Written by PETA
Many of you have been writing to and calling the University of California–Irvine to demand that it stop using animals in horrible classroom experiments, and your efforts have paid off. The university has just announced that it's ending deadly procedures using rats and replacing them with sophisticated computer simulations.
In the cruel neuroscience experiments conducted at the university, undergrads were drilling holes into rats' skulls, damaging their brains with chemicals, and forcing them to perform in behavioral experiments to assess the brain damage they inflicted. Then the rats were killed. Following a complaint filed by PETA that included suggestions for non-animal alternatives, as well as thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls from our supporters, UC–Irvine conducted a review of the experiment and decided that modern, effective non-animal methods will now be used instead of animals.
Because of this victory, as many as 200 rats will be saved from suffering each year.
This is great news, but animals are still suffering in other labs, so it's no time to rest on our laurels.
Case in point: At Arizona State University (ASU), baby rats are killed in classroom experiments in which students remove the animals' small intestines and uteruses. In other experiments, frogs' brains are destroyed when pins are stuck through their skulls, and rabbits have holes cut into their chests and are injected with various drugs before being killed.
Please take a moment to contact ASU and urge the school to follow the example of UC–Irvine by putting an end to the use of animals in classroom laboratories once and for all.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Eight raging wildfires have consumed more than 140,000 acres in California over the past week. While thousands of people have been evacuated, crews of brave firefighters have headed in to battle the flames.
As a way of thanking the courageous firefighters for all their hard work, PETA sent a contingent of "cuties" to California with delicious, dairy-free Tofutti Cuties frozen desserts.
If only the fires would disappear as quickly as our tasty treats.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Just like the Beach Boys, we wish they all could be California girls—because California girls put on one heck of a protest! Check out these Left Coast ladies in action outside Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California:
Credit also goes to the California boys who attended the protest, including Scott Adams, a retired paramedic who used to teach trauma training courses (without using animals, of course). As he told a reporter for North County Times, "If I hadn't taught trauma, I probably wouldn't have formed such a strong opinion. They could use human cadavers; that would more closely mimic what they're trying to teach."
If you want to see for yourself what the protesters are up in arms about, check out the graphic photos that PETA has obtained of pigs who were stabbed, mutilated, and killed by Deployment Medicine International, the military contractor that conducts trauma training exercises for Camp Pendleton. After viewing the photos, please send an e-mail urging the government to stop stabbing and shooting animals and start using non-animal alternatives in all trauma training exercises.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Thanks for all of your wonderful comments on this Win It Wednesday. The winner of the GurglePot is Tara. Congratulations!
There are some words that are just fun to say. "Gurgle"—it's a whimsical word for a sound that gets my attention, whether it's my belly telling me it wants chocolaty goodness or my coffee pot signaling that my morning salvation is ready.
That sense of whimsy guides this week's "Win It" Wednesday and its prize, the GurglePot. It's a stoneware vase shaped like a fish sea kitten that "gurgles" when it's used to pour.
Who knows if a humuhumunukunukuapua'a really gurgles under water? Who cares?
We have one GurglePot to give away, and you can win it by giving us a sea kitten–friendly word that you think is the most fun to say.
Written by Karin Bennett
I'm fascinated by some celebrities' bizarre backstage demands—the Backstreet Boys' list of "must-haves" includes black nail polish while John Mayer's concert rider includes a demand for four soft-headed toothbrushes.
The most recent celebrity requests to pop up during my Internet perusing left me giddy instead of scratching my head. Sir Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde, and Morrissey are making animal-friendly "front of stage" demands during their summer tours. Sir Paul has ensured that meat-free options are available for fans at his shows, two of the Pretenders' recent shows offered only vegetarian fare for concertgoers, and Morrissey requires people working his shows to abstain from meat.
I can think of a handful of celebrities who could learn a lot from these three about using their clout to help animals rather than hurt them.
Most of you probably remember the tragedy at the 2008 Kentucky Derby, in which a young filly, Eight Belles, was whipped mercilessly in the final stretch, only to break both her front ankles after she crossed the finish line.
