the closest thing to a duck was our dogs, his "quack" sounded a lot like a dog's "bark." Peepers was so sweet and tame that anyone could hold him and pet him and he would follow me around like a puppy dog...I miss that duck.
Andrew had the power to control the behavior of animals. If you could control the behavior of humans instead what would you do that would help animals?
He had that power? Hmm...i'll have to do some research.
How do you feel about the development of Andrew in the comic book? Is it strange to watch this amazing character you created take on a life of its own?
Well, to be honest I don't know if I created him. I think the writers on the show created him. And in fact I guess I should thank actor Brad Kane who was unable to film the role of Tucker, so they created Tucker's Brother, Andrew. Lucky me. When I first read the comicbook and saw Andrew for the first time and he was talking about Lando or something...it made me a little sad. I realized I missed him. But he seems to be doing just fine without me. :)
If you were the writer in what direction would you take Andrew's character?
Maybe he starts working out a lot and I get in really great shape and I become some sort of leading man type despite my odd voice and quirky mannerisms...I mean HE, um Andrew. Yeah that's what I meant.
What do you have coming up? Any live performances?
Catch me performing with Upright Cabaret, L.A.'s wayward home for Broadway singers! And I will keep you posted with dates for "Tom Lenk's Heavy Petting Zoo." Hmmm, cross promotion and possible fundraiser? Let's discuss.
Amy from the VegCooking blog here. It's that time of the year again for The Great American Meatout—the annual grassroots diet education campaign. Supporters worldwide donate a little of their time to educate the public about delicious vegan cuisine by giving speeches, leafleting, providing food samples, and giving cooking demonstrations. This is exactly where I come in.
I'm confident in saying that I am more of a food expert than Jack, who has admitted to making the same meal for dinner every night for months at a time, which is why I'm here to share a Meatout recipe with you. Trust me, you should be happy it's me and not Jack. He would tell you to open a container of store-bought guacamole and just call it a day.
Since the goal of this day is to encourage meat-eaters to kick that nasty habit (and take the pledge to be veg), I think it's the perfect time to feature a faux-meat recipe. Sure, there are many great products you can buy from the store that require little to no preparation (a few good ones to try are the Morningstar Farms Meal Starters, Boca Chik'n Patties, and Tofurky slices), but if you want to put in a little extra effort—which might be all that's needed to convince your loved ones that they, too, can go veg—try this recipe below for mock crab cakes served up on toasted crostini and topped with a little lemon-dill mayo. Yum.
When your loved ones are done eating, and in awe of how fantastic vegan food can be, don't forget to ask them to take the pledge to be veg.
Mock Crab Cakes With Lemon-Dill Mayo
For the Cakes:1/2 cup finely diced onions1/4 cup finely diced carrotsOil for sautéing 2 tsp. minced garlic 2 lbs. firm tofu, crumbled 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 1/8 cup dry white wine 1 Tbsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper Juice of 1 lime
By this point, the entire world knows that Eliot Spitzer’s call girl was on Girls Gone Wild, but I bet she never did anything quite like this. While I focus my full attention on resisting the urge to make a joke featuring the word “udderly,” please take a moment to enjoy these pictures of Cassandra—star of PETA’s Milk Gone Wild 2: at the Carwash—baring it all for the Spring Break crowd at Miami Beach. She reeled them in with the free soy ice cream and the prosthetic udders (who could possibly resist that combination?), then hit ‘em with the “Milk Sucks” information. According to Cassandra, one photographer was so moved by the Meet Your Milk video that he stuck around to help her pass out leaflets. Well played, young lady. Well played.
In keeping with today’s theme of having other people do my work for me while I type up my notes from SXSW, here’s an animated short by Mark Fiore that my friend Matt just sent me. Enjoy!
Posting may be a little bit erratic today, as I’m trying to type up about 3 billion pages of notes from the South by Southwest Interactive Media Conference I attended last week. More on that later, but in the meantime, you may want to check out this awesome interview with PETA’s irreverent VP Dan Mathews, who’s about to embark on a nationwide tour in support of the paperback release of his book, Committed. Check the calendar on his myspace page if you want to catch one of his upcoming booksignings.
PETA’s original Milk Gone Wild video was one of the most successful things we’ve ever done online, reaching a completely new audience with a message about why milk is cruel and unnatural, and totally grossing out literally hundreds of thousands of people in the process.
Soooooooooo, here’s a DIY sequel that we made in the parking lot outside the office one day. It stars my friends Allie, Sarah, Cassandra, Erin, Ryan, Peggy, Joel, Tanner, Caleb, Bob, Chris, and Pulin, whom I will never look at the same way again. Please watch at your own risk.
Don't ask me what I was doing nerding around at Wordsmith.org this morning, but this particular Internet detour turned out to be felicitous and surprisingly, um, appurtenant.
Turns out that today's Word of the Day is "Speciesism," which the good folks at Wordsmith have defined for us as "The assumption of superiority of humans over other animal species, especially to justify their exploitation."
There’s also a nice story in there by Charles Darwin’s biographer, James Moore, who quotes Darwin as follows: “To say man is the pinnacle of creation and all things were created for him ... Darwin says that is the same arrogance we see in the slave master.”
Anyway, there you have it. “Speciesism” = today’s word of the day. A small step, in the scheme of things, but a step nonetheless. There’s also a book on the subject, which I can highly recommend for anyone who wants to pursue this topic further.
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.