Written by PETA
I wanted to do a joke here about the fact that “gosling” means baby goose, but it’s not coming, so I’ll just play this one straight: Ryan Gosling, the Oscar-nominated star of Lars and the Real Girl, Murder by Numbers, and Half Nelson, has just fired off a letter on behalf of PETA to John Bitove (who runs the show for most KFCs in Canada, Ryan’s home country) urging him to stop Canadian KFCs' suppliers worst abuses of chickens, who are killed when they’re still just babies. "The time is ripe to do the right thing," he writes. "By adopting the basic recommendations made by PETA and scientific experts (including raising birds in a more natural manner and employing less cruel slaughter methods), you could dramatically improve the lives and deaths of chickens …."
Image credits: DeadlineHollywoodDaily, BBC / CC
And if you haven’t seen Lars and the Real Girl yet, you should rent it. Definitely one of my favorite movies this year.
According to Reuters, the captain and first officer of the Farley Mowat, which belongs to the anti-seal hunt Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, were arrested by Canadian authorities, who representatives from Sea Shepherd say boarded the ship outside Canada’s territorial limit last week. As you might imagine, both sides are telling some conflicting stories about the event, and while I’m really trying to maintain a bit of journalistic distance in reporting this thing, it’s pretty tough to take Canada’s Fisheries Minister seriously while he’s also using every opportunity to try and claim that this is humane, and, like, totally above board from an ethical perspective. In the meantime, Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd is pissed. Here’s how he described the incident:
"This is an act of war. The Canadian government has just sent an armed boarding party onto a Dutch registered yacht in international waters and has seized the ship."
I’ll let you know once I can get some more details on this—in the meantime, there’s no question about the fact that Canada has declared war on seals. The Canadian government will be killing 275,000 of these animals this year in a barbaric hunt that has provoked international outrage. If you want to take a moment to let these people know how you feel about that, you can sign on to PETA’s campaign against the seal hunt here.
In late June the Montreal Symphony are hosting a TV Special to salute Buffy Sainte-Marie's 50th year making music. I am honored to be asked to take part. I first bought a Buffy Sainte-Marie record when I was 12, and her music has always remained with me. In the 1960s, as a political activist, Buffy's lyrics were fearless, and I'm very grateful for all the risks that she took.I am also pleased to be asked to join the bill at the V Festival at the Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and also at Fort Calgary in Calgary.However, as we all know, the psychologically and constitutionally sickening Canadian seal-kill has started and is once again in full-cry.The horror of the Canadian seal-kill is untranslatable, and although I fully realize that highly concentrated evil exists in other countries - Japan's dolphin slaughter, Iceland's newly-revived whaling, the cat-skinning trade in Switzerland, and China with just about every injustice imaginable - there is something especially menacing about Canada's seal-kill.Loyola Sullivan (Canada's Ambassador for Fisheries Conservation) is a man of glacial coldness who claims that the seal-kill is "humane" - a view he might alter if his own skull were cracked open with a spiked axe.The fact that the seal-kill provides a livelihood for fishermen is an insultingly dim excuse for it to take place - after all, the German gas chambers of World War 2 also provided work for someone.The seal-kill takes place to satisfy greed for fur-pelts, and this Canadian government is happy to drag the global image of its own country down, and make it a place that people such as I couldn't bear to visit.-Morrissey, 29 March 2008.
Bad PETA Germany! What were you guys thinking? Did you even take a second to think that you might be hurting the feelings of the Newfoundland Fisheries Minister when you released a video depicting the horrors of the seal slaughter that he presides over? No, of course you didn’t. And look what happened. Because of your heartless disregard for the complicated emotional needs of Canadian Fisheries Ministers (and this isn’t the first time you’ve upset defenseless bureaucrats, is it, PETA Germany?), you’ve gone and hurt The Honorable Tom Rideout’s feelings. What do you have to say for yourselves?
Here’s how it’s all going down, according to Newfoundland’s Western Star newspaper:
"The provincial government is alarmed by a new anti-sealing video which is being distributed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 2, in Germany. The Honourable Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, expressed his disappointment and concern that this group would draw such a vile comparison to the Canadian sealing industry, which includes one of the most well-managed harvests anywhere in the world. The video compares the harvesting of seals to the violent physical abuse of a human."
And Minister Rideout has been eloquent on the subject of his “disappointment” in a press release that he’s been sending around:
“We are now witnessing a new low on the part of anti-sealing organizations. We in Newfoundland and Labrador have become accustomed to the misinformation and inaccurate depictions of the seal harvest that are presented around this time every year. However, this particular attack is the most vile that I have ever seen myself in my almost 30 years in public life. It is completely indecent for this group of people, who have likely never even visited our province, to present such a disturbing depiction of sealers. It is ironic that this group, which is making such an unethical attack, has the word ethical in its name. Their ethics are certainly nowhere to be seen in this approach to addressing their concerns with the Canadian sealing industry. It is also ironic that this attack is coming from Germany where there is a harvest of wild animals including the hunt of 1.2 million deer and over 500,000 wild boars per year.”
