Written by PETA
It's been a busy, busy week here at PETA. With so many different campaigns in full swing, we've had people out on the streets protesting the circus, and McDonald's, and the seal slaughter, and … phew. Why don't you just check out the pictures?
Written by Lianne Turner
In a move that is waaaay long past overdue, a military panel has recommended adding cruelty to animals to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is the foundation of US military law. Hard to believe it wasn't already in there, but we're just glad it's in the works now.
Last year, PETA called for such a provision after a video of a Marine apparently throwing a live puppy off a cliff circulated on the Internet. If this new regulation is added, service personnel who commit such atrocities could be prosecuted specifically for cruelty to animals, as opposed to military authorities having to scramble to find some vaguely-worded offense, such as "unbecoming conduct," to file such crimes under.
The law is intended to address crimes like killing or abandoning companion animals, but maybe it will also add fuel to our case that lethal military trauma training exercises on animals violate military code too.
Before it can be added to the UCMJ, the new provision has to be approved by Congress. Congress, you know what you have to do.
Written by Alisa Mullins
PETA's bikinied beauties are on a mission to help residents of the fattest cities in America shed some weight. First stop: San Jose.
What better way to encourage locals to adopt a vegetarian diet than to give them a sampling of delicious, nutritious vegetarian cuisine? Though our beauties may be decked out in nothing but lettuce leaves, vegetarian means more than just salad. So, behold! The veggie hot dog:
Meat consumption has been directly linked to obesity, but adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. If that isn't enough to make even the most die-hard carnivore go vegetarian, maybe knowing that ditching meat will also help fight heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and certain types of cancer will.
Written by Liz Graffeo
When Vickie McCauley unwrapped the body that she and her co-workers had found abandoned near their Austin office, she was sickened by what she saw. The pit bull's paws were reportedly bound with rope, her throat had been sliced open, and her face had been set on fire.
"If I think about what they did to her and she was alive," McCauley said. "It makes me cry because it makes me so sad."
Officials apparently didn't bother to unwrap the bundle, possibly assuming that the dog had simply been discarded there by someone who had nowhere else to put her after she died.
But McCauley wasn't willing to let the poor, tortured animal's suffering go unpunished. She demanded justice and insisted on further investigation. McCauley turned to the Internet, where she has been circulating pictures and pleas for help. "This is torture worse than I've ever seen in my life," McCauley said. "And, I want whoever did this to know this is wrong! You can't go around doing things like this to animals."
We have stepped in and are offering a $2,500 reward to help find the person (or people) responsible for this atrocious crime. But cruelty cases like this are all too common, so if you become aware of animal abuse, follow Vickie McCauley's example and insist that authorities take action!
Written by Jeff Mackey
Smithfield execs, who live high off the hog—actually, it's more like about 27 million hogs—have just decided that they cannot keep their promise to phase out gestation crates over the next 10 years.
Smithfield states, "Due to recent significant operating losses incurred by our Hog Production segment, we have delayed capital expenditures for the program such that we no longer expect to complete the phase-out within ten years of the original announcement."
These gestation crates that Smithfield is dragging its feet on phasing out are called "iron maidens" after medieval torture devices, and for good reason—sows kept in them cannot turn around, and their muscles atrophy. Over time, pigs kept in these horrid conditions develop sores from lying on filthy concrete and go insane from the confinement.
Consider that just three years' compensation for Smithfield's directors would more than cover the cost of a complete crate phase-out. Smithfield's claim that it can't spare pennies a pig to improve these animals' living conditions makes Ebenezer Scrooge look like a philanthropist and erodes any trust the company hopes to build with its consumers or with PETA.
Once again, animal welfare has taken a backseat to corporate profit. Smithfield can rest assured that we'll be at its annual meeting this August, making sure that pigs are heard.
Written by Karin Bennett
If you've already caught any of this summer's movie blockbusters, you may have seen Sprint's "turn off your cell phone" reminder, which features a live chimpanzee.
Witnessing animal abuse during the previews definitely ruins a movie before it starts, but—thanks to those who participated in our action alert and all of you who tweeted at Sprint—we're thrilled to announce that the company has decided to stop circulating the ads as of July 3 and has pledged never to feature great apes in future ad campaigns. Yay! Check out Sprint's full statement on its Web site.
Chimpanzees and other great apes who are forced into the entertainment industry are ripped away from their mothers when they are only days old, are trained by being beaten, kicked, and punched, and are then discarded at filthy roadside zoos when they're no longer useful in show business. After learning about this abuse, progressive companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., SEGA, Honda, PUMA, Yahoo!, Subaru, and now Sprint have been quick to step up and take a stand for animals. Castrol, are you listening?
Recent news reports have confirmed that there is fowl play going on at the Polson Health and Rehabilitation Center in Polson, Montana, and according to inside sources, the residents of the facility couldn't be happier about it. In fact, last week's visit from "Fowl Play"—a "therapy chicken" program featuring Carlita the Cornish game hen and Alex the rooster—left the crowd begging for more.
Accompanied by their adopted mom, Jana Clairmont, Carlita and Alex visited the facility to cheer up residents. The plucky pair were treated like rock flock stars and basked in the attention as people cuddled with and cooed over them. That's why we wrote to Polson officials and asked them to chuck the chicken meat off the menu—out of respect for Carlita, Alex, and the billions of smart, interesting birds just like them who are abused on factory farms each year.
In return, we're willing to supply Polson with oh-so-yummy Gardein mock-meat products—approved by Carlita and Alex! Check back to keep abreast of our Polson poultry plea.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
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
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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.