Written by PETA
Update: PETA India has just announced that it will give its 2009 Proggy Award for International Leadership in the Field of Animal Rights to India's Central Zoo Authority (CZA) in recognition of the government organization's decision to ban the use of elephants in zoos and circuses.
That's right. India, which is home to an estimated 23,900 to 32,900 wild elephants, will no longer allow its most prominent national symbol—the elephant—to be imprisoned in zoos or forced to perform in circuses. The move by India's Central Zoo Authority (CZA) comes after years of campaigning by PETA India to improve conditions for captive elephants (it has already succeeded in getting performing elephants banned from Mumbai and other cities). PETA India repeatedly expressed concerns to the CZA about the mental and physical suffering endured by elephants when they are forced to spend all their time standing on hard concrete surfaces while confined to cramped enclosures that severely restrict their movement. Now the government has announced that all the elephants currently living in Indian zoos will be transferred to elephant camps run by the Forest Department. The camps will be located near protected areas, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries in India.
Back in 2005, PETA India embarked on an investigation of 14 major zoos throughout the country and found appalling neglect at every single facility. The group discovered hungry animals who were forced to forage among rotten food and garbage, animals who were confined to barren cages and enclosures without so much as a blade of grass, and animals who were deprived of shelter from monsoons and the blazing Indian sun.
At the Aurangabad Municipal Zoo in Maharashtra, a PETA India investigator found that the elephants were confined to a bleak concrete enclosure. All the elephants were chained, and one was tethered by both front legs with a spiked chain, effectively (and painfully) preventing him from moving more than a few shuffling steps in any direction.
After Rajkumar, an elephant at the Mumbai zoo, attacked his keeper, his intensive confinement prompted PETA India to file a lawsuit against the zoo. The court ruled in PETA India's favor, and Rajkumar was moved to another zoo in 2007.
Over the years, PETA India's campaign against the abysmal conditions for animals in captivity has garnered support from numerous celebrities, including UK Big Brother veteran Shilpa Shetty, Beatles guru Ravi Shankar, and Shankar's daughter Anoushka.
Congratulations to PETA India on this groundbreaking victory. Now, if only North American zoos and circuses would follow suit.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Yesterday, at Al Gore's book signing in Beverly Hills, it wasn't the former vice president who drew the most attention from the throngs of onlookers—it was our sexy Mother Earth who turned heads. The crowd showed Mother Earth all the love she's not getting from Gore, whose hypocritical addiction to meat is getting in the way of his call to go green.
Even Gore has admitted that going vegan helps save the environment. And the official handbook for Live Earth—the concert series that Gore himself helped organize—states that not eating meat is the "single most effective thing you can do" to curb climate change. So why hasn't he taken our effortless Pledge to Be Veg yet? Apparently, the simple, delicious truth is just too inconvenient.
Written by Logan Scherer
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to the picture of these horses, I'm still at a loss—this photo is worth a thousand chills:
When I was a child, I had a recurring nightmare that I was covered head-to-toe with needles that paralyzed me. I had no way of taking them out; I was helpless. But of course, I'd wake up, and it would all be over—it was only a twisted creation of my subconscious.
For the horses in the photo, however, my haunting nightmare was their reality. Covered in thick clusters of hard, prickly burrs, the horses endured constant discomfort, yet their neglectful owner continued to let the burrs accumulate in the horses' manes and tails for months.
After noticing the matted mess these horses had become, a concerned neighbor contacted PETA. We immediately got in touch with animal control, which had initially failed to respond to these concerns when our complainant first called for help. However, the agency was inspired by PETA caseworkers to force the owner to groom the horses immediately, and better yet, the horses were moved from the burr-infested property into a safer environment.
It is crucial that guardians have a comprehensive understanding of the care required to provide horses with a happy, healthy existence. Burrs, pebbles, and debris often cause debilitating bruises or thrush, a painful bacterial infection, which is why horses must be routinely cleaned and checked for markings. If you see or know of any animal who is not receiving proper care, please report it to your local law enforcement—the animal's life may depend on your speaking up.
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.
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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.