Now, there are those who would say that drawing attention to the vicious bludgeoning and skinning of live seals is worth disappointing the occasional Fisheries Minister, but to those people I ask this question: What about the emotional bludgeoning that Mr. Rideout might have experienced as a result of having to watch video footage depicting the horrific acts that his government is condoning? It almost seems as if my counterparts in PETA Germany (who, as the Minister so astutely points out, live in a country that still allows deer hunting and should therefore not be allowed even to talk about cruel hunting practices that occur elsewhere in the world) don’t care at all about whether their video about the internationally reviled Canadian seal hunt offends some functionary in the Newfoundland Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Unbelievable.
This is the video in question:
And this is the footage it’s referencing. Tom Rideout calls it a “harvest.” I call it an atrocity. You say tomato …
If you speak a bit of German, you can learn more here.
Bear baiting is so cruel it has been banned in British Columbia and in many U.S. states, and is condemned by the majority of Canadians and by numerous hunting and conservation groups as being cruel and unsportsmanlike, yet black bears continue to be cruelly slaughtered in Canada.
Alexia over at the PETA UK blog has all the latest on conservative MP Ann Widdecombe's public unveiling of this shocking footage at the House of Commons. Click here to get the entire scoop!
Please click here to join us in contacting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and ask him to help end bear baiting in Canada. Plus, I created this action alert, so you know it's an important one!
Canadian Rocker Bryan Adams, a vegan and a friend of PETA who has donated his talent as a photographer to help us create our ads, took it upon himself this week to let John Bitove, the CEO of most KFCs in Canada, know exactly what he thinks about KFC suppliers' treatment of chickens. Adams said, "[Y]ou could set your company apart from KFC operators in the U.S. and elsewhere by eliminating the worst abuses on these birds, as … chickens killed for KFC in Canada are scalded to death in tanks of hot water, suffer broken wings and legs, and worse."
Thanks Bryan, for, um, "Everything You Do" (I'm going to be singing that song all week now).
And if you’d like to write to KFC’s execs yourself, you can find their contact information here.
Robert Dziekanski was killed by a Taser stun gun in a Canadian airport last month. Dziekanski’s death, which has been widely reported after a video of the incident was posted on YouTube last night, is one in a long list of fatalities that have been caused by Taser stun guns. And yet Taser International continues to claim that these weapons are safe, practical tools for law-enforcement. How are they able to do this and get away with it?
The strategy’s pretty simple, actually. For years, Taser International has been funding and performing crude experiments on pigs, horses, and other animals that serve no other purpose than to provide them with “evidence” that their weapons are safe for humans. And yet as Robert Dziekanski’s death shows, the information that Taser International has been able to gather from shocking pigs is utterly useless—except insofar as it serves to protect Taser CEO Rick Smith from mounting public opposition to the use of his dangerous weapons.
The Taser situation is a perfect example of a problem that is endemic to all such animal experimentation. As is the case with so many drugs that go to market after animal testing only to be pulled from the shelves when they’re shown to be dangerous to humans, the results of these experiments have no relevance whatever to how humans will be affected, because (as should be obvious to a first-grader) pigs and horses have fundamentally different physiologies to humans. We just don’t work the same way. And the inevitable result—as we’ve seen time and again—is that companies like Taser International manipulate the data from their meaningless experiments to justify whatever argument they care to make. And people like Robert Dziekanski pay the price.
This video shows one of the hideously cruel experiments that Taser International has been performing on bulls, pigs, and other animals since they first tried to rush their weapon to market. Do we really want to stake our safety on the word of a man who does this?
Nobody can make you feel stupid quite like the French can. They have it down to an art. This picture, from a protest against the Canadian seal hunt in Paris this week, just says so much. I love the juxtaposition of disgust conveyed by the signs, and outright contempt conveyed by the dude wearing a silly beard to look like a sealer. That's how you do a demonstration. Nice work, the French.
Nothing says "Stop the bloody seal hunt" like a pile of dead, naked seal people outside your front door. We're hoping that the Canadian Prime Minister got that message loud and clear last week when these brave souls stripped off, covered themselves in fake blood, and held a “die-in” outside his office to symbolize the bloody seal-killing that happens every year on the ice floes off Newfoundland. Canada, I really do love you guys: the hockey, the maple syrup, the kickass national anthem—all that great stuff—but WTF with the baby-seal bludgeoning? Seriously: worst idea for a national tradition ever.
The geniuses over at NoMoreStrays.com, a website designed to raise awareness about the animal-overpopulation epidemic that this country is facing, have come up with what may very well be my favorite Flash-animated castration game of all time. I defy anyone to find a better game than this in the testicle-removal category. Check out the game, and don't forget to spay and neuter your pets (though for God's sake, do it by taking them to the vet—yes, the carny with the cleavers is a metaphor for your friendly local veterinarian).
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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.