Written by PETA
Grammar Nazis—(cough) PETA editors (cough)—listen up: It turns out that you might have more in common with monkeys than with your fellow humans.
New research suggests that nonhuman animals are capable of communicating not only among their own kind but also with members of other species. Klaus Zuberbühler, a psychologist at University of St. Andrews in Scotland, spent hundreds of hours listening to the calls of Campbell's monkeys and other species, gradually decoding their language, which is so grammatically sophisticated that it uses suffixes to change the meaning of calls based on the kinds of animals posing a threat. These intricate calls, which are used to pass on complex information about predators and their whereabouts, could be understood by other species of monkeys and even by birds such as hornbills.
We're constantly learning more about the countless ways in which animals of all kinds are brilliant, selfless, and complex. Meanwhile, with all our texts, tweets, and e-mails, we sometimes can't even talk to other humans—let alone other members of other species (um, TISNF, BBIAB, FUBAR—WTF?).
Written by Logan Scherer
The following is a guest post from PETA Living's Mylie.
Yes, you read that right: Starbucks now has vegan cookies. As if Starbucks weren't already super vegan-friendly simply by offering soy milk, now it has something that you can dunk in that soy latte. Among a plethora of new healthy snacks it's carrying, like fruit and nut bars, granola, and fruit snacks, Starbucks is now carrying vegan and allergy-friendly Lucy's cookies.
When Dr. Lucy Gibney, the mastermind behind these delicious cookies, learned that her child suffers from severe food allergies, she decided to do some serious cookie research to find a recipe that would be safe for her little one to enjoy. What she stumbled upon led her to create her very own recipe for cookie success! What's even sweeter than vegan cookies at Starbucks? You can now enter to win a case of them in our contest.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick some up today on your lunch break and share our contest on Facebook with your family and friends!
Written by Mylie Thompson
Urban legend has it that Eskimos have 400 words for "snow," but how many do they have for "snowman"?
Unlike real snowmen, these guys thrived in the Ottawa Sun. Passersby couldn't stop looking and were delighted to get to know our blizzard buddies, who educated onlookers about the hundreds of thousands of baby seals who are shot or have their skulls crushed every year. With this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver approaching, help Canada clean up its reputation by urging officials to end the seal slaughter immediately.
Behold the power of the pen and the protest: Walker Bros. Circus has axed elephant acts from its lineup—and it seems that there's little chance the pachyderms will return. A spokesperson told KeyNews.com that the circus has "basically done away with using exotic animals in the show because of the [animal rights] activists."
PETA has long denounced Walker Bros. Circus for its abuse of elephants, many of whom were leased from Hawthorn Corp., which was forced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to surrender 16 elephants after the agency charged both Hawthorn and Walker Bros. Circus with numerous serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
It was the concern and actions of caring people that prompted Walker Bros. Circus to finally drop exotic animals from its lineup—and maybe the circus will eventually drop all animal acts. Let's remember this as we continue to rally against Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's shocking mistreatment of elephants and other animals.
Written by Karin Bennett
Remember when George Costanza couldn't open a condom wrapper? Well, if you're a resident of NYC, there's a chance that you might soon find yourself in a similar pickle—all because you won't want to mar this brilliant design, which we're entering in the New York City Department of Health's contest for the best condom-package design:
It's pretty clear that a cruelty-free diet can slash your chances of suffering from impotence, and many vegan foods are loaded with natural aphrodisiacs. How many other condoms protect you, your partner, and 100 animals per year?
"[T]he USDA is making every effort to make sure that today's children are the first American generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents."—USDA Blog, January 15, 2010
Call the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) recent blunder whatever you want—a Freudian typo, a meaningful misprint, an epic blog fail—but we can all agree that the error was a telling one, accidentally revealing the truth about the USDA. We know that the USDA meant to write, "the USDA is making every effort to make sure that today's children are not the first American generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents" [emphasis added], but by promoting meat, eggs, and dairy products and allowing the National School Lunch Program to serve these fatty, cholesterol-laden foods to schoolchildren, the USDA is putting kids' lives at risk.
The typo has already been corrected on the USDA's blog, but the real, fatal error won't be corrected until the USDA starts urging children to eat cruelty-free.
Let's get some crustacean cheers up in here—Kalahari Resorts is removing all Lobster Zone "games" from its locations in Wisconsin and Ohio.
The Lobster Zone, found in some bars and restaurants, allows patrons to grab at lobsters and pluck one out of a machine using a joystick-controlled crane with an attached claw. Caught lobsters are dropped down a chute like a cheap trinket, subsequently boiled or cut up while they are still alive, and then eaten. After receiving calls from Kalahari Resort patrons who were dismayed at the filthy living conditions of the lobsters in the Lobster Zone machine and reported that the animals were attempting to flee the claw whenever it was in motion, we sent a letter to the president of Kalahari Resorts, Todd Nelson, urging him to remove the game. It wasn't until PETA supporters themselves wrote Nelson that he decided to drop the machine. To everyone who took action, thank you.
Lobsters feel pain just as other animals do, and they are naturally very solitary animals. In the wild, they spend months buried in the sand, coming out briefly to forage and then returning to the safety of their homes. They should never be forced to languish in crowded, filthy tanks. If you ever see a Lobster Zone game or a lobster tank in a store or a restaurant, talk to the manager, write a letter to the owner, and tell everyone you know to take action.
Last night's Unwrapped, which featured Sweet & Sara's vegan s'mores, had me thinking that HD stood for highly delicious. Unlucky for me, I was stuck with unfulfilled temptation—the treats in prime viewing range, but nowhere near me to be eaten. Lucky for you, the lure of vegan marshmallows on Food Network last night has resulted in today's "Win It" Wednesday prize—these Sweet and Sara heart-shaped, chocolate-dipped, cruelty-free marshmallows:
To win these confectionary hearts, tell us how you'll celebrate Valentine's Day with the animals in your life. The three readers with the holiday plans that warm us the most will each get three of these giant, hand-dipped marshmallows. If you can't wait for us to announce the winners, hurry over to Sweet & Sara's Web site—right now, you can get a 20 percent discount by entering FN20, the Food Network Code, at checkout.
I didn't hesitate for a second to jump from 12,500 feet or touch clouds over Kauai—but I'm pretty certain it would take a lot of convincing to get me to strip in front of a camera.
So I say "Hats (and skirt, blouse, and stay-ups) off!" to L.A.-based actor Marissa Lewis for her rousing delivery of PETA's annual State of the Union Undress. Not only was the curvy cutie willing to bare her body for animals, she took time to sit down and share her thoughts and feelings about animal rights—and why she didn't hesitate to take it all off for this project.
What made you decide to take it all off for PETA's State of the Union Undress? When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a veterinarian when I grew up. As I got older, I decided to choose a different career path. I have always had a strong love for animals, and I believe that your mind, body, and soul is a supernatural inheritance from God, and how you use it is your choice! It's up to us as individuals to make a difference.
A vegetarian diet looks great on you! What inspired you to go vegetarian, and how has it changed your life?My love for animals inspired me to go vegetarian. PETA's informative videos are very eye-opening—seeing all the cruelty that is imposed upon animals turned me vegetarian instantly. Since I stopped eating meat, I have felt lighter and leaner.
What is one major victory for animals that you'd like to see happen in 2010?I would love to see a law passed saying that no animal could be caged or chained.
While talking about her naked PETA ad, Eva Mendes recently said, "My mom cringed when she saw me naked." Does your mom know about this video? What does she think?When I told my parents about the video, they were pretty excited. They are very supportive of me and my choices. My mother told me that when she was pregnant with me, her doctor placed her on a vegetarian diet. She could not keep meat down at all. :) That was something that I never knew until I shared my choice with my parents. :)
You're an actor in L.A., so—besides this PETA video—what else can your newfound fans see you in?Follow me at Twitter.com/MarissaForPETA. :)
OK, I know that there are a lot of readers out there wondering this: Are you single?I'm definitely not ruling out the idea of a boyfriend, but right now I'm focused on God, myself, and my career.
Besides being vegetarian and willing to strip for the cause, is there anything else that you do to stay active for animals?I actively post and tweet PETA links at Twitter.com/MarissaForPETA, I suggest animals rights books to friends, I place animal rights stickers on each envelope I mail out, and I refuse to wear fur! In the future, I plan on getting the message out to local, national, and international media and to as many people as I possibly can in the hope that I can make a difference. I also want to mention that I adore my kitty Simba. She means everything to me—I love to pamper my beautiful lioness (meeeoww). :)
Now I'd like to ask you: Which of PETA's naked demos or events would you jump to join in on?
Everyone who has seen Jackie Chan's latest action-comedy, The Spy Next Door, should recognize the adorable face in our newest Q&A video. Six-year-old Alina Foley plays Nora, the youngest of the three kids whom CIA superspy Bob (played by Chan) looks after while his girlfriend/next-door neighbor is out of town. For those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, I shall say no more. However, Alina is quite the scene-stealer.
When we found out that this spunky young actor was vegetarian, we couldn't wait to sit down with her. Alina didn't hesitate to let us know why she chose to give up meat and how other kids can work to get vegetarian lunch options offered in their school cafeterias. She also spilled about her two dogs, Bella and Jasmine. Too cute! Young people who take action always tug at my heartstrings—how about yours?
Written by Shawna Flavell
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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.