Written by PETA
IndyACT—a Lebanon-based league of social rights activists—has launched a "Stop the Carnage" ad campaign dedicated to combating rising fur sales in the Gulf and Middle East. The ads tie responsibility for individual animals' lives (spelling out exactly how many animals are skinned for each coat) to a strong, clear message: If you buy fur, the blood of animals is on your hands.
Are you as surprised as I was to hear that fur was catching on in the Middle East? I mean, it's mostly desert. Apparently, though, the recent influx of wealth, couture, and western luxury to cities such as Dubai—where ice skating rinks and air conditioned malls are springing up faster than a guest on Jerry Springer—has lead to an increase in popularity for this cruel commodity. The new ads will hopefully encourage consumers to reject cruelty to animals. If you like the ads as much as I do, please give props to IndyAct by posting a comment below.
Thanks Osocio for the heads up! We love you!
Written by Liz Graffeo
I've got some exciting news for you! Well, exciting in the sense that a hideous sport has made an improvement that makes it a bit less hideous: The National Western Stock Show has banned electric prods!
The group SHARK gets a shout-out as big as the wide-open plains for persuading National Western to put an end to the use of the painful shocking device, which is often used on broncos to cause them to bolt from the gate. As you can imagine, frequent exposure to these electric shocks causes the animals considerable physical and mental distress.
The National Western Stock Show has also announced heftier fines for "jerk-downs"—the act of violently jerking a calf backward and roping the calf simultaneously. Competing rodeos have followed suit: Cheyenne Frontier Days and the Greeley Stampede have also banned electric prods. Now, if they'd just replace the broncs with mechanical bulls, we'd be as happy as a hog let loose in the tater patch.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
OMG … this is the cutest, most fascinating video that I've seen in a long time. Prepare yourself for intense adorableness.
You are now officially armed with even more proof that animals are emotional, sensitive, and complex beings.
Written by Christine Doré
What might have been just another story of shoddy circus animal handling came to a karmic conclusion last week when a tiger trainer, Josip Marcan, agreed to pay nearly 1 million bucks to settle a lawsuit resulting from a huge traffic accident. The accident was apparently caused when one of Marcan's tigers escaped into the wilds of NYC—in this case, the Jackie Robinson Parkway—while traveling with the Cole Bros. Circus.
Demonstrating the spirit that has made the business of using and abusing animals in circuses the very definition of heartlessness, Marcan blamed everyone but his own whiny self. He called the injured drivers "reckless" and slammed the NYPD officers on the scene, saying "they just wanted to shoot the tiger."
Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for the tiger, Apollo, who was captured and returned to circus life.
Written by Jeff Mackey
The Academy of the Americas in Detroit has been in the news lately because it has been begging for donations of basic supplies … including toilet paper.
We can help! Remember our recent "Wipe Cruelty From Your Diet" demos? We'll, it turns out that we've got loads of toilet paper left over, so we're donating the TP with the great vegetarian message to the impoverished schools.
Remember, researchers have found that even elementary school–age children can begin to show signs of heart disease, such as hardening of the arteries, so the donation does the children a double favor.
Click here to read our full letter to the academy.
'Tis the season to fight fur full-force, and our unstoppable campaigners have been doing just that. They took their eye-catching demos to cities across the Pacific Northwest to show folks the fur industry's horrific practices.
Animals are left to languish in sickening steel-jaw traps for days. Often, they will force themselves to chew off the injured limb to free themselves in order to get back to their den to feed their young—only to bleed to death later. Those who are not "useful" are deemed "trash animals" and discarded to die.
Since the fur industry tries hard to keep its methods under wraps, you'd best believe we will boldly display it on street corners, in living color!
So, give it up for our fearless campaigners!
PS While we're on the topic, here are detailed instructions on how to rescue an animal from a steel-jaw trap.
Written by Missy Lane
Ah, awards season. My favorite time of year. Last night I watched the Golden Globe Awards on pins and needles, and I've already begun my countdown to the Oscars. But the best part of the Globes last night wasn't Sacha Baron Cohen making everyone squirm in their seats while he rightfully hated on Madonna—it was Mickey Rourke's win for his role in The Wrestler and his moving and heartwarming thank-you speech.
