Written by PETA
It's been barely a week since the fabulous Pamela Anderson rolled up her sleeves and opened her wallet to help PETA rescue nearly 50 dogs from overflowing Gulf-area animal shelters, and she's already back in action—this time, she's helping PETA rescue a special group of cats.
Pamela is helping pay for veterinary care for nearly 30 "special needs" cats, many of whom are suffering from illnesses and injuries (one has a misshapen face, another is half a leg short of four) or from chronic stress from being left at an animal shelter some years ago. The gang of 30 is en route from New Orleans–area shelters to PETA's headquarters. uShip, an online shipping company, has generously donated its services to transport the cats, and our staff is taking care of the animals along the way. Two desperate dogs—Sandy, a lab mix with a flea allergy, and Cassie, a pug mix—came along as stowaways and will be transferred to our friends at the Washington Animal Rescue League's well-run shelter in Washington, D.C.
Countless cats have been abandoned in the wake of the Gulf oil gusher. Older and "special needs" cats have an especially hard time finding homes because animal shelters are flooded with kittens who were born because people didn't have their cats spayed or neutered. There are many advantages to adopting a mature feline—including knowing what the cat's personality is like and bypassing the rambunctious kitten stage. Virginia residents with exemplary veterinary references and quiet households who are interested in giving one (or two!) of these hard-luck cats a second chance can visit PETA.org to fill out an adoption application.
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
As promised on Friday, here are photos from Pamela Anderson's trip to New Orleans to walk and give treats to the dogs PETA is transporting from crowded animal shelters in oil-ravaged Louisiana to Virginia for adoption:
Pamela decided to adopt two of the dogs on the spot and named them Gina Lollobrigida and Bardot. The rest of the dogs—almost 50 adult dogs and puppies—are en route to PETA headquarters. Feeling inspired by Pamela's kindness? Saving dogs and cats in shelters is as easy as always spaying and neutering your animal companions and adopting animals from shelters instead of buying them from breeders or pet stores. And if your dogs and cats are already fixed, please consider either donating to PETA's "Spay and Neuter Immediately, Please!" (SNIP) program or helping someone in a low-income area near where you live to get his or her dog or cat fixed. Pamela is poised to blow a kiss in your direction for these good deeds.
The Gulf oil catastrophe has been hard on all animals, including the countless dogs and cats who have been surrendered at Louisiana animal shelters because their guardians have lost their jobs or left the area. But thanks to the generosity of our very own Pamela Anderson, dozens of dogs will be getting a lift from crowded shelters in Louisiana to Virginia this weekend. Pamela has paid for the dogs' local adoption, spay or neuter surgery, and flea treatment costs and will be helping volunteers walk the dogs before their journey north. Once the dogs arrive in Virginia, PETA will be holding an adopt-a-thon with the Virginia Beach SPCA in order to place the dogs in loving new homes. Special thanks also go out to American Airlines and Southwest Airlines for flying in PETA volunteers free of charge from both sides of the country to help with the dogs' move.
Want to help? The most important action we can take is to have our animals spayed or neutered in order to prevent more animals from ending up homeless and to help ensure that animal shelters have room to accommodate animals who are victims of disasters. Louisiana residents who are ready to open their hearts and homes to one of these dogs can learn about adopting at HumaneLA.org, and Virginia residents can visit VBSPCA.com.
Stay tuned for photos of Pamela and the dogs!
Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post
A cap on the massive gusher in the Gulf of Mexico has stanched the flow of oil (although seepage has been detected), but millions of gallons of crude in the water continue to wreak havoc. According to an Associated Press article, oil has now coated up to 400 pelicans and hundreds of terns who live on Raccoon Island, Louisiana's largest seabird-nesting area. Ten thousand birds nest there, and biologists now think that the government's original estimate of the number of birds who have been affected by the oil may have been far too low.
So what can we do? Reduce our dependence on oil by biking, walking, or carpooling and switch to an Earth- and animal-friendly vegan diet. And if this news makes you want to get rude about the crude, we've got just the thing to help you tell BP what you think about its failure to save wildlife and prepare for catastrophes such as the recent oil spill.
The following posting originally appeared in The Sacramento Bee.
If anyone out there is still wondering about the superiority of alternatives to animal tests, look no further than what is happening right now in the Gulf of Mexico. In its efforts to assist the devastated region, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is saving time, money, and the lives of countless animals—those suffering in laboratories—by using efficient and effective non-animal methods to study the endocrine effects of chemical dispersants that could be used to clean up the oil gusher.
In fact, using non-animal testing methods is the only way that the EPA can get information about these chemicals in a short period of time—a few weeks as opposed to years. Without such sophisticated methods, the EPA would have to rely on crude and cruel animal toxicity tests that date back to the 1930s, and we would be waiting years to know anything at all about these chemicals. Considering the dire conditions of the region, waiting years for an answer is simply not an option.
The modern in vitro tests that the EPA has on hand to study the endocrine effects of eight oil spill dispersants are rapid and automated, in contrast to what the EPA calls "time consuming and expensive" animal tests. Testing one chemical on animals can cost millions, versus the EPA's estimated $20,000 using in vitro testing. And while cost considerations are important, turn-around time is even more essential as ecosystems totter on the brink of disaster. The EPA states that, on average, it would take a researcher "eight hours a day, five days a week, for 12 years" to conduct these studies using traditional animal tests. The computer-driven in vitro tests deliver results in three days. The EPA has already completed the first round of toxicity testing on these dispersants.
The situation in the Gulf highlights the necessity of toxicology testing reform. Most of the tests used in standard chemical screening today were developed in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. They are heavily reliant on animals, are slow and costly, and have yielded inaccurate information about the effects of chemicals on humans. And they have allowed dangerous chemicals such as benzene and arsenic to enter and remain on the market—even after millions of animals have been killed in decades of testing.
