Written by PETA
Ram Prasad spends his days chained by all four legs on a concrete platform at a temple near Sangli, India. Like other temple elephants in India, he is essentially a moneymaker, used to encourage devotees to donate money and gifts. Years of being kept virtually immobilized have caused Ram's back legs to atrophy, and he has developed a painful foot infection as a result of being forced to stand day in and day out on a hard surface (such foot problems are common in captive elephants—and are the number one cause of elephant deaths in American zoos and circuses).
When veterinary staff with Animal Rahat, a PETA-supported relief program for working animals in India, discovered Ram, he was also suffering from a huge, gaping abscess on his side. Animal Rahat is working with Ram's caretakers to allow the veterinarians to treat him and has also persuaded them to make other improvements in his care.
Ram is just one of thousands of animals whose lives have been made better by Animal Rahat. Find out more about this lifesaving work here.
Written by Alisa Mullins
This is a handsome bullock named Houshya. He is—or, rather, was—a working bullock in India. "Working" for him meant spending 18 long years pulling a heavy cart loaded with bricks, oil drums, or whatever other goods his impoverished family was paid to move. But now, Houshya (which means "Hush!") is old and tired, and he no longer has the strength to pull the heavy loads along the pitted dirt roads as quickly as he once did. His owner considered selling him but knew that it wouldn't be long before Houshya slowed down so much that his new owner would send him to the slaughterhouse to be killed for his meat and skin.
So even though the deeply poor family could have used the money from selling Houshya, they agreed that it wouldn't be right and sacrificed their income in order to save him. He has now been donated to Animal Rahat, where he will spend the rest of his life in retirement, under a shade tree, grazing and drinking water at will. He will also be given vitamins to help ease him into old age. The look on his face shows that he can't quite believe his new life!
Already, his nose rope, which has left its mark, has been replaced with a fine white halter. Piercing animals' nostrils is painful, and over time the rope cuts into the bull's sensitive skin.
Animal Rahat—a PETA-supported organization that provides veterinary care to working animals in India—is one of PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's favorite projects. She recently traveled to India and paid a visit to Sangli, where Animal Rahat works hard to provide relief for bullocks like Houshya who toil long days hauling goods ranging from sugar cane to gasoline. You can read more about her trip on her blog, and you can help these gentle animals by making a donation to Animal Rahat.
Tomorrow is the birthday of PETA's favorite British comedian (Ricky Gervais … obviously), so PETA Europe has teamed up with Animal Rahat to give him a very unusual present … a bullock! Well, they haven't exactly gift-wrapped and mailed him a bullock—that would just be wrong—but they have rescued and retired a hardworking bullock through Animal Rahat and named the lucky guy "Ricky" in Gervais' honor.
Gervais' cute namesake is a 20-year-old bull who has worked the sugar mill district in Sangli, India, his entire life and would have been sent to slaughter if Animal Rahat had not rescued him.
PETA Europe wanted to give Ricky an extra-special birthday present this year for being such a great sport for animals. As you may recall, the star launched into a hilarious "tirade" earlier this year against organizations that send animals to people in developing countries. Recognizing that impoverished people often lack the basic means to feed and care for the animals they receive, Ricky remarked, "There's nothing in it for the goat!"
Add to that the letter he sent to Gordon Brown asking for an end to the use of real bearskins for The Queen's Guards' caps and his teaming up with Pink to voice one of the characters in our Stolen for Fashion CGI video, and you have one compassionate comedian who deserves a great big "Thank you!"
Happy birthday, Ricky.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Yesterday, PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk turned 60! (Can you believe it? She says, "Yes, count the crow's feet!") Our staff asked supporters who wanted to wish Ingrid a happy birthday to send a donation to one of her favorite programs, Animal Rahat. And boy, did you come through. So far, birthday well-wishers have donated more than $12,000 to Animal Rahat, and that means the world to all those bulls and donkeys!
The folks at Animal Rahat were tickled to be the recipients of such generous gifts, so they made a birthday cake and gave out celebratory fresh grass (a big treat for the animals) and vital nutrition packs along the village roadways. Here are some photos of the big shindig:
For those of you who aren't familiar with Animal Rahat's work, it provides desperately needed relief—such as food, veterinary care, water stations, and portable sunshades—to working animals in India. It also runs relief camps where injured, sick, and debilitated animals can recuperate as well as a retirement center where elderly animals can live out their golden years in comfort. Check out these photos of Animal Rahat in action:
Thank you all for helping to improve the lives of these working animals.
Tomorrow, PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk will celebrate her big 6-0, and we've received some queries from people wondering what to get her. Well, wonder no more, friends. We've got just the thing!
One cause that's very close to Ingrid's heart is Animal Rahat, and no wonder: Animal Rahat helps hard-working bullocks, donkeys, ponies, and horses in India, where Ingrid spent much of her childhood. Animal Rahat gives them relief (that's what "rahat" means) from the heat, water to quench their raging thirst, a place to rest when they fall lame, veterinary care for their yoke and harness injuries, and sometimes even fodder during periods of draught when the subsistence farmers who own them can't afford to feed them.
Rahat also offers a program that allows bullocks to retire and live out their lives with their human families instead of being sent to slaughter. You may recall the story we shared with you recently about Shilya's retirement—and he's just one of Rahat's success stories.
Animal Rahat is doing great things for some of the least fortunate animals on Earth. To help them out—and to sign Ingrid's birthday card—just zip over here.
Written by Jeff Mackey
What if you could help a truly worthy cause, which helps animals who have some of the worst lives on the planet? Well, snap, you can!
Forget Heifer International (I'll tell you why in a minute)—here's the wonderful Animal Rahat, which means "animal relief." Animal Rahat is based in Indian villages that produce bricks and sugar cane and was created (with PETA's help) to provide relief to the working bulls, donkeys, ponies, and horses the impoverished villagers rely on. Animal Rahat has greatly improved the lives of these animals by giving rest to the lame—something the owners could never afford by themselves in their hand-to-mouth existence. Animal Rahat also provides free medical relief to lame, sick, and injured animals. The owners of these animals are often too poor to afford even the most basic nutrients that the animals require to stay strong and healthy—let alone pay for veterinary services.
Animal Rahat has even created a retirement program in which owners are offered a small subsidy to "retire" older animals and allow them to live out the rest of their lives with their human families—rather than send them to hideously cruel slaughterhouses.
With the holidays upon us, kind folks are opening their checkbooks in the spirit of helping others. Please, let's not forget about those hard-pressed working animals who need a day's rest, a poultice for a wound, a bridle that doesn't eat into their faces, and more.
And let's not be fooled by organizations like Heifer International, which send animals to families abroad. This only perpetuates the cruelty to which animals raised for food are subjected—and they always end up slaughtered. And in addition to preventing daily cruelty, it's far more efficient to feed the hungry on a vegetarian diet, as the resources stretch a lot further. After all, it takes 6–16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat—and that's a lot of wasted food …
So, why not save a life this holiday season and help these working animals? You know you want to …
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
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
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.