Written by PETA
If you had asked me last week to name my favorite Richard Gere moment, I would have taken a long pause before finally deciding on that scene in the 1980s movie American Gigolo when he shimmied in his boxers as he paired his ties to shirts. What can I say? I've always appreciated a man who cares about his appearance.
Much more so, I appreciate a man who speaks out in favor of compassionate actions for animals—so it makes perfect sense that my new favorite Richard Gere moments happened very recently and in real life. According to the New Zealand Herald, the actor, who is a Buddhist, marched with hundreds of monks and activists to support efforts by Tibetans for a Vegetarian Society to transform Bodhgaya, in the Indian state of Bihar, into a vegetarian zone. "Bodhgaya is a pious place and I want to come here again," Mr. Gere said, adding, "I am with the people who have launched this campaign."
It makes perfect sense that Bodhgaya, believed by Buddhists to be where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment around 500 B.C., be "vegetized" in keeping with Buddhism's message of peace. After all, opposition to the taking of life is a core principle of Buddhism.
The founder of Tibetans for a Vegetarian Society, Tenzin Kunga Luding, notes that Gere's participation in and support of the march "has helped the cause a lot," and he adds, "This most sacred land will act as a model for other places to emulate and will impart more positive influence for the well-being of all humans, animals, and the environment."
Written by Karin Bennett
Mali, an Asian elephant imprisoned at the Manila Zoo, was only 3 years old when she was torn away from her mother and shipped away to live in captivity.
For more than 30 years, Mali has spent her days alone in a barren enclosure with only a small pool for entertainment and relief from the heat. Mali paces her small area incessantly or stands in one spot with her trunk to the ground. Mali has reportedly walked to the edge of her enclosure, reached out her foot in the hope of going farther, and even after feeling empty space, stepped back and repeated this movement, evidence of her boredom, loneliness, and frustration. In their natural habitats, Asian elephants have homes ranges that are between 25,000 and 60,000 hectares, but the entire Manila Zoo measures only 5.5 hectares. Even if Mali's enclosure were doubled or tripled in size, it would still be completely inadequate.
PETA Asia-Pacific has just released a report that documents Mali's bleak existence. The report includes a letter from Carol Buckley, who has more than 35 years of professional experience in the care and management of Asian elephants and who operates The Elephant Sanctuary—the largest rehabilitation and living center for former captive elephants—where she has offered Mali a permanent home.
If swift action isn't taken to save Mali and the many other animals locked up at the Manila Zoo, they may meet the same fate as Sisi—the orangutan who died of cancer last year at the facility. Please sign PETA Asia Pacific's petition requesting relief for the animals at the Manila Zoo and urge everyone you know to do the same.
Written by Logan Scherer
Just a few weeks ago, we celebrated the promised release of Robert—the tabby who was purchased by the University of Utah (the U) for $15 from the Davis County Animal Shelter and used in a cruel experiment in which his skull was cut open and electrodes were implanted in his brain. Robert has been adopted into a new home, but the majority of the 105 dogs and cats who were purchased from Davis County Animal Control last year remain caged in the U's labs and won't be given the same chance.
In the two months since we first released footage of our undercover investigation inside the U, PETA has repeatedly attempted to obtain documents related to the purchase of animals like Robert, but county officials have failed to cooperate, in what appears to be a violation of the state's Government Records Access and Management Act. So this morning, PETA filed a lawsuit against the county demanding access to these documents, which will shed more light on Davis County's betrayal of both animals and community members who are unaware that the beloved companions they surrender may be mutilated and killed in laboratories.
Today, PETA is also launching a new video called "Betrayal of Trust," which reveals the plight of some of the dogs and cats whom the U purchased from local animal shelters for its cruel and deadly experiments. The video contains footage from inside the Davis County Animal Shelter and the U's animal laboratories, including a clip of Lady, a friendly German shepherd whom the U purchased from the shelter for $20. Experimenters cut open her neck and implanted a medical device for a heart experiment. At the end of the experiment, Lady will be killed and "go to the dump," as one vet tech in our new video explains.