Our current system is overloaded and incapable of accurately screening the tens of thousands of chemicals reportedly in the environment already, with more entering every day. Scientists and government agencies are now recognizing that "it is simply not possible with all the animals in the world to go through new chemicals in the blind way that we have at the present time, and reach credible conclusions about the hazards to human health" (Dr. Joshua Lederberg, Nobel laureate in medicine).
Indeed, Congress and the EPA are now looking to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act to bring chemical regulation into the 21st century. The EPA and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) are among the scientific organizations calling for toxicity testing methods that are human-relevant, faster, and cheaper and that use fewer or no animals.
In its 2007 report, the NAS confirmed that scientific advances can "transform toxicity testing from a system based on whole-animal testing to one founded primarily on in vitro (non-animal) methods." Such an approach will improve efficiency, speed, and prediction for humans while cutting costs and reducing animal suffering. As it should, the newly introduced legislation supports the continued development and implementation of this shift toward non-animal methodologies.
As the case in the Gulf demonstrates, non-animal testing is the stuff of science—not "science fiction" as critics often contend—and it is surely the future of ensuring chemical safety.
Posted by Jessica Sandler, director of PETA's Regulatory Testing Division, and Dr. Kate Willett, PETA's science policy adviser
Got plans this upcoming Monday night? Cancel them. Spend the evening with Jane Velez-Mitchell instead! If you've watched her show, Issues With Jane Velez-Mitchell on Headline News (HLN), you know that this longtime vegan and PETA supporter is a dedicated animal rights activist who never misses an opportunity to speak up for animals. Now, she's hosting an unprecedented hour-long special devoted entirely to animal rights!
An exciting opportunity to bring animal welfare issues to the masses, Jane's show will take on topics such as the impact that the oil spill is having on animals, factory farming, the government's round-up of wild horses, the breeding of monkeys in Puerto Rico, and so much more. The program will also include interviews with PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange, Bob Barker, and actors Pierce Brosnan, and Jorja Fox. So grab your friends (or set your DVR), and watch!
"Jane Fights for Animal Rights" will air on Monday, July 5, at 7 p.m. ET on Headline News (HLN).
It's important to show networks that people are interested in animal rights issues, so please watch the program and thank CNN for airing it. Head on over to Facebook to RSVP to this event, and we'll even remind you to tune in!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
If you've been holding your breath waiting for the day when rats are no longer shoved into tiny containers and forced to breathe chemicals for six hours a day for up to 90 days in order to test chemicals and products such as cigarettes, asbestos, popcorn butter flavoring, jet fuel, and household stain removers, you are probably blue in the face by now. But you may be able to breathe a sigh of relief soon.
Scientists have developed a new apparatus called a lung-on-a-chip that can be used to replace these cruel chemical tests. This artificial lung can mimic the physiology of the organ and can even "breathe."According to a story in New Scientist, the device, which behaves like a real lung, is an "encouraging sign that ethically acceptable and cheaper alternatives to animal testing may be on the way."
PETA's regulatory testing experts (or, as I call them, "really smart staffers") are working hard to reform the government's chemical testing practices and are trying to get government officials to implement modern technology like the lung-on-a-chip. You can help by urging your senators to require the use of alternatives to animal tests in government testing programs. It is the 21st century, after all.
Written by Heather Moore
If you chose "B," you paid more attention in history class than I did.
Washington, D.C., is issuing a license plate commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, in which parts of the city were burned—including the White House and the Capitol—and they're asking the public for design submissions.
Of course, PETA could not resist the challenge of finding an animal rights message in a 200-year-old war—but rather than focus on that unfortunate burning-of-D.C. thing, we thought it would be better to focus on the national anthem, which was written after a U.S. victory. How does this patriotic play on words strike you?
Written by Alisa Mullins
Animals in Jersey City can rest a lot easier this Fourth of July now that a planned fireworks display has been canceled because of a lack of funds. We're asking city officials to end all future fireworks displays and replace them with less costly, more entertaining laser light shows instead.
Fireworks sound like all-out war to dogs, cats, and wildlife and can have devastating consequences. Just ask J.J., the terrified dog Karin wrote about in her recent blog post. My dog, Henry, and I are planning to just chill at home this year and have our own little laser light show (which consists of him chasing a laser pointer). Good times.
You, too, can ensure that a good (and safe) time is had by everyone in your household by following these dog-and-cat-approved fireworks survival tips. And of course, Happy Fourth of July!
Written by Amy Skylark Elizabeth
Anger continues to rise over the ongoing oil leak from a ruptured BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. Politicians, eager to show that they feel our pain, are taking a hard stance. Yet nowhere near enough attention has been paid to the most seriously harmed and still-threatened victims of the leak: The animals who live in and on the increasingly polluted waters.
But one notable exception is Barry Blitt's wonderful cover illustration for the June 7 issue of The New Yorker, which depicts an oil executive facing an inquiry conducted by coastal and aquatic animals. Now that's the kind of hearing that BP's bigwigs should be subjected to, because the stories and images coming out of the Gulf are devastating—and no amount of monetary compensation will save these animals: They cannot buy new wings or flippers. A dead sperm whale was found this week, though he or she may have died up to a week before being sighted. Other animals who are able to see and sense what is happening are fleeing to the shallow waters near the shore to try to escape the spreading oil, raising the risk of more deaths from lack of oxygen as a result of severe crowding.
This situation can seem overwhelming, but we can each help prevent these kinds of disasters by adopting a vegan diet as a way to reduce our dependence on oil. And we can insist that those in power address the dangers faced by the Gulf's most vulnerable residents.
Written by Jeff Mackey
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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.