At that time, we called for the racing industry to eliminate, at a minimum, some of its most abusive practices, including permanently banning the use of whips.
In an encouraging sign, California's Del Mar Racetrack has just announced that it has officially banned the use of hard leather whips and will only allow softer riding crops on the track. These softer crops will not sting or leave welts on horses like traditional hard leather whips do.
All whips should be banned outright, but considering that this reform comes on the heels (hooves?) of similar improvements by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, it seems that the industry is getting the message that "business as usual" won't fly anymore.
Of course, while these are steps in the right direction, the racing industry is still far from humane. Young horses are still forced to race before their bones are fully mature, horses are pumped with drugs so that they can run while injured, and "retired" racehorses are still sent to slaughter—and these are just some of the many abuses that horses endure in the racing industry. The only way to stop the cruelty altogether is to end horse racing once and for all.
Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA's naked "snakes" have been spotted recently on both coasts, drawing attention to the cruelty inflicted on scaly species who are killed for their skins. Not since Rebecca Romijn slinked around in painted-on scales as Mystique for the X-Men trilogy have people found reptiles so alluring.
Yep, rats and mice are finally having their day. Saturday's Wall Street Journal (the second-largest paper in the country and the most respected) features a front-page article about the work of PETA and others to gain protection for rats and mice in laboratories.
Shockingly, even though rats and mice comprise more than 95 percent of the animals used in experiments, they are specifically excluded from the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the only federal law that protects animals in laboratories. According to the U.S. government, in its infinite wisdom, rats and mice (as well as birds and "cold-blooded" animals) are not "animals." (It's nonsensical, we know.)
That's why PETA has been doing end-runs around the worthless AWA by going straight to the companies that are required to test their products and pointing out the benefits of using effective and humane alternatives. We also monitor the various government agencies' testing programs and object every time we learn about a proposed test on animals that is redundant or for which non-animal alternatives are available. By doing this, we have been able to get dozens of tests on animals stopped (or the number of animals used greatly reduced), which has saved tens of thousands of animals' lives.
We think it's about time that our elected officials thought about rats and mice, don't you? Send a message to your members of Congress demanding that rats and mice be treated like the sensitive animals (not vegetables or minerals) they are.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Forbes magazine recently unveiled its annual list of the country's top 10 most miserable cities, and the winners losers include Chicago, Illinois; Stockton, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Modesto, California.
The cities were graded on mood-killing triggers such as traffic, employment loss, crime rate, and, of course, weather. But what about the foods that the residents of these cities eat?
We're urging folks to turn their frowns upside down by adopting a vegetarian diet, and in Modesto we are pitching our new billboard, which features the message "Put a smile on your face. Go vegetarian."
We hope to make life a little easier on animals on factory farms as well as those humans who haven't realized that meat is a big fat downer.
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
We are so pleased to report that—thanks to your hard work—two important ballot initiatives passed yesterday, making history for animals. California voters approved Proposition 2 by a large majority, which will ban some of the worst cruelty to animals who are raised for food in that state: keeping egg-laying chickens in battery cages so small that they can't spread their wings, keeping veal calves in crates for their entire miserable short lives, and keeping pregnant pigs in crates that are so small that they can't take a step forward or backward or turn around. Animals on farms in California will be given these basic necessities by 2015, but we will continue to spread the message that the best thing that people can do to help animals is stop eating them altogether.
On the other side of the country, Question 3 passed, which will ban greyhound racing in the state of Massachusetts by 2010. Dogs who are used for racing typically spend 20 hours per day confined to cages measuring only 32 in. by 42 in. by 34 in. Many of the dogs can't even stand completely upright. The animals are also highly susceptible to injuries, including fractures, dislocations, lacerations, and amputations. And because they're no longer of use to the industry after they are injured, injured dogs are often simply killed.
The impact of both of these important initiatives is tremendous for the millions of animals whose lives will be affected by them. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you who worked toward their passage. We really are making a difference.
Written by Joel Bartlett
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
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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.