PETA's working overtime to ensure that shelter animals will no longer be betrayed by Davis County and the University of Utah. Please take just a few moments to help by contacting the school and demanding an end to this shameful practice.
Written by Logan Scherer
I ♥ Target. In addition to the mega-retailer carrying cruelty-free cosmetics and stylish, skin-free kicks, Target recently made the decision to save the lives of hundreds of frogs.
When PETA found out that Target was selling a miniature aquarium called "Planet Frog"—a tiny, plastic prison that's very similar to Brookstone's "Frog-O-Sphere"—we reached out to the corporation's execs. We told them that biologists and wildlife specialists believe the mini-aquariums are cruel and inadequate for frogs and can be hazardous to children's health, exposing them to diseases such as salmonellosis, sparganosis, and psittacosis. We also pointed out an alarming stat: Since May 2009, at least 85 people from 31 states have become ill after exposure to water frogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Hmm … National retailers start selling frogs in tiny tanks. People all across the country get sick from exposure to water frogs. Coinkidink? Methinks not.)
We asked Target to stop selling "Planet Frog," and they agreed to do just that—easy peasy. No need to send out the troops, call on our celebrity friends, or launch a letter-writing campaign.
Brookstone execs could learn a lot from Target about how make a responsible, compassionate decision without weeks of hand-wringing. Will you ask them to follow Target's lead?
For two years, we've been protesting the U.S. government's declaration of war on animals. The military abuses thousands of healthy animals in trauma training exercises, even though superior non-animal methods are available. In these exercises, pigs are shot, stabbed, and burned; goats have their legs broken with bolt cutters and cut off with shears; and monkeys are poisoned with toxic chemicals.
Now, U.S. Representative Bob Filner (D-Calif.) has joined the effort to replace the cruel and crude use of animals in military medical training by introducing the BEST Practices Act (H.R. 4269). This act, if passed, would replace the current deadly use of live animals with sophisticated, human-focused training methods, such as high-tech human patient simulators, that better prepare soldiers to treat their fallen comrades on the battlefield.
This week, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is leading Citizen Lobbyist Week, encouraging people across the country to back the BEST Practices Act and speak out in behalf of the pigs, goats, and monkeys who are tormented on military bases. You can take action by asking your congressional representative to support the bill. Get out your pleather boots, soldiers—here's to no more animal casualties!
Newsflash: Cows on dairy farms aren't happy. In fact, they are quite the opposite.
So how is it that the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) can continue to claim that the "best" cheese comes from California's supposedly ecstatic cows?
You know the ads—the one with a handful of free-roaming, robust cows cavorting sassily under a cheerful California sky? Apparently we're expected to believe that all cows used on dairy farms in California look like this …
… as opposed to this:
In the past, we've had some choice words on the subject of California's supposedly happy cows. In 2002, PETA filed suit against the CMAB for false advertising—but the California Supreme Court refused to hear the case on the grounds that as a government agency, the CMAB can’t be sued for violating California state advertising laws.*
But we kept fighting the good fight against the CMAB's false advertising with a series of "Unhappy Cow" demonstrations and public service announcements, including a few starring the man himself, animal crusader James Cromwell. And now, on the heels of our most recent undercover investigation inside a dairy farm, the time has come to return to the trenches.
We're filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, calling on it to make the CMAB stop lying to consumers about the way cows on dairy farms are treated. "Happy cow" ads mislead consumers into believing that California dairy cows are pasture raised, free roaming, and grass fed and live in conditions that make them "happy" (i.e., that they are well cared for, content, comfortable, and healthy). In reality, these cows are drugged up, over-milked, and denied even the most basic care. Doesn't sound like a "happy cow" to me.
Written by Amanda Schinke
*Let's put aside how alarming one might find the idea of a government not subject to regulation.
I think I'm finally morphing into a football fan. First, I learned about all the excellent veggie fare at football stadiums, and today PETA released an exclusive interview with hunky football tight end Tony Gonzalez, and his gaga-gorgeous wife, October.
After their sexy shoot for a new anti-fur ad for PETA, the couple sat down to talk about the benefits of a plant-based diet. In the interview, Tony calls the cruel treatment of animals on factory farms "appalling" and describes how his health improved dramatically after ditching meat and dairy products two years ago.
On the many benefits of his mainly plant-based diet, Tony says, "I'm going into my 13th year in the NFL, and I switched over [to a plant-based diet] two years ago. … [T]he day after a game, everybody's sore … and I'm jumping rope and they're looking at me like, 'Man you're supposed to be the old guy on the team. You're acting like you're the youngest guy on the team.'"
I may be Tony's newest admirer, but I have no doubt that many of his longtime fans will follow his lead and explore meat-free cuisine.
Written by Karin Bennett
As a PETA intern, I've had the opportunity to tour several cities protesting everything from the dairy industry to glue traps. But the most attention-grabbing of all the tours I've taken part in involved setting up a steel-jaw trap in cities throughout the Midwest, including Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, and Lansing.
Every year, millions of animals are drowned, gassed, electrocuted, and even skinned alive to produce fur coats and trim, yet there are no federal laws to protect animals on fur farms. Covered in blood and wearing a fur coat that was donated to PETA, I had the opportunity to educate people about the horrors of the fur industry by pretending to be trapped like an animal captured for his or her fur.
Some passersby looked on in fear, some stopped to make sure I was breathing, and others thanked us for speaking up for animals. One guy even purchased a vegetarian lunch because of our demonstration.
Many top retailers and designers refuse to sell or work with fur, but callous designers such as Giorgio Armani ignore the fact that synthetics are more practical and just as luxurious—not to mention cruelty-free.
My PETA internship has been a tremendous experience that's allowed me to educate people about the fur industry, meet concerned citizens from around the country, and fight for the rights of animals everywhere. How about you give it a go?
Written by PETA intern Stephanie Boardmen
Litter isn't just ugly and dirty—it kills. Artist Chris Jordan took a series of photographs of albatross chicks, and the photos are so surreal that I thought they were part of some strange pop-art installation meant to shock and disturb the viewer. The genuine shock, though, came when I found out that these are unaltered images of real birds.
Taken at Midway Atoll, a remote stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific, the photographs depict corpses of albatross chicks whose parents mistakenly picked up plastic in the ocean thinking it was food. With bellies full of plastic, the chicks died from starvation, toxicity, and choking.
This isn't the first time that this tragedy has been documented. Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking used her film documentary about the Midway Atoll to get the very first ban on plastic bags enacted in Modbury, England, and her essay about it was published in Ingrid E. Newkirk's book, One Can Make a Difference.
Every year, this lethal diet of trash kills tens of thousands of albatross chicks on Midway, which is 2,000 miles from the nearest continent—proof that the empty lighters and fishing line that people carelessly discard on roadsides and beachfronts suffocates and poisons animals who inadvertently consume it. It takes only seconds for us to throw away our trash instead of littering and putting the lives of countless animals in danger. If you spot litter, pick it up, and if you catch someone littering, say something—you may literally be saving a life. It really is that easy to be kind.
As if we needed another reason to adore Ellen DeGeneres, the delightfully ubiquitous comic loves her vegan lifestyle and wants everyone to know it. She's dedicated a page of her Web site to promoting her cruelty-free existence. On this new Web page, she writes the following:
I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn't disconnect myself from it any longer. I read books like Diet for a New America and saw documentaries like Earthlings and Meet Your Meat, and it became an easy choice for me.If you choose to educate yourself, it'll be an easy choice for you, too. Click here to take a look at a variety of reasons for living a vegan life.
I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn't disconnect myself from it any longer. I read books like Diet for a New America and saw documentaries like Earthlings and Meet Your Meat, and it became an easy choice for me.
If you choose to educate yourself, it'll be an easy choice for you, too. Click here to take a look at a variety of reasons for living a vegan life.
This has me wondering if we can petition to change the American Idol rules: Can Ellen, who is next season's new judge, be crowned American Idol? After all, her powers of persuasion are undeniably charming, and I can't think of anyone better to convince people to make the compassionate, healthy, and environmentally conscious decision to go vegan.
Posted by Logan Scherer
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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.