While Rourke thanked his co-stars, his agent, and, yes, even Bruce Springsteen, the most memorable part of his speech was when he thanked his dogs and said, "Sometimes when a man's alone, that's all you've got is your dog. They've meant the world to me."
Well said, Mickey! I think we can all relate to that. It's about time for the furry, loyal companions who give so much love and adoration to their guardians to get recognized.
Another animal-friendly winner we love from last night was Alec Baldwin for his role in 30 Rock. Although he's been in roughly 5 trillion films and TV appearances that have all been brilliant, he'll always be our own special star for his fantastic narration of "Meet Your Meat."
In case you needed another reason to love British funnyman Ricky Gervais, we've got one for you. Ricky was on the David Letterman show last week, and when Letterman asked him what he got for Christmas, he responded that the worst gift he received was "the gift of a goat." He explained that a goat was donated to a family in Africa in his name. Letterman looked puzzled. Gervais continued:
Ricky: They're 50 quid down, I've got nothing, the African family's going, "Not another mouth to feed." It's ridiculous. There's nothing in it for the goat. The goat wakes up in barren land going, "Where am I? A week ago I was gamboling through the Cotswolds in glades and then someone just kidnapped me, put me on a boat, took me to Africa." It's like Roots in reverse. I bet he didn't want to go to Africa. I think the goat had no choice. …
Letterman: There may be another way to look at this, but I accept your point.
Ricky: I can't see one.
Ricky is right! Donating animals is no gift for the animals who are "gifted" (they must forage in a dust bowl where they often can't find water, and they end up tethered and are usually slaughtered!). And it can actually make things worse for the impoverished family that receives them. Luckily, there are great alternatives. Ricky's friend could have donated to Food for Life or The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation instead, both of which support sustainable (and cruelty-free) programs to combat hunger. Take a leaf from Ricky's book, and let the goats continue "gamboling through the Cotswolds in glades" or wherever they belong.
Written by Lianne Turner
This has been a good week for elephants. Here's why: When Ringling rolls into town, it often tries to partner with local businesses to promote the circus and give out tickets for free or at discounted prices (probably because fewer and fewer people actually buy them nowadays). Well, PETA is always right on Ringling's heels, letting sponsors in on the beatings and misery that go on behind the scenes at the circus. This week, after hearing about Ringling's history of cruelty to animals, both D'Agostino, a New York grocery store chain, and Florida's Blood Centers have done the ethical thing by ending their partnerships and severing their ties with Ringling. (Yay!)
Thanks go out to everyone who participated in our action alert and told D'Agostino about elephant abuse in the circus. Your letters made a difference! D'Agostino and Florida's Blood Centers now join Denny's, Liz Claiborne, Lukoil, MasterCard, and Sears, all of which ended their Ringling sponsorships.
Well, Ringling, looks like you really should have taken us up on that offer to buy you an animatronic elephant to replace your live elephants. If you had, maybe people would actually want to support the circus again.
We encourage you to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or other media outlet urging your community to boycott animal circuses that might be rolling in the direction of your town. Click here to find media outlets in your area to contact.
Getting shanked in the shower is definitely a worry, but biting into pus-filled poultry? That's cruel and unusual punishment. Just ask the three Vermont men who are seeking $100,000 in damages from ConAgra Foods after reportedly purchasing bad chicken from the prison store at Lee Adjustment Facility in Beattyville, Kentucky. The sickening saga began three years ago when the trio, who were serving their sentences in Kentucky because of overcrowding in Vermont jails, apparently bit into a batch of Banquet chicken filled with pus. Brown-bagging the rank, three-year-old meat to court to serve as exhibit A, one litigant described the diarrhea and weight loss (as well as the harassment by other inmates) that he says resulted from ingesting the foul fowl.
Pusitively gross, right? Well, take heed, because food poisoning caused by putrid poultry isn't confined to prison food. Animals raised for food are intensively confined on disease-ridden factory farms. By the time they reach the slaughterhouse, many are suffering from pneumonia and other chronic illnesses, and some have cancerous lesions or pus-filled wounds all over their bodies. Wait—it gets worse! Pus-coated bird bits often go into a mixture called a "binder," which is used in chicken nuggets, patties, and "buffalo" wings.
And while eating contaminated meat is downright disgusting and dangerous, the real victims here are the chickens who are being knocked off to make these noxious nuggets. I say prisons should pardon chickens and all animals from their menus.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